Former Middle Township High School golfer Alex Hicks lost to Michael McDermott of Merion Golf Club 5 and 4 Saturday in the final of the 113th Philadelphia Amateur Championship at Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, Pa.
The 20-year-old Hicks, representing Wildwood Golf & Country Club, was playing in only his second Philadelphia Amateur Championship, which is the most prestigious amateur tournament of the Golf Association of Philadelphia.
The tournament started Tuesday with a stroke play round, and the top 32 finishers entered the match play round. Hicks won four rounds of match play before Saturday's 36-hole championship round.
"It was a good match," said Hicks, a Cape May Court House resident. "Aronimink was tough today. I played pretty well the entire week and got through some tough matches that could have gone either way. I didn't play my best today, but overall I'm pleased."
Hicks, a standout at The College of William & Mary, took the lead on the 412-yard second hole of the morning round by shooting a par 4, while McDermott had a bogey. But McDemott, 38, of Bryn Mawr, Pa., tied the match after winning the third hole, and he took the lead for good by shooting a par 4 on the seventh hole while Hicks shot a bogey.
"I don't do 18 holes twice very often, but I've done it before and I knew what to expect," Hicks said. "My game plan the whole week was to make pars. My coach (Jay Albaugh of William & Mary) says to make pars, and that's especially true on a course as tough as Aronimink."
McDermott, who also won the tournament in 2008, was 2 up after 18 holes. McDermott shot a par 4 to Hicks' bogey on the first hole of the second round.
Hicks scored his third and final birdie of the day on the second hole to cut the lead back to 2.
"It was a really good birdie, my best hole of the day," Hicks said. "I hit it into the right rough, but then hit an 8-iron from 160 yards to four feet away."
McDermott went up by three again on the third hole with a birdie 3 while Hicks had par. Hicks won only the 13th hole thereafter with a par 4 while McDermott had a double-bogey. McDermott clinched the championship on the 14th hole as both players shot a par 4.
"In the big picture I'm very pleased," Hicks said. "I was happy to make it to the final. Michael is a great player and he played pretty well. I'm looking forward to playing (the Philadelphia Amateur) again next year."
Joanna Coe update
Mays Landing native Joanna Coe shot an even par 72 in the second round of the Symetra Tour's Four Winds Invitational on Saturday at Blackthorn Golf Club in South Bend, Ind.
Coe made the cut and remains at 2-under for the tournament. She is six strokes behind leader Marina Alex of Wayne heading into today's final round.
Coe had four birdies and four bogeys in Saturday's round.
"Nothing special today," she posted on her Twitter feed. "Looking forward to a low round tomorrow!"
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