Brown edges Farrow on 41st hole for 106th Open Championship - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Jul 15, 2010

Brown edges Farrow on 41st hole for 106th Open Championship

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*William Hyndman, III Player of the Year standings

106th Open Championship Playoff (Four-hole aggregate then sudden-death)
Hole, par, yardageNo. 1 (4, 400)No. 2 (4, 415)No. 17 (3, 202)No. 18 (4, 340)No. 1 (4, 400)
Michael Brown44444
Greg Farrow45345

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HUNTINGTON VALLEY, Pa. – Morning turned into afternoon and eventually night, before amateur Michael Brown of Lookaway GC secured the 106th Open Championship on a sweltering and sticky Wednesday at Philmont CC’s treacherous North Course (par 70, 6,665 yards). Brown, patient and determined throughout, parred the 41st hole at 8:40 p.m. to outlast professional Greg Farrow of Deerwood CC more than 13 hours after the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s third oldest championship started.

  Brown and Farrow finished the 36 holes of regulation at 2-over-par 142 and found themselves tied once again at the conclusion of the four-hole aggregate playoff at 1 over (Holes 1-2-17-18). A sudden-death playoff under the moonlight immediately ensued. 

  The two, playing No. 1 (par 4, 400 yards) for the fourth time, both found the fairway off the tee on the dog leg right and faced similar approach shots. Farrow had 158 yards remaining and Brown 152. Stuck on autopilot, the duo’s 8-irons darted through the night and onto the green with Brown coming up 40 feet short of the cup and Farrow stopping 15 feet right of the hole.

  Brown, who later said he had a comparable putt earlier in the day, somehow, someway cozied his birdie try up to a foot. “I really couldn’t see but I couldn’t hit a better putt,” said Brown. Farrow, with a chance for the win, charged his effort a bit and watched the right-to-left breaker rim out on the high side. Staring at three feet from the other direction, Farrow’s follow-up, shockingly, since the quality of play was strong considering the difficult conditions, came up short and left. “I miss-hit it and didn’t hit it hard enough,” Farrow said of the second putt. “I hit a good first putt and probably if it ran by two feet it would have gone right in. I caught a lot of the hole and it spun it a little bit.”

  The victory by Brown marked only the 13th time an amateur has captured the Open Championship. Mark Miller of Yardley CC was the last amateur to do so in 2007. In all, only seven individual Amateur players have won the tournament. Jay Sigel heads that group with six victories.

  “I’m surprised to say the least. Philadelphia has some of the strongest players in the country and to be playing against the pros and for an amateur to win …. it’s not likely,” said Brown, 37, of Cheltenham, Pa. “I’m pleasantly surprised. I knew I could win it, but I’m surprised.”

  Farrow, 59, of Marlton, N.J., was looking to become the oldest Open Champion in the modern era. Records put legendary figure William Hyndman, III at age 53 after winning the 1969 Open.

  “I’m still playing well and it seems to be getting better and better,” said Farrow when asked of his age. “That’s what makes golf so great. To everybody out there, keep playing and keep trying.”

  Brown and Farrow did that and then some. 

  In the end, it was a fantastic duel to see who would blink first and not last.

  The four-hole aggregate playoff provided a prime example of that.

  The two recorded benign pars on No. 1 before the methodical Brown moved a stroke ahead on No. 2 (par 4, 415 yards) when he converted a tremendously delicate up-and-down from the right greenside rough. Farrow carded a bogey on the hole with an 8-iron from 147 yards that bounced off the back of the putting surface. The unforced error resulted in a long birdie try from the back fringe that stopped three feet short and his ensuing par effort rolled by the edge.

  The third playoff hole was No. 17 (par 3, 202 yards), a graveyard for many Open contenders on this day. It offered a long carry into a green with a severe back-to-front slope and a difficult top-right hole location. Brown, up first, and like he did in the second round when he entered the 17th with a one-shot lead, hit his 5-iron into the right, front greenside bunker. Farrow, seeing Brown blink, rocketed a 3-iron onto the left portion of the green 25 feet from the cup. Brown escaped the sand but couldn’t avoid bogey. Farrrow rolled his initial try up to three feet and saved par to tie Brown yet again.

  On No. 18 (par 4, 340 yards), both players recorded solid drives and wedge shots that flew long of the hole but in makeable territory. Farrrow had 30 feet remaining and Brown 20 feet, both downhill and bending a bit right-to-left. Both gave it the old college try, but left the 40th hole of the day the same place they started, deadlocked.

  In regulation, Farrow finished his 36 holes approximately two hours before Brown, following up a spectacular morning-round 68 with a Jekyll-and-Hyde-ish 74. Farrow opened his second and final round with five bogeys in his first six holes before getting his groove back on No. 13 (par 4, 318 yards). He hit a lob wedge from 80 yards to three feet and made the birdie. On No. 14 (par 4, 488 yards), Farrow knocked a 3-iron on for his approach and drained a 30 footer. He would finish with four straight pars.

