Aug. 20, 2018

Brett Boner of Charlotte, N.C. carded a 5-under-par 67 to earn medalist honors.

Charlotte’s Boner headlines U.S. Mid-Amateur Qualifier at Cedarbrook

  BLUE BELL, Pa. — With the U.S. Mid-Amateur headed to his hometown, Brett Boner made qualifying a priority on his golf list. He flew nearly two hours to do so, passing the test in flying colors.

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  Boner, 44, of Charlotte, N.C., carded a 5-under-par 67 to earn medalist honors in a U.S. Mid-Amateur Qualifier administered by the Golf Association of Philadelphia at Cedarbrook Country Club (par 70, 7,044 yards). He earned one of six qualifying positions available for the Championship proper, set for Sept. 22-27 at Charlotte Country Club in Charlotte.

  Nick Biesecker of Staunton, Va. and Bryn Mawr, Pa. residents Chris Lange, Jr. and Jeff Osberg also qualified in regulation. Matthew Mattare of Jersey City, N.J. and Harvin Groft of Dover, N.H. emerged from a 12-for-2 sudden-death playoff to advance.

  “I wanted to come somewhere with bentgrass greens,” Boner, a Carolina Golf Club member, said. “I knew nothing about [the course], but it worked with my business and family schedule. I flew up yesterday morning. Unfortunately, my golf bag didn’t come until mid-afternoon, which was a little bit of a scare. But I got a practice round in. This is a great golf course — very demanding off the tee. If you hit the driver well out here, you have a lot of birdie opportunities.”

  Seventeen greens in regulation suggests an abundance of opportunities for Boner. He started with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 10 (par 5, 535 yards) and 11 (par 4, 387 yards): a two-putt on the first following a 3-iron from 229 yards, a sand wedge 109 yards to four feet on the latter. Crisp wedge shots from 128 yards produced birdie putts of two and three feet, respectively, on Nos. 15 (par 4, 430 yards) and 17 (par 4, 428 yards). Boner’s only missed green (No. 14, par 4, 439 yards) caused his only bogey. He pulled a 5-iron left and played a greenside chip conservatively out of a delicate lie.

  Boner, who played in the afternoon, soon separated from a crowded leaderboard. A driver-driver sequence left him eight paces off the No. 6 (par 5, 567 yards) green. A chip to four feet meant a birdie. Boner’s longest red conversion of the day occurred on the next hole (par 4, 378 yards), where he smacked a sand wedge 115 yards to nine feet. Six birdies, all from single-digit distance.

  “It’s been a huge goal all year to get into the U.S. Mid-Amateur because it’s in my hometown. I’ve worked hard at my game when I’ve had time,” Boner said. “I’m very thrilled. I want to see how far I can get. if I play my game, I feel like I can go a long way. It’ll be fun.”

  Boner, an Auburn University alum, spent nine years as a “mini-tour chaser,” qualifying for a select few Web.com Tour and PGA TOUR events along the way. He was reinstated as an amateur in 2008. Business and family obligations, however, make for only a handful of competitive golf ventures annually. Boner and brother-in-law and best friend Steve Woodard won the Anderson Memorial at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y. The two also competed in the 2016 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball.

  Boner’s other USGA appearance: the 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur at Stonewall, where he fell in the Round of 64 to Joshua Irving of Dallas, Texas, 1-up. Fun fact: GAP Director of Competitions, Kirby Martin, served as referee of that match.

  Another fun fact: Woodard also qualified for the U.S. Mid-Amateur Monday. He birdied the first playoff hole to grab the last spot in an event at The Foundry Golf Club in Powhatan, Va.

  Biesecker and Osberg, a two-time William Hyndman, III Player of the Year (2015-16), carded respective 3-under-par 69s to place second. Like Boner, Osberg, a notorious long-hitter, only missed one green on the day. He moved to 3 under following back-to-back birdies on Nos. 11 and 12 (par 5, 556 yards). Osberg hit a pitching wedge 140 yards to 15 feet on the first. His 2-iron from 250 yards on the par 5 landed greenside left. Next came a chip into kick-in range.

  Osberg, who fell in a playoff for the Open Championship last month, will compete in his fifth U.S. Mid-Amateur (2011, 2014-15, 2017). A pair of ailments earlier this summer made a potential berth hazy. Osberg cracked a rib in mid-May. Chronic back problems come and go.

  “My ribs are healed up. My back felt completely fine today,” Osberg, 34, a Huntingdon Valley Country Club member, said. “I was definitely very happy with the way I played. I was in play off the tee all day.”

