It figures to be a test of both golf skill and stamina Wednesday when 72 players compete in the Philadelphia Open, a one-day, 36-hole test being held at Huntingdon Valley Country Club.
A field of 31 professionals and 41 amateurs assembled for the 107th Open conducted by the Golf Association of Philadelphia will find the hilly course playing hard and fast. Add temperatures expected in the mid 90s and stifling humidity and survival would appear to be the biggest challenge of the day.
Amateur Michael Brown of Lookaway Country Club is back to defend his title. Brown won a 41-hole marathon, one that included a four-hole aggregate-score playoff and one sudden-death hole against Greg Farrow of Deerwood, in last year’s event at Philmont Country Club. The tournament ended in near-darkness, 13 hours after it began.
Among the past champions in the field include two-time winner Brian Kelly of Bucknell, who last captured the Open in 2003, the most recent time it was contested at Huntingdon Valley.
Other past Open winner are John Appleget of Wildwood, Stu Ingraham of M-Golf, Graham Dendler of Trenton, David Quinn of Links, Rich Steinmetz of Spring Ford and Chris Lange of Overbrook.
In addition to Brown and Lange, the amateur contingent is led by Michael McDermott of Merion, five-time winner of the William Hyndman III Award as GAP player of the year; 2011 Middle Amateur champion Glenn Smeraglio of Mercer Oaks and brothers Michael and James Kania Jr. of Overbrook.