t took a two-week stretch in
June to change Ryan Tall’s 2018
outlook. A pair of stellar finishes
in two of the Golf Association of
Philadelphia’s most prestigious tournaments
catapulted Tall to the top of the Junior ranks.
Tall earned his first Junior Player of the Year
with ease, tallying 456.7 points to lap the field
by 161.7 points.
“Winning this at the end of my eligibility is
like ending your career by winning a Super
Bowl or a championship,” said Tall, 19, of
Devon, Pa. “It’s so cool. I sit down each year
with my parents and talk about goals for the
season, and getting as high as I could on
the [Player of the Year] standings was one of
them. To walk out on top after some dream
Tall started the summer with a surprising
semifinalist showing in the 118th BMW Phila-
delphia Amateur Championship.
He qualified as the No. 10 seed for match
play after qualifying rounds of 72 and 73 at
Whitemarsh Valley Country Club and Green
Valley Country Club (qualifying only site),
His first two matches against Lu Lu Country
Club’s Michael Moffat ( 19 holes) and Talamore
Country Club’s Patrick Sheehan (1-up) went
to the final hole. Tall then squared off against
Greate Bay Country Club’s Peter Barron, III.
Tall played the 14 holes in 1 under to defeat
Barron, 5& 4.
His remarkable run ended in the semifinals
at the hands of three-time GAP Major Champion Andrew Mason of Huntingdon Valley
Country Club with a 3&2 loss.
“That week at Whitemarsh feels like it just
happened since it is so fresh in my mind,” said
What a good reminder it was. The confi-
dence and form continued at Blue Bell Country
Club in the 104th Junior Boys’ Championship
the following week. Tall squeaked into the
Championship Flight as the No. 16 seed after a
73 in the stroke play qualifier.
His game didn’t show any signs of an
underdog. He took out Barr, the stroke-play
medalist, 7& 6. In the quarterfinals, he defeated Sheehan, 2&1, and then came back from
2-down to defeat Austin Barbin of the Junior
Players Club in the semifinals, 1-up.
The final conquest came in a 4& 3 triumph
over Shawnee Country Club’s William Mirams.
Tall became the first Spring Ford member to
claim the Peg Burnett Trophy.
His victory capped a 7–1 match play record
“My week at Blue Bell doesn’t happen with-
out my week at Whitemarsh Valley,” said Tall.
“The confidence I built at Whitemarsh put me
in a position to succeed at Blue Bell. They are
memories you will never forget.”
After shaking hands with Mirams, Tall em-
braced his biggest supporters: his father John
and mother Susan. They follow him at each
tournament he competes in.
“I am so thankful for the support system
my parents have given me,” said Tall. “I
wouldn’t be here without them. It’s fun to have
a support system that is involved and partici-
pates in the game.”
Tall continued his career summer at the Jock
MacKenzie Memorial at Sandy Run Country
Club, where he tied for second. He also tied for
18th in the 116th Joseph H. Patterson Cup at
Gulph Mills Golf Club and finished eighth in the
Silver Cross Award standings.
For the second consecutive year, the Junior
Player of the Year honor remains at Spring
Ford. Clubmate Benjamin Pochet took home
the honor last year.
“Having two members of Spring Ford win
the Junior Player of the Year in consecutive
years is special,” said Tall. “It is something that
[2017 winner] Ben [Pochet] and I have talked
about keeping in our family at Spring Ford with
the great Junior players we have.”
But the question that still remains is what
was different this year than the other years
in his Junior golf career. The now freshman
at Lafayette College didn’t think twice when
“As soon as I committed to play Division I
golf, the stress of trying to get yourself in front
of coaches was eased,” said Tall. “I didn’t have
to worry about running into coaches and get-
ting them to follow you. I was able to commit
early and take some pressure off of myself.”
“Playing in tournaments with the best
players in the area has been great for me,
especially since they are in my backyard,” said
Tall. “This year is a dream come true for me and
I am excited to see where this year leads for me
down the road. The support I have received is
the best part of all this.” m
SPRING FORD COUNTRY CLUB
BY DALTON BALTHASER
Tall with the Peg