  Unhappy with his season thus far is good friend Lange, Jr., who executed a 20-footer for par on the 18th hole (par 4, 411 yards) to avoid a playoff as busy as a theme park in the summer. Lange flared a drive right, thus gaining a flyer lie from 133 yards. His gap wedge clipped a tree and dropped into the front bunker. With a difficult extrication attempt to a tucked hole location, Lange splashed out to 20 feet. He closed his eyes for a moment, seeking divine intervention.

  “We lost my father-in-law a year ago. We just lost his sister, my wife’s aunt, a couple of days ago,” Lange, 34, an Overbrook Golf Club member, said. “So I said a little prayer. ‘Let me make a free stroke.’ And I made a free stroke, and it went in.

  “I’ve been close [to qualifying for a USGA event]. It’s the one thing I haven’t accomplished in my golf career.”

  Until the miracle at Cedarbrook.

  Mattare, 32, a Saucon Valley Country Club member, scripted his own heavenly heroics Monday. He holed a gap wedge from 115 yards for eagle on No. 1 (par 4, 398 yards), the first playoff hole, to earn an invitation to his fifth U.S. Mid-Amateur (2012-14, 2016). Mattare reached the quarterfinals in 2012 and earned medalist honors in 2013. He is the reigning William Hyndman, III Player of the Year.

Golf Association of Philadelphia
Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) is the oldest regional or state golf association in the United States. It serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. The Association’s 260 Full Member Clubs and 75,000 individual members are spread across Eastern Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey and Delaware. As Philadelphia’s Most Trusted Source of Golf Information, the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

Qualifiers

Name, city, state

Score

Brett Boner, Charlotte, N.C.

67

Nick Biesecker, Staunton, Va.

69

Jeffrey Osberg, Bryn Mawr, Pa.

69

Chris Lange, Jr., Bryn Mawr, Pa.

70

*Matthew Mattare, Jersey City, N.J.

71

*Harvin Groft, Dover, N.H.

71

 

Alternates (in order)

*Patrick Knott, Bryn Mawr, Pa.

71

*David Mecca, Philadelphia, Pa.

71

  

Failed to qualify

Sean Seese, Rydal, Pa.

71

John Brennan, Collegeville, Pa.

71

Michael R. Brown, Jr., Maple Shade, N.J.

71

W. Jay Degenhart, Savannah, Ga.

71

Scott Ehrlich, Berwyn, Pa.

71

Frank Kohute, Newfield, N.J.

71

Parker Williams, Bethesda, Md.

71

Jason Wilson, Orefield, Pa.

71

Jerell Fields, Charlotte, N.C.

72

Matthew Finger, Wilmington, Del.

72

Jason Loehrs, Havertown, Pa.

72

Thomas McCarthy, New York, N.Y.

72

Gregor Orlando, Philadelphia, Pa.

72

Benjamin Smith, Philadelphia, Pa.

72

P.J. Tighe, Blackwood, N.J.

72

Troy Vannucci, Marlton, N.J.

72

Eric Williams, Honesdale, Pa.

72

Garrett Basalyga, Philadelphia, Pa.

73

Erik Brubaker, Delmar, Md.

73

Brendan Clearkin Jr., Ambler, Pa.

73

Benjamin Feld, Philadelphia, Pa.

73

Nicholas Graziano, Washington, D.C.

73

Joseph Kerrigan, Ardmore, Pa.

73

Kevin O'Brien, Philadelphia, Pa.

73

Daniel Rexon, Cherry Hill, N.J.

73

Sean Semenetz, Philadelphia, Pa.

73

Peter Barron III, Mays Landing, N.J.

74

John Browndorf, Atlantic Highlands, N.J.

74

Patrick Dougherty, Montgomeryville, Pa.

74

Dave Fardon, Center Valley, Pa.

74

Shawn Lavin, Drexel Hill, Pa.

74

Matthew Loeslein, Wilmington, Del.

74

Brad McFadden, Bryn Mawr, Pa.

74

Stephen Seiden, Newtown Square, Pa.

74

Glenn Smeraglio, Newtown, Pa.

74

Sumeet Arora, Woodridge, Ill.

75

Fred Backhus, Warren, Pa.

75

Dan Bernard, Berwyn, Pa.

75

Brandon Capone, Columbus, N.J.

75

David Ferreira, Haverford, Pa.

75

Nelson Hargrove, Haverford, Pa.

75

Keith Matt, Lower Gwynedd, Pa.

