Three-time champion Michael McDermott and 2017 winner Gregor Orlando will lead a field of 134 players into Tuesday’s 36-hole qualifying for the 118th BMW Philadelphia Amateur championship.
The contestants will play 18 holes at both Whitemarsh Valley Country Club and Green Valley Country Club. The top 32 players will advance to match play at Whitemarsh Valley on Wednesday and Thursday, with the two survivors squaring off Saturday in the 36-hole championship match at the same venue.
McDermott, 43, of Merion Golf Club, won his first championship at Whitemarsh Valley in 2008 with an impressive finish, playing his final 22 holes in 9 under par to defeat Cole Willcox, 6 and 4. He said one of his best memories was taking a photo after the match with his 2-month-old son, who is now 10.
“It’s amazing what life was like back then,” McDermott said in an interview with the Golf Association of Philadelphia. “That win at Whitemarsh was my first Amateur victory after a lot of heartbreaking finishes. You go into this week free and full of great memories.”
McDermott, who finished second in last month’s GAP Mid-Amateur, also won Philadelphia Amateur titles in 2013 and 2016.
Orlando, 27, of Philadelphia Cricket Club, tied for the second-largest winning margin in the championship’s history last year with a 9-and-8 victory on his home course over Grant Skyllas.
“Winning the Amateur was thrilling,” Orlando told GAP. “It is the biggest win I have ever had, and it will be something I will always cherish and always remember.”
Other past champions in the field are Cole Berman (2015) of Philadelphia Cricket, Jeff Osberg (2014) of Huntingdon Valley, Conrad Von Borsig (2009) of Cricket, Scott Ehrlich (2004) of White Manor, and Brian Gillespie (2001) of St. Davids.