Talamore’s Carber, Rickenbach capture Hussey in playoffSPRINGFIELD, Pa.–Andrew Carber and Stewart Rickenbach of Talamore Country Club waited out two weather delays and a playoff to take the 28th Francis X. Hussey Memorial on Monday at Rolling Green Golf Club (par 71, 6,329 yards).
Carber and Rickenbach birdied the first playoff hole (No. 1, par 4, 387 yards) to triumph three other teams. All four groups finished 18 holes of regulation at 4-under-par 67.
Carber earned the overtime hero honors. He launched a massive drive on No. 1 before dropping a 60-degree wedge from 85 yards to a foot. At least one player from each of the other three teams had lengthy birdie tries but failed to convert.
“I was just in the first cut [of rough on the left]. I asked Stu what you think, ‘Knock down a GAP wedge or hit a 60 degree.’ I wound up hitting the 60 degree. I judged it perfectly and caught it perfectly,” said Carber, 17, of Ambler, Pa. “I wasn’t nervous on the drive or the approach shot, but I was pretty nervous over that putt.”
It was the first Golf Association of Philadelphia victory for either player.
“It just feels good to win, there is no other way to say it. I’ve been playing junior golf for awhile and I’ve only had a few wins. To do it in the GAP feels really good,” said Rickenbach, 18, of Doylestown, Pa.
Added Carber, “I never really played in many tournaments. I’m kind of new to that golf scene. With basketball and baseball I was never really able to play too many golf tournaments. It’s a new feeling.”
The other three playoff teams were Nick Cappetti and Drew Guarino of Burlington Country Club; Ben Litt and Nick Calabrese of Riverton Country Club and Edgmont Country Club, respectively , and Andrew Willner of Phoenixville Country Club and John Miller of the Philadelphia Junior Tour.
Cappetti and Guarino blitzed the field early. The two were 6 under thru 14 holes before falling back.
Calabrese and Litt birdied two of their final three holes. Calabrese hit a wedge on No. 16 (par 3, 127 yards) to four feet and two putted No. 17 (par 5, 473 yards) from 60 feet after reaching the green in two.
Willner and Miller closed with a fury. The duo carded birdie 4s on the two closing par 5s.
Carber and Rickenbach each took turns helping the team’s bottomline. Rickenbach drained the duos final birdie when he dropped a pitching wedge to a foot on No. 16.
In the round, Rickenbach made four birdies, Carber three.
Carber graduated from Upper Dublin High School in the spring and is headed to Clemson University where he will study business and is hoping to walk-on to the golf team. Rickenbach graduated from Central Bucks East High School and heading to Penn State University Main. He, too, hopes to walk-on to the golf team. Rickenbach’s area of study will be chemical engineering.
“We had a team strategy and not an individual one,” said Kienzle, 13, of Malvern, Pa.
Added Civitella, 12, of Paoli, Pa., “We wanted to get one person on the green and the other to have a shot at the pin.”
Both attend Valley Forge Middle School. Kienzle is an eighth grader. Civitella is in seventh grade.
This was both players first time competing in the Hussey.
Billy Civitella, Matthew’s cousin, and John Updike of Aronimink Golf Club placed second, a stroke back at 40.
Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) is the oldest regional golf association in the United States and serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. Its 143 Member Clubs and 57,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. As Philadelphia’s Most Trusted Source of Golf Information, the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.
NOTES–The tournament namesake is Francis X. Hussey. Hussey suffered with congenital heart disease and passed away in December of 1983 while undergoing major heart surgery. He was 13 years old when he died. Francis was a student in the Haverford Township School system, an avid sports fan and an active junior member at Rolling Green. His courage in the face of his illness was a great inspiration to all who knew him.