KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. – Michael R. Brown, Jr. openly talks about the self-doubt associated with his golf game. His self-confidence and self-belief are always at a premium.
In Thursday’s final round of the 116th Joseph H. Patterson Cup, Brown banished those inner demons, at least temporarily, with a scintillating mid-round move that led to an eventual victory.
Brown carded a second-round 5-under 66 to finish the 36 holes at 4 under, two shots clear of the field. Fellow Lu Lu Country Club mate Mark Farley, too, shot up the leaderboard and, too, posted a final-round 66 to finish second.
It is Brown’s third Golf Association of Philadelphia Major title. He adds the Patterson Cup to victories in the 2009 Middle-Amateur Championship and 2010 Open Championship.
“All golfers question themselves,” said Brown, 45, of Maple Shade, N.J. “I feel a lot better now. Having won two of them before, the last one being in 2010, it feels good to be more recent. I’ve been kind of feeling like the good days were behind me. It seems like it’s harder and harder to win and I feel like it’s harder and harder to play the game as I get older.”
Brown entered the second round five shots behind Day 1 leader Scott McNeil of Bala Golf Club. McNeil carded a 4-under 67 Wednesday.
Brown’s day didn’t start so promising. On No. 1 (par 4, 427 yards), he had to chip out from the right trees with his second shot and would eventually make bogey.
He cancelled that out with a birdie on No. 3 (par 4, 460 yards) thanks to a 164-yard 7-iron that stopped a foot from the hole.
As the leaders struggled, Brown ratcheted up the pressure. He rocketed up the leaderboard by playing holes Nos. 7-12 in 5 under. He went birdie-birdie-birdie-birdie-bogey-eagle.
“I got a little lucky. I made a 20-foot downhiller for birdie on No. 7 (par 5, 496 yards). I hit it entirely too hard. If it doesn’t go in I’m going to three-putt most likely,” said the soft-spoken Brown. “After I made birdie on No. 10, I thought I had a chance to win.
“I was hoping opportunistically the eventual winner would be at 4 under. That’s what I finished at.”
After No. 7, Brown’s birdies went as so: on No. 8 (par 4, 361 yards) he lifted a wedge 54 yards to five feet; on No. 9 (par 4, 378 yards) he hit a wedge from 97 yards to six feet; on No. 10 (par 4, 414 yards) he ripped a 9-iron from 131 yards to six feet and on No. 12 (par 5, 518 yards) he made eagle when he drained a 25-footer after striping a 5-iron from 197 yards to reach the green in two.
His No. 11 (par 4, 353 yards) bogey blemish came as the result of finding the fairway bunker with his tee ball.
Brown ended his round with five straight pars before converting a short birdie try on No. 18 (par 5, 460 yards) after finding the green in two shots.
“I’m a little shocked,” said Brown. “I didn’t put myself into the golf tournament until pretty late. There are a lot of good young players and a lot of good older players and it’s really hard to win in Philadelphia. I couldn’t be happier. It’s a relief as much as a feeling of accomplishment because you would hate to work hard and not be paid off.”
Farley, 22, of Langhorne, Pa., started the day 2:30 hours before the leaders after an opening-round 3-over 74.
“I wasn’t really thinking I’d be in contention for the championship,” said Farley. “I just wanted to go out and play a solid, smart round of golf and see where that put me. I was fortunate enough to eagle No. 18 and get to 2-under total. Then it kind of sunk in where I was at overall.”
The Patterson Cup was Farley’s lone Association appearance this year.
The 2018 Temple University graduate is working at Liberty Mutual in Conshohocken, Pa. and has had little free time.
His prior top Association performance came in the 2015 Patterson Cup at Chester Valley Golf Club, where he tied for 19th.
Brown, the 2010 William Hyndman, III Player of the Year, is in position to take that honor again this year.
Even if that fails to materialize, his place within the Golf Association of Philadelphia community is already established.
“In the back of my head, I want to be relevant and part of the conversation [when it comes to top players in Philadelphia],” said Brown. “That’s what motivates 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 260 Member Clubs and 75,000 individual members are spread across 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.
|Michael R. Brown, Jr., Lu Lu Country Club||72-66–138|
|Mark Farley, Lu Lu Country Club||74-66–140|
|Adam Armagost, RiverWinds Golf & Tennis Club||71-70–141|
|Michael McDermott, Merion Golf Club||70-71–141|
|Peter Barron, III, Greate Bay Country Club||70-72–142|
|Blaine Lafferty, Little Mill Country Club||69-73–142|
|Marty McGuckin, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve||70-72–142|
|Greg DeLuca, Makefield Highlands Golf Club||75-68–143|
|David Hicks, The Shore Club||71-72–143|
|Matthew Mattare, Saucon Valley Country Club||72-71–143|
|Paul Mauer, Stonewall||72-71–143|
|Conrad Von Borsig, Philadelphia Cricket Club||69-74–143|
|Scott McNeil, Bala Golf Club||67-77–144|
|Campbell Wolf, Carlisle Country Club||68-76–144|
|Andrew Mason, Huntingdon Valley Country Club||72-72–144|
|Richard Riva, Bent Creek Country Club||72-72–144|
|Grant Skyllas, LedgeRock Golf Club||71-73–144|
|Joe Tigani, Fieldstone Golf Club||68-77–145|
|Christopher Ault, Yardley Country Club||68-77–145|
|Brian Isztwan, Huntingdon Valley Country Club||74-71–145|
|Gregor Orlando, Philadelphia Cricket Club||70-75–145|
|Jeff Osberg, Huntingdon Valley Country Club||75-70–145|
|Ryan Rucinski, Hartefeld National||71-74–145|
|Ryan Tall, Spring Ford Country Club||72-73–145|
|Robert Bechtold, Fieldstone Golf Club||75-71–146|
|Carlos Fullerton, Brookside CC of Allentown||72-74–146|
|Troy Kelleher, Country Club of Scranton||71-75–146|
|Patrick Knott, Merion Golf Club||72-74–146|
|Troy Vannucci, Little Mill Country Club||73-73–146|
|Jeremy Wall, Manasquan River Golf Club||73-73–146|
|James Kania, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club||72-75–147|
|Matt Kocent, Philadelphia Cricket Club||72-75–147|
|Thomas Timby, Jr., Mercer Oaks Golf Course||71-76–147|
|Ethan Wall, Manasquan River Golf Club||72-75–147|
|Dawson Anders, Indian Valley Country Club||73-75–148|
|Zachary Barbin, Loch Nairn Golf Club||73-75–148|
|Cole Berman, Philadelphia Cricket Club||72-76–148|
|John Buliga, Yardley Country Club||74-74–148|
|Chris Meares, Running Deer Golf Club||72-76–148|
|Marco Nieto, Glenmaura National Golf Club||74-74–148|
|Steve Skurla, White Manor Country Club||75-73–148|
|Sam Soeth, The ACE Club||70-78–148|
|James Sullivan, Jr., Lu Lu Country Club||75-73–148|
|Andrew Lombardo, Indian Valley Country Club||75-74–149|
|Mark Benevento, Jr., Greate Bay Country Club||75-75–150|
|Alexander Butler, Bluestone Country Club||71-79–150|
|Michael Cook, Applebrook Golf Club||73-77–150|
|Jay Whitby, Wild Quail Golf & Country Club||74-76–150|
|John Barone, Glenmaura National Golf Club||75-76–151|
|Thomas Dzwonczyk, Country Club of Scranton||75-76–151|
|Blake Hinckley, Wilmington Country Club||74-77–151|
|Nicky Marrollo, Whitford Country Club||70-81–151|
|Gary McCabe, Jr., RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve||75-76–151|
|Michael Rogers, Overbrook Golf Club||75-76–151|
|Michael Carr, Philadelphia Cricket Club||73-79–152|
|John Samaha, Old York Road Country Club||73-79–152|
|Christopher Cerminaro, Glenmaura National Golf Club||75-78–153|
|Danny Harcourt, Mercer Oaks Golf Course||71-82–153|
|Michael Moffat, Lu Lu Country Club||75-78–153|
|Brandon Capone, Old York CC at Chesterfield||75-79–154|
|David Herbst, West Shore Country Club||75-79–154|
|Dan Rudershausen, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club||74-80–154|
|Chris Warner, Yardley Country Club||75-79–154|
|Andrew Cornish, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve||75-80–155|
|Carey Bina, Radnor Valley Country Club||75-81–156|
|Reed Winkler, Hartefeld National||72-85–157|
|Mark Czerniakowski, Lu Lu Country Club||73-85–158|
|Matthew Finger, DuPont Country Club||72-WD–72|