Conrad Von Borsig of Concord Country Club hopes that his victory yesterday can serve as practice for the big stage.
In the rain at the Old Course at Stonewall Golf Club in Elverson, Chester County, Von Borsig defeated Overbrook's James Kania Jr., 6 and 4, to win the 109th Golf Association of Philadelphia Amateur Championship.
Von Borsig, 22, a University of Virginia product and former standout at Strath Haven High, automatically qualifies for the Philadelphia Open, which is scheduled for July 22 at Bent Creek Country Club in Lancaster County.
The Swarthmore resident said he spent five days in Pinehurst, N.C., leading up to the Amateur preparing with his coach, Paul Oglesby, a former teaching pro at Merion Golf Club.
"I didn't play well last fall in college, and I saw if I wanted to be a professional golfer and make it my career, I had to rededicate myself," Von Borsig said. "Hopefully, this is the culmination of all that hard work. I haven't really missed a day of golf this whole year."
Von Borsig made a birdie on No. 4 during a downpour and was 5 up after seven holes of the 36-hole final before play was suspended for 1 hour, 57 minutes. Play resumed at noon, but the delay did not cause any problems for Von Borsig. After 13 holes, he was 7 up.
Kania, 20, a junior at the University of Kentucky and a former standout at the Haverford School, won 15 and 16, only to see Von Borsig win three straight to go 8-up with 17 to play.
After Kania took five of the next 10 holes and narrowed the lead to 4-up, the players halved No. 12. Von Borsig won No. 13 and ended the match with a gorgeous second-shot approach on the par-4 14th hole that came inches from bouncing into the cup.
"Once the rain went away and I got out of that front nine, I kind of got back into form a little bit," Kania said. "But it was too little, too late. . . . Trying to play a 27-hole match with Conrad with a 7-shot handicap, that's just not going to work."
Kania, who lives in Haverford, was trying to become part of the first father-son duo to win the Amateur. His father won the event in 1995.