Defending champion Cody Cox wins in playoff to advance to semifinals of 82nd Lehigh Valley Amateur
September 30, 2018
BETHLEHEM TWP. — There has not been a repeat champion at the Lehigh Valley Amateur since Barry Klinikowski in 1991.
Sunday, defending champion Cody Cox of Milford, PA will have an opportunity to end that drought.
On a day of dramatic afternoon matches, Cox managed to edge Matt Long of East Stroudsburg 1-up in 19 holes Saturday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the 82nd Lehigh Valley Amateur at Green Pond Country Club.
Long, 25, sank a 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to force a sudden-death playoff. On the playoff hole (par-4 tenth), Long rolled his 35-foot birdie putt five feet past the cup. Cox sank a 25-foot par putt, then won the match when Long missed his par putt.
Cox, a 23 year-old former Penn State golfer (2017), advanced to the Sunday morning semifinals, where he will face home course favorite Jason Wilson of South Whitehall Township.
The other Sunday morning semifinal will feature 55-year-old Joe Coulson of Upper Saucon Township vs. Jim Maru, a 25 year-old Allentown resident.
The two semifinal winners will meet in the championship match at 1:15 p.m.
Cox won the 2018 Bethlehem Golf Club Amateur Stroke Play Championship, and qualified for the 2018 U.S. Amateur.
He realized that the defending champion gets extra attention from their opponents.
“I shot 1-under-par in the morning, and in the afternoon I was around even par,” Cox said. “When you are the defending champion, you get everyone’s A game. Everyone wants to knock off the defending champion.”
Wilson, a 44 year-old advertising executive, has called Green Pond his home course for over a decade, and has won several men’s club championships.
One of the top pre-tournament title favorites, Wilson rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt from the front fringe on the fourth sudden-death playoff hole (par-4 18) to defeat Mike Kacelowicz of Lansdale, PA 1-up in 22 holes.
Down one after nine holes, Wilson chipped in for birdie from just off the green on the par-4 tenth and eleventh holes to grab a 1-up lead. Wilson, who was holding a 2-up lead after sinking a 15-foot uphill birdie putt on the par-3 15th hole, saw Kacelowicz rally to win the 16th (15-foot putt) and 18th holes (conceded 3-footer for birdie) to force a playoff.
Wilson won the 2017 Pennsylvania Mid-Amateur title, 2017 Lehigh Valley Medal Play Championship, and the 2010 Lehigh Valley Inter-Club Championship. He will be inducted into the Lehigh Valley Golf Hall of Fame in October.
Coulson, the oldest competitor in the championship flight, is the manager of Wedgewood Golf Course. Coulson ousted two-time Lehigh Valley Amateur champion Brian Johnson of Macungie 2-and-1 in the quarterfinals.
A football and track athlete at Pottsville High School (1981), Coulson began to play golf actively when he took the job at Wedgewood in 2001.
“I started to practice, i couldn’t break 90,” Coulson said. “Then Zach (his son) started playing, and he was beating me. I said I at least have to compete. I started to figure out to hit the ball. The first time I tried to qualify for the Lehigh Valley Amateur some years ago, I didn’t get into anything. Then then next year I made the Presidential flight.”
Coulson has won the 2014 Lehigh Valley Inter-Club Championship, and 2013 and 2017 Lehigh Valley Mid-Amateur Championship titles.
Maru held a 3-up lead through 15 holes over former assistant golf professional Andrew Bradley of Bethlehem, but Bradley rallied won the 16th and 17th holes with a birdie and a par to cut Maru’s lead to 1-up.
Facing a 40-foot birdie putt in the 18th green while Bradley was 15 feet from the cup, Maru sank his birdie attempt to close out the match.
“To be in the semifinals in this event is an honor,” Maru said. “On number 14 I caught myself swaying over putts. I made a putt on 15, and lipped out on 16. My expectations were I work in New York, I am in a full-time masters program. I wanted to win a match.”
Maru, who works in corporate finance for NBC in New York, is a former Moravian College (2016) golfer. He won the 2016 Bethlehem Golf Club Amateur Stroke Play Championship, and 2017 Allentown City Amateur Stroke Play Championship.
In Sunday morning’s semifinals of the 27th Lehigh Valley Senior Amateur Match Play Championship, Bob Schubach of Upper Saucon Township will meet Jeff Wiedecke of East Stroudsburg.
The other semifinal will feature Mike Hogan of Saylorsburg vs. Shane Gunning of Upper Saucon Township.
Wiedecke, 56, defeated Dave Blichar 1-up in the quarterfinals.
Blichar, a 55-year-old Upper Macungie Township resident, missed an opportunity to become the first golfer in Lehigh Valley history to hold all four Lehigh Valley senior major amateur titles at the same time, and achieve a “Calendar Slam”.
Earlier this year, Blichar won the Lehigh Valley Senior Inter-Club Championship and the Lehigh Valley Senior Amateur Medal Play Championship. Last October, Blichar won the Lehigh Valley Tournament of Champions.
