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102 holes, all in name of First Tee

With all the weeks she put in organizing a golf marathon to benefit The First Tee of Philadelphia, Jackie Calamaro spent the final one wondering: How would she ever last 100 holes?

With all the weeks she put in organizing a golf marathon to benefit The First Tee of Philadelphia, Jackie Calamaro spent the final one wondering: How would she ever last 100 holes?

"As it got closer, I realized it's almost six rounds of golf I'd have to play in one day," the 18-year-old Radnor High School senior said Tuesday. "I figured I should go work out or something. I didn't quite know how to prepare or how I'd be able to do it."

But she surprised herself, going 102 holes in around 91/2 hours April 10 at Walnut Lane Golf Course in East Falls along with fellow senior Jin Hwang and Radnor golf coach Andy Achenbach - and raising more than $7,400 for The First Tee.

That kind of commitment earned Calamaro, of Newtown Square, the 2010 Presidents' Leadership Award given by the U.S. Golf Association and the American Junior Golf Association. She will be honored July 1 at the AJGA Tournament of Champions in Johnson, Ark.

Calamaro wanted to help The First Tee for her senior class project and said Achenbach proposed the idea of a "golf-a-thon." She notified John MacDonald, head of The First Tee of Philadelphia.

"The call came out of the blue," MacDonald said. "She thought about doing something for somebody else, which is pretty awesome. We're building a youth teaching facility at Walnut Lane, and that's where the money went."

Calamaro and her group played in carts at a steady pace. They went around the seven-hole stretch on the north side of Walnut Lane 13 times before crossing the street and playing the final 11.

"I think I played my best on those last 11, 1-over par," she said proudly.

Calamaro, who used the same ball for all 102 holes, said kids from The First Tee supported the group with signs and cheers, and those already on the course allowed the threesome to play through.

Calamaro said she would help The First Tee this summer as her competitive schedule permits before starting her freshman year at the University of Illinois.

"Mr. MacDonald is awesome, a great guy," she said. "Everyone there was so great, so kind. They're very generous. What they do is incredible."

Said MacDonald, "She's a special young lady."

Money time. One of the largest first-prize awards for a one-day club professional event, a cool $42,500, will be at stake Tuesday when 126 players compete in the Philadelphia Section PGA's Haverford Trust Classic at Sunnybrook Golf Club in Plymouth Meeting.

The tournament's second prize is $5,000, meaning there will be some sweaty palms on the greens at crunch time. And that's what retired Haverford Trust chairman George Connell likes to see.

"Year after year, he wants a playoff," section executive director Geoff Surrette said. "The last two years, we've had a playoff. This year, you may have a pro putting for $37,500."

Surrette said the total purse of $66,300 "is really fantastic. It's just amazing how committed George is to our members."

Finally in. It took a while but George Forster made it off the list of alternates and into the field for this week's Senior PGA Championships at Colorado Golf Club in Denver.

"I finally got the call Tuesday of last week," said Forster, head pro at Radnor Valley Country Club in Villanova. "It was a little nerve-racking to not get the word until the week before, but it's nice to be playing."

Forster is making his fourth Senior PGA appearance.

To the finals. Penn State and Virginia, with junior Amory Davis of Chadds Ford, have advanced to the NCAA Division I Golf Championship beginning Tuesday at The Honors Course in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Davis tied for 29th at last week's regional competition in New Haven, Conn. Penn State's T.J. Howe shared individual honors, while teammate Kevin Foley got a piece of fourth place.

Patriot League champion Rob Robertson (Chestnut Hill Academy) of Lafayette tied for 41st at New Haven while Ivy title-holder Scotty Williams of Penn tied for 58th. Delaware junior Justin Martinson (Kennett) competed at the Southeast Regional and finished in a 13th-place tie.