Dornes Leads Loaded Leaderboard at 101st Open
KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. - After an opening round score of 62 that set the competitive course record at Gulph Mills Golf Club, J.D. Dornes was riding high in the 101st Pennsylvania Open, presented by LECOM. But in Tuesday's second round, Dornes teed off at 11:45 and promptly bogeyed the third hole. Around that time, the skies opened up and a downpour descended on the classic Donald Ross layout. For many players, that would've been enough to set off a downward spiral. But Dornes, a professional from Lancaster, rallied with five birdies in his last 10 holes, posting a second round 68 and a 36-hole total of 130 for a one-shot advantage heading into Wednesday's final round.
"I know I just need more of the same tomorrow," Dornes said. "I just need to play solid golf like I eventually did today."
Dornes got the rally started with a birdie on No. 9 for the second day in a row, as he rolled in a 10-foot downhill putt to get back to even par for the day. After a bogey on No. 10, Dornes sank a 12-footer for another birdie on No. 11. Another birdie on the par-5 12th sent him on his way. On 17, Dornes smacked a 6-iron to within 12 feet and knocked in the putt. Finishing on the par-5 18th, Dornes was in a good position off the tee and was on the right side of the green in two. An easy two-putt gave him another birdie and put him at 12-under for the championship.
"I had a couple of good looks at birdie early that I didn't convert," Dornes said. "It was good to see them dropping on the back nine."
Trailing Dornes by a shot is professional Greg Jarmas, of Narberth, Pa. Jarmas was one of three golfers to shoot a 64 on Tuesday morning, and combined with his opening round of 67, he sits at 11-under par heading into the final round of the championship.
Jarmas began his round on the back nine and quickly got under par for the day. On the par-4 11th hole, his gap wedge approach from 107 yards nearly went in, leaving him a short birdie. He made another birdie on the par-5 12th. After dropping a shot on No. 16, he bounced back with a birdie on the par-3 17th. On the par-5 18th, he knocked in another birdie to get to 3-under par for the round. The front nine saw more of the same, as the former Princeton University golfer birdied No. 2 and No. 4 to move to 5-under par for the day. On the par-5 seventh hole, Jarmas had 190 yards for his approach shot. In his words, he "kind of heeled" a 5-iron to the right edge of the green that swooped around and ended up on the lip of the cup for a tap-in eagle. Jarmas then bogeyed the eighth hole before draining a 20-foot birdie putt on his last hole of the day to post a round of 68 and a two-day total of 131 (11-under par).
"I was surprised to see the morning numbers yesterday," Jarmas said. "But after getting out on the golf course, I thought those kind of scores were possible. I was happy to post one today."
Jarmas, a professional who is currently playing on the mini-tour circuit in Florida and South Carolina, said he was happy to be back in the area for the event.
"I've been looking forward to this week all year," Jarmas said. "I love playing these courses."
Defending champion Robert Rohanna of Waynesburg, Pa. is within striking distance of his third Pennsylvania Open title after shooting a 67 for a two-round score of 132 (-10). Rohanna made just one bogey on Tuesday while playing his way into the final pairing on Wednesday.
"I'm hitting my irons and putting well," Rohanna said. "I just need to be a little better off the tee to give myself better angles at the hole."
Four players are tied for fourth place at 133 (-9). Wexford, Pa. professional Beau Titsworth lit up the course on Tuesday morning for a 64. For Titsworth, it was just a matter of consistency after Monday's opening round of 69.
"I just cleaned up yesterday's round," Titsworth said. "I made enough birdies yesterday, but was sloppy in other areas. I played solid today."
Included in that "solid" score was an incredible finish, as Titsworth was 94 yards out on his approach shot on the par-4 ninth hole. His shot landed about five feed behind the hole and rolled back in for the eagle and an excellent ending to the round.
Another 64 came courtesy of Daniel Obremski of Irwin, Pa. But after a bogey on the second hole, Obremski found himself in trouble on No. 3, a 460-yard par 4. Facing 20 feet to save par, he sank the putt and garnered the momentum necessary to make a run at red numbers. That par save was immediately followed by a stretch where Obremski birdied six of the next seven holes. He stuffed it close on No. 4 for an easy birdie, then converted a 20-footer on No. 5. The best putt came on the sixth hole, where Obremski was on the back right of the green about 40 feet away, for his birdie look.
"I had to hit it about 12 feet and about 10 feet right of the hole to get the speed right, and it almost stopped at the top of the hill and then went down and in the hole," Obremski said.
After a par on No. 7, he sank two more birdies within 10 feet on both No. 8 and No. 9. After four more birdies on the back side, he was in the clubhouse at 9-under for the championship.
"I made a few adjustments from yesterday to today," said Obremski, who saw Gulph Mills GC for the first time during a practice round on Sunday. "But overall, I like my gameplan. I try to make at least one birdie every three holes."
On Tuesday, Obremski carded nine birdies, so consider that a successful day for that plan.
The other golfer to reach 9-under par in the morning was David Denlinger, a pro from Lancaster, Pa. Denlinger followed up Monday's 65 with a 68 in round two, putting himself in contention for the top prize on Wednesday.
"The second shot is really the key here," Denlinger said of Gulph Mills. "And when I missed today, I missed in the right spots. You have to do that to have success here."
Beginning on the back nine, Denlinger had an early bogey on No. 11 but rebounded quickly. He reached the par-5 12th in two, and two-putted for birdie. And then on No. 13, his approach landed past the hole and had too much spin, as it came back 30 feet away. But he knocked in the putt, a harbinger of good things on the greens for the day.
"I felt really good with the putter," Denlinger said. "I was rolling it well today."
Another birdie on No. 18 put him at 35 for the round as he made the turn. He countered a bogey on No. 3 with a birdie on No. 4. Then, for the second consecutive day, he birdied both No. 7 and No. 8. A par on No. 9 closed out the round and put him tied for second.
"I didn't have my best stuff today, but I recovered well," Denlinger said.
The final player at -9 is the home course favorite, Jordan Gibbs, who has been an assistant at the club for the past three seasons. Gibbs posted a 65 on Monday and came back with a 68 on Tuesday. He began on the front nine Tuesday and went out in 32 after birdies on No. 5, No. 6 and No. 9. After a pair of birdies on No. 11 and No. 12, he was tied for the lead at 11-under par. But a duo of bogeys on No. 16 and No. 17 dropped him back to 9-under par, which is where he'll begin Wednesday's round and the chase for the Arnold Palmer Trophy.
Cole Berman, of Rosemont, Pa. and the Philadephia Cricket Club, is at 8-under par and is currently the low amateur for the championship. Berman is tied for eighth place overall.
There were 43 players who made the cut by finishing at 1-over par or better. That's the lowest cut line in relation to par for the Pennsylvania Open since the 2010 edition at Applebrook Golf Club. Wednesday's final round begins at 7:30 a.m. and is open to the public. The final pairing of Dornes, Jarmas and Rohanna will tee off at 10 a.m.
The Pennsylvania Golf Association would like to thank the staff and membership of Gulph Mills Golf Club for their support and hospitality during the event.