Saucon Valley Country Club’s Matthew Mattare finally got the Golf Association of Philadelphia major championship that had proven to be elusive when he prevailed in a three-way aggregate playoff to capture the Middle-Amateur Championship presented by Callaway Golf Thursday at Waynesborough Country Club.
Mattare, a 30-year-old who works in wealth management at Morgan Stanley, added a 1-over 72 on the 6,859-yard, par-71 Waynesborough layout to his opening-round 71 for a 1-over 143 total. Michael Brown, a Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association entry, was also in the clubhouse at 143 after a 1-under 71.
Matthew Finger of DuPont Country Club, a first-round co-leader with a 2-under 69, was still on the course with a chance to take the title. A par on the par-5 finishing hole would have given Finger the country. He left himself a four-foot putt for par and couldn’t convert it. Finger, whose week began with a berth in match play at the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y., finished with a 3-over 74 to join Mattare and Brown at 1-over 143.
The key shot in the four-hole aggregate playoff for Mattare was on the third hole, the 371-yard, par-4 eighth hole, when he hit a lob wedge from 108 yards away to three feet and holed the birdie putt. On the final hole of the playoff, the ninth, Mattare had two putts for his first GAP major.
“Philly is my home,” Mattare, who lives in Jersey City, N.J., told the GAP website. “These are the most important tournaments of the year to me. I have a great group of friends down here. It means everything.
“You look at all the guys who have won over the last couple of years, a bunch of friends like Jeff Osberg, Michael McDermott and John Brennan, it’s great to join their little club.”
Osberg of Huntingdon Valley Country Club posted a 73 and headed a group of three players tied for fourth at 2-over 144. He was joined at that figure by Scott McLaughlin (74-70) of LuLu Country Club and Gregor Orlando (70-74) of Philadelphia Cricket Club.
Brennnan, also of the Cricket Club, added a 73 Thursday to his opening-round 72 to finish alone in seventh place at 3-over 145. McDermott, a four-time winner of the Middle-Amateur who plays out of Merion Golf Club, fired a 1-under 70 to finish in a tie for eighth at 4-over 146. He was joined at that figure by Christopher Ault (75-71) of Yardley Country Club.