Ken­nett’s Brown takes Ches-Mont crown

Ken­nett se­nior Brown sur­vives snow­man to cap­ture league ti­tle

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Bruce Adams badams@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @mline­s­ports on Twit­ter

Con­ners, Mont­gomery, Giane­los fin­ish one shot back at Ap­ple­cross C.C.

Catch­ing fire in the mid­dle of his round, Ken­nett High School se­nior Evan Brown later sur­vived a quadru­ple-bo­gey 8 — a snow­man — at the 16th hole to fin­ish with an even-par 72 and win the Ches-Mont League Golf Cham­pi­onship Tues­day at Ap­ple­cross Coun­try Club.

Brown fin­ished one stroke ahead of a trio of golfers who shot one-over-par 73 — Bishop Shana­han ju­nior Ryan Con­ners, Down­ing­town East se­nior Wills Mont­gomery and Unionville ju­nior Nick Giane­los.

The Ken­nett se­nior came to the ninth hole, a 512-yard par 5, which has a pond guard­ing the front of the green, at one-un­der on the day. He ea­gled the ninth, and fol­lowed up with birdies on 10 and 11 to go five-un­der through 11 holes.

On No. 9, the long-hit­ting Brown, a pow­er­ful 6-foot-4, 250-pounder, pounded his drive about 320 yards into the rough. From 195 yards, he de­cided to go with a 6-iron, and fired a shot four feet from the

hole, mak­ing his ea­gle putt.

Brown’s put­ter then heated up, as he knocked in a 15-footer for birdie on No. 10 (par 4, 310 yards) and canned a 25-foot putt for birdie on the 11th (par 3, 146 yards).

The Ken­nett se­nior fin­ished the day hit­ting 15 greens and tak­ing 31 putts.

“Over­all I was pleased with my round — there were a lot of pos­i­tives,” said Brown, who fin­ished sec­ond at last year’s Ch­esMont tour­na­ment. “I hit the ball well and putted well.”

Brown did a pretty good job of re­cov­er­ing from the fair­way rough too. On the 15th hole (par 5, 505 yards), he smashed his drive well over 300 yards into some tall rough on the left. From 165 yards, he hit a 9-iron onto the green, then twop­utted for a birdie.

“They key to it all [get­ting out of fair­way rough] is wrist strength,” said Brown.

Stand­ing five un­der par at the 16th tee, Brown used a 4-iron for his tee shot on the 387-yard par 4, and the ball landed in the right rough be­hind some trees. He tried to clear the trees with a 9-iron, but hit the shot a lit­tle thin and did not es­cape the trees. He hit a re­cov­ery pitch­ing wedge fat, and fin­ished with an 8.

Brown then bo­gied the 17th hole, but re­cov­ered nicely with a par on the 18th, barely miss­ing a short birdie putt.

“The big thing I wanted to do to­day was ad­vance to dis­tricts,” said Brown, who fin­ished fourth at the PIAA cham­pi­onships last fall.

The Ken­nett se­nior is com­mit­ted to Loy­ola (Md.) Univer­sity for golf, where he in­tends to ma­jor in busi­ness or fi­nance. Out­side of Ken­nett, he’s had some im­pres­sive show­ings in a num­ber of var­i­ous tour­na­ments, such as the USGA Ju­nior Ama­teur (where he fin­ished 38th) and the Penn­syl­va­nia Ama­teur (he shot 64 in a qual­i­fy­ing round at Colo­nial Coun­try Club in Harrisburg). A mem­ber of Harte­feld Na­tional, Brown has re­ceived valu­able coach­ing from sev­eral lo­cal pros, and has started to work with es­teemed White Manor teach­ing pro­fes­sional John Du­ni­gan.

One stroke back of Brown Tues­day af­ter­noon at Ap­ple­cross were Con­ners, Mont­gomery and Giane­los.

“I was pretty con­sis­tent to­day — I think I had 14 pars to­day,” said Con­ners, who fin­ished third at Ch­esMonts last fall. “This course sets up well for my game — you have to hit it straight.”

Mont­gomery, a St. Joseph’s Univer­sity com­mit who placed fourth last year, said, “The un­du­lat­ing greens here are tough, and your iron play has to be good.”

Giane­los, whose Unionville squad cap­tured the team cham­pi­onship (Down­ing­town East was sec­ond), fin­ished with a flour­ish, birdieing No. 15 and then ram­ming home a 40-foot putt on No. 17 for an­other birdie.

“I thought the course was in great shape to­day,” said Giane­los. “The greens were quick.”

In fifth place was Great Val­ley se­nior Stephen Borst, who shot a 75. He has been a mem­ber at Ap­ple­cross for the past four years.

“The greens were good and fast to­day,” said Borst. “It’s a ball-striker’s course, a sec­ond-shot course. It suits my game well, be­cause the best part of my game is the short irons. But I re­ally strug­gled to­day on the last three holes.”

••• A to­tal of 25 golfers ad­vanced to Dis­tricts. A play­off had to be held among the golfers who shot 86 to de­ter­mine the fi­nal two qual­i­fy­ing spots.

PETE BANNAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Above, Ken­nett’s Evan Brown chips onto a green dur­ing Tues­day’s Ches-Mont League Cham­pi­onships at Ap­ple­cross Coun­try Club. Brown fin­ished with an even-par round of 72 for first place. Be­low, at top, Bishop Shana­han’s Ryan Con­ners pumps his fist after sink­ing a birdie putt on the 18th hole. At bot­tom left, Unionville’s Nick Giane­los ex­hales after drain­ing a birdie putt on No. 17. At bot­tom right, Down­ing­town East’s Wills Mont­gomery sinks a putt on No. 11. Con­ners, Giane­los and Mont­gomery all tied for sec­ond, one shot be­hind Brown.

PETE BANNAN-DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Evan Brown of Ken­nett High School tees off on 13th hole at Ap­ple­cross Coun­try Club in the Ches-Mont Golf Cham­pi­onships on Tues­day. He fin­ished with a 72 for first place.

PETE BANNAN-DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Stephen Borst of Great Val­ley tees off on the 10th hole at Ap­ple­cross Coun­try Club in the Ches-Mont Golf Cham­pi­onships on Tues­day. He fin­ished in fifth with a 75 for the round.

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