Zach Barbin cruises to Philly Match Play Championship win
Zach Barbin following his championship win (GAP photo)
Liberty University’s Zach Barbin kicked off the summer with six rounds of solid golf to win the 120th playing of the Philadelphia Amateur Match Play Championship.
Barbin, a rising senior for the Flames, is from Elkton, Maryland just an hour southwest of Philly. Qualifying on Monday with an even-par round of 70, Barbin was the three-seed in the 32-man match play bracket.
Making easy work of his first two matches 2 up and 6 up, Barbin squared up against Penn State’s Lukas Clark. Holding a 1 up lead on Clark for six of the first 10 holes, Barbin went on to win holes 11 and 12 to go 3 up, retaining the lead through the 16th hole to advance to the semifinals 3 & 2.
Barbin’s semifinal match was against 1996 Philadelphia Open champion, Brian Gillespie. Despite playing solid golf, Gillespie won just two holes as Barbin led wire-to-wire in a 4 & 3 win.
In the 36-hole championship match, Barbin faced St. Joseph University senior Michael O’Brien. The duo traded holes back and forth for much of the first 18 holes which saw Barbin take a 1 up advantage as they headed to the 19th hole.
Barbin turned on the afterburners as he won holes 20-22 to go 4 up and saw his lead swell to 6 up as they took the turn following hole No. 27. Battling back, O’Brien simply ran out of holes as he cut Barbin’s lead down to 4 up before Barbin birdied the par 4 15th (hole 33) to win the match and championship 5 & 3.
Not a bad run considering it was only the second time in five tries that Barbin has made match play in this event.
“I’ve been in the mix here and there. I haven’t really won anything this big in my career,” said Barbin to the GAP. “To be able to break the ice and win something like this is just an honor. Especially being one of the oldest tournaments in golf. There are no words to describe how I’m feeling. I worked really hard on my game so the fact I’ve put myself in this position and the fact I got it done and my game held up under pressure. I’m proud of myself.”
ABOUT THE Philadelphia Amateur
Format: 36-hole individual gross stroke play
qualifying on the first day. 32
players continue to match play competition with two
rounds scheduled on
the second and third days, and the final at 36 holes
on the last day.
Eligibility: Open to all GAP Member Club
golfers with handicaps of 7.0 or less. Non-exempt
players must prequalify.
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