75

Michael McDermott, Bryn Mawr, Pa.

75

Regan Papariello, Philadelphia, Pa.

75

Christopher Sicilia, Glenside, Pa.

75

Cory Siegfried, Haverford, Pa.

75

Thomas Stewart, Philadelphia, Pa.

75

Ric Sucro, Plymouth Meeting, Pa.

75

Jared Tendler, Yardley, Pa.

75

Lodie Van Tonder, Pennsville, N.J.

75

Jay Whitby, Wyoming, Del.

75

Nicola Cerilli, Dover, N.J.

76

Brett Cybulski, Medford Lakes, N.J.

76

Brian Gillespie, Newtown Square, Pa.

76

Michael Hyland, Medford, N.J.

76

Connor McNicholas, Ambler, Pa.

76

Oscar Mestre, Berwyn, Pa.

76

Tommy Miller, Boone, N.C.

76

Matt Perry, Seaford, Del.

76

Sean Torpey, Doylestown, Pa.

76

Conrad Von Borsig, Philadelphia, Pa.

76

Tyler Brewington, Oceanport, N.J.

77

Dan Brown, Broomall, Pa.

77

Tyler Canfield, West Chester, Pa.

77

Michael Carr, East Norriton, Pa.

77

Geoffrey Cooper, Erdenheim, Pa.

77

Mark Czerniakowski, Philadelphia, Pa.

77

Glenn Gamza, Bridgeport, Pa.

77

Drew Garis, Lansdale, Pa.

77

Tom Grady, West Chester, Pa.

77

Bill Jeremiah, Glen Mills, Pa.

77

Robert Maguire, Pottstown, Pa.

77

Marc Mandel, Plymouth Meeting, Pa.

77

Kenneth Matt, Lower Gwynedd, Pa..

77

Ryan McCarty, West Palm Beach, Fla.

77

JH Park, Blue Bell, Pa.

77

Jeffrey Romines, Conshohocken, Pa.

77

Gary Schoeman, South Africa

77

Johan Van Schalkwyk, Haddon Heights, N.J.

77

Oliver White, Lower Gwynedd, Pa.

77

Moises Cobo, Spain

78

Chip Culp, Washington, D.C.

78

Zachary Falone, Mickleton, N.J.

78

Ryan Gelrod, Flourtown, Pa.

78

Chris Meares, Turnersville, N.J.

78

Michael Rogers, Wayne, Pa.

78

Jamie Slonis, Sewell, N.J.

78

Justin Fischler, Avon, Conn.

79

Christopher Lawler, Philadelphia, Pa.

79

Joel Mazur, Pittsburgh, Pa.

79

Ryan Orcutt, Bethlehem, Pa.

79

John Samaha, Hatboro, Pa.

79

Kevin Silvestri, Marlboro, N.J.

79

Darren Taillie, Philadelphia, Pa.

79

Robert Bechtold, Avondale, Pa.

80

Jesse Brookreson, Warrington, Pa.

80

John Goldasich, Birmingham, Ala.

80

Charles Lynch, Lafayette Hill, Pa.

80

Kevin Maguire, Philadelphia, Pa.

80

John Oliver, Princeton, N.J.

80

Ryan Pfeifer, Auburn, N.Y.

80

Daniel Pinciotti, Ivyland, Pa.

80

Chris Wandell, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

80

Gary Daniels, Berwyn, Pa.

81

George Petrellis, North Wales, Pa.

81

Dan Simonsen, Mequon, Wisc.

82

Kevin Turner, Broomall, Pa.

82

Nicholas Verrecchio, Philadelphia, Pa.

82

John Alterman, New Hope, Pa.

84

Cody Correa, New York, N.Y.

85

Billy Hallman, New Tripoli, Pa.

86

Christopher Tennekoon, Philadelphia, Pa.

88

Stephen Barry, Mullica Hill, N.J.

WD

Edward Conway, Horsham, Pa.

WD

Sean Coyle, Wayne, Pa.

WD

Jimmy Finnerty, Vestavia Hills, Ala.

WD

Matthew Gaffney, Sewell, N.J.

WD

Steve Oh, Philadelphia, Pa.

WD

Noam Roizman, Blue Bell, Pa.

WD

James Kania, Haverford, Pa.

DQ

Grant Skyllas, Wyomissing, Pa.

NS

John Fizer, Trenton, N.J.

NS

Oscar Neubauer, Bethlehem, Pa.

NS

 

WD-withdrawal; DQ-disqualified; NS-no show

* - determined in playoff

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