Middle Township High School graduate Alex Hicks advanced to the final of the 113th Philadelphia Amateur Championship golf tournament on Friday at Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, Pa.
Hicks, now a standout for The College of William & Mary, beat Michael Kania of Overbrook Golf Club 4 and 3 on Friday in the tournament semifinals.
Hicks meets Michael McDermott of Merion Golf Club in the 36-hole championship match at 8 a.m. today at Aronimink. McDermott, the 2008 Philadelphia Amateur champion, beat Conrad Von Borsig of White Manor Country Club 7 and 6 in the other semifinal. McDermott will be competing in his third final in the tournament.
Hicks, a 20-year-old Cape May Court House resident, was a three-time former Press Player of the Year at Middle, graduating in 2011. Last year was his first Philadelphia Amateur.
The Philadelphia Amateur Championship is the most prestigious amateur tournament of the Golf Association of Philadelphia, which has 143 member clubs and is the oldest in the country.
"I didn't know what to expect coming into the tournament," Hicks said in a quote on the Golf Association of Philadelphia's website.
"Last year I lost in a playoff to make match play. This year, obviously, one of my goals was to make match play. I drove it and hit it well (today). It just happened to work out great. I can't wait until (tomorrow)."
Hicks and Kania were tied after five holes, but Hicks won the next three holes. He birdied the par-4, 390-yard sixth hole with a lob wedge from 88 yards to 15 feet.
Hicks won the seventh hole with a par, while Kania, 22, hit into the trees on the right.
On the par-3, 215-yard eighth, Hicks hit 4-iron to six feet. Kania landed in a bunker on the hole and then didn't get on the green. He conceded the hole.
"I hit it right where I wanted to (on No. 8)," Hicks said. "Yesterday, I hit a 5-iron and came up a little bit short. My mindset (after moving ahead) was to just make a bunch of pars. That's what you have to do in match play, especially if you are hitting first."
Hicks had six pars on the next seven holes to win the match on the 15th hole.
Joanna Coe update
Mays Landing's Joanna Coe is two shots behind the leader after shooting a 2-under 70 in the first round of the Symetra Tour's Four Winds Invitational in South Bend, Ind.
Four players are tied for the lead at 4-under in the event at Blackthorn Golf Club. Coe had four birdies and two bogeys and is tied for 12th place. She tees off today at 12:40 p.m.