123rd #BMWPhillyAm: Preview - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Jun 07, 2023

123rd #BMWPhillyAm: Preview

Huntingdon Valley primed to host June 12-14 & 17

Huntingdon Valley Country Club is a hallowed ground of GAP Major Champions. This year, it’ll serve as the alter for the Association’s most cherished prize.

History | Media guide | The Final 3 |

The 123rd BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship will take place June 12-14 & 17 at HVCC. The formidable Huntingdon Valley, Pa. venue will host 148 of GAP’s best amateurs.

Day One has competitors playing in a 36-hole stroke-play qualifier at Huntingdon Valley and Lookaway Golf Club (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 at Huntingdon Valley.

First-and-second round matches will take place June 13; The quarterfinals and semifinals follow on June 14. The 36-hole final is set for Saturday, June 17, its traditional placement on Father’s Day weekend. BMW USA returns for a ninth 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.

Huntingdon Valley was the second club to host the Amateur. GAP Hall of Famer William P. Smith, at home, took out H.M. Forest in the 1898 Final.

This will be the 11th time HVCC has hosted the BMW Philadelphia Amateur (1898, 1903, 1909, 1913, 1916, 1920, 1933, 1949, 1960, 2012, 2023). Only Whitemarsh Valley Country Club (15) has hosted GAP’s cornerstone event more. The last time Huntingdon Valley hosted the Amateur, White Manor Country Club’s Brian Colbert defeated Greg Jarmas of Philadelphia Publinks GA, 6&4.

The two Amateur trophy namesakes, Platt and Cameron B. Buxton, both won titles at Huntingdon Valley. Buxton in 1916 and Platt in 1920. Buxton was a Huntingdon Valley member, in fact. He also won the 1917 Amateur. GAP created the Cameron B. Buxton Memorial Trophy, which was given to the Philadelphia Amateur champion from 1925-59. The J. Wood Platt Trophy was dedicated following Platt’s death in 1959. It has been given to all champions since.

HVCC members have won a total of 25 Philadelphia Amateur titles. The list of champions from the club includes: O. Gordon Brewer, Jr. (1967, 1976); David Brookreson (1991); Buxton (1916-17); Rev. Simon Carr (1908); Horace Francine (1914); William Hyndman, III (1958, 1965); Harold McFarland (1904, 1907, 1912-13); W.B. McCullough, Jr. (1947); Conor McGrath (2021); Jeff Osberg (2014); Walter G. Pfiel (1909); Lincoln Roden, III (1949-50); Albert H. Smith (1911); Smith (1898, 1901-02); Jim Sullivan, Jr. (1999) and Wirt L. Thompson (1910). Huntingdon Valley’s 25 titles are more than double the next closest club, Whitemarsh Valley, at 12.

Last year at Philadelphia Country Club, Michael R. Brown, Jr. of LuLu Country Club became the third player (Chris Lange, Jeff Osberg) to claim the GAP Grand Slam with a 4&3 triumph over clubmate Jeff Cunningham. Brown won each of GAP’s other Major titles once: Middle-Amateur Championship (2009), Open Championship (2010) and Joseph H. Patterson Cup (2018).

“After looking at this year’s player roster, winning again looks like a tough hill to climb,” Brown, 50, of Maple Shade, N.J., said. “There are so many good players. I will go with the approach of taking it slow and know it’s a long week. You don’t have to play perfectly in stroke play, but in match play you can play well and lose. You need to have good fortune as well.”

Brown is coming off winning LuLu’s club championship on June 4. Continuing to add to an already overflowing trophy case, Brown will look to become the 11th player to successfully defend the Amateur title. The last player to do so was Manasquan RIver Golf Club’s Jeremy Wall (2018-19).

Brown, a three-time William Hyndman, III Player of the Year (2010, 2018, 2022), tees off No. 1 at Huntingdon Valley at 8:50 a.m. with clubmate R.J. Wren and Yardley Country Club’s Chris Ault.

“I have quite a bit of experience at HVCC, but I haven’t had much success there,” Brown said. “Huntingdon Valley is hard in so many ways. It finds a way to expose any weakness. You have to be firing on all cylinders there.”

McGrath and Brown both have succeeded around Lookaway’s layout. Brown won the 2020 Pennsylvania Amateur there and McGrath shot a course-record 64 in the second round.

McGrath is the most recent Huntingdon Valley member to win the Amateur. He took the 2021 title at Cedarbrook Country Club.

“The course will be primed and ready to go,” McGrath, 23, of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., said. “With the lack of rain in the area the last month or so, the course will be firm and fast. It will be a good test.

“A big part of being successful is leaving yourself in the correct positions around the greens. Your short game will be tested if you are missing greens. And if you are in the wrong spots, bogeys are easy to make. Course management will be important.”

McGrath is the reigning HVCC Men’s Club Champion.

There are a total of 10 Huntingdon Valley members in the field.

“I think Huntingdon Valley members will have a lot of knowledge that will give them an advantage,” McGrath said of the William Flynn design. “Playing as the reigning club champion at home will be a cool experience and opportunity for me. Looking forward to it.”

Other former Amateur winners in the field include Brown, McGrath, Wall (2018-19), Cole Berman of Merion Golf Club (2015) and Osberg (2014) of Pine Valley Golf Club.

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. 0027 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, 34 courses have hosted the Amateur.

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 organization’s 340 Member Clubs and 100,000 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.

Share This: