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HUNTINGDON VALLEY, Pa. – When it comes to the Philadelphia Open, Jeff Osberg now holds family bragging rights.
Osberg turned in a focused effort in the final round of the 115th Open Championship Thursday at Huntingdon Valley Country Club (par 70, 6,859 yards) to cruise to a stress-free two-stroke victory. The Pine Valley Golf Club amateur finished the 36 holes at 5 under (135 total). He carded a closing 2-under-par 68 that included a double bogey on No. 18 (par 4, 443 yards) resulting from a conservative approach off the tee with the tournament outcome already in-hand.
Zac Oakley, a teaching professional at Bidermann Golf Club, drained a 50-foot birdie putt on the final hole to surge into solo second place at 3 under and to take the low professional prize of $6,000.
Tying for third at 2 under were amateur John Brennan of Philadelphia Cricket Club and Applebrook Golf Club professional Dave McNabb, the first-round leader.
With Osberg’s 2016 victory, Jeff and dad Rick (1999) became just the second father-son duo to win the Open (the first pro-amateur combination).
Last year, Jeff fell in a playoff for the Open. This year, he passed pop’s total.
“I think he’s pretty happy about that. He probably hopes I have five or six more than him,” said Osberg, 35, of Bryn Mawr, Pa. “It was pretty unbelievable to win three years ago. To have my name on the same trophy as my dad is extremely special. To now win it again is awesome. I can’t wait to watch my kids play golf one day and hope they are competing in the GAP stuff and have a chance to look at that and see their dad and grandad on the trophy.”
Osberg entered the second round a shot back of McNabb. He erased that quickly on No. 1 (par 4, 386 yards) with a six-foot birdie after almost driving the green. McNabb subsequently missed a short par putt. Osberg moved a shot clear and into the lead.
McNabb responded immediately with a bounce back birdie on No. 2 (par 4, 439 yards) from six feet to draw even but when he three-putted No. 3 (par 3, 233 yards) from 45 feet, Osberg grabbed the lead for good.
Plenty of pars proliferate the rest of the front side; both birdied No. 6 (par 4, 437 yards). At the turn, Osberg was 5 under and McNabb at 4 under. They were still 1-2.
The turning point of the day came a few holes later. McNabb’s approach on No. 11 (par 4, 373 yards) went long and he made bogey to drop to 3 under. On No. 12 (par 4, 421 yards), Osberg securely gripped the title when he lifted a gap wedge from 122 yards to two feet for the easy birdie and three-stroke advantage. He was 6 under. On No 14 (par 5, 532 yards), playing as a par 5 today instead of the typical par 4, Osberg reached the green in two with a 4-iron from 230 yards. His 30-foot eagle just slid by the cup and he tapped in for birdie to move to 7 under. Brennan, Oakley and a handful of players tried to make a push up the leaderboard but could never really close the gap enough on Osberg to make him shiver.
The victory ended an Osberg string of what could’ve-beens. He was in contention in the first two Majors of the year. He led the Middle-Amateur Championship after 27 holes before finishing in a tie for ninth. In the BMW Philadelphia Amateur, he finished runner-up.
“You never know when you are going to win again. I’m happy I’m constantly putting myself in positions to win,” said Osberg, now a five-time GAP Major Champion. “As you know, the last couple haven’t gone my way. But I was right there. I feel like every time I’m teeing it up I’m competing. That’s all you can ask. I was happy to be able to come out on top. Winning Majors is extremely important to me. Hopefully, it’s not my last.”
In addition to the two Opens, Osberg has won two Patterson Cups (2010, 2016) and one Amateur (2016). He’s also won two William Hyndman, III Players of the Year (2012-13) and three Silver Crosses (2010, 2015-16).
The Open at HVCC was an Osberg homecoming. He was a member at the club for six years before leaving at the beginning of 2019. He, ironically, is the 2018 club champion.
“I was thrilled when I saw the Open coming here. It’s a place I’m very comfortable playing and I have a lot of great memories,” said Osberg. “I think that definitely played a big part in how relaxed I was able to feel on the course today and knowing what I want to do on every hole and every shot.”