  Brown, too, had his share of hiccups coming home. He made the turn on his front nine for Round 2 at 2 over before registering four birdies, four bogeys and one par on his inward side. After sandwiching two bogeys between birdies, Brown bogeyed No. 14 (par 4, 488 yards) from 60 feet after three-putting from the far left portion of the green to fall back to 3 over. His chances seemed in trouble with a quartet of challenging holes remaining. However, Brown responded in grand style, draining a 40-footer for birdie on No. 15 (par 4, 401 yards) and on No. 16 (par 4, 453 yards) knocking a pitching wedge from 143 yards to inches. He entered No. 17 at the top of the leaderboard, but as previously stated, found the right greenside bunker and could manage only bogey.

  This was Brown’s second Golf Association of Philadelphia Major title. He won the 2009 Middle-Amateur Championship at Tavistock CC, ironically, in a four-hole playoff.

  Farrow, though losing the title, was still the low professional and took home the $6,000 top prize.

Name, clubRd. 1Rd. 2Total
*(a) Michael Brown, Lookaway Golf Club7072142
*Gregory Farrow, Deerwood Country Club6874142
William Sautter, Philadelphia Cricket Club7568143
John Appleget, Wildwood Golf & Country Club7173144
(a) Matthew Mattare, Saucon Valley Country Club6975144
(a) Robert Galbreath, Jr., Philmont Country Club7669145
(a) Tucker Koch, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve6878146
(a) Andrew Mason, Huntingdon Valley Country Club7571146
(a) Glenn Smeraglio, Mercer Oaks Golf Course7373146
John Pillar, Sr., Country Club at Woodloch Springs6977146
Mark Parson, Hidden Creek Golf Club7573148
Mark Sheftic, Merion Golf Club7573148
Travis Deibert, Commonwealth National Golf Club7375148
Joey Pohle, Philadelphia Cricket Club7079149
Stuart Ingraham, MGolf Driving Range and Learning Center7475149
(a) Mike Meisenzahl, Hidden Creek Golf Club7772149
Rich Steinmetz, Spring Ford Country Club7673149
Scott Hunter, Overbrook Golf Club7079149
(a) Thomas Gramigna, Tavistock Country Club7377150
Terry Hertzog, Bent Creek Country Club7278150
(a) Justin Martinson, Hartefeld National7476150
(a) Brian Creghan, Philadelphia Publinks GA7774151
Graham Dendler, Trenton Country Club7873151
(a) Michael Kania, Overbrook Golf Club7973152
George Frake, II, Little Mill Country Club7380153
Michael Sokalski, Philmont Country Club7875153
Brian Kelly, Bucknell Golf Club7479153
Andy Watters, Lu Lu Country Club7182153
Chris Krueger, Kings Creek CC7380153
Nevin Sutcliffe, Back Creek Golf Club8272154
(a) James Braunsberg, Blue Bell Country Club7976155
John Allen, Sunnybrook Golf Club7778155
(a) Peter Barron, III, Stone Harbor Golf Club7679155
(a) Matt Raudenbush, Pine Valley Golf Club8174155
Rick Hughart, Tavistock Country Club7976155
John Spina, Philadelphia Cricket Club7977156
David Quinn, Links Golf Club7977156
Michael Moses, Concord Country Club7779156
Michael Paukovits, Stonewall8076156
(a) Dan Bernard, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve8275157
Tony Perla, Bellewood Golf Club8077157
Adam Condello, Aronimink Golf Club7978157
(a) Matt Smith, Lancaster Country Club7582157
(a) Ryan McCarty, Little Mill Country Club7681157
(a) Greg Matthias, Hartefeld National7880158
George Forster, Radnor Valley Country Club7385158
(a) Cory Siegfried, Philadelphia Country Club7979158
(a) Oliver White, Manufacturers Golf & Country Club8276158
(a) Robert Robertson, Philadelphia Cricket Club7584159
(a) Rich Thon, The Springhaven Club8179160
(a) Joseph Gunerman, Jericho National Golf Club8278160
Barry Dear, Garrison’s Lake Golf Club7684160
Alexander Knoll, Bethlehem Golf Club8774161
(a) Brian Gillespie, St. Davids Golf Club7982161
Neil Maurer, The Peninsula7784161
(a) Brian Herman, Merchantville Country Club8380163
(a) Joseph Fabrizio, Jr., Aronimink Golf Club8183164
(a) John Fasy, Wilmington Country Club8283165
(a) Jack Wallace, Burlington Country Club8283165
(a) Todd Vonderheid, Huntsville Golf Club8184165
(a) Michael Ashcraft, Brookside C.C. of Allentown8482166
(a) John Langlas, Hidden Creek Golf Club8681167
(a) Rick Hendrickson, Hidden Creek Golf Club8978167
Sean Driscoll, Hidden Creek Golf Club8388171
(a) Greg Verde, Spring Ford Country Club8983172
Ben Debski , Hidden Creek Golf Club8886174
Dick Smith, Jr., Woodcrest Country Club79WDWD
(a) Sean Leonard, Tavistock Country Club77WDWD
(a) Andy Achenbach, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve76WDWD
(a) James Gillespie, Wedgwood Country ClubWD
(a) James Kania, Jr., Overbrook Golf ClubWD
(a)-denotes amateur
*-determined in four-hole aggregate playoff followed by one sudden-death playoff hole

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