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Reading’s Alex Blickle outlasts Jeff Osberg in a playoff to win the Pennsylvania Open at Philadelphia Cricket Club

The playoff went four holes on a brutally hot day before Blickle sank a 2-foot birdie putt to grab the victory and the $8,000 first prize given to the low professional.

Jeff Osberg finished second Alex Blickle in the 105th Pennsylvania Open.
Jeff Osberg finished second Alex Blickle in the 105th Pennsylvania Open.Read moreYONG KIM / Staff Photographer

It was the fourth hole of a sudden-death playoff for the championship of the 105th Pennsylvania Open and Alex Blickle figured a solid shot on his 206-yard approach from the left rough would give him the 2-putt he would need to make par and still be alive.

Blickle got a little more than that; much more, in fact. His 7-iron on the par-4 first hole at Philadelphia Cricket Club hit perfectly in front of the slope guarding the pin and jumped up level with the pin only 2 feet away.

Blickle tapped the putt in for a birdie to outlast Jeff Osberg on a brutally hot day and take the title plus the $8,000 first-prize check given to the low professional.

“My plan wasn’t to get it to that back slope,” said Blickle, 29, a mini-tour pro from Reading. “It was to get it in front and give myself the best chance of a two-putt par as possible. The guy I played with in regulation actually went over the green and I saw how dead that was.

“So I figured that was a miss I couldn’t make. So I just hit one really, really pure right at the flag and it happened to get up top. With that admittance that I wasn’t trying to get it all the way back there, it’s certainly one of the best results in the best situations.”

Blickles’ final-round 71 ended with a birdie at the 18th that forced the playoff at even-par 210 with Osberg, who fired a 73. Each contestant went par-bogey-par in the playoff at 18, 1 and 18 before Blickle finally decided it.

Osberg, 37, a four-time Golf Association of Philadelphia player of the year, almost led from wire-to-wire after opening with a 5-under-par 65, carding eight birdies in his first 29 holes to get to 6-under at one point in the second round. However, the birdies stopped falling in his final 29 holes — zero, to be exact, including some good looks on the greens.

“When I came off nine, I said, ‘I’m still hitting it good, let’s see how many birdie looks I can get and one’s going to fall,’” the Pine Valley member said. “I had a good look on 11, 13, 14, but the same thing as [Tuesday]. I made some good par saves, on 15, a bogey on 16. For some reason my par putts were going in but I couldn’t get a birdie putt to go in [Tuesday] or today.”

Overbrook’s Trevor Bensel, playing in the last group, shot 73 and tied for third at 212 with Finley Mason of the Cricket Club, who shot a 70. Anthony Sebastianelli of Clarks Summit fired the day’s best round, a 69, and finished in a four-way tie for fifth at 214.