Michael McDermott wasn’t feeling too good about his chances to qualify for the U.S. Mid-Amateur when he arrived at the tee at the 175-yard, par-3 17th hole at Doylestown Country Club Tuesday.
McDermott, the Merion Golf Club member and Haverford High and Saint Joseph’s product, was 1-over for his round. Then an errant tee shot left him in the right rough, 35 feet from the hole. He would have to scramble just to save par.
But then his chip got on the green, broke at least a foot and went right in the hole for a birdie. Suddenly, things looked a lot better.
The 38-year-old father of three then manhandled the 519-yard, par-5 finishing hole, reaching the putting surface in two with a 7-iron and two-putting for another birdie. His 1-under 71 left him a shot behind co-medalists Grant Skylass of Wyomissing and Jay Whitby of Wyoming, Del. and, more importantly, earned him one of just seven available tickets to the U.S. Mid-Am, which will be played Oct. 5-10 at the Country Club of Birmingham in Birmingham, Ala.
“It never looked like 1-under for me,” McDermott told the Golf Association of Philadelphia website. “I was 2-over at the turn and 1-over on the 17th tee. For me, it was a couple of bad shots and missed short putts. But I know that on a course with four par-5s, there’s always time to come back. I fought pretty hard.”
It will be McDermott’s sixth trip to the U.S. Mid-Am. He went four straight times from 2001 to 2004 and again in 2007. It has been a pretty good 2013 for McDermott with wins in the GAP Mid-Am and the Philadelphia Amateur and a third in the Philadelphia Open.
“Golf was pretty easy for parts of the summer when you have the winning touch, but the Patterson Cup and today were pretty hard,” McDermott said.
Also in the group at 1-under 71 was Philadelphia Country Club’s P. Chet Walsh, the former Archbishop Carroll boys basketball coach. Walsh’s roller-coaster round included seven birdies over the 6,589-yard, par-72 Doylestown layout.
Meanwhile, Overbrook Golf Club’s Brad McFadden earned the final ticket to Birmingham as he carded an even-par 72 and then beat 2008 U.S. Senior Amateur champion and two-time U.S. Walker Cup-winning captain George “Buddy” Marucci in a playoff. The 61-year-old Marucci, like McDermott a Haverford High product, also lost in a playoff in qualifying for the U.S. Amateur earlier this summer.
Hopefully, Marucci will have a little better luck with his first-alternate status than he did with the U.S. Amateur as a spot never opened up for him at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.
Berman finishes tied for 14th at Applebrook
Reigning Daily Times Player of the Year Cole Berman, a senior at The Haverford School, finished in a tie for 14th in the American Junior Golf Association’s CorseMax/Philadelphia Runner Junior, which concluded Tuesday at Applebrook Golf Club.
Berman had rounds of 73, 72 and 79 over the 6,678, par-71 Applebrook layout for a 224 total. That left him 10 shots back of Tony Gil of Vaughan, Ontario, who had rounds of 72, 70 and 72 for a 1-over 214 total that earned him in first AJGA victory.
Wissahickon senior Jalen Griffin was one of the other two players who shared 14th place with Berman.
A couple of Berman’s Haverford School teammates also teed it up at Applebrook. Sophomore Max Siegfried had rounds of 80, 88 and 79 to finish 45th at 247 and senior Jake Van Arkel had rounds of 84,79 and 86 to finish 47th at 249. Jack McAleese of Villanova had rounds of 83, 81 and 91 to finish 49th at 255.
On the girls side, Radnor sophomore Brynn Walker, coming off a second-place finish in the Lessing’s AJGA Classic in Bedminster, N.J. had rounds of 77, 76 and 82 to finish in a tie for 15th at 235.
Pennsbury junior Jackie Rogowicz, the runnerup in Class AAA at both the District One and PIAA tournaments a year ago, finished second at Applebrook with a 221 total, two shots back of Vinh-Hop Ngo of Newtown, Mass. Ngo had rounds of 68, 79 and 72 for a 6-over 219 total.
Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour
Agnes Irwin eighth-grader Kaitylyn Lees, the Inter-Ac League Tournament champion, and Radnor freshman Gabriella Kim continued their summer-long rivalry in a Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour stop Aug. 22 at Coatesville Country Club.
Lees carded an 82 to finish second in the 13-to-15 division, two shots ahead of Kim, who claimed third with her 84. Samantha Yao of Berwyn took the division title with a 79 over the 5,556-yard, par-72 Coatesville layout.
In the boys 16-to-18 division, Strath Haven junior Jeff Painter finished fourth with a 92.
In the boys 13-to-15 division, Jacob Calamaro of Newtown Square and John Updike of Wayne were among the four players who finished in a tie for second at 85.
D.J. Colleran of Radnor finished ninth with an 88, Connor Hale of Garnet Valley finished in a tie for 11th with a 95 and John Lesko of Wayne finished in a tie for 14th with a 98.
Billy Civitella, a member at Aronimink Golf Club, topped the nine-holers with a 40. Case Hummer of Glen Mills finished fifth with a 43 and June Kim of Wayne finished eighth with a 51.
A team of top Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour competitors traveled to Shore Gate Golf Club In Ocean View, N.J. Tuesday to compete against the top players from the New Jersey PGA Junior Tour in the Jon M. Pritsch Cup, a Ryder Cup-style event.
Among the Philadelphia contingent were Garnet Valley senior Jack Highfill and Gabriella Kim, the Radnor freshman.
The New Jersey youngsters claimed the Jon M. Pritsch Cup with a 14-4 victory.
But all the competitors were winners at the Jon M. Pritsch Cup as they get a chance to apply for scholarships that are awarded to junior golfers planning to pursue a career in a golf-related field. The Jon M. Pritsch Memorial Fund, which commemorates a talented New Jersey junior golfer who died in 1991 of heart disease at age 17, has awarded more than $140,000 in scholarships .