May 20, 2015

Bala’s Scott McNeil wins 32nd Middle-Amateur Championship

W. Garth Sprecher (left) of Lancaster Country Club, the event’s chairman, presents Scott McNeil of Bala Golf Club with the Middle-Amateur Championship trophy at St. Davids Golf Club.

WAYNE, Pa.–First-round leader Scott McNeil gaveth the field hope before retaketh command of Thursday’s Middle-Amateur Championship presented by Callaway Golf at St. Davids Golf Club (par 70, 6,557 yards). McNeil, of Bala Golf Club, watched an early six-stroke lead slip away by mid-round before regaining control and hoisting his first Major trophy. He finished the 36 holes at 3 over, one clear of a late-charging Jeff Osberg of Huntingdon Valley Country Club. Defending champion Peter Barron, III of Stone Harbor Golf Club tied for 33rd at 13 over.

Scorecards | Day 2 video recap | Notebook | VIDEO: Scott McNeil interview |
VIDEO: Jeff Osberg interview | Day One recap |

“[It’s a] great feeling. [I’ve put in] lots of hard work early on in the season [and] I’m glad it has finally paid off,” said McNeil, 29, of Philadelphia, Pa. “I’ve been close before, but for once I put myself in good position and [was] able to drive the bus rather than riding in the back of it and looking to get to the front of it.”

  Said Osberg, who posted a 1-under 69 in Round Two to climb into contention, “I played well out there today. I figured if I could shoot 4 under, that maybe I would have a chance. I didn’t really see Scott coming back too much. As the day progressed, obviously the scores started looking a little better, a little more in my favor. Unfortunately, I just didn’t make a lot of putts coming down the stretch and just couldn’t get low enough to compete with him. He played great.”

  Osberg, 30, of Bryn Mawr, Pa., is the reigning BMW Philadelphia Amateur Champion. This was Osberg’s best Mid.-Am. finish. His prior was a third-place showing in 2013 at Fieldstone Golf Club.

  McNeil entered the final round with a three-stroke lead after a 2-under 68 the first day. Michael Carr of Plymouth Country Club held second at 1 over. Gloomy skies, cool temperatures and firm greens made the final round a challenge, however.

  McNeil opened his day in sparkling fashion with a birdie on No. 1 (par 4, 385 yards). He rocketed a driver center cut, leaving 55 yards to the hole. McNeil knocked down a 54-degree wedge to a foot and an easy three.

  McNeil, the parking facilities manager at 10 Rittenhouse Square, saw his travels get rocky after that. He bogeyed No. 4 (par 4, 372 yards) following a poor drive and double-bogeyed No. 5 (par 4, 428 yards) after finding both fairway and greenside bunkers. A short par putt miss on No. 6 (par 3, 147 yards) resulted in a third straight over-par score. McNeil stood at even. Carr, his closest pursuer, was at 3 over.

  McNeil relinquished the outright lead on No. 9 (par 3, 228 yards) in disastrous fashion. His 4-iron landed right of the greenside bunker. Trying to go up-and-over the bunker staring him down, McNeil’s attempt fell short and buried under the lip. He took an unplayable and knocked his next shot, from the bunker, to four feet.

  With nine holes to go, he stood in a tie with home-club hopeful Stephen Dressel at 2 over.

  Dressel, St. Davids 2008 Club Champion, failed to sustain his championship bid, though, and finished with a second straight 73.

  “By the time [Dressel] had caught me, I had known,” said McNeil. “When the debauchery on the front nine was going on, I had no idea where everybody was. I was just trying to stop the oil from coming out of the head gaskets.”

  “I made a good decision and when you make a good decision, and hit a good shot, you can kind of start adding them together,” said McNeil of taking the unplayable. “I hit it deep and left on No. 10, but on the green, and we all know that No. 10 is a very difficult green. I hit a putt that I thought I made and it stopped six inches short. So at that point, I had kind of righted the ship.”

  McNeil separated himself from the field with steady play thereafter.

  On No. 11 (par 5, 542 yards), he escaped the right greenside bunker after finding the sand in two with a birdie from four feet. Four straight pars followed, before McNeil iced his challengers on this chilly day with a two-putt birdie on No. 16 (par 5, 504 yards). He hit a 4-iron from 200 yards to 25 feet.

  This is McNeil’s third Middle-Amateur appearance. He tied for 10th in 2012 at Chester Valley Golf Club and tied for 28th in 2013 at Fieldstone Golf Club.