Celebrating Amateur Golf since 1897, GAP, also known as the Golf Association of Philadelphia, is the oldest regional or state golf association in the United States. It serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. The Association’s 274 Full Member Clubs and 75,000 individual members are spread across the Eastern half of Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey and Delaware. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.
|(a) Jeff Osberg, Pine Valley Golf Club||67-68–135|
|Zac Oakley, Bidermann Golf Club||70-67–137|
|(a) John Brennan, Philadelphia Cricket Club||70-68–138|
|David McNabb, Applebrook Golf Club||66-72–138|
|(a) Vincent Kwon, Huntingdon Valley Country Club||71-69–140|
|(a) Matthew Mattare, Saucon Valley Country Club||72-68–140|
|(a) Connor McNicholas, Lu Lu Country Club||71-69–140|
|(a) William Davenport, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club||72-69–141|
|(a) Matthew Finger, DuPont Country Club||72-69–141|
|(a) Mariano Medico, Fox Hill Country Club||72-69–141|
|Rich Steinmetz, Spring Ford Country Club||73-68–141|
|(a) Scott Ehrlich, Waynesborough Country Club||74-68–142|
|George Forster, Radnor Valley Country Club||70-72–142|
|(a) Ambrose Abbracciamento, Jericho National Golf Club||74-69–143|
|Brian Bergstol, Shawnee Country Club||72-71–143|
|(a) Christopher Cerminaro, Glenmaura National Golf Club||74-69–143|
|(a) Danny Harcourt, Mercer Oaks Golf Course||72-71–143|
|Michael Little, Lookaway Golf Club||75-68–143|
|(a) Michael O’Brien, Bala Golf Club||73-70–143|
|David Quinn, Philmont Country Club||73-70–143|
|(a) Dawson Anders, Indian Valley Country Club||74-70–144|
|Eric Kennedy, Overbrook Golf Club||71-73–144|
|David Pagett, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club||74-70–144|
|Billy Stewart, The ACE Club||74-70–144|
|(a) Peter Bradbeer, Merion Golf Club||76-69–145|
|(a) Michael R. Brown, Jr., Lu Lu Country Club||75-70–145|
|(a) Ben Feld, Green Valley Country Club||72-73–145|
|Alexander Knoll, Blue Shamrock Golf Club||73-72–145|
|(a) Andrew Mason, Huntingdon Valley Country Club||73-72–145|
|Brendon Post, University of Delaware||73-72–145|
|Mark Sheftic, Merion Golf Club||75-70–145|
|(a) Griffin Smith, Jericho National Golf Club||75-70–145|
|(a) Zach Arsenault, Little Mill Country Club||73-73–146|
|Brian Hollins, Links Golf Club||73-73–146|
|(a) Blaine Lafferty, Little Mill Country Club||75-71–146|
|(a) Marty McGuckin, Philadelphia Cricket Club||75-71–146|
|(a) Joshua Ryan, GAP Youth on Course||74-72–146|
|(a) Sean Seese, Huntingdon Valley Country Club||74-72–146|
|Stephen Sieracki, Woodcrest Country Club||75-71–146|
|Dustin Wallis, Out Door Country Club||75-71–146|
|Mike Furey, Blue Shamrock Golf Club||76-71–147|
|Jakob Gerney, Trump National Golf Club – Philadelphia||76-71–147|
|(a) Nicholas Gianelos, Radley Run Country Club||75-72–147|
|(a) Kyle Henofer, Indian Valley Country Club||76-71–147|
|Greg Matthias, Tavistock Country Club||74-73–147|
|(a) Parker Wine, Radley Run Country Club||75-72–147|
|Matthew Episcopo, Pine Valley Golf Club||74-74–148|
|(a) Zachary Falone, Sakima Country Club||74-74–148|
|Andrew Turner, Sunnybrook Golf Club||74-74–149|
|(a) Lukas Clark, Galloway National Golf Club||70-79–149|
|(a) Steve Skurla, White Manor Country Club||76-73–149|
|(a) Troy Vannucci, Little Mill Country Club||73-76–149|
|Mark Anderson, Philadelphia Cricket Club||76-74–150|
|Russell Harbold, Philadelphia Cricket Club||75-75–150|
|Chris Krueger, Kings Creek||76-74–150|
|(a) Michael Moffat, Lu Lu Country Club||76-74–150|
|(a) Benjamin Pochet, Spring Ford Country Club||74-76–150|
|Brett Melton, Radley Run Country Club||73-78–151|
|(a) Ron Robinson, Commonwealth National Golf Club||76-75–151|
|(a) Caleb Ryan, Philadelphia Publinks GA||74-77–151|
|(a) Conor McGrath, Huntingdon Valley Country Club||75-77–152|
|Scott Reilly, Philadelphia Country Club||72-80–152|
|(a) Steve Cerbara, Jericho National Golf Club||74-79–153|
|Michael Ferguson, Philadelphia Cricket Club||76-77–153|
|Patrick Butkus, Tavistock Country Club||75-79–154|
|(a) Casey Lyons, Medford Village Country Club||74-83–157|