May 26, 2017

#GAPMidAm Champion Ben Feld (second from left) with mom Jill Kurtzman (left), stepfather Chip Kurtzman (right) and coach Mike Dynda (far right) after winning the 34th Middle-Amateur Championship at Overbrook Golf Club.

Huntingdon Valley's Feld takes 34th #GAPMidAm title

  VILLANOVA, Pa.-Moments after Ben Feld secured the 34th Middle-Amateur Championship presented by Callaway Golf, his mentor Mike Dynda hugged his prodigy and broke down in uncontrollable tears. Just minutes before, a comparable scene occurred when mom Jill Kurtzman was overcome with emotion as the result became official. It was a predictable and expected scenario to anyone who knows Felds followers. And a big part of his success.

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  The support system is incredible. I play for myself, but I also play for them, said an emotional Feld, 26, after registering the biggest victory of his young career.

  Dynda, Kurtzman and younger brother Max (who sometimes caddies) are the usual spectator crew for the Philadelphia, Pa. resident. Today, stepfather Chip Kurtzman was also in attendance, serving as Felds looper.

  Im not here without [the support of my family] and Mike Dynda, whos been the only coach Ive ever had. To do this with them here said Feld.

  There wasnt a certainty today would even happen for Feld or any other Mid.-Am. competitor. A 2 hour 20 minute rain delay in the morning at Overbrook Golf Club (par 70, 6,400 yards) resulted in wet and boggy conditions. Tournament administrative talks ranged from a full cancellation to waiting out the storm. When the skies cleared and the golf resumed, Feld carded a scintillating 3-under 67, the days low score. Added to an opening-round 1-under 69, he finished the two days with a 136 total, two shots clear of runner-ups Stephen Dressel of St. Davids Golf Club; Chris Lange, Jr. of Overbrook and Jeff Osberg of Huntingdon Valley Country Club. Osberg teed off on the final hole a stroke behind Feld, but drew a nasty lie atop the right fairway bunker after hitting his drive right and never recovered. Dressel, the Day 1 leader, was steady all day but failed to register a final-round birdie and posted a 2-over-72 and Lange, the top home club hopeful, made five birdies but also two double bogeys en route to a 69.

  Unbelievable, said Feld, who ironically replaced Dynda as the Drexel University Mens Golf Coach last May. Winning a GAP Major is something Ive thought about plenty of times before. Ive been in some positions where maybe I would have had a chance. To actually do it, its really unbelievable.

  Felds top finish in a Golf Association of Philadelphia Major prior to Thursdays crowning achievement was a pair of semifinal appearances in the BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship in 2012 and 2014.

  I knew I wasnt going to back pedal into [the title], said Feld. Nothing is given in the GAP; you really got to go earn it.

  And he did.

  All six players in the final two groups, including Feld, opened with pars.

  Thats when the Huntingdon Valley Country Club member started making moves. He birdied Nos. 5 (par 5, 538 yards), 6 (par 4, 445 yards) and 7 (par 3, 192 yards) to force a four-way tie atop the leaderboard with Dressel, Lange and Osberg.

  Feld knocked a pitching wedge from 110 yards on No. 5 to 12 feet; converted a 30-foot curler on No. 6 and stopped a 6-iron at six feet on No. 7.

  The championship picture remained a bit muddled at the turn with Osberg at 4 under and one clear of Dressel and Feld. However, the title hunt started to come into a clearer focus on the driveable No. 13 (par 4, 253 yards). Feld and Osberg exchanged birdies and Dressel saved par. Both Feld and Osberg had eagle opportunities after driving the green, Osberg with 25 feet and Feld at 12 feet, but couldnt convert.

  After 13 holes, Osberg was 5 under, Feld 4 under and Dressel 3 under.

  Osberg bogeyed Nos. 15 (par 3, 173 yards) and 16 (par 4, 402 yards), however, the result of poor tee shots. Feld went par, par and was now a shot ahead.

  Feld finally grabbed the lead for good on No. 17 (par 4, 317 yards), when he almost drove the green, coming up 20 yards short. His chip was perfect and almost dropped, stopping inches away.

  He now had a two-shot advantage heading home.

  I didnt know where I stood until the 17th tee that both Jeff and I were at 4 under, said Feld. It actually alternated my strategy slightly. I decided to hit driver. I hit a good one. I hit a really good pitch and thought it had a chance to go in for a minute. It left me a tap-in. I guess it gave me a little wiggle room I needed to play 18 a little sloppy, but Ill take it any way I can get it.