82nd Lehigh Valley Amateur
Green Pond Country Club
Match Play Results
Cody Cox (defending champion) def. John Olszewski 1-up, Matt Long def. Riley Hogan 2-and-1
Jason Wilson def. Stevie Castellani 4-and-3, Mike Kacelowicz def. Zach Juhasz 3-and-1
Joe Coulson def. Bob Posocco 5-and-4, Brian Johnson def. Andrew Frank 2-and-1
Jim Maru def. Joe Jasinski 4-and-3, Andrew Bradley def. Dave Olexson 4-and-2
Cody Cox (defending champion) def. Matt Long 1-up, 19 holes, Jason Wilson def. Mike Kacelowicz 1-up, 22 holes
Joe Coulson def. Brian Johnson 2-and-1, Jim Maru def. Andrew Bradley 1-up
Rich Eilenberger def. Scott Radio 10-and-8, Erik Stevens def. Dave Frantz 6-and-5
John Jaques def. Mike Weiner 1-up, Mike Hersch def. Matt Crilley 2-amd-1
Adam Sutovich def. Ken Bontz 10-and-8, Josh Richards def. Adam Benza 4-and-3
Bob Evans def. Mat Wearing 3-and-2, Bill Reduzzi def. Bret Howey 2-and-1
Erik Stevens def. Rich Eilenberger 3-and-2, Mike Hersch def. John Jaques 6-and-5
Adam Sutovich def. Josh Richards 5-and-4, Bill Reduzzi def. Bob Evans 3-and-2
27th Lehigh Valley Senior Amateur
Bob Schubach def. Fred Lening 6-and-4, Jeff Wiedecke def. Dave Blichar 1-up
Mike Hogan def. Mike Guro 6-and-5, Shane Gunning def. Joe Roeder 1-up
Jim Gleason def. Chris Ortman 2-and-1, Mark Firment def. Gary Schillo 3-and-2
Barry Stolzman def. Jim Keosian 1-up, Elliot Sheftel def. Larry Pritchard 2-and-1
Walt Humphries def. Jim Lasko 1-up, Mark Choi def. Rich Baker 5-and-4
Jim McCall def. Randy Hensinger 5-and-4, Todd Kurz def. Steve Gensemer 3-and-2
Mark Harmon def. Dale Graffis 3-and-2, Robert Fondl def. Todd Gleason 5-and-4
Jeffrey Smith def. Jim Ferlino 6-and-5, Pete Hobson def. Mike Mekile 7-and-5
Lehigh Valley Super-Senior Amateur
Dylan Spadt def. Ed Kluemper (defending champion) 3-and-2, Ben Spence def. Lex Wilkinson 5-and-4
Matches re-scheduled for Saturday morning
First Flight (quarterfinals)
Mike Tomasic def. Scott Schaeffer 1-up, 19 holes, Mike Squires def. Tom Barlok 2-and-1
Dean Brodt def. Bart Kluemper 1-up, Bob Butz def. Nick Sabatine 3-and-2
Second Flight (quarterfinals)
Mike Cullen def. James Matthews 2-and-1, Tom Woodring def. Mike Gonsky 6-and-5
Frank Szilezy def. Dana Parr 1-up, Vic Lesky def. Frank DeRosa 1-up
Third Flight (quarterfinals)
Gary Fields def. Tom Huff 2-and-1, Ken Margraff def. Barry Bartokovits 4-and-3
Gene Howey def. Gene VanHorne 3-and-2, Glen Adelsberger def. Rich Miller 4-and-3
Championship Flight (quarterfinals)
Herbert Gates def. Gordan Bennett 4-and-2, Roy Atherholt def. Richard George 7-and-5
Jim Deemer def. Art Scott 3-and-2, Tom Stitt def. Bob Fairall 4-and-3
First Flight (quarterfinals)
Pricha Boonswang def. Keith Slocum 4-and-3, Joe Milutis def. Scott Clark 1-up, 19 holes
Ron Frey def. Lynn Shallcross 1-up, Milt Trexler def. Bruce Driesbach 3-and-2
HIGH SCHOOL DIVISION
Cole Eberling def. Christian Pfenning 1-up, Trever Grimm def. Jason Koch 5-and-4
Aiden Leblanc def. T.J. Bohl 2-up, James Grimm def. Matt Barosi 6-and-4
Joey Altemose def. Jake Haberstumpf 3-and-2, Tom Smith def. Michelle Cox 1-up
Trevor Schubert def. Ethan Honsel 2-and-1, Jerry Ascolese def. Owen Fahs 4-and-2
Trever Grimm def. Cole Eberling 4-and-3, Aiden Leblanc def. James Grimm 2-and-1
Joey Altemose def. Tom Smith 1-up, Jerry Ascolese def. Trevor Schubert 1-up
JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL DIVISION
Evan Eichenlaub — bye, Matthew Ronca def. Tyler Hager 2-up
Michael Vital — bye, Jimmy Barker def. Joe Smith 5-and-4
Evan Eichenlaub def. Matthew Ronca 3-and-2, Michael Vital def. Jimmy Barker 3-and-2
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