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Davis, Pieczynski advance to Jay Sigel Match Play Championship final

Match play tree
Day One results

  NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa.-Kyle Davis of Kennett Square G&CC and Greg Pieczynski of Irem Temple CC have tilted the scoreboard with their dominant victories in the inaugural R. Jay Sigel Match Play Championship at Aronimink GC the last two days. On Wednesday, the two will clash in the 18-hole final set for 7:30 a.m.

  Davis of Kennett Square, Pa., the 15th seed, stopped Eric Williams of Honesdale GC in the semifinal, 6&5, while Pieczynski of Kingston, Pa., the 17th seed, defeated Paul Polinksy of Manufacturers G&CC, 3&1, in their final four match.

  Both Davis and Pieczynski’s success has been predicated on their solid ball striking and short game touch.

  The Sigel field of 32 consists of the top 31 players (eligible for the competition) from the 2003 William C. Fownes, Jr., Amateur Player of the Year standings and the current club champion of the host site.

  In Davis’ semifinal contest, the 18-year-old Unionville High School junior applied pressure from the beginning. He dropped an 8-iron to a foot on No. 1 (par 4, 430 yards) and drained a 10-foot birdie putt on No. 2 (par 4, 412 yards) for another birdie and a quick 2-up advantage.

  Williams cut the deficit to one hole twice on the front side, but two pars by Davis on No. 8 (par 3, 237 yards) and No. 9 (par 5, 556 yards) extended his cushion to 4-up.

  The two exchanged victories on the next two holes before a Davis par on No. 13 (par 4, 393 yards) and a Williams bogey moved the match dormie.

  Two pars on No. 14 (par 3, 218 yards) ended the contest.

  "I’m doing everything pretty well right now," said the soft-spoken Davis. "I haven’t been great off the tee, but my iron game has been making up for it. I love match play because it relieves a lot of the stress associated with stroke play. You can go at every pin and not worry."

  Williams, 31, of Honesdale, Pa., is a former touring-pro who was reinstated as an amateur in September of 2002. He said his driver went astray in the semifinal.

  "You can’t play this golf course from the rough," said Williams, the 14th seed. "Honestly, I think I got a little tired. I got a little quick and never figured it out."

  Both Williams and Davis carried their own bag for every round.

  In the Pieczynski and Polinsky match, the two were opposites.

  Pieczynski missed just two fairways, both barely, only six inches into the rough. On the other hand, Polinsky recorded just two fairways hit in regulation.

  "I was with the squirrels all day," said Polinsky.

  A Pieczynski par on No. 1 gave the Penn State junior a 1-up lead.

  He held an advantage throughout the match and made the turn at 2-up after parring No. 9 (par 5, 556 yards).

  A birdie by Polinsky on the difficult 10th (par 4, 454 yards) cut the deficit to a hole and that’s where it stood until the long par 3, 14th (218 yards).

  Staring at a 50-foot par putt from the left fringe, Pieczynski rolled it in. Polinsky, looking to get up and down for the third straight hole, missed his eight-foot par chance.

  "That was a big turning point," said Pieczynski. "The putt was a big left to right diver."

  Pieczynski, the 13th seed, closed out the match on No. 17 (par 3, 212 yards) with a three.

  Polinsky, 23, of Abington, Pa., is on a leave of absence from St. Joseph’s University.

  In the day’s opening match, Pieczynski carded a 2-under-par 33 on the front nine and rolled to a, 3&2, victory over Joe Corsi of Totteridge GC, the 24th seed.

  In the other half of Pieczynski’s draw, Polinsky stopped Andy Achenbach of Lu Lu CC, the 28th seed, 3&1. Polinsky chipped in from the left side of No. 8 to go 2-up and never looked back.

  Davis carded three birdies and a bogey to upend Christian Davis of Glenmaura National GC, the 26th seed, 3&2. Davis also carded a 33 on the front nine, making the turn at 2-under and 2-up.

  Williams netted a 1-under-par 34 on his first nine and made the turn 3-up before closing out David Brown of St. Clair CC, the No. 6 seed. A win on the 10th hole assured Williams of a spot in the afternoon’s semifinals.

17. Greg Pieczynski, Irem Temple CC, d. 13. Paul Polinsky, Manufacturers G&CC, 3&1
15. Kyle Davis, Kennett Square G&CC, d. 14. Eric Williams, Honesdale GC, 5&4

17. Greg Pieczynski, Irem Temple CC, d. 24. Joe Corsi, Totteridge GC, 3&2
13. Paul Polinsky, Manufacturers G&CC, d. 28. Andrew Achenbach, Lu Lu CC, 3&1
15. Kyle Davis, Kennett Square G&CC, d. 26. Christian Davis, Glenmaura National GC, 4&3
14. Eric Williams, Honesdale GC, d. 6. David Brown, St. Clair CC, 5&4

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