#BMWPhillyAm: A look back at the quarterfinals - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Jun 15, 2017

#BMWPhillyAm: A look back at the quarterfinals

In the end, there can be only one winner of the 117th BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship. The remaining eight were cut down to two on Thursday at Philadelphia Cricket Club (Wissahickon). Here are a few thoughts on the week from the four men who fell in the quarterfinals.

Bracket | History | Day Two Notebook | Day 1 Recap | Day 2 Recap | Scorecards | Day 3 Video |
Jay Whitby, Wild Quail Golf and Country Club

Whitby was able to jump out to a quick start against reigning #BMWPhillyAm Champion Michael McDermott of Merion Golf Club. Playing 1 under golf through four holes, Whitby held a 2-up advantage and early control of the match.

A couple of loose swings on Nos. 5 (par 3, 215 yards) and 6 (par 4, 475 yards) eliminated the advantage for Whitby. McDermott gained control after back-to-back birdies on Nos. 7 (par 5, 553 yards) and 8 (par 4, 301 yards). After that, McDermott continued his momentum and closed out Whitby, 4&3.

Whitby advanced to the quarterfinals last year at Merion Golf Club (East), where he lost to Stephen Seiden of Llanerch Country Club.

“I have been playing well for the last three or four years,” Whitby, 30, of Wyoming, Del., said. “I have been driving it really well and I think that is the key to being able to score well at Merion and Philadelphia Cricket. I just ran into a guy [Michael McDermott] who got hot today. That is how match play works and it is about timing as well as getting a little lucky. Unfortunately, this year that didn’t happen but I had a lot of fun playing two awesome courses and playing three solid players.”

Michael R. Brown, Jr., Lu Lu Country Club

As the oldest remaining player at age 44, Brown was looking to take out clubmate and recent La Salle University graduate P.J. Acierno.

Brown didn’t start in ideal fashion with four bogeys, one double bogey and a birdie in his first seven holes, putting him 5-down and behind the curve.

“P.J. was able to get ahead early and was able to sustain his lead,” Brown, of Maple Shade, N.J., said. “That is match play; once you fall behind it is hard to make it up and P.J. continued to hit greens and fairways so it was tough to get back in it.”

He was able to hang in there but never got closer than 3-down to Acierno, losing to the former Explorer, 5&4. It was Brown’s best finish in the BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship.

“I love it here at Cricket so much,” Brown said. “It was awesome to go through the same morning routine three days in a row. The players are the best of the best and the conditions are perfect. I’m sad that I have to leave.”

Sam Soeth, White Manor Country Club

After ousting two-time reigning William Hyndman, III Player of the Year Jeff Osberg in the Round of 32, soon-to-be Temple University junior Soeth learned what he needed: he can compete with Philadelphia’s best golfers.

In the quarterfinals, Soeth suffered a 3&1 loss to Philadelphia Cricket’s Gregor Orlando. He relied heavily on his 3-wood off the tee to win his first two matches but struggled to find the same consistency on Thursday.

“I wasn’t hitting the ball well today and I fell behind in the match,” Soeth, 21, of Newtown Square, Pa., said. “I was proud that I was able to hang in there although I wasn’t hitting the best shots. After this week, I learned that I can play with these guys as long as I trust what I am doing. This gives me a lot of confidence heading into my junior year at Temple because I know I can play like I did this week.”

Throughout the three matches Soeth played, he rolled his putts well. He was able to start his putts on the correct line with help on his reads from his caddie and fellow Temple golfer Gary McCabe, Jr.

“My putting was great and it was the best aspect of my game,” Soeth said. “I made a lot of clutch six to eight-foot putts. I was able to trust my stroke and the roll this week because of the great conditions out there.”

Conrad Von Borsig, Philadelphia Cricket Club

Cricketeer Von Borsig needed a 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole Wednesday to defeat David Hicks of Wildwood Golf and Country Club.

Thursday, Von Borsig struggled to get the putter going and would fall to finalist Grant Skyllas of LedgeRock Golf Club, 3&2. He made five bogeys and zero birdies in the 16 holes played and said the turning point came on No. 7.

Von Borsig and Skyllas both blasted drives through the fairway. Skyllas received a decent lie in the rough and was able to get it in the front greenside bunker. Von Borsig, on the other hand, faced an impartial lie and hit a heavy 7-iron to a downhill lie 30 yards from the green, with a near impossible up-and-in given a front hole location guarded by a bunker.

Von Borsig said he hoped his brilliant shot would rattle Skyllas, whose bunker shot finished outside of Von Borsig’s mark.

Ultimately, Skyllas would make his putt and Von Borsig would miss and fall 3-down through seven holes.

All in all, Von Borsig, who is expecting his first child with his wife Kara in September, was happy with how the week turned out for him.

“I am really comfortable on the Wissahickon course here. I was feeling great about my chances and with the way I was playing but you never know with match play because someone can catch fire,” Von Borsig, 30, of Philadelphia, Pa., said. “I thought I had a good shot on the side of the bracket I was on without any world-beaters. Grant played well and I just couldn’t get the putter going. He made three birdies on the front and in match play pars aren’t going to get you very far. He just outplayed me.”

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 153 Full Member Clubs and 57,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. 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.

Share This: