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Osberg Wins G.A. of Philadelphia Patterson Cup

PHOENIXVILLE, Pa.(Aug, 13, 2010) -- Jeff Osberg of Llanerch CC emerged from a compact Patterson Cup leaderboard with four straight second-round opening birdies to turn the Golf Association of Philadelphia's final Major into a runaway on Friday at RiverCrest GC & Preserve (par 71, 6,677 yards). Osberg, who along with half the field, completed yesterday’s postponed first round in the morning, finished at 6-under-par 136, four shots clear of the field. He carded consecutive 3-under-par 68s. Golf Association of Philadelphia newcomer Michael Johnson of Talamore CC, 18, of Ambler, Pa., turned in a fabulous two rounds to place second at 2 under. It was his first Patterson Cup. Travis Gahman of Philadelphia Publinks GA and Robert Galbreath, Jr. of Huntingdon Valley CC, playing together in the group ahead of Osberg, tied for third at 1-under par.

Osberg’s Patterson Cup victory also propelled the 26 year-old from West Chester, Pa., to the top of the Silver Cross Award standings, emblematic of the player with the lowest aggregate score in the qualifying rounds of the Amateur Championship and the Patterson Cup. He edged Mike Meisenzahl of Hidden Creek GC by a shot. Osberg finished at 288.

“It’s pretty special,” said a humbled Osberg of winning two trophies. “Obviously it’s something they can’t take away from me. It will be there forever. You see all these good players who have won these tournaments and it’s finally good to be one of them.”

The victories were his first in the Golf Association of Philadelphia.

Osberg’s the first individual from Llanerch CC to win the Patterson Cup since James Robertson in 1977 and the first to top the Silver Cross standings since Michael McDermott in 2003.

Heading into the second round of the 36-hole tournament, Osberg and Bill Jeremiah of Bidermann GC were tied atop the scoreboard at 3 under. Gahman and Galbreath stood a shot back.

A mere four holes later, Osberg had already distanced himself by a substantial margin.

He recorded four consecutive birdies to open up a four-shot lead at the time.

Osberg knocked a sand wedge from 85 yards to six feet on No. 1 (par 4, 343 yards); rifled a piercing 4-iron from 227 yards on the lengthy No. 2 (par 5, 529 yards) to 25 feet and two putted; drained a smooth 35 footer on No. 3 (par 3, 175 yards) after pulling his 7-iron a touch left; and on No. 4 (par 5, 525 yards) hit a 6-iron from 205 yards to 25 feet and two putted again.

He did bogey Nos. 7 (par 4, 426 yards) and No. 8 (par 4, 419 yards) courtesy of a three putt and bad swing, respectively, to give the field some hope, but drove it long on No. 9 (par 4, 320 yards), only four paces over, before chipping up to a foot for a fifth opening-nine birdie. He made the turn at 6 under, still four shots to the good.

“Obviously it’s a pretty good start. I didn’t expect to start 4 under through four [holes]. My goal was to birdie the two par 5s and par the other two holes,” said Osberg of the red-hot beginning. “I knew I was ahead but at the same time if you miss any hole here it’s a double bogey waiting to happen.”

Osberg carded a birdie, a bogey and four pars in the next six holes to hold steady, before salting the victory away on No. 16 (par 5, 592 yards) in atypical Osberg style. The long-hitter found trouble off the tee and was left with 195 yards for his third shot. For Osberg, usually all and any par 5s are reachable in two. Staring at a 50 footer from the hollow next to the green, Osberg, looking to just get it close, putted it up the hill, across the green and into the hole.

A conservative 18th (par 4, 438 yards) resulted in a meaningless bogey. No matter, he had clinched a victory in the Association’s second oldest championship.

Johnson, a recent Hatboro-Horsham High School graduate who is heading to La Salle University in a couple weeks, finished with a 2-under 69. A quiet Johnson, who only started taking golf seriously the last three years after previously focusing on baseball, carded three birdies and a bogey on his final nine to slide up the leaderboard.

“This will give me great confidence,” said Johnson. “All the top Golf Association of Philadelphia players are here.”

Defending champion James Kania, Jr. of Overbrook GC placed in a tie for 45th with a 151 total.

NOTES–G. Patrick Dougherty of Philadelphia Cricket Club aced No. 3 (par 3, 175 yards) with a 6-iron in the second round. His ball landed short of the hole and hopped forward before finding the bottom of the cup. It was his fourth career hole-in-one ... The cut line after the completion of Round 1 fell at 76. A total of 65 players advanced.

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