IVYLAND, Pa. (May 26, 2005) -- Chris Lange of Overbrook GC completed the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s career Grand Slam. Lange, 50, of Bryn Mawr, Pa., carded a 1-over-par 145 to claim the 22nd Middle-Amateur Championship at a demanding and difficult Spring Mill CC (par 72, 7,295 yards) on Thursday.
Lange, who last summer became only the 11th amateur to capture the Philadelphia Open, is a three-time Amateur Champion (1984, 1993-94) and three-time Patterson Cup (1989, 1994, 1999) Champion. Those three tournaments, along with the Mid-Am, comprise the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Majors schedule – the Grand Slam.
"I never really thought about it until it was mentioned to me yesterday," said Lange, who carded a 2-over-par 74 in the final round. "I’m sure it’s something I will relish over the years. Obviously, back 20 years or so ago, there wasn’t a Mid-Am or Jay Sigel or Bill Hyndman would’ve have been the first. I’m not even in the same league as those two. I just had great timing on my side."
Andy Achenbach of RiverCrest GC & Preserve and Rich Pruchnik of West Chester G&CC tied for second at 5-over-par 149. Five other players finished at 7-over 151, including defending champion Michael McDermott of Merion GC.
Lange, who opened the tournament with a 1-under-par 71 on Wednesday, was out of sync for the first 11½ holes of the second round. He made the turn at 2-over-par and bogeyed the challenging 11th (par 5, 573 yards) after a poor second shot landed in the rough short of the green. His 5-wood on the par-3, 230-yard 12th found the left greenside bunker and Lange faced a difficult, long bunker shot with water on the other side. Lange dropped the chip to two feet.
He then sealed the tournament with successive birdies, a five-footer on the par-5, 13th (567 yards) and a testy left-to-right curler on No. 14 (par 4, 459 yards).
"I didn’t hit it as solid as I would’ve like," said Lange, "but I made a lot of up and downs and didn’t miss too many putts."
Achenbach and Pruchnik finished four shots behind Lange.
Achenbach, 33, of Royersford, Pa., carded a 2-over-par 74 in the group ahead of the leaders. Pruchnik playing in the final pairing with Lange, posted a 5-over-par 77. This was the top finish for both in the Mid-Am. Last year, Pruchnik placed third at Gulph Mills GC.
"Today, I didn’t really put any pressure on Chris," said Pruchnik, 39, of West Chester, Pa. "He’s just real steady. I expect him to shoot par. He doesn’t make a lot of mistakes and that makes him difficult to catch."
McDermott, the defending and two-time champion, failed to get anything going.
He carded three pars, two double bogeys, two birdies, a bogey and an eagle on his front side. His round took a fatal turn at No. 11 (par 5, 573 yards) when his drive landed out of bounds. He made bogey, the start of four straight over-par scores.
"I got down on myself a little more than I normally do," said McDermott, 30, of Havertown, Pa. "I wasn’t as ready as I have been in prior years for this tournament. At least I know now what I have to work on to get ready for the Amateur."
For complete results, click on the tournament link above.