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
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
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
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.