May 26, 2016

Matt Finger (left) of DuPont Country Club and Michael R. Brown, Jr. of Philadelphia Publinks GA
tied for second in the 33rd Middle-Amateur Championship.

SVCC’s Matt Mattare wins Middle-Amateur in playoff

  PAOLI, Pa.–Matthew Mattare’s quest for a Major trophy finally ended at the pot of gold the Notre Dame alum has longingly sought. Mattare, of Saucon Valley Country Club, outlasted Michael R. Brown, Jr. of Philadelphia Publinks GA and Matt Finger of DuPont Country Club in a four-hole aggregate playoff for the 33rd Middle-Amateur Championship presented by Callaway Golf on Thursday at Waynesborough Country Club (par 71, 6,859 yards). Mattare finished the playoff with 14 strokes; Brown had 15 and Finger had 16.

| Scorecards | History | Notebook | Notebook | Day 2 photos | Day 1 recap |
Matthew Mattare interview | Michael R. Brown, Jr. interview | Matt Finger interview |

  “Finally. As excited as I am, I am more relieved than anything,” said Mattare, 30, of Jersey City, N.J. “It’s been eight years since the Patterson [Cup] where I came close and Glenn [Smeraglio] edged me out in the end. It’s been a long trip to get here. And I’m glad I arrived.”

  Mattare finished second to Smeraglio in the 2008 Joseph H. Patterson Cup when the 36-hole event was split between St. Davids Golf Club and Waynesborough. Mattare fired a first-round 67 at Waynesborough that year.

  “It was good to be back here,” said Mattare, who works in wealth management for Morgan Stanley.

  The leaderboard was a revolving door all day, but looked closed with Finger holding a one-stroke edge standing on the reachable 18th (par 5, 527 yards) tee. Brown and Mattare had already posted their 1-over-par 143 totals for the two days and Finger, the co-first-round leader, needed just a par to secure the win. His drive caught the right rough though, and his third shot, an 8-iron from 151 yards, landed 60 feet short and right of the hole.

  “I didn’t really know where I stood going to 18 but I thought I had a one-shot lead,” said Finger, 38, of Woolwich Township, N.J. “I took 3-wood off the tee and put it in the right rough. I hit a 5-iron out. And then I hit an 8-iron into the green, which I thought was good, but it kind of shot up and just got stuck in the wind. I had four feet left. I played it a left edge putt and pulled it. I didn’t finish. I don’t know what else to say. That one is going to hurt.”

  The playoff rotation was Nos. 1-4-8-9.

  All three players parred No. 1 (par 4, 367 yards) in good order before Finger resuscitated his shocked system with a birdie on No. 4 (par 3, 189 yards). He ripped a 6-iron to 12 feet and drained the putt. His two opponents made par to fall a shot back.

  On No. 8 (par 4, 371 yards), Finger, who placed a premium on driving accuracy all week, strayed into trouble off the tee similar to the closing hole. His 2-iron tee shot found the left rough, obscured from the green by a tree. His second shot then rolled into a greenside bunker. He eventually made five. Mattare, on the other hand, stated his title intentions loudly. His 108-yard lob wedge cozied up to three feet.

  “As soon as it left the club I knew it was perfect,” said Mattare.

  Brown, 43, of Maple Shade, N.J., made a miraculous up-and-down after missing the green left, draining a 30-foot putt for par. Mattare sank his short birdie and now headed to No. 9 (par 4, 438 yards) one stroke clear.

  Needing one more timely swing, Mattare rocketed a drive center-cut.

  “On every shot I was saying ‘Be decisive. Don’t be tentative.’ Yesterday, on the first nine it was just tentative strokes. I kept trying to steer it with my irons. Steer it with the driver. I got up on No. 2, which was my 11th hole, and I had a five-footer for birdie and just waved at it. I said ‘Start being decisive,’” said Mattare. “From that point forward before every single shot I said ‘Be decisive.’ And that’s exactly what I did.”

  Mattare, left with 138 yards to the hole, launched a pitching wedge to the green that rolled out to 25 feet. Brown, in the right rough, smacked a fantastic 9-iron from 151 yards to 30 feet on the same line as Mattare. Finger missed his approach left and then chipped long. Brown’s birdie scooted by leaving Mattare needing only a two-putt for the win, which he did.

