Wednesday is going to be a tough day to play 36 holes with temperatures expected to get real close to triple figures, but that’s exactly what the area’s top golfers, pro and amateur alike, will be doing as the Golf Association of Philadelphia stages its 109th Open championship at Waynesborough Country Club.
And speaking of hot, three of the hottest players in the area will be playing in the same group.
Leading the trio is Merion Golf Club amateur Michael McDermott, who added his second Philadelphia Amateur championship at Aronimink Golf Club last month to the fourth career Middle-Amateur title he won earlier in the spring.
“I feel pretty good about my game, but everything in the past is in the past,” said the 38-year-ol d McDermott, who holds a commanding lead as he bids to win the William Hyndman III award that goes to the GAP Player of the Year for a sixth time. “The Open is a great tournament. We all start at even-par on the first. Waynesborough is a hard course. It’s going to test everybody. I’m sure it will be in great shape.”
Joining McDermott in the marquee threesome is Merion’s director of instruction Mark Sheftic. He is coming off a tie for fourth at the PGA Professional National Championship in Oregon that earned him a ticket to the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club in August. Sheftic is leading the Philadelphia Section PGA’s Drexel Morgan & Co. Player of the Year standings.
Rounding out the trio is Temple sophomore Brandon Matthews, who is playing out of Glenmaura National Golf Club. Matthews, the 2010 PIAA champion as a junior at Pittston, won the rain-shortened Patterson Cup last summer before embarking on an outstanding freshman campaign with the Owls. He just missed earning a spot in the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club with a strong showing in sectional qualifying.
The field of 78 will include 48 amateurs and 30 pros.
The reigning Philadelphia Section PGA Player of the Year, Stu Ingraham, the head of instruction at M Golf Range in Newtown Square, will be trying to win his second Philadelphia Open title, the first one coming 19 years ago.
Ingraham will be joined in his group by Radnor Valley Country Club head pro George Forster giving that group two of the very best over-50 players in area.
Among the other past champions in the field are Spring-Ford Country Club head pro Rich Steinmetz (2009), Links Golf Club pro David Quinn (2006) and amateur Michael Brown (2010), representing the Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association.
Also in the field are Overbrook Golf Club’s Kania brothers, James Jr., the 2009 William Hyndman III GAP Player of the Year, and Michael, who reached the semifinals of the Philadelphia Amateur at Aronimink. Michael Kania’s teammate on the Villanova golf team this spring, Cory Siegfried, who is playing out of Aronimink, is also in the field. Both Kanias and Siegfried are Haverford School All-Delcos.
Conrad Von Borsig, a reinstated amateur who was a two-time PIAA medalist and the 2004-05 Daily Times Player of the Year at Strath Haven, is in the field. Von Borsig, playing out of White Manor Country Club, reached the semifinals of the Philadelphia Amateur before falling to McDermott.
Also in the field are Radnor Valley Country Club’s Kavian and Carey Bina, Radnor’s All-Delco brothers from a year ago. Kavian is coming off a solid freshman season at NYU. Carey, who is headed for Wake Forest later this summer, recently qualified for next week’s U.S. Junior Amateur at the Martis Camp Club in Truckee, Calif.