ARDMORE, PA (June 13, 2016) -- There are many layers to Patrick Ross’ medalist performance in the 116th BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship Qualifier. The top of it all, he earned the No. 1 seed in match play.
Add in the enormity of that accomplishment, both personally and golf career wise and the layers stack up.
Howling morning winds calmed a bit in the afternoon under sunny skies Monday, but both Qualifier venues – Merion Golf Club (East, par 70, 6,383 yards) and Philadelphia Country Club (par 71, 6,934 yards) – played in hard-and-fast championship conditions. The scoring average at Merion was 10 shots above par; PCC eight shots above.
When the field of 134 players finished 18 holes at each site, Ross found himself atop the scoreboard at 2-over 143. He edged former Temple University teammate Matthew Teesdale of Commonwealth National Golf Club by two shots. Michael McDermott of Merion Golf Club and Chris Ault of Yardley Country Club tied for third at 146.
The final two match play contestants for the bracket of 32 were determined in a 6-for-2 playoff. The playoff was for players at a score of 154, 13 over. Bill Jeremiah of Bidermann Golf Club and Glenn Smeraglio of Lu Lu Country Club advanced. The playoff went two holes (Nos. 13 (par 3, 109 yards) and 14 (par 4, 413 yards) at Merion).
“It means a lot. Philadelphia golf is so historic, to have your name attached to GAP and to be medalist in something like this is definitely a big accomplishment for me,” said Ross, 24, of Huntsville Golf Club and Dunmore, Pa. “It does mean a lot and knowing that my teammates have done it before me kind of makes me feel a little bit better about myself that I can join them, too.” Former Ross teammates Teesdale and Brandon Matthews have each won multiple Association Majors.
The Round of 32 matches begin at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday at Merion (East). Ross faces Jeremiah. The Round of 16 matches follow at 12 p.m. The quarterfinals and semifinals are set for Wednesday. The 36-hole final takes place on Saturday.
This is the first time in 62 years Merion (East) has hosted the Amateur.
Ross opened his final Amateur, he told reporters after his round he was turning professional next week in time for the Vermont Open (June 20-22), with a 1-under 70 at Philadelphia Country. He noted that a winding, 20-foot par save on No. 18 (par 4, 390 yards) breathed some life into his first round, one that saw him card two birdies and seven pars to close out with the morning round’s only under-par score. He held a three-shot lead.
He recorded birdies on No. 4 (par 4, 467 yards) with an 8-iron to 10 feet before sinking the putt and then on No. 6 (par 5, 500 yards) dropped a 3-iron from 219 yards to 15-feet and two putted.
“My goal coming in was to try and be medalist,” said Ross. “I didn’t change my game plan at all after the round of Philly Country. You still try to shoot the best possible score.”
At Merion, a triple bogey-bogey on holes No. 6 (par 4, 425 yards) and No. 7 (par 4, 356 yards), respectively, put the medalist honor in doubt before three birdies in the last six holes allowed him to edge Teesdale. All coming on the strength of strong wedge work.
“I really take this as two tournaments, a stroke play and a match play part,” said Ross. “It gives me a lot of confidence going into tomorrow but that’s a new ball game. Everyone has a clean slate.”
Ross entered the Amateur only weeks removed from the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship, where he and partner Brandon Matthews were medalists at Winged Foot Golf Club. The two fell in the quarterfinals.
Ross hopes to build upon that success. He’s never advanced further than the second round of match play at the Amateur.
Teesdale posted rounds of 74 (PCC) and 71 (Merion) to place second.
He called his game rusty. Employment searching has led to less time on the range.
“The most important part about a qualifier is qualifying,” said Teesdale, 25 of Maple Glen, Pa. “Getting into the Top 32 was the idea. I played some good golf on the second 18. I felt the game coming around.”
Defending champion Cole Berman of Philadelphia Cricket Club tied for 18th at 151 (76 PCC, 75 Merion). He is the No. 19 seed.
View results for BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship