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May 21, 2015

W. Garth Sprecher (left) of Lancaster Country Club, the event's chairman, presents Scott McNeil of Bala Golf Club with the Middle-Amateur Championship trophy at St. Davids Golf Club.

Bala’s Scott McNeil wins 32nd Middle-Amateur Championship

  WAYNE, Pa.–First-round leader Scott McNeil gaveth the field hope before retaketh command of Thursday’s Middle-Amateur Championship presented by Callaway Golf at St. Davids Golf Club (par 70, 6,557 yards). McNeil, of Bala Golf Club, watched an early six-stroke lead slip away by mid-round before regaining control and hoisting his first Major trophy. He finished the 36 holes at 3 over, one clear of a late-charging Jeff Osberg of Huntingdon Valley Country Club. Defending champion Peter Barron, III of Stone Harbor Golf Club tied for 33rd at 13 over.

| Scorecards | Day 2 video recap | Notebook | VIDEO: Scott McNeil interview |

| VIDEO: Jeff Osberg interview | Day One recap |

  “[It’s a] great feeling. [I’ve put in] lots of hard work early on in the season [and] I’m glad it has finally paid off,” said McNeil, 29, of Philadelphia, Pa. “I’ve been close before, but for once I put myself in good position and [was] able to drive the bus rather than riding in the back of it and looking to get to the front of it.”

  Said Osberg, who posted a 1-under 69 in Round Two to climb into contention, “I played well out there today. I figured if I could shoot 4 under, that maybe I would have a chance. I didn’t really see Scott coming back too much. As the day progressed, obviously the scores started looking a little better, a little more in my favor. Unfortunately, I just didn’t make a lot of putts coming down the stretch and just couldn’t get low enough to compete with him. He played great.”

  Osberg, 30, of Bryn Mawr, Pa., is the reigning BMW Philadelphia Amateur Champion. This was Osberg’s best Mid.-Am. finish. His prior was a third-place showing in 2013 at Fieldstone Golf Club.

  McNeil entered the final round with a three-stroke lead after a 2-under 68 the first day. Michael Carr of Plymouth Country Club held second at 1 over. Gloomy skies, cool temperatures and firm greens made the final round a challenge, however.

  McNeil opened his day in sparkling fashion with a birdie on No. 1 (par 4, 385 yards). He rocketed a driver center cut, leaving 55 yards to the hole. McNeil knocked down a 54-degree wedge to a foot and an easy three.

  McNeil, the parking facilities manager at 10 Rittenhouse Square, saw his travels get rocky after that. He bogeyed No. 4 (par 4, 372 yards) following a poor drive and double-bogeyed No. 5 (par 4, 428 yards) after finding both fairway and greenside bunkers. A short par putt miss on No. 6 (par 3, 147 yards) resulted in a third straight over-par score. McNeil stood at even. Carr, his closest pursuer, was at 3 over.

  McNeil relinquished the outright lead on No. 9 (par 3, 228 yards) in disastrous fashion. His 4-iron landed right of the greenside bunker. Trying to go up-and-over the bunker staring him down, McNeil’s attempt fell short and buried under the lip. He took an unplayable and knocked his next shot, from the bunker, to four feet.

  With nine holes to go, he stood in a tie with home-club hopeful Stephen Dressel at 2 over.

  Dressel, St. Davids 2008 Club Champion, failed to sustain his championship bid, though, and finished with a second straight 73.

  “By the time [Dressel] had caught me, I had known,” said McNeil. “When the debauchery on the front nine was going on, I had no idea where everybody was. I was just trying to stop the oil from coming out of the head gaskets.”

  “I made a good decision and when you make a good decision, and hit a good shot, you can kind of start adding them together,” said McNeil of taking the unplayable. “I hit it deep and left on No. 10, but on the green, and we all know that No. 10 is a very difficult green. I hit a putt that I thought I made and it stopped six inches short. So at that point, I had kind of righted the ship.”

  McNeil separated himself from the field with steady play thereafter.

  On No. 11 (par 5, 542 yards), he escaped the right greenside bunker after finding the sand in two with a birdie from four feet. Four straight pars followed, before McNeil iced his challengers on this chilly day with a two-putt birdie on No. 16 (par 5, 504 yards). He hit a 4-iron from 200 yards to 25 feet.

  This is McNeil’s third Middle-Amateur appearance. He tied for 10th in 2012 at Chester Valley Golf Club and tied for 28th in 2013 at Fieldstone Golf Club.

  The Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Middle-Amateur Championship started in 1984, three years after the USGA created the U.S. Mid-Amateur as a formal championship for post-college amateurs. The Association followed suit with the USGA in creating a Mid-Am, but initially differed in its administration of the tournament in a couple of respects.

  The most obvious difference was the age requirement. Prior to 2001, the GAP Middle-Amateur was for players 30 years of age and older.

  The Association’s Executive Committee reviewed and revised that age requirement in 2001 to match the USGA's guidelines of 25 years of age or older for eligible players. Also at that point, the Committee changed the format of the event to a two-day stroke play tournament (instead of a one-day medal play event) with a cut to the low 70 players and ties after the first round. The field began with 130 players.

NOTES–Manufacturers Golf & Country Club will host the 2016 Mid.-Am.

Callaway Golf
Callaway Golf was founded in 1982 by the late Ely Callaway, a visionary entrepreneur who operated under a simple but profound business promise: Deliver Demonstrably Superior, Pleasingly Different products and services. That philosophy turned what was originally a boutique manufacturer of high-quality wedges and putters into the world's largest maker of premium, performance golf products. The Callaway mission and vision has remained the same; we passionately pursue advanced, innovative technologies that help golfers of all abilities find more enjoyment from the game. Under the Callaway and Odyssey brands, Callaway manufactures and sells golf clubs and golf balls, and sells golf apparel, footwear and accessories in more than 110 countries worldwide.

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 151 Member Clubs and 57,000 individual members are spread across parts of 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.

Name, club

Score

Scott McNeil, Bala Golf Club

68-75–143

Jeff Osberg, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

75-69–144

Michael McDermott, Merion Golf Club

76-69–145

Michael Carr, Plymouth Country Club

71-74–145

Stephen Dressel, St. Davids Golf Club

73-73–146

David West, Whitford Country Club

74-73–147

David Liotta, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club

74-73–147

Jason Loehrs, Philadelphia Publinks GA

79-68–147

Matthew Mattare, Saucon Valley Country Club

76-72–148

Brian Gillespie, St. Davids Golf Club

79-69–148

Matthew Finger, DuPont Country Club

76-72–148

Brian McDermott, Llanerch Country Club

77-71–148

Benjamin Smith, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

74-74–148

Scott McLaughlin, Commonwealth National Golf Club

74-74–148

Geoffrey Cooper, North Hills Country Club

74-75–149

Christopher Ault, Burlington Country Club

73-76–149

Ryan Gelrod, Philadelphia Cricket Club

72-77–149

Christopher Thude, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale

76-73–149

Thomas E. Timby, Jr., The Bucks Club

75-74–149

Michael R. Brown, Links Golf Club

77-73–150

Brad McFadden, Overbrook Golf Club

74-76–150

Robert Harrington, Merion Golf Club

76-74–150

Raymond Thompson, Overbrook Golf Club

76-74–150

Rodney James, Golden Oaks Golf Club

77-74–151

Glenn Smeraglio, Mercer Oaks Golf Course

74-77–151

Michael Hyland, Little Mill Country Club

76-75–151

Andy Latowski, Philadelphia Cricket Club

75-76–151

Bo Maguire, Brookside Country Club

77-75–152

Robert Savarese, Jr., Philadelphia Cricket Club

77-75–152

Jack Wallace, Philadelphia Cricket Club

74-78–152

Mark Peterson, Philadelphia Cricket Club

73-79–152

Serge Hogg, RiverWinds Golf & Tennis Club

75-77–152

Oscar Mestre, Overbrook Golf Club

74-79–153

Peter Barron, III, Stone Harbor Golf Club

76-77–153

Jamie Slonis, Tavistock Country Club

79-74–153

Jeff Klagholz, Aronimink Golf Club

79-74–153

Jon Lavin, Rolling Green Golf Club

75-78–153

Dan Arison, Applebrook Golf Club

78-75–153

Frank Petrash, IV, Philadelphia Cricket Club

79-74–153

Brandon Murdock, Llanerch Country Club

74-79–153

Bill Jeremiah, Bidermann Golf Club

77-77–154

Sean Semenetz, Philadelphia Cricket Club

78-76–154

John Samaha, Old York Road Country Club

77-77–154

Chris Lawler, Inniscrone Golf Club

76-78–154

Roc Irey, Lookaway Golf Club

76-79–155

Rich Pruchnik, Downingtown Country Club

79-76–155

Rand Mendez, Fieldstone Golf Club

78-77–155

Brian Corbett, Huntsville Golf Club

79-76–155

Matthew Gaffney, Little Mill Country Club

75-80–155

James Gillespie, Wedgwood Country Club

79-76–155

Edward Kelly, Jr., Old York Road Country Club

76-79–155

Sean Torpey, Commonwealth National Golf Club

79-76–155

Gary Daniels, Applebrook Golf Club

75-81–156

Sean McCauley, Jr., Galloway National Golf Club

77-79–156

Christopher Lange, Overbrook Golf Club

77-80–157

James Kania, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club

79-78–157

Thomas Hyland, Little Mill Country Club

79-78–157

John Murphy, II, Wildwood Golf & Country Club

77-80–157

Joshua Isler, Chester Valley Golf Club

79-78–157

Gary Schoeman, Gulph Mills Golf Club

78-79–157

John Brennan, Philadelphia Cricket Club

76-82–158

Brendan Borst, Philadelphia Cricket Club

79-79–158

Grant Skyllas, LedgeRock Golf Club

78-81–159

John Nottage, Commonwealth National Golf Club

79-80–159

Kevin Cahill, Merion Golf Club

77-82–159

Brett Cybulski, Merchantville Country Club

77-82–159

John Grove, Chester Valley Golf Club

79-80–159

Neil Gordon, Five Ponds Golf Club

77-85–162

P. Chet Walsh, Philadelphia Country Club

78-WD–WD

Chris Lange, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club

74-WD–WD

Joe April, Philadelphia Cricket Club

78-WD–WD

 

Failed to qualify

Conrad Von Borsig, White Manor Country Club

80

Jeffrey Moyher, Merion Golf Club

80

Joe Perese, Philmont Country Club

80

Justin VanHyning, Mercer Oaks Golf Course

80

Mark Czerniakowski, Blue Bell Country Club

80

Shawn Lavin, Rolling Green Golf Club

80

Stephen Seiden, Llanerch Country Club

80

Steve Oh, Philadelphia Cricket Club

80

Tom Spano, Llanerch Country Club

80

Christopher Clauson, Sandy Run Country Club

81

Dan Rudershausen, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club

81

Drew Garis, North Hills Country Club

81

Gerard Rosato, Plymouth Country Club

81

Kevin McDermott, Llanerch Country Club

81

Michael Korcuba, Medford Village Country Club

81

Michael Moffat, Commonwealth National Golf Club

81

Mike Kidd, Wedgwood Country Club

81

Patrick Hennigan, Tavistock Country Club

81

Ryan Orcutt, Philadelphia Publinks GA

81

Andrew Sterge, Applebrook Golf Club

82

Fran Begley, Wedgwood Country Club

82

George Steinmetz, Spring Ford Country Club

82

Jason Whaley, Sakima Country Club

82

Jim Engler, Sea Oaks Golf Club

82

Leland Weaver, Hartefeld National

82

Mark Hill, Rolling Green Golf Club

82

Matthew Welsh, St. Davids Golf Club

82

Stephen Hudacek, III, Glenmaura National Golf Club

82

Thomas Humphrey, Wilmington Country Club

82

Andy Achenbach, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve

83

Chris Meares, Running Deer Golf Club

83

Chris Storck, LedgeRock Golf Club

83

David Brookreson, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

83

J.J. Berenato, Llanerch Country Club

83

Miguel Biamon, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club

83

Tom DiCinti, Old York CC at Chesterfield

83

David Waxman, Little Mill Country Club

84

Elias Chua, Fieldstone Golf Club

84

Jon-Michael Socaris, Broad Run Golfers Club

84

Kevin Maguire, Trump National Golf Club - Philadelphia

84

Michael Hodges, The Springhaven Club

84

Bob Beck, Lehigh Country Club

85

Brad George, Aronimink Golf Club

85

Robert Gill, Fox Hill Country Club

85

Trevor Seufer, Stonewall

85

Brian Kenny, Greate Bay Country Club

86

John Kopacz, Five Ponds Golf Club

86

Kenneth Matt, Philadelphia Publinks GA

86

Lodie Van Tonder, Sakima Country Club

86

Marc Mandel, Philadelphia Cricket Club

86

Robert Brown, Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club

86

Todd Vonderheid, Huntsville Golf Club

86

Andrew Jaskel, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale

87

Kyle Ginty, Talamore Country Club

87

Patrick Phillips, Philadelphia Publinks GA

87

Tim Freeh, Back Creek Golf Club

87

Michael Tash, Tavistock Country Club

88

Jimmy Taylor, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve

98

P. Chet Walsh, Philadelphia Country Club

WD

Richard Umani, Honeybrook Golf Club

WD

 

WD-withdrawal

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