Jeff Osberg is a veteran of the BMW Philadelphia Amateur. So when he stepped up to the tee Tuesday at the North course of Stonewall and hit his first shot of the day so deep into the hazard that he couldn’t find it, he just shrugged, made a bogey, and moved on.
The 34-year-old Osberg fared much better on the rest of his 36 holes of qualifying, carding rounds of 1-under-par 69 in windy conditions on both the North and Old courses, and winning medalist honors by three strokes to enter match play as the No. 1 seed.
“Losing the ball on the first swing of the day wasn’t the ideal start, but it was a long day, so I didn’t really think too much of it,” said Osberg, the 2014 champion of this event, who lives in Bryn Mawr and played out of Pine Valley.
“I think the 36-hole experience really helps, just staying patient. I seem to always have done well in the 36-hole days with the U.S. Am qualifiers and the Philly Am qualifiers. It’s a lot of golf. I think not getting too down on yourself when something doesn’t go right, and not getting too high on yourself when you’re playing well, staying even-keeled, is important on a day like today.”
Zach Barbin of Loch Nairn and Andrew Cornish of RiverCrest tied for second place at 141, one stroke ahead of Kevin Scherr of Woodstone and David Hicks of the Shore Club. Austin Barbin, the younger brother of Zach, was tied at 143 with Max Siegfried of Aronimink.
The top 32 finishers moved on to Wednesday’s opening round of match play on the Old course. The cut was 10-over 150, with six contestants playing off for the final two spots.
The wind proved to be a challenge for the field. Osberg said that the wind was worse in the morning, but that he struck some fine iron shots into good positions on the greens. He also went 5-under par on Stonewall’s six par-5’s over the two courses.
“I think that my caddie, John Leighton, and I took enough time to figure out, do we want to play to the front edge or the back edge?” he said. “I definitely worked on flighting the ball, a lot of punch shots, a smooth swing just trying to keep the ball out of the wind, and it worked out well.”
Zach Barbin, 20, who just finished his junior season at nationally ranked Liberty, fired a 67 on the North course in the morning and an afternoon 74 on the Old, where he struggled to hit greens.
“I think maybe it was more because I was tired,” he said. “I chipped really well. I shot 4-over. If you told me [Monday] night when I saw the wind that I was going to be 141, I would take that every time.”
Cornish, whose family moved from San Diego to Pottstown two years ago, had solid rounds of 71 and 70 in his first Philadelphia Amateur.
“I played well and I love the course out here,” said Cornish, 20, who is entering his senior year at Penn State-Berks. “I couldn’t ask for much of a better day, not a cloud in the sky. My goal was to just make match play, and I’m very happy to be able to do that.”
Qualifiers for match play:
(Old course score, followed by North course score)
Jeff Osberg, Pine Valley, 69-69—138
Andrew Cornish, RiverCrest 71-70—141
Zach Barbin, Loch Nairn 74-67—141
Kevin Scherr, Woodstone 70-72—142
David Hicks, Shore Club 69-73—142
Max Siegfried, Aronimink 73-70—143
Austin Barbin, Loch Nairn 78-65—143
Patrick Sheehan, Talamore 74-70—144
Jack Wall, Manasquan River 75-69—144
Eric Williams, Honesdale 76-68—144
Zachary Falcone, Sakima 75-70—145
Vince Kwon, Huntingdon Valley 73-72—145
Danny Harcourt, Mercer Oaks 70-76—246
Peter Bradbeer, Merion 73-74—147
Dan Close, Woodcrest 74-73—147
Ambrose Abbracciamento, Jericho National 73-74—147
Troy Vanucci, Little Mill 74-73—147
Matthew Mattare, Saucon Valley 73-74—147
Ben Feld, Green Valley 77-70—147
Michael O’Brien, Bala 79-69—148
Cole Berman, Phila. Cricket 73-75—148
Benjamin Smith, Huntingdon Valley 77-71—148
Jeremy Wall, Manasquan River 75-73—148
Marty McGuckin, Phila. Cricket 77-71—148
Kyle Deisher, Five Ponds 73-76—149
Patrick Knott, Merion 76-73—149
Christopher Ault, Yardley 72-77—149
Mariano Medico, Fox Hill 74-75—149
Adam Sutovich, Brookside 76-73—149
Conrad Von Borsig, Phila. Cricket 76-73—149
X-William Mirams, Shawnee 77-73—150
X-Carey Bina, Radnor Valley 78-72—150