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Saturday, October 3, 2015

McDermott, Osberg in the running for Mid-Amateur match-play berths

   Michael McDermott and Jeff Osberg, the Bryn Mawr residents and former Llanerch Country Club members, are very much in the hunt for berths in match play after Saturday’s opening round of qualifying at the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship at the John’s Island Golf Club in Vero Beach, Fla.
   McDermott, a Haverford High and Saint Joseph’s University product, carded a 3-over 74 at the 6,943-yard, par-71 North Course at John’s Island and is in a logjam of 29 players tied for 66th. Osberg, who starred scholastically at Owen J. Roberts, also shot 74, but he played the 6,855-yard, par-72 West Course, so he is in the 20-man group tied for 46th at 2-over. The top 64 players after Sunday’s second round will advance to match play.
   McDermott, representing Merion Golf Club, started slowly on the North Course, making bogeys at the first, third and fourth holes, but battled right back with birdies at the fifth, seventh and ninth holes to make the turn at even-par.
   He stumbled with a double bogey at the 10th and a bogey at the 11th, but then parred his way in from there.
   Pretty sure Osberg, representing Hungtingdon Valley Country Club, started on the back nine at the West Course and made bogey at the 10th out of the chute. He got that shot back with a birdie at the 14th. He made a double bogey at the par-5 17th, but then went into par mode, matching the card for his last 10 holes to get in at 2-over.
   Osberg and McDermott enter the U.S. Mid-Amateur 1-2 in the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s race for the William Hyndman III Award that goes to the Player of the Year. Osberg has never been the GAP Player of the Year while McDermott has won it five times, but not since 2008. Points are awarded for making match play at the U.S. Mid-Amateur and for any match wins that may follow.
   The Philadelphia Amateur was held at their old stomping grounds at Llanerch this summer and McDermott outlasted Osberg in an epic second-round match. McDermott finished second and Osberg in a tie for third in the Patterson Cup, the last GAP major of the summer in August at Chester Valley Golf Club.
   Glenn Smeraglio, a Newtown resident and Mercer Oaks Golf Club member, matched McDermott’s 74 at the North Course and is another of those 29 players at 3-over. Smeraglio is one of the eight GAP players who qualified for match play last week in the U.S. Senior Amateur at Hidden Creek Golf Club at the Jersey Shore. Smeraglio lost in the opening round of match play.
   Another name familiar to those who follow local golf, John Sawin, an All-Delco at The Haverford School more than a decade ago, got himself in the hunt for qualifying medalist honors with a 2-under 70 at the West Course Saturday.
   Sawin quit the rat race – well, his job as an investment adviser in the Silicon Valley of California – in 2014 and toured the nation, playing in big-time amateur events. He qualified locally for both the U.S. Amateur and for the U.S. Mid-Amateur, played at Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem. Sawin also blogged about his journey through the elite amateur circuit as he visited old friends and made quite a few new ones.
   Sawin is one of seven players at 2-under, although some of the 2-unders are West Course 70s like his and others are North Course 69s.  Sawin is listed as a San Francisco resident. Not sure if he’s returned to the world of high finance, but he does seem to still be playing amateur golf at a pretty high level.
   Bryan Smith of Jay, Vt. and Keith Unikel of Potomac, Md., each carded 3-under 68s at the North course while Scott Harvey, of Greensboro, N.C., who won this title at Saucon Valley a year ago, and Marc Dull of Lakeland, Fla. had 3-uner 69s at the West Course.

Berman, Davis keep running into each other

   Cole Berman and Michael Davis just can’t stop running into one another on the golf course.
They were scholastic rivals in the Inter-Ac League with Berman winning two individual titles at The Haverford School, and Davis one at Malvern Prep. Berman’s Fords usually got the best of Davis’ Friars in the team race, but Davis led Malvern Prep to a team title in his senior season in the fall of 2013.
   After outstanding freshman seasons in 2014-15, Berman at Georgetown and Davis at Princeton, there they were again, battling it out for the biggest prize in local amateur golf, the J. Wood Platt Trophy that goes to the Philadelphia Amateur champion. Berman took the title with a hard-fought 6 and 4 victory at Llanerch.
   So it shouldn’t be much of a surprise to see them running into each other again in two collegiate events in the last couple of weeks.
   Georgetown opened its season in the Navy Fall Classic, which concluded Sept. 14. It’s an event in which Berman, a Rosemont resident who plays out of the Philadelphia Cricket Club, began his collegiate career a year ago by winning the individual title. He couldn’t quite match that eye-opening effort, but he did have rounds of 72 and 70 over the par-71 Naval Academy Golf Course for an even-par 142 total that left him in a tie for 11th individually.
   More importantly, he helped the Hoyas post team scores of 284 and 283 for a 1-under 567 total that was good for second place.
   The team champion, however, was Princeton and Davis, a Newtown Square resident who plays out of Aronimink Golf Club. The Tigers fired a pair of 280s for an outstanding 8-under 560 total. Davis had rounds of 73 and 74 and his 147 total that left him in a tie for 22nd.
   Davis was only the fourth-best Princeton finisher as the Tigers were led by Marc Hedrick, who had a pair of 69s and finished in a  tie for foruth at 4-under 138.
   Berman was the Hoyas’ third-best finisher as Jack Musgrave (68-71) and Harrison Rhoades (70-69) were among the group tied for fifth at 3-under 139.
   It was another strong showing by Davis and the Tigers at last weekend’s Windon Memorial Classic against a top-notch field at Lake Shore Country Club in Glencoe, Ill.
   Princeton finished fourth behind a trio of Big Ten powers, Purdue (830), Michigan (845) and Northwestern (848), the Tigers posting rounds of 284, 289 and 280 for an 853 total.
   Davis had rounds of 71, 72 and 78 for a 221 total that left him in a tie for 50th. Quinn Prchal and Eric Mitchell led the way for the Tigers as they finished tied for 24th at 2-over 215.
   Berman and Georgetown, meanwhile, were 14 shots back of Princeton in 10th in the team standings with an 867 total  after rounds of 292, 287 and 288.
   Berman had steady rounds of 71, 74 and 71 for a 3-over 214 total that left him in a tie for 30th. Rhoades led the way for the Hoyas with rounds of 73, 68 and 70 for a 2-under 211 total that left him in a tie for ninth .
   Brian Carlson led Purdue to the team title by taking individual honors with rounds of 72, 67 and 68 for a 6-under 207 total.

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