Bradford Tilley (MGA photo)
There isn’t a player on a better streak in the Northeast right now than Bradford Tilley. The 36-year-old won the Metropolitan Golf Association Mid-Amateur on Tuesday, just days after winning the New York Mid-Amateur. He won the latter title with considerable flair, to boot.
Tilley drained a 50-foot par-saving putt on the final hole at Wee Burn Country Club in Darien, Conn., to win the title by one shot over Chester Patterson and Jonathan Jeter.
Tilley entered the final day one shot behind Patterson and Matthew Rendell, who both opened with rounds of even-par 72. Playing his first 16 holes in even-par, Tilley jumped in front of Patterson by a shot, but his tee shot on 17 found the left trees for the second straight day. From there, it took him several shots to get back into position.
"When I finally got it back out in play after hitting a bunch of trees, I told myself to focus on making the up-and-down for triple," said Tilley of his trouble on the hole.
From 88 yards, he knocked it to a couple feet and made his seven. He headed to the final hole trailing Patterson by two shots, but things got even crazier from there.
"I knew I was down one or two after my mess on 17 and I just wanted to try to make an eagle," said Tilley of his thoughts heading to the uphill, par-5 18th. "I was trying to blast a drive and pulled it and it kicked OB just by a foot."
Going back to the tee, Tilley piped his next drive down the middle and then, 252 yards away from the back hole location, smashed a 5-wood to the green's lower tier.
Patterson, meanwhile, hit his second shot out of bounds then three-putted to walk away with an 8. Still, when Tilley made his 50-footer, he thought it was for solo second.
Tilley has now won the New York State Mid-Amateur, Westchester Mid-Amateur and MGA Mid-Amateur titles in a span of 10 days. No other player has ever won all three in their career, let alone in such a short time span. Only Patrick Pierson (NYSGA & WGA) and Michael Karger (WGA & MGA) have won two of the three.
Information from the MGA used in this report
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ABOUT THE MET Mid-Amateur
This championship brings together a field of the best
30-and-over golfers the Met Area has to offer. The
hole stroke-play event is an invitational and players
gain entry based on high finishes in selected MGA
Met Area events. The winner is awarded the
Westmoreland Cup, named for long-time MGA
Tournament Director Gene Westmoreland.
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