  “Philly is my home. These are the most important tournaments of the year to me,” said Mattare, who was the medalist in the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship. “I have a great group of friends down here. It means everything. You look at all the guys who have won over the last couple of years, a bunch of friends like Jeff Osberg, Michael McDermott and John Brennan, it’s great to join their little club.”

  It is Mattare’s first Golf Association of Philadelphia Major victory.

  “I had no expectations there would be a playoff,” said Brown. “I was pretty confident the number would be even. I needed three or four things to happen for 1 over to be the number and they did. I backed into that playoff for sure. I was happy to have another chance.”

  Defending champion Scott McNeil of Bala Golf Club carded rounds of 78 and 77 to tie for 44th place.

  At various points throughout the day, seven different players held the lead. A bit of a breeze and championship greens kept the field compact.

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


*Matthew Mattare, Saucon Valley Country Club


Michael R. Brown, Jr., Philadelphia Publinks GA


Matthew Finger, DuPont Country Club


Jeff Osberg, Huntingdon Valley Country Club


Scott McLaughlin, Lu Lu Country Club


Gregor Orlando, Philadelphia Cricket Club


John Brennan, Philadelphia Cricket Club


Michael McDermott, Merion Golf Club


Christopher Ault, Yardley Country Club


Ben Feld, Green Valley Country Club


Michael Hyland, Little Mill Country Club


Benjamin Smith, Huntingdon Valley Country Club


Dan Bernard, Aronimink Golf Club


Dan Rudershausen, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club


Peter Barron, III, Stone Harbor Golf Club


Brian McDermott, Llanerch Country Club


Nathan Sutherland, Heidelberg Country Club


Conrad Von Borsig, Philadelphia Cricket Club


Chris Lange, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club


Matthew Gaffney, Running Deer Golf Club


John Murphy, II, Stone Harbor Golf Club


David Liotta, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club


Stephen Dressel, St. Davids Golf Club


Chip Lutz, LedgeRock Golf Club


Jack Wallace, Philadelphia Cricket Club


William Jeremiah, Bidermann Golf Club


Dan Arison, Applebrook Golf Club


Geoffrey Cooper, North Hills Country Club


Jamie Slonis, Tavistock Country Club


Paul Bickford, Little Mill Country Club


Brian Gillespie, St. Davids Golf Club


Raymond Thompson, Overbrook Golf Club


Christopher Thude, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale


Chris Storck, LedgeRock Golf Club


Sean Seese, Huntingdon Valley Country Club


Tom Grady, Radley Run Country Club


Rodney James, Heidelberg Country Club


James Kania, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club


Ryan Gelrod, Philadelphia Cricket Club


John Robinson, Lu Lu Country Club


Daniel Pinciotti, Jr., Huntingdon Valley Country Club


Thomas Timby, Jr., Mercer Oaks Golf Course


Brendan Borst, Philadelphia Cricket Club


Sean Coyle, Llanerch Country Club


G. Patrick Dougherty, Philadelphia Cricket Club


Scott McNeil, Bala Golf Club


Kevin Haag, Makefield Highlands Golf Club


Michael Tash, Tavistock Country Club


Roc Irey, Lookaway Golf Club


Brian Winters, Spring Ford Country Club


Christopher Clauson, Lu Lu Country Club


Joe Kerrigan, Jr., Llanerch Country Club


Oscar Mestre, Overbrook Golf Club


Thomas Gramigna, Tavistock Country Club


Adam Warner, Tavistock Country Club


Tyler Rae, Bidermann Golf Club


Ari Flaisher, McCall Golf & Country Club


James Gillespie, Little Mill Country Club


Kevin Koch, Spring Ford Country Club


Michael DiMeglio, Mercer Oaks Golf Course


Eddie Johnson, Llanerch Country Club


Paul Liebezeit, Aronimink Golf Club


John Cyb, Makefield Highlands Golf Club


Edward Kelly, Jr., Old York Road Country Club


James O'Connor, Penn Oaks Golf Club


Joe Perese, Philmont Country Club


Patrick Welsh, Makefield Highlands Golf Club


Jeffrey Huntzinger, Philmont Country Club


Perry Landis, Moselem Springs Golf Club


Joseph Dulka, Bellewood Country Club



*-determined in four-hole playoff

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