Most of the time, Germantown Academy alum Ben Feld is in the office, working as an analyst at Conshohocken-based 1847 Private Client Group. The rest of the time, he’s manning his post as the head men’s golf coach at Drexel.
So, when he can squeeze it in, Feld works on his own game.
After reaching the quarterfinals twice and capturing the 2017 mid-amateur crown, Feld is back in the BMW Philadelphia Amateur’s elite eight. The Blue Bell native eased through his morning match before knocking off individual medalist Ryan Rucinski, 2 and 1, to advance to Day 3 at Whitemarsh Valley Country Club.
“It was a battle of contrasting styles,” Feld said. “Ryan was 60, 70 [yards] by me all day, but we just stuck to our game plan and stayed patient, left the ball under the hole, and made as many stress-free pars as we could.”
It wasn’t until the turn that Feld, 26, began to see any daylight. The pair began their afternoon match on the 10th hole, and a pair of birdies by Rucinski kept the Wilmington native ahead or tied until the 18th.
But with a par on No. 18 – one of 10 on the round – Feld pulled all square. And on a relatively wide-open front nine, he hit his stride, starting with a lengthy chip-in on No. 1.
“We had a really good spot picked out that we wanted to land it, and then Ryan hit his putt way past the hole,” Feld said. “Every now and then, you execute a shot the way you see it.”
From there, Feld’s good round just kept going. He poured in a 25-foot response to Rucinski’s birdie on No. 2, got up-and-down from the bunker on No. 4, and took advantage of his opponent’s four-putt double-bogey on No. 6, putting Feld up by three with three holes to play.
With his mother, Jill, and girlfriend alongside him, the victory gave Feld something to smile about. Just two weeks ago, his father, Larry, died, prompting Feld to put things into perspective.
“I just love competing, and I’m having more fun playing golf than I ever have,” he said. “That becomes more and more the case with each passing year. … Golf isn’t the most important thing.”
Feld still has work to do if he’s going to have his breakthrough at the Philly Amateur. He will kick off Thursday’s play at 7:30 a.m. against Temple’s Marty McGuckin.
The morning matches will set the field for the afternoon’s semifinals, which will tee off around noon.