Strong NJ Contingent set for U.S. Four-Ball at Bandon Dunes
Photo: Vince Kwon, Troy Vannucci, Jack Wall, Brendan Hansen, Ethan Wall & Jeremy Wall after qualifying last September for U.S. Four-Ball Championship
When the players tee it up for the stroke-play portion of the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship on Saturday and Sunday, May 25-26 at the Bandon Dunes Resort in Bandon, Oregon, the event will have a decidedly New Jersey flavor.
Eight sides with at least one New Jersey representative are in the field of 128 teams, a full one-sixteenth of the entire field.
Three of those sides came out of the U.S. Four-Ball qualifier conducted on Sept. 11, 2018, by the NJSGA at Green Brook Country Club in North Caldwell. Brothers Jeremy and Ethan Wall of Brielle, their younger brother Jack Wall, and his partner and high school teammate Brendan Hansen of Spring Lake, and partners Vince Kwon and Troy Vannucci, both of Marlton, all advanced through that qualifier to Bandon Dunes.
Another full New Jersey tandem consists of Peter Barron III of Mays Landing and Michael Brown of Maple Shade. They were first alternates in the qualifier on Oct. 9 at Garden City, N.Y.; they are replacing qualifiers Tyler Brewington of Oceanport and Eric LeFante of Florham Park who have deferred their place in the field until 2020 because of newborns.
The other four teams with a New Jersey golfer include Nick Branchina of Summit and partner Will Rosenfeld of Baltimore; Reid Bedell of Fair Haven and teammate Matt Carter of Easley, S.C.; Jack Wallace of Beverly and Sean Semenetz of Philadelphia, and Zachary Falone of Mickleton and Matt Mancini of Douglassville, Pa.
At Bandon Dunes, following stroke-play at the Old Macdonald and Pacific Dunes courses, 32 teams advance to the first round of match play on Monday. On Tuesday, the Round of 16 and quarterfinal matches take place with the semifinals and final set for Wednesday, May 29.
The championship has a wide open field. Last year, for instance, a pair of 18-year-olds, Cole Hammer, of Houston, Texas, and Garrett Barber, of Stuart, Fla., combined to shoot 7 under par in defeating mid-amateurs Chip Brooke and Marc Dull of Florida, 4 and 3, in the 18-hole final at Jupiter Hills Club in Florida.
The Wall family of Monmouth County has a full family contingent at the Four-Ball Championship. Besides contestants Ethan, Jeremy and Jack Wall, older brother Augie and parents George and Eileen have made the trip, along with Brendan Hansen’s father.
In 2020, the championship comes to the East Coast and will be played at the Philadelphia Cricket Club. The NJSGA will conduct a qualifier for the event on Sept. 4 at Galloway National Golf Club.