Jeremy Wall walked off the first green early Saturday with a 1-up advantage as the sun was still rising over Whitemarsh Valley Country Club.
36 holes later, he did the same, this time getting a hug from his mom.
Wall, 22, outlasted Huntingdon Valley's Andrew Mason to capture the 118th BMW Philadelphia Amateur title in Lafayette Hill on Saturday afternoon. After Wall led by 4 shots through the first 18 holes and by 3 after 28, the Brielle, N.J., native twice coughed up a lead before converting a par on the 37th hole of the day to wrap things up.
"I was getting very ahead of myself and that's the worst thing you can do," Wall said. "All of sudden, I'm on the seventh tee and I'm all square, and coming back from that is what I'm most proud of."
Nothing was pretty for Wall on the road to victory. The recent Loyola (Md.) graduate hit just eight of 29 fairways and found himself constantly scrambling.
After landing in a trap well left of the fairway on the 35th hole, not even a miraculous slice could keep Mason, a former pro, from squaring things with just one hole to play.
But after both made bogey on the 36th and Mason's drive on the 37th found a fairway bunker, the door was open for Wall to bring the marathon to an end.
"First, the play was getting some water — I was gassed after 36 holes and coming up No. 18," Wall said with a laugh. "I would've pulled driver if Andrew had striped it. … I wasn't rooting for him to hit a bad shot, but after I saw him hit that lip, I just knew I had to get it in play."
Instead of hitting the driver like he had all week, Wall pulled a four-iron out and put himself just into the left rough. Wall then put his second shot about 20 feet below the pin and 2-putted to force Mason to convert a par of his own.
The Conshohocken native couldn't get a four-foot putt to drop and extend the match further.
"I felt lucky I was there," Mason said of even getting to the 37th hole. "I still like I've been out of the game. When I'm competing, though, I still feel confident in myself."
All week, Wall carried his bag, playing without a caddy just as he did in college.
Saturday, he carried himself to a momentous occasion in his amateur career.