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106th Open Championship Playoff (Four-hole aggregate then sudden-death)

Hole, par, yardage

No. 1 (4, 400)

No. 2 (4, 415)

No. 17 (3, 202)

No. 18 (4, 340)

No. 1 (4, 400)

Michael Brown

4

4

4

4

4

Greg Farrow

4

5

3

4

5

Brown edges Farrow on 41st hole for 106th Open Championship

  HUNTINGDON VALLEY, Pa.–Morning turned into afternoon and eventually night, before amateur Michael Brown of Lookaway GC secured the 106th Open Championship on a sweltering and sticky Wednesday at Philmont CC’s treacherous North Course (par 70, 6,665 yards). Brown, patient and determined throughout, parred the 41st hole at 8:40 p.m. to outlast professional Greg Farrow of Deerwood CC more than 13 hours after the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s third oldest championship started.

  Brown and Farrow finished the 36 holes of regulation at 2-over-par 142 and found themselves tied once again at the conclusion of the four-hole aggregate playoff at 1 over (Holes 1-2-17-18). A sudden-death playoff under the moonlight immediately ensued.

MICHAEL BROWN
  The two, playing No. 1 (par 4, 400 yards) for the fourth time, both found the fairway off the tee on the dog leg right and faced similar approach shots. Farrow had 158 yards remaining and Brown 152. Stuck on autopilot, the duo’s 8-irons darted through the night and onto the green with Brown coming up 40 feet short of the cup and Farrow stopping 15 feet right of the hole.

  Brown, who later said he had a comparable putt earlier in the day, somehow, someway cozied his birdie try up to a foot. “I really couldn’t see but I couldn’t hit a better putt,” said Brown. Farrow, with a chance for the win, charged his effort a bit and watched the right-to-left breaker rim out on the high side. Staring at three feet from the other direction, Farrow’s follow-up, shockingly, since the quality of play was strong considering the difficult conditions, came up short and left. “I miss-hit it and didn’t hit it hard enough,” Farrow said of the second putt. “I hit a good first putt and probably if it ran by two feet it would have gone right in. I caught a lot of the hole and it spun it a little bit.”

  The victory by Brown marked only the 13th time an amateur has captured the Open Championship. Mark Miller of Yardley CC was the last amateur to do so in 2007. In all, only seven individual Amateur players have won the tournament. Jay Sigel heads that group with six victories.

  “I’m surprised to say the least. Philadelphia has some of the strongest players in the country and to be playing against the pros and for an amateur to win …. it’s not likely,” said Brown, 37, of Cheltenham, Pa. “I’m pleasantly surprised. I knew I could win it, but I’m surprised.”

Greg Farrow (center) is presented the low professional top prize
by Rich Meehan (left), the GAP President, and Andy Karff of the
GAP Executive Committee who is also a Philmont CC member.
  Farrow, 59, of Marlton, N.J., was looking to become the oldest Open Champion in the modern era. Records put legendary figure William Hyndman, III at age 53 after winning the 1969 Open.

  “I’m still playing well and it seems to be getting better and better,” said Farrow when asked of his age. “That’s what makes golf so great. To everybody out there, keep playing and keep trying.”

  Brown and Farrow did that and then some.

  In the end, it was a fantastic duel to see who would blink first and not last.

  The four-hole aggregate playoff provided a prime example of that.

  The two recorded benign pars on No. 1 before the methodical Brown moved a stroke ahead on No. 2 (par 4, 415 yards) when he converted a tremendously delicate up-and-down from the right greenside rough. Farrow carded a bogey on the hole with an 8-iron from 147 yards that bounced off the back of the putting surface. The unforced error resulted in a long birdie try from the back fringe that stopped three feet short and his ensuing par effort rolled by the edge.

  The third playoff hole was No. 17 (par 3, 202 yards), a graveyard for many Open contenders on this day. It offered a long carry into a green with a severe back-to-front slope and a difficult top-right hole location. Brown, up first, and like he did in the second round when he entered the 17th with a one-shot lead, hit his 5-iron into the right, front greenside bunker. Farrow, seeing Brown blink, rocketed a 3-iron onto the left portion of the green 25 feet from the cup. Brown escaped the sand but couldn’t avoid bogey. Farrrow rolled his initial try up to three feet and saved par to tie Brown yet again.

  On No. 18 (par 4, 340 yards), both players recorded solid drives and wedge shots that flew long of the hole but in makeable territory. Farrrow had 30 feet remaining and Brown 20 feet, both downhill and bending a bit right-to-left. Both gave it the old college try, but left the 40th hole of the day the same place they started, deadlocked.

  In regulation, Farrow finished his 36 holes approximately two hours before Brown, following up a spectacular morning-round 68 with a Jekyll-and-Hyde-ish 74. Farrow opened his second and final round with five bogeys in his first six holes before getting his groove back on No. 13 (par 4, 318 yards). He hit a lob wedge from 80 yards to three feet and made the birdie. On No. 14 (par 4, 488 yards), Farrow knocked a 3-iron on for his approach and drained a 30 footer. He would finish with four straight pars.

  Brown, too, had his share of hiccups coming home. He made the turn on his front nine for Round 2 at 2 over before registering four birdies, four bogeys and one par on his inward side. After sandwiching two bogeys between birdies, Brown bogeyed No. 14 (par 4, 488 yards) from 60 feet after three-putting from the far left portion of the green to fall back to 3 over. His chances seemed in trouble with a quartet of challenging holes remaining. However, Brown responded in grand style, draining a 40-footer for birdie on No. 15 (par 4, 401 yards) and on No. 16 (par 4, 453 yards) knocking a pitching wedge from 143 yards to inches. He entered No. 17 at the top of the leaderboard, but as previously stated, found the right greenside bunker and could manage only bogey.

  This was Brown’s second Golf Association of Philadelphia Major title. He won the 2009 Middle-Amateur Championship at Tavistock CC, ironically, in a four-hole playoff.

  Farrow, though losing the title, was still the low professional and took home the $6,000 top prize.

Name, club

Rd. 1

Rd. 2

Total

*(a) Michael Brown, Lookaway Golf Club

70

72

142

*Gregory Farrow, Deerwood Country Club

68

74

142

William Sautter, Philadelphia Cricket Club

75

68

143

John Appleget, Wildwood Golf & Country Club

71

73

144

(a) Matthew Mattare, Saucon Valley Country Club

69

75

144

(a) Robert Galbreath, Jr., Philmont Country Club

76

69

145

(a) Tucker Koch, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve

68

78

146

(a) Andrew Mason, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

75

71

146

(a) Glenn Smeraglio, Mercer Oaks Golf Course

73

73

146

John Pillar, Sr., Country Club at Woodloch Springs

69

77

146

Mark Parson, Hidden Creek Golf Club

75

73

148

Mark Sheftic, Merion Golf Club

75

73

148

Travis Deibert, Commonwealth National Golf Club

73

75

148

Joey Pohle, Philadelphia Cricket Club

70

79

149

Stuart Ingraham, MGolf Driving Range and Learning Center

74

75

149

(a) Mike Meisenzahl, Hidden Creek Golf Club

77

72

149

Rich Steinmetz, Spring Ford Country Club

76

73

149

Scott Hunter, Overbrook Golf Club

70

79

149

(a) Thomas Gramigna, Tavistock Country Club

73

77

150

Terry Hertzog, Bent Creek Country Club

72

78

150

(a) Justin Martinson, Hartefeld National

74

76

150

(a) Brian Creghan, Philadelphia Publinks GA

77

74

151

Graham Dendler, Trenton Country Club

78

73

151

(a) Michael Kania, Overbrook Golf Club

79

73

152

George Frake, II, Little Mill Country Club

73

80

153

Michael Sokalski, Philmont Country Club

78

75

153

Brian Kelly, Bucknell Golf Club

74

79

153

Andy Watters, Lu Lu Country Club

71

82

153

Chris Krueger, Kings Creek CC

73

80

153

Nevin Sutcliffe, Back Creek Golf Club

82

72

154

(a) James Braunsberg, Blue Bell Country Club

79

76

155

John Allen, Sunnybrook Golf Club

77

78

155

(a) Peter Barron, III, Stone Harbor Golf Club

76

79

155

(a) Matt Raudenbush, Pine Valley Golf Club

81

74

155

Rick Hughart, Tavistock Country Club

79

76

155

John Spina, Philadelphia Cricket Club

79

77

156

David Quinn, Links Golf Club

79

77

156

Michael Moses, Concord Country Club

77

79

156

Michael Paukovits, Stonewall

80

76

156

(a) Dan Bernard, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve

82

75

157

Tony Perla, Bellewood Golf Club

80

77

157

Adam Condello, Aronimink Golf Club

79

78

157

(a) Matt Smith, Lancaster Country Club

75

82

157

(a) Ryan McCarty, Little Mill Country Club

76

81

157

(a) Greg Matthias, Hartefeld National

78

80

158

George Forster, Radnor Valley Country Club

73

85

158

(a) Cory Siegfried, Philadelphia Country Club

79

79

158

(a) Oliver White, Manufacturers Golf & Country Club

82

76

158

(a) Robert Robertson, Philadelphia Cricket Club

75

84

159

(a) Rich Thon, The Springhaven Club

81

79

160

(a) Joseph Gunerman, Jericho National Golf Club

82

78

160

Barry Dear, Garrison's Lake Golf Club

76

84

160

Alexander Knoll, Bethlehem Golf Club

87

74

161

(a) Brian Gillespie, St. Davids Golf Club

79

82

161

Neil Maurer, The Peninsula

77

84

161

(a) Brian Herman, Merchantville Country Club

83

80

163

(a) Joseph Fabrizio, Jr., Aronimink Golf Club

81

83

164

(a) John Fasy, Wilmington Country Club

82

83

165

(a) Jack Wallace, Burlington Country Club

82

83

165

(a) Todd Vonderheid, Huntsville Golf Club

81

84

165

(a) Michael Ashcraft, Brookside C.C. of Allentown

84

82

166

(a) John Langlas, Hidden Creek Golf Club

86

81

167

(a) Rick Hendrickson, Hidden Creek Golf Club

89

78

167

Sean Driscoll, Hidden Creek Golf Club

83

88

171

(a) Greg Verde, Spring Ford Country Club

89

83

172

Ben Debski , Hidden Creek Golf Club

88

86

174

Dick Smith, Jr., Woodcrest Country Club

79

WD

WD

(a) Sean Leonard, Tavistock Country Club

77

WD

WD

(a) Andy Achenbach, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve

76

WD

WD

(a) James Gillespie, Wedgwood Country Club

WD

(a) James Kania, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club

WD

 

(a)-denotes amateur

*-determined in four-hole aggregate playoff followed by one sudden-death playoff hole

WD-withdrawal

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