McDermott grabs medalist honors in Amateur Championship - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Jun 12, 2003

McDermott grabs medalist honors in Amateur Championship

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HUNTINGDON VALLEY, Pa.-Michael McDermott of Llanerch CC entered the final round of the Middle-Amateur Championship a few weeks ago with the lead and high hopes. He exited with a faltering putter and bitter disappointment.

On Tuesday, in the 103rd Amateur Championship Qualifier, which consists of 18 holes of play at both Manufacturers G&CC (par 71, 6,591 yards) and Philmont CC (North) (par 70, 6,497 yards), McDermott started his own personal road to recovery by shooting 4-under-par 137 for the 36 holes and earning medalists honors.

McDermott will be the No. 2 seed in match play, which begins tomorrow. Billy Stewart of Llanerch CC, as the defending champion, is the top seed.

“Th Mid-Am was disappointing,” said McDermott, who finished in a group tied for fifth at the Middle-Amateur Championship. “I feel like I had to prove to myself that day was a fluke.”

A new putter and a slight grip adjustment have done the trick.

Prior to today, McDermott and his improved putting stroke fired a 65 at Llanerch CC on Sunday and finished with Chip Lutz as co-champions in a better-ball event at Caves Valley GC.

“Ironically, the last month I’ve been playing real well but not getting anything out of it,” said McDermott, 28, of Havertown, Pa. “Today, I didn’t hit it great but got every bit of ground out of it.”

McDermott carded a 1-under-par 70 at Manufacturers G&CC in his morning round, finishing with an eagle on No. 9 (par 5, 466 yards) from the right trees.

In the afternoon at Philmont CC (North), McDermott started out with five pars, before getting on the birdie train. He went under par on No. 6 (par 4, 372 yards), No. 8 (par 3, 132 yards) and No. 9 (par 5, 565 yards) to finish with a front-side 33.

On the back nine, two birdies and a bogey equated to a 1-under-par 34 and final score 67.

Clint Deibert of Doylestown CC and Anthony Apostolico of Deerfield G&TC each carded 1-under-par 140s to earn the third and fourth seeds, respectively.

The fifth seed is James White of Philadelphia Cricket Club.

“Getting to match play was one of my goals,” said White, 34, of Horsham, Pa. “This year all the work I’ve done on my game is starting to make a difference. It’s nice to start seeing my name at the top of the leaderboard.” White finished in the top 5 at the Middle-Amateur Championship.

Rounding out the top 10 seeds are Michael Tash of Tavistock CC (No. 6), P. Chet Walsh of Philadelphia Country Club (No. 7), Brian Gillespie of St. Davids (No. 8), Thomas Gramigna of Tavistock CC (No. 9) and James Kieserman of Blue Bell CC (No. 10).

A total of 132 players attempted to qualify for the Amateur field.

In addition to match play qualifying, the scores from today’s two rounds will count toward the Silver Cross. The Silver Cross is awarded to the player who turns in the low 72-hole total from the two rounds of the Philadelphia Amateur and the two rounds of the Patterson Cup. Christian Bartolacci of Jericho National GC earned the Silver Cross a year ago, but will be unable to defend his award. He turned professional earlier this year and is ineligible to compete.

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