WILMINGTON'S OTT GETS THE JOB DONE AT DELAWARE AMATEUR
(Courtesy of Brad Myers – The News Journal, 7/14/11)
MIDDLETOWN, DE -- Dan Ott never knew where he stood during the final round of the Delaware State Golf Association Amateur Championship on Wednesday. But he had some numbers in mind that might lead to success.
"I knew I had chance, just looking at the scores from the past few days," Ott said. "I thought if I shot 67, 68 I would have a real good chance."
Ott's calculations were spot on. A 68 would have won it. He bogeyed the final hole for a 69, but got the job done anyway by defeating Greg Wolfe on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff to take the title at Back Creek Golf Club.
"While I was playing, I had no idea," Ott said. "The first time I found out where I stood was when I came in [after the round]. That's when I heard we were tied."
Wolfe, the 2009 champion, began the day with a three-stroke lead. But Ott, playing ahead of Wