Golf Bucks County

By Bob Oliver

Middletown Country Club

Middletown is a compact 80 acres of challenging golf, with rolling hills and large specimen trees that have watched many golfers travel its fairways over time. It has retained its old time feel with tees and greens in close proximity, allowing golfers to walk the course if they choose.

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09 Jun
2018

Nordqvist loves Bay Course at Seaview

Written by Bob Oliver

Galloway Township, NJ ---

There is little doubt - make that zero doubt, that Anna Nordqvist doesn't love the Bay Course at the Seaview Golf and Tennis Resort.

She's been a dominant player at the ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer, winning three years ago and successfully defending her championship. Last year she played well, but finished second. 

Friday's first round of the 54-hole event was nothing new as Nordqvist sits atop the leaderboard alongside Laura Diaz and Celine Hobin after the three carded 5-under-par 66s over the windswept Bay Course. 

"I feel so comfortable here, I really like Seaview," said Nordqvist. "The wind can drive you nuts, but if you are patient I find it a nice place to play."

Bucks County natives had difficult starts to the event. Neshaminy graduate Brittany Benvenuto had no luck in a 5-over-par 76 effort, while Pennsbury grad and incoming Penn State senior Jackie Rogowicz suffered through an 83. Rogowicz is the only amateur in the field. 

"This is going to sound a little strange, but overall I played very well, maybe the best I've played this year," said Benvenuto, who turns 30 tomorrow. "The opening four holes were near disasters."

Benvenuto missed 3-4 foot putts on the first two holes, the first sent off line by a spike mark and the second when it careemed funnilly by the poana grass. A bad bounce on the green on her third hole forced another bogey and a slightly offline approach led to another. Four holes, four bogeys.

"I loved how I was hitting the ball but not the results," said Benvenuto. "I feel good. This is pro golf, and things happen. You have to deal with the highs and lows, the good and the bad."

Rogowicz only finished ahead of two players, but was very pleased with her effort. 

"Just being here is pretty cool," said Rogowicz. "What a learning experience. It was great playing with Brittany Lang. I mean, she's a major champion. She was wonderful to watch."

Rogowicz admitted to being somewhat nervous, but that the nerves were contained. "I just didn't want to do anything wrong, it's a great experience. I'm looking forward to tomorrow."

CHIP SHOTS: Rogowicz hit a wayward drive on the second hole which ultimately was deemed out of bounds --- after a 26 minute wait for a rules official...Benvenuto has no special plans for her 30th - save a longshot hope of making the 36 hole cut. 

 

07 Jun
2018

Rogowicz "excited" to make LPGA field

Written by Bob Oliver
Galloway Township, NJ---
There were time when Paul Rogowicz would tell his young daughter Jackie stories filled with fantasy and suspense.
The proud dad never thought of the one where his little girl would qualify for the LPGA ShopRite Classic.
"Nope, that wasn't one of the stories," said the area golf Hall of Famer. "I'm so proud of her."
Jackie Rogowicz, a rising Penn State University senior, played in the Pre-Qualifier for the ShopRite Sunday and bested the competition on a windswept day with an 80. That got her into the final qualifier Monday to make the field. A sparkling 2-under-par 69 made her the 144th player in the 144-player event.
"Same player, same game, different conditions," explained Rogowicz, who like her dad plays out of Yardley Country Club. "On Sunday, well, no way I thought I'd advance. It was so tough out there. My focus was getting through the pre-qualifier. But I did, then Monday I played strong."
And there she was, a placard behinder, stroking practice shots on the same range as Brooke Henderson, Amy Olsen and Chelia Choi. She was honing her swing for an early starting time (7:37 a.m.) playing alongside former US Women's Open Champion Brittany Lang and Annie Park. 
The ShopRite LPGA is a 54-hole event held at Stockton Seaview Golf and Tennis Resort in Galloway Township near Atlantic City. Its Bay Course, designed by Donald Ross, isn't long in length but features tiny greens, tall fescue and can be blasted by mighty winds.
"Accuracy is always important, but when the winds are blowing they can create all kinds of havoc," said LPGA start Lydia Ko. 
Those winds can be demanding and bring out the best in a player...or the worst. 
Rogowicz has a simple game plan. Play her game, make some putts, and let what happens, well, happen. 
"This is a great opportunity and I am very excited to be here."
And have some fun!
CHIP SHOTS: Defending champion In Kyung Kim is happy to be back at Seaview, where her victory over Anna Nordqvist kick=started a summer that saw her win three times, including a major championship. "I like this place, but I don't like those winds too much."...After a lengthy win drought Lydia Ko is nearing where she wants to me. "The win in California was great," said the 21-year-old. "It had been a while since I raised a trophy...Neshaminy's Brittany Benvenuto is entered, playing her fourth LPGA Tour event with a 1:54 starting time while playing with Nannette Hill and Maude Aimee Leblanc.