Jun 16, 2007

Bartholomew upends McGuinness, 2&1, for 107th Amateur title

*First-Round Match Play scores
*Second-Round Match Play scores
*Quarterfinal Match Play scores
*Semifinal Match Play scores
*Final Match Play scores
*Match play bracket
*Duncan holds clubhouse lead
*Duncan, Von Borsig share medallist honors
*Reigning champion Davis, three past winners head to second round
*Philip Arouca ends Kyle Davis’ reign; McGuinness, Yardley CC pair advance into semifinals
*Bartholomew, McGuinness ready for Amateur showdown
*Championship stats

MALVERN, Pa. – Philip Bartholomew was fortunate to make the 107th Amateur Championship field a few weeks ago in a pre-qualifier at Ballamor GC. A fellow competitor three-putted the final hole to allow all the players sitting at 80, including Bartholomew, into the championship proper.

  On Saturday at Applebrook GC (par 71, 6,765 yards), the 19-year-old Elon University sophomore, turned that fortune into history when he became the first member of Yardley CC, surprisingly enough, to forge his name onto the J. Wood Platt Amateur Championship trophy. Bartholomew and his big, loping, powerful swing defeated the steadfast Bill McGuinness, 47, of Woodbury, N.J., 2&1, in the 36-hole final.

  “I have no idea [what to say],” said a stunned Bartholomew. “[Bill Boyle] three-putted the final green at Ballamor to just get me into this. I went into Monday and played two rounds hole-by-hole and shot-by-shot. I was just trying to make the cut and trying to get into match play. And now I’m here. It’s unreal. I don’t believe it. There are a lot great players in this field and to come out on top feels amazing.”

  Yardley CC was established in 1928 and has produced a number of top-flight players in the annals of the Golf Association of Philadelphia, but Bartholomew became just the second club member to even make the final match. Last year, Paul Rogowicz made it to the last day before falling to Kyle Davis.

  In this year’s Championship Match, Bartholomew appeared well in charge, and on his way to a comfortable victory, he was 5-up after 25 holes, before McGuinness grinded out wins on holes Nos. 26-28 (holes 8-10) to close the deficit to two.

  It looked like it was going to get even more interesting on the 29th hole (No. 11, par 3, 121 yards) when McGuinness, who had the tee, knocked a wedge to 5-feet. Bartholomew followed and watched his ball go just long and against the back collar. However, Bartholomew, as he did all week with his solid short game, managed to knock in the 12-foot, downhill birdie. Maybe a little stunned, McGuinness missed his chance and went 3-down. Bartholomew next recorded a two-putt par on No. 12 (par 4, 424 yards) and McGuinness failed to get up-and-down after coming up short of the green.

  “It was just up against the collar. I put my weight on my front foot and played it left center,” said Bartholomew of the 29th hole. “There was no doubt. That was huge for my confidence.”

  McGuinness clawed back with wins on the 31st (No. 13, par 4, 453 yards) and 32nd (No. 14, par 4, 424 yards) holes with two pars – Bartholomew had two bogeys in that span – and cut the deficit to one when he drained a smooth 15-foot birdie from left of the flag on the 34th hole (No. 16, par 5, 577 yards). 

  On the 35th hole (No. 17, par 3, 175 yards), both players just missed the green with 6-iron. McGuinness’ ball was six steps to the left and Bartholomew’s was two paces in the fringe. McGuinness went first and his putt just peeked at the edge before stopping four feet past. Bartholomew watched his try stop just outside of McGuinness’ mark. Bartholomew squeezed his comebacker in and McGuinness watched his final putt lip out.

  “I thought the match was going to 18,” said Bartholomew. “I’m going to Oakmont [for the U.S. Open] tomorrow so being able to show my dad this trophy is pretty cool.”

  McGuinness is a past Amateur Champion. He took the 1996 title with a 2&1 victory over Chris Hoyle of Llanerch CC. He was looking to join an elite group with multiple Amateur Championships.

  “I was just hoping to get to 18 [the 36th hole],” said McGuinness about this year’s final. “This was beyond my expectations.”

  In the first part of the second round, Bartholomew was in cruise control. He took the 19th (No. 1, par 5, 519 yards) and 21st holes (No. 3, par 4, 304 yards) with two birdies to build that 5-up advantage.

  “When I was eating lunch there were images in my head of winning,” said Bartholomew. “I tried to block it out. I told myself we are even going into the next [18 holes]. When I was 5-up, I was in the zone.”

  McGuinness, however, never gave in. He netted a birdie on the 26th hole (No. 8, par 5, 581 yards) and a par on the 27th (No. 9, par 3, 145 yards) to cut the deficit to three. The match headed to the back and final nine holes as it had finished in the morning, Bartholomew was 3-up.

  McGuinness then won the 28th hole (No. 10, par 5, 573 yards) with a par and Bartholomew couldn’t get his third shot close after hitting it into the fescue around the greenside bunkers.

  Then Bartholomew made the putt on the 29th hole to stem the tide.

  Bartholomew initially took command of the final match late in the first round when he won four of the last five holes to go from All Square to an eventual 3-up advantage. Both players were erratic throughout the initial round. The first five holes went back-and-forth with Bartholomew taking the opener and McGuinness answering right back each time. McGuinness pulled even on No. 8 with a conceded birdie after Bartholomew found trouble the entire length of the hole and then took a 1-up edge with a magnificent flop shot on No. 9 that stopped a foot away from the treacherous back, left hole location.

  The two stood All Square on the 13th green when Bartholomew maybe hit the shot of his golfing career. He chipped in from over the back of the green, about 10 feet, for par to forge a halve. He then went on to take No. 14 after missing the green but knocking it to four feet with his chip – McGuinness three putted – and added No. 15 (par 3, 220 yards) with a two-putt par after McGuinness failed to get up-and-down when coming up short with his tee shot.

  Bartholomew kept the pressure up with a birdie on No. 17 (par 3, 175 yards) after hitting a 7-iron to 10 feet and was conceded a three on No. 18 (par 4, 454 yards) when McGuinness pushed his second shot into the junk right of the waterfall (30 yards right of the green).

NOTES–In the semifinals held Thursday, McGuinness defeated Phil Arouca of Philadelphia Publinks GA, 3&2, and Bartholomew defeated close friend and fellow clubmate Mark Miller, 3&1 … Next year’s Amateur is set to be held at Whitemarsh Valley CC and Philadelphia Cricket Club. Whitemarsh Valley CC will conduct the match play portion of the event. J. Wood Platt himself was a longtime member of Whitemarsh Valley CC and is listed as such for a number of his title runs. Platt holds the record with seven Amateur titles.

7. Phil Bartholomew, Yardley CC, d. 12. Bill McGuinness, Tavistock CC, 2&1

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