  The Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Middle-Amateur Championship started in 1984, three years after the USGA created the U.S. Mid-Amateur as a formal championship for post-college amateurs. The Association followed suit with the USGA in creating a Mid-Am, but initially differed in its administration of the tournament in a couple of respects.

  The most obvious difference was the age requirement. Prior to 2001, the GAP Middle-Amateur was for players 30 years of age and older.

  The Association’s Executive Committee reviewed and revised that age requirement in 2001 to match the USGA’s guidelines of 25 years of age or older for eligible players. Also at that point, the Committee changed the format of the event to a two-day stroke play tournament (instead of a one-day medal play event) with a cut to the low 70 players and ties after the first round. The field began with 130 players.

NOTES–Manufacturers Golf & Country Club will host the 2016 Mid.-Am.

Callaway Golf
Callaway Golf was founded in 1982 by the late Ely Callaway, a visionary entrepreneur who operated under a simple but profound business promise: Deliver Demonstrably Superior, Pleasingly Different products and services. That philosophy turned what was originally a boutique manufacturer of high-quality wedges and putters into the world’s largest maker of premium, performance golf products. The Callaway mission and vision has remained the same; we passionately pursue advanced, innovative technologies that help golfers of all abilities find more enjoyment from the game. Under the Callaway and Odyssey brands, Callaway manufactures and sells golf clubs and golf balls, and sells golf apparel, footwear and accessories in more than 110 countries worldwide.

Golf Association of Philadelphia
Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) is the oldest regional golf association in the United States and serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. Its 151 Member Clubs and 57,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. 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.

Name, clubScore
Scott McNeil, Bala Golf Club68-75–143
Jeff Osberg, Huntingdon Valley Country Club75-69–144
Michael McDermott, Merion Golf Club76-69–145
Michael Carr, Plymouth Country Club71-74–145
Stephen Dressel, St. Davids Golf Club73-73–146
David West, Whitford Country Club74-73–147
David Liotta, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club74-73–147
Jason Loehrs, Philadelphia Publinks GA79-68–147
Matthew Mattare, Saucon Valley Country Club76-72–148
Brian Gillespie, St. Davids Golf Club79-69–148
Matthew Finger, DuPont Country Club76-72–148
Brian McDermott, Llanerch Country Club77-71–148
Benjamin Smith, Huntingdon Valley Country Club74-74–148
Scott McLaughlin, Commonwealth National Golf Club74-74–148
Geoffrey Cooper, North Hills Country Club74-75–149
Christopher Ault, Burlington Country Club73-76–149
Ryan Gelrod, Philadelphia Cricket Club72-77–149
Christopher Thude, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale76-73–149
Thomas E. Timby, Jr., The Bucks Club75-74–149
Michael R. Brown, Links Golf Club77-73–150
Brad McFadden, Overbrook Golf Club74-76–150
Robert Harrington, Merion Golf Club76-74–150
Raymond Thompson, Overbrook Golf Club76-74–150
Rodney James, Golden Oaks Golf Club77-74–151
Glenn Smeraglio, Mercer Oaks Golf Course74-77–151
Michael Hyland, Little Mill Country Club76-75–151
Andy Latowski, Philadelphia Cricket Club75-76–151
Bo Maguire, Brookside Country Club77-75–152
Robert Savarese, Jr., Philadelphia Cricket Club77-75–152
Jack Wallace, Philadelphia Cricket Club74-78–152
Mark Peterson, Philadelphia Cricket Club73-79–152
Serge Hogg, RiverWinds Golf & Tennis Club75-77–152
Oscar Mestre, Overbrook Golf Club74-79–153
Peter Barron, III, Stone Harbor Golf Club76-77–153
Jamie Slonis, Tavistock Country Club79-74–153
Jeff Klagholz, Aronimink Golf Club79-74–153
Jon Lavin, Rolling Green Golf Club75-78–153
Dan Arison, Applebrook Golf Club78-75–153
Frank Petrash, IV, Philadelphia Cricket Club79-74–153
Brandon Murdock, Llanerch Country Club74-79–153
Bill Jeremiah, Bidermann Golf Club77-77–154
Sean Semenetz, Philadelphia Cricket Club78-76–154
John Samaha, Old York Road Country Club77-77–154
Chris Lawler, Inniscrone Golf Club76-78–154
Roc Irey, Lookaway Golf Club76-79–155
Rich Pruchnik, Downingtown Country Club79-76–155
Rand Mendez, Fieldstone Golf Club78-77–155
Brian Corbett, Huntsville Golf Club79-76–155
Matthew Gaffney, Little Mill Country Club75-80–155
James Gillespie, Wedgwood Country Club79-76–155
Edward Kelly, Jr., Old York Road Country Club76-79–155
Sean Torpey, Commonwealth National Golf Club79-76–155
Gary Daniels, Applebrook Golf Club75-81–156
Sean McCauley, Jr., Galloway National Golf Club77-79–156
Christopher Lange, Overbrook Golf Club77-80–157
James Kania, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club79-78–157
Thomas Hyland, Little Mill Country Club79-78–157
John Murphy, II, Wildwood Golf & Country Club77-80–157
Joshua Isler, Chester Valley Golf Club79-78–157
Gary Schoeman, Gulph Mills Golf Club78-79–157
John Brennan, Philadelphia Cricket Club76-82–158
Brendan Borst, Philadelphia Cricket Club79-79–158
Grant Skyllas, LedgeRock Golf Club78-81–159
John Nottage, Commonwealth National Golf Club79-80–159
Kevin Cahill, Merion Golf Club77-82–159
Brett Cybulski, Merchantville Country Club77-82–159
John Grove, Chester Valley Golf Club79-80–159
Neil Gordon, Five Ponds Golf Club77-85–162
P. Chet Walsh, Philadelphia Country Club78-WD–WD
Chris Lange, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club74-WD–WD
Joe April, Philadelphia Cricket Club78-WD–WD
 