  Osberg re-rallied and made birdie on No. 17 after getting up-and-down from the greenside bunker. His made his 15-foot birdie putt.

  Feld bogeyed 18 after pushing his drive right and hitting a heavy second shot left and short of the green. The nerves were evident. Osberg, as previously stated though, couldnt take advantage of Felds closing bogey, drawing an impossible lie when his tee ball drifted to the right.

  I hit a bad drive, I hit it hard though and unfortunately it went through the bunker into the grass above it. I didnt have a stance. I whiffed the first one and fell into the bunker, said Osberg. I barely advanced the second one.

  In addition to his familys presence, Feld cited some self-used college coaching advise.

  I just kept saying over and over again in my head, focus on the task, not the outcome, said Feld. It kind of fell into place. Once I got over the shot I was able to feel that calm and able to execute.

  Yes, he did.

Callaway Golf
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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 153 Full Member Clubs and 57,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. As Philadelphias Most Trusted Source of Golf Information, the Golf Association of Philadelphias mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

Name, club


Ben Feld, Huntingdon Valley Country Club


Stephen Dressel, St. Davids Golf Club


Chris Lange, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club


Jeff Osberg, Huntingdon Valley Country Club


Matthew Mattare, Saucon Valley Country Club


James Gillespie, Little Mill Country Club


Peter Barron, III, Stone Harbor Golf Club


Michael Carr, Philadelphia Cricket Club


Michael McDermott, Merion Golf Club


Conrad Von Borsig, Philadelphia Cricket Club


Dan Brown, Llanerch Country Club


Thomas Gramigna, Tavistock Country Club


Michael Brown, Jr., Lu Lu Country Club


William Jeremiah, Bidermann Golf Club


Tom Spano, Llanerch Country Club


Stephen Seiden, Llanerch Country Club


Nathan Sutherland, LedgeRock Golf Club


Christopher Lange, Overbrook Golf Club


Matthew Finger, DuPont Country Club


Joe April, Philadelphia Cricket Club


Christopher Ault, Yardley Country Club


Rodney James, Five Ponds Golf Club


Dan Bernard, Aronimink Golf Club


Brian Gillespie, St. Davids Golf Club


Clark Holle, Mercer Oaks Golf Course


Chris Button, Philadelphia Country Club


Ryan Gelrod, Philadelphia Cricket Club


Scott McLaughlin, Lu Lu Country Club


Grant Skyllas, LedgeRock Golf Club


Jamie Slonis, Tavistock Country Club


Doug Fedoryshyn, Applebrook Golf Club


Dan Arison, Applebrook Golf Club


Robert Cunningham, Overbrook Golf Club


Matthew Walsh, Overbrook Golf Club


Ashley Brasfield, Rolling Green Golf Club


Gregory Buliga, Yardley Country Club


Dan Rudershausen, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club


Keith Matt, Talamore Country Club


Joe Perese, Philmont Country Club


Oscar Mestre, Overbrook Golf Club


Christopher Thude, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale


Christopher Clauson, Lu Lu Country Club


Daniel Rexon, Tavistock Country Club


Johan van Schalkwyk, Tavistock Country Club


Dan Wach, Blue Heron Pines Golf Club


Tom Grady, Radley Run Country Club


Connor McNicholas, Lu Lu Country Club


Michael Moffat, Lu Lu Country Club


Kevin Turner, Radnor Valley Country Club


Bo Maguire, Brookside Country Club


Michael Rogers, Overbrook Golf Club


Mark Wachter, DuPont Country Club


Casey Osborne, Brookside Country Club


John Murphy, II, Stone Harbor Golf Club


Michael Stamberger, Manasquan River Golf Club


Dan Pinciotti, Jr., Huntingdon Valley Country Club


Michael Tash, Tavistock Country Club


Brandon Detweiler, Lancaster Country Club


Kevin McDermott, Llanerch Country Club


Patrick Phillips, Spring Ford Country Club


Raymond Thompson, Overbrook Golf Club


Kevin Haag, Glenmaura National Golf Club


Glenn Smeraglio, Lu Lu Country Club


Gregor Orlando, Philadelphia Cricket Club


Chris Binder, Valleybrook Country Club


Ari Flaisher, McCall Golf & Country Club


Matthew Gaffney, Running Deer Golf Club


Scott Ehrlich, White Manor Country Club


Carlo Fitti, Llanerch Country Club


Joe Kerrigan, Jr., Llanerch Country Club


Steve Oh, Philadelphia Cricket Club




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