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122nd #BMWPhillyAm: Preview

Philadelphia CC set to host June 13-15 & 18

As GAP celebrates its 125th anniversary, one of its founding Member Clubs, appropriately enough, will stage the organization’s marquee tournament.

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The 122nd BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship will take place June 13-15 & 18 at Philadelphia Country Club. The gorgeous Gladwyne, Pa. venue will welcome 144 of the Delaware Valley’s top golfers.

Amateur chasers first engage in a 36-hole stroke play qualifier at Philadelphia Country Club and Union League Liberty Hill (qualifying site only) for one of 32 match play spots available. Any ties for the final spot(s) will be broken by a sudden-death playoff at the conclusion of play on June 13.

First-and-second round matches will take place June 14; The quarterfinals and semifinals follow on June 15. The 36-hole final is set for Saturday, June 18, its traditional placement on Father’s Day weekend. BMW USA returns for an eighth consecutive year as the event’s presenting partner.

The Amateur champion receives the J. Wood Platt Trophy. Its namesake holds a record-seven Amateur titles.

Philadelphia Country Club hosted the Inaugural Amateur Championship, then known as the Individual Championship, in 1897, the year of GAP’s founding. GAP Hall of Famer Albert Haseltine Smith defeated J.D. Winsor in 37 holes that day.

Overall, Philadelphia Country Club welcomed the Amateur on seven occasions, most recently in 1997. Lee McEntee defeated Robert Savarese, 3&2, that year. Others to strike Amateur gold at Philadelphia Country Club include a pair of GAP Hall of Famers in Chris Lange (1993) and William Hyndman, III (1965).

“The course is in great condition,” Scott Reilly, Philadelphia Country Club’s golf professional, said. “The rough will be healthy. There will be a premium on hitting fairways. Players will definitely be rewarded with plenty of roll if they can hit the fairways.” Reilly, 38, of Blue Bell, Pa., is in his 11th year at the club.

“I’m just really excited. Last year was an incredible experience.”

Conor McGrath

Designed by the renowned William Flynn, Philadelphia Country Club’s Spring Mill Course is groomed for championship golf. It hosted the U.S. Open in 1939, U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship in 2003, U.S. Amateur Championship (stroke-play qualifying) in 2005 and GAP Open Championship in 2017.

Philadelphia Country Club opened a new practice facility in June 2021. Located next to the facility’s Centennial Nine, it will be available to Amateur contestants throughout the Championship proper.

Huntingdon Valley Country Club’s Conor McGrath returns as defending Amateur champion. He defeated Little Mill Country Club’s Jack Irons, 3&2, a year ago at Cedarbrook Country Club. McGrath seeks to become the 11th individual to capture consecutive championships.

“I’m just really excited. Last year was an incredible experience,” McGrath, 22, of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., said. “I’m going to try and use what I learned last year and put it into this year. I’ll try to relax, stay calm and trust myself. Expectations are you always want to win. That’s the goal for every tournament you play. I’ll focus on stroke play [qualifying]. Making match play is the most important part.”

McGrath, a rising senior at Temple University, is coming off an impressive collegiate campaign. He, for the second straight year, was named to the Division I PING All-Northeast Region team. McGrath led Temple with a 71.88 stroke average over 34 rounds. He tallied a team-high 19 rounds at level or under par during the season. McGrath carded a collegiate career-best five-under-par 67 at the GolfWeek Fall Challenge at True Blue Golf Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C. In doing so, he set the Temple men’s golf record for lowest total (203) for 72 holes and score in relation to par (13 under). McGrath posted four Top 5 finishes, including three second-place showings.

“I put in a lot of work. It was nice to see some results, some of the hard work paying off,” McGrath said. “I think I’m doing the right things, focusing on the right stuff. It comes down to trusting my work, trusting my game. At the end of the day, that’s all you can do.”

McGrath tees off at 7 a.m. alongside LuLu Country Club’s Michael R. Brown, Jr., a two-time William Hyndman, III Player of the Year (2010, 2018), and The 1912 Club’s Joshua Ryan, the 2020 Junior Player of the Year.

Other former Amateur winners in the field include Zachary Barbin of Chesapeake Bay Golf Club (2021), Gregor Orlando of Philadelphia Cricket Club (2017), Cole Berman of Merion Golf Club (2015), Conrad Von Borsig of Philadelphia Cricket (2009), Brian Gillespie of St. Davids Golf Club (2001) and James Sullivan, Jr. of LuLu Country Club (1999).

Aside from offering live scoring on its website, GAP will provide BMW Philadelphia Amateur updates via its social media outlets. Follow @GAofPhilly on Twitter and Instagram. Use the hashtag #BMWPhillyAm when posting.

The BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship is open to the public and media.

For more information, contact Martin D. Emeno, Jr., GAP Director of Operations, at 610-687-2340 ext. 27 or via email at memeno@gapgolf.org.

BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship
Originating in 1897, the Amateur Championship is GAP’s premiere individual event. Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Albert H. Smith captured the first Amateur Championship by defeating J.D. Winsor of Merion Cricket Club in 37 holes. The event’s format switched to medal play in 1938. J. Wood Platt went on to win two consecutive Amateurs under that format. His brother William “Zimmer” Platt earned the 1940 title at Philadelphia Cricket Club by being the only competitor to finish all 72 holes. The event’s format reverted back to match play in 1941. The Amateur Championship wasn’t contested from 1943- 45 because of World War II. Overall, 37 courses have hosted the Amateur.

GAP
Celebrating Amateur Golf since 1897, GAP, also known as the Golf Association of Philadelphia, 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 330 Member Clubs and 90,000 individual members are spread across Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.