Failed to qualify
Conrad Von Borsig, White Manor Country Club80
Jeffrey Moyher, Merion Golf Club80
Joe Perese, Philmont Country Club80
Justin VanHyning, Mercer Oaks Golf Course80
Mark Czerniakowski, Blue Bell Country Club80
Shawn Lavin, Rolling Green Golf Club80
Stephen Seiden, Llanerch Country Club80
Steve Oh, Philadelphia Cricket Club80
Tom Spano, Llanerch Country Club80
Christopher Clauson, Sandy Run Country Club81
Dan Rudershausen, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club81
Drew Garis, North Hills Country Club81
Gerard Rosato, Plymouth Country Club81
Kevin McDermott, Llanerch Country Club81
Michael Korcuba, Medford Village Country Club81
Michael Moffat, Commonwealth National Golf Club81
Mike Kidd, Wedgwood Country Club81
Patrick Hennigan, Tavistock Country Club81
Ryan Orcutt, Philadelphia Publinks GA81
Andrew Sterge, Applebrook Golf Club82
Fran Begley, Wedgwood Country Club82
George Steinmetz, Spring Ford Country Club82
Jason Whaley, Sakima Country Club82
Jim Engler, Sea Oaks Golf Club82
Leland Weaver, Hartefeld National82
Mark Hill, Rolling Green Golf Club82
Matthew Welsh, St. Davids Golf Club82
Stephen Hudacek, III, Glenmaura National Golf Club82
Thomas Humphrey, Wilmington Country Club82
Andy Achenbach, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve83
Chris Meares, Running Deer Golf Club83
Chris Storck, LedgeRock Golf Club83
David Brookreson, Huntingdon Valley Country Club83
J.J. Berenato, Llanerch Country Club83
Miguel Biamon, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club83
Tom DiCinti, Old York CC at Chesterfield83
David Waxman, Little Mill Country Club84
Elias Chua, Fieldstone Golf Club84
Jon-Michael Socaris, Broad Run Golfers Club84
Kevin Maguire, Trump National Golf Club – Philadelphia84
Michael Hodges, The Springhaven Club84
Bob Beck, Lehigh Country Club85
Brad George, Aronimink Golf Club85
Robert Gill, Fox Hill Country Club85
Trevor Seufer, Stonewall85
Brian Kenny, Greate Bay Country Club86
John Kopacz, Five Ponds Golf Club86
Kenneth Matt, Philadelphia Publinks GA86
Lodie Van Tonder, Sakima Country Club86
Marc Mandel, Philadelphia Cricket Club86
Robert Brown, Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club86
Todd Vonderheid, Huntsville Golf Club86
Andrew Jaskel, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale87
Kyle Ginty, Talamore Country Club87
Patrick Phillips, Philadelphia Publinks GA87
Tim Freeh, Back Creek Golf Club87
Michael Tash, Tavistock Country Club88
Jimmy Taylor, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve98
P. Chet Walsh, Philadelphia Country ClubWD
Richard Umani, Honeybrook Golf ClubWD
 
WD-withdrawal

Share This: