Porter Cup Notebook: Hall plays local favorite
So, it’s not technically his hometown. But Gavin Hall sure played the role of
the hometown favorite. Hailing from nearby Pittsford, Hall was cheered on
by the largest of galleries. Of course, it didn’t hurt that he played extremely
Teeng off in the third to final grouping, Hall started eight shots off the lead
and finished tied for eighth.
Hall, of course, is the University of Texas-bound U.S. Open participant, who
birdied his way to medalist at the Purchase, N.Y. sectional qualifier.
Oh Canada: Seeing as Lewiston and nearby Niagara Falls also
serve as the U.S.-Canadian border, it should go as no surprise that our
neighbors to the north were well-represented at the Porter Cup.
Ontario natives Taylor Pendrith and Justin Shin entered the final round as
Nos. 1 and 2 on the leaderboard while Chris Hemmerich, Blair Hamilton,
Stephane Dubois and Garrett Rank also hail from Canada.
Pendrith, of course, went on to win.
“It just feels a little like a home game,” he said. “It’s relaxing, everything
looks the same, feels the same.”
There was additional international flavors to the leaderboard at Niagara Falls
Country Club. Australians Brady Watt, Callan O’Reilly, Joshua Munn, Jake
McLeod and James Gibellini were joined by Alejandro Tosti, Jaime Lopez
Rivarola and Santiago Bauni of Argentina, Charlie Bull, Joshua White and
Benjamin Taylor of England, Carlos Ortiz (Mexico), Julio Vegas (Venezuela)
and Toni Hakula (Finland).
“This is my first time but I’m enjoying the hospitality,” said Watt. “The little
things make it great. I love the event. It was good to experience it myself.
I’ve had a lot of fun.”
Texas Twister: University of Texas head coach John Fields had
busy Saturday at the Porter Cup. Fields, who guided the Longhorns to the
2012 NCAA Championship, was tasked with following --- in succession --- a
trio of players in his program.
In the 11:40 tee time, incoming freshman Gavin Hall, of nearby Pittsford,
was paired with current Longhorn Kramer Hickock. In the next group was
Beau Hossler, who’ll be a red shirt freshman this fall.
Toni Hakula, another team member, went off at 11:10.
Having his players compete and contend in an event as lofty as the Porter
Cup is a feather in Fields’ cap.
“It shows that we’re still moving in the right direction,” Fields said. “We’re
thrilled to add Gavin and Beau.”