Michael McDermott will be the first one to tell you that his friend and rival, Jeff Osberg, is the best amateur player in the Philadelphia area.
And Osberg has gone about proving that point all summer.
McDermott got his third BMW Philadelphia Amateur title by beating Osberg in a dramatic finish at Merion Golf Club’s East Course, but since then, it’s been all Osberg. Friday at his home course, Huntingdon Valley Country Club, the 32-year-old Bryn Mawr resident captured the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s final major of the season, the Patterson Cup, in a four-hole aggregate playoff with David Hicks of Wildwood Golf & Country Club.
That comes on the heels of a victory in the Philadelphia Open in another four-hole aggregate playoff, that one over Chris Crawford of Spring Mill Country Club.
The victory in the Patterson Cup also earned Osberg the Silver Cross, GAP’s stroke-play championship which combines the two BMW Philadelphia Amateur qualifying rounds with the two Patterson Cup rounds. Osberg’s 284 total edged runnerup McDermott by two shots. Osberg holds a commanding lead in his bid to win the William Hyndman III Player of the Year race for the second straight year.
“I would like the playoff to not be necessary, but it’s better than not being in the playoff,” Osberg told the GAP website. “Last year, I think I played my best golf that I’ve ever played and walked away not winning a tournament, although I did take the Silver Cross.
“I kind of walked out of that season thinking, ‘Did I get everything out of my game that I could have?’ This year it was top priority to not go another season without winning. It was unbelievable to get the win at the Open. Coming here at my home course and winning in front of the members and my family was unbelievable.”
Osberg opened up with a 2-under 68 on his 7,0276-yard, par-70 home course Thursday and held a tenuous one-shot edge with a lot of talented players chasing him.
Hicks, a sophomore at William & Mary, made four of the five birdies he recorded in his round in the last eight holes on his way to a 3-under 67 that gave him a 3-under 137 total.
Osberg, meanwhile, needed a nearly miraculous up-and-down after blowing it 10 yards over the final green to finish with a 1-under 69 and match Hicks’ 137 total.
Osberg made pars on the first three holes of the playoff, Nos. 10, 11 and 17 while Hicks was making bogeys. Osberg finished the playoff with a 16-18 edge over Hicks.
The Ridge at Back Brook’s Roland Massimino, a sophomore at Kansas State and a former New Hope standout, matched Hicks’ 67 for the low round of the day to finish third at 1-under 139. Merion Golf Club’s McDermott had a pair of 70s to finish in a tie for fourth place with another Huntingdon Valley member, Benjamin Smith, and Aronimink Golf Club’s Max Siegfried at even-par 140. Smith had rounds of 72 and 68 while Siegfried, a recent Haverford School graduate, also added a 68 Friday to his opening-round 72.
Aronimink’s Michael Davis, a junior at Princeton and a former Malvern Prep standout, was alone in seventh place with rounds of 70 and 71 for a 1-over 141 total. The Springhaven Club’s Mike Calabrese had rounds of 73 and 69 to finish alone in eighth place at 2-over 142.
Rounding out the top 10 were Green Valley Country Club’s Ben Feld and DuPont Country Club’s Matthew Finger, who finished in a tie for ninth at 3-over 143. Feld added a 71 to his opening-round 72. Finger had a 3-over 73 after opening with an even-par 70.