41st Middle-Amateur Championship: Day Two Notebook - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Kovach relishes GAP Major growth

HORSHAM, Pa. – Take a look at any tee sheet for a GAP event, qualifier or Major, and Brock Kovach’s name will reside on it.

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A fixture in GAP events since his runner-up finish in the 2009 Junior-Junior Boys’ Championship at Merchantville Country Club, Kovach notched his first Top 5 GAP Major finish at the 41st Middle-Amateur Championship presented by NJM Insurance Group Wednesday at Commonwealth National Golf Club (par 71, 6,874 yards).

His rounds of 73-74-73 for the 54-hole event put him in a tie for fifth.

“Commonwealth National is just one of those courses where you don’t get a breather,” Kovach said. “You have to get every tee shot in play, hit the small and undulated greens and miss in the right spots. I wanted to make sure I stayed in it. On my first hole of the day, I missed a short birdie putt. I just told myself that it’s one hole. I had 35 left to play. It is weird not hitting driver that often.”

Kovach played his college golf at George Mason University. His senior year, he finished third on the team with a scoring average of 76.5.

“When you go to college to play golf, there is always a little bit of a burnout at the end,” Kovach, 28, of Wyomissing, Pa., said. “The game has been feeling good. I have been able to post some lower scores in competitions in the last year. I know that I have the capability to go low. You just have to be able to put it together for more holes and more rounds.”

Kovach torched Union League Golf Club at Torresdale with a 65 in the first 18 holes of U.S. Amateur Final Qualifying last July. His closing 77 left him six shots short of a National Championship bid.

“Staying present and not putting too much pressure on yourself is important,” Kovach, of LedgeRock Golf Club, said. “I’m trying to treat playing in GAP Majors like I am playing at LedgeRock with our fellow members on the weekend. When you start going low, I am learning to remain aggressive. Trying to hold on to the score you have never usually works out.”


LedgeRock’s quality of players has kept improving since Kovach joined the club in 2017. The same year, Grant Skyllas was a finalist in the BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship at Philadelphia Cricket Club (Wissahickon), and Scott Mayne won the Senior Division of the Brewer Cup. Alex Blickle won the Pennsylvania Open in 2021. Zach Dilcher won the Pennsylvania Mid-Amateur last fall. GAP Hall of Famer Chip Lutz has been a staple for decades. LedgeRock finished second in its BMW GAP Team Matches Division behind eventual champion LuLu Country Club 1.

“LedgeRock has been great,” Kovach said. “When I joined, we had a group of good players, but since then we seem to add a couple of good players each year. We try to get matches going on the weekends. When money is on the line, that is real pressure. The atmosphere of playing with different golfers helps you adapt. In tournaments you aren’t playing with the same people all the time. Playing with all types of people forces you to keep working on your game and getting better.”

Kovach, who works as a contract surety underwriter, has shifted his focus to playing golf as opposed to practicing. He said he learned that to play consistently, you have to figure out how to play well when you don’t have your best.

“I feel like my mental game has always been a strong point for me,” Kovach said. “The transition from college golf to mid-am golf is different. You have work, family and other commitments taking your time up. Golf isn’t your job anymore but it’s something you care about, wanting to do well. You have to figure out how to do that with less time to practice and play than you were used to. It’s about having more fun and being kind to yourself. Mid-ams play golf for the enjoyment of the game and to compete, not for a paycheck.”

Commonwealth served as a true major test mentally and strategically. With trouble lurking at every corner, Kovach didn’t make a double bogey or worse. The field made a total of 374 double bogeys or worse. A testament to his evolution in golf.

“The motivation for me is the same,” Kovach said. “I love to compete. GAP does a great job running all of these events. I look forward to this circuit all summer. I hope to continue to keep up my strong play and snatch one of these majors.”

Aronimink’s Davis finds Mid-Am balance

Michael Davis of Aronimink Golf Club has had an exciting few months. His performance in the 41st Middle-Amateur Championship presented by NJM Insurance Group at Commonwealth National Golf Club, has been nothing short of that.

He got married last November to Emily Siegfried, who is the sister of GAP competitors Cory and Max Siegfried. They will leave for their honeymoon in Italy on Thursday. 

“We had Italy in our minds from the start, so when we got married, it was out of season there,” Davis, 28, of King of Prussia, Pa., said. “When we looked at dates, I was like, ‘Let’s try and start Memorial Day weekend.’ I knew the [GAP] Mid-Amateur was just beforehand. Luckily, my wife was amenable to let us schedule a honeymoon for later this week. This was something I wanted to play in. The GAP Majors are staples on my schedule, or at least I hope they are. She was good enough to let us go on Thursday.”


Davis finished in a three-way tie for second place Wednesday, which is his best GAP stroke-play finish. His best match-play finish was in the 2015 BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship at Llanerch Country Club. He lost to close friend Cole Berman, 6&4, in the Final.

He’s also competed in three USGA Championships. In 2011, he played in the U.S. Junior Amateur as a high schooler. He played in the 2016 U.S. Amateur Championship and then participated in the 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship, with Berman as his teammate. 

“I haven’t played a ton of competitive golf in the last six months. I was excited to come out here and test my game and see how it was.” Davis, who played college golf at Princeton University, said. “Overall, I felt pretty good with how I played. I could have committed to a few more putts here and there but overall not too bad.”

Davis recently started a real estate private equity business called Aronwold with his brother Matt. The brotherly business has been a strong focus these past few months, for the eldest Davis brother.

“The last few years with work and everything, I haven’t had the chance to play in all the GAP Majors I would’ve wanted but this year I want to try and play in everything.” Davis said. “Hopefully we can put this type of game and this experience forward into the next few [events].”

With summer on the horizon, Davis has his eyes on keeping the momentum he built during the first GAP Major of the season going.

“Hopefully [I will play in] a few more GAP Majors this season, and I have a couple of USGA Qualifiers lined up. I’ve got the U.S. Amateur, the U.S. Mid-Amateur and then the U.S. Four-Ball. If I qualify for one or two of those and it should be a good summer,” he said. 

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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 345 Member Clubs and 110,000 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.

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