Saucon Valley's Mattare wins Penn Mid-Am on home course
Matthew Mattare (PGA photo)
Matthew Mattare (PGA photo)

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (Sept. 18, 2018) – Weather threw a curveball at the 25th Pennsylvania Mid-Amateur. Despite the event being shortened from 36 to 18 holes and many players having to wait to finish their round on Tuesday, a familiar name was holding the trophy at the end of it all. Saucon Valley Country Club's own Matthew Mattare finished at 6-under 66 on his home club's Weyhill course to win the championship, which was presented by LECOM.

"I knew it was going to be kind of a sprint today," said Mattare, referring to the finish since the event was shortened to a single round.

Despite carding three birdies on Monday before the weather moved in, Mattare was in a tense situation when he returned to the golf course for the 9:02 a.m. resumption of play on Tuesday. He had a 15-foot putt to save par and continue his bogey-free round.

"All I was thinking was to hit a good putt on 10 and be aggressive on the back nine," Mattare said.

The first part of his thought process proved true as he rolled in the par putt to get the momentum going. He did miss a 5-footer for birdie on No. 11, but on the following hole, he made his first birdie of the day.

"I made a nice little 7-foot slider there," Mattare said of the 569-yard par-5 12th hole, which put him at 4-under par for the round.

He followed up with another birdie on No. 13, a 393-yard par 4. That one came as a result of a 15-foot putt. Mattare then made it three in a row when he knocked his approach pin high to about 15 feet on No. 14 and then poured it in.

That put him at 6-under par for the round. Wil Naylor of Applebrook Golf Club had the clubhouse lead after firing a 4-under 68 on Monday. Knowing that he had a bit of a cushion, Mattare focused on a pair of key tee shots down the stretch.

"I know that you've got to hit good tee shots on No. 15 and No. 17," said Mattare.

He started strong with a nice poke on the 15th that led to a gap wedge approach and a two-putt par. On the 16th, another routine par meant he was just two away. Then on No. 17, Mattare hit another solid drive and followed that up with an excellent approach but couldn't get the putt to fall. Still, he headed to the 18th with a two-shot lead. On the final hole, a nice drive was followed by a solid approach, and despite the fact that the birdie putt didn't fall, Mattare's cushion was enough to get him to another par and his first victory in the championship.

"The lucky part for us today is that we were out there in the afternoon yesterday, and the greens were a little beat up around the holes because of the weather," Mattare said. "So when we came back today, they'd gotten mowers on the greens and they were absolutely perfect. Jim (SVCC superintendent Jim Roney) and his staff are the best in the business, and it showed this week."

Naylor finished second at 4-under par. Clay Davidson and John Samaha tied for third after both fired 3-under 69. Rounding out the top five was Erik Bertrand, who shot 2-under 70.

In the Team Competition, which takes the best two of three scores for the day, Lu Lu Country Club won at even-par 144, with contributions from team members Michael Brown, Jr. (71) and James Sullivan, Jr. (73).

ABOUT THE Pennsylvania Mid-Amateur

36-hole stroke play event open to open to any male amateur golfer who is a member of a club belonging to the Pennsylvania Golf Association and is 25 years of age or older. Qualifying is required for those who do not meet the exemption criteria.

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