New Hope's Zachary Herr placed an exclamation point on his summer golf season by winning the American Junior Golf Association's Northeast Open at Richer Park in Danbury, Ct.
Herr, an incoming Council Rock North freshman, claimed his first AJGA crown in dramatic fashion, winning a sudden death playoff over Geoff Vartelas of Cromwell, CT, The two finished 54-holes of regulation play at 212. There were players from 18 states and four countries represented.
Earlier this summer Herr won the Golf Association of Philadelphia's 95th Junior Boys' Championship and was second in the Pennsylvania Golf Association Junior Amateur. Two weeks ago he lost a playoff in the AJGA Corse/Max Philadelphia Runner Championship.
Herr opened with a 69 over the 6,607-yard Richer Park layout and then added rounds of 70 and 73 for his four-under-par 212 total. He had a four-shot lead at one point in the final round before his opponent stormed back into contention.
The 14-year-old needed a birdie on the 54th hole to get into the playoff in Connecticut and made the most of it. Herr and Vartelas traded pars on the first hole of sudden death, the 18th hole. They sauntered to the 17th hole for the second overtime hole and each stroked strong drives and hit their approach shots to the green.
Each had 15-foot putts to win the event. Herr made his and claimed his first AJGA championship after knocking on the door a couple weeks back in the Delaware Valley.
The victory secures Herr exemptions into several future AJGA events and is expected to move him into the top-150 in the Polo Rankings of AJGA players nationwide.
Newtown's Brandon Dalinka carded rounds of 76-74-73 for an 18th place 223. Earlier this year Dalinka was 9th in the AJGA Southeast Junior and 13th in the Scott Robertson Junior. Zachary's sister, Erica Herr, 13, played in the girls' division in Connecticut, making the cut after carding rounds of 87-79-76 for a 14th place 242.
Earlier this year Herr was awarded the USGA-AJGA President's Youth Leadership Award for his volunteerism in the community. His Zach Attacks Cancer Foundation and generated more than $80,000 in proceeds to fight cancer.