Drexel golf coach Ben Feld, playing out of Huntingdon Valley Country Club, had the day’s best round, a 3-under-par 67 on a rain-softened Overbrook Golf Club layout to win the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Middle-Amateur Championship presented by Callaway Golf Thursday.
Feld opened GAP’s first major championship of the season with a 1-under 69 and, despite a bogey at the par-4 18th at the 6,568-yard, par-70 Overbrook layout, finished at 4-under 136 with his closing 67.
Morning rains caused a two-hour, 20-minute delay, although the leaders got a nice window in which to play their final round.
It looked for much of the day that Feld’s fellow Huntingdon Valley member Jeff Osberg, the reigning two-time William Hyndman III Player of the Year, was going to add the only missing piece to his GAP major championship resume, but a double bogey at the 18th left him in a three-way tie for second, two shots behind Feld.
The double bogey left Osberg, who was bidding for a third straight GAP major win after taking the Philadelphia Open and the Patterson Cup to close out the 2016 major campaign, with an even-par 70 which, combined with his opening-round 68, gave him at 2-under 138 total.
Chris Lange Jr. of the host club, who fired a second straight 1-under 69, and St. Davids Golf Club’s Stephen Dressel, who was the opening-round leader with a sparkling 66, but fell back with a 2-over 72 Thursday, joined Osberg in the group tied for second at 138.
Defending champion Matthew Mattare of Saucon Valley Country Club carded a second straight even-par 70 to finish tied for fifth at even-par 140. Mattare shared fifth place with James Gillespie of Little Mill Country Club, who added a 3-over 73 to his opening-round 67.
Feld started slowly with a bogey at the fourth, but then ripped off three straight birdies at five, six and seven to get to 3-under. After making birdies at 13 and 17, he arrived at the 18th tee at 5-under, but gave back a shot at the last with a bogey.
Osberg got it to 5-under with four birdies in a seven-hole stretch, at seven, nine 12 and 13, around a bogey at the 11th. He fell back to 3-under with back-to-back bogeys at 15 and 16, but was tied for the lead at 4-under with a birdie at the 17th. His double bogey at the 18th hole dropped him back into the tie for second.
Peter Barron III of Stone Harbor Golf Club finished alone in seventh place at 1-over 141 after firing a 1-under 69 in the second round.
Merion Golf Club’s Michael McDermott, a four-time Middle-Amateur champion, added an even-par 70 to his opening-round 72 to get a share of eighth place at 1-over 142. Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Michael Carr was also at 142 after a 4-over 74. He had opened with a 2-under 68 Wednesday.
The Cricket Club’s Conrad Von Borsig, the 2009 BMW Philadelphia Amateur champion, rounded out the top 10 as he finished alone in 10th with scores of 72 and 71 and a 3-over 143 total.
Dan Brown of Llanerch Country Club added a 74 to his opening-round 70 to finish alone in 11th place at 4-over 144.
A couple of former Middle-Amateur champions, 2010 winner Thomas Gramigna of Tavistock Country Club, who had a 74, and 2010 winner Michael R. Brown Jr. of LuLu Country Club, who had a 70, finished tied for 12th at 5-over 145.
A couple of other Llanerch guys, Tom Spano and Stephen Seiden, were among a group of three players who finished tied for 14th at 6-over 146. Each carded a 1-over 71 Thursday after opening up with a 75.
They were joined at 146 by William Jeremiah of Bidermann Golf Club, who had a pair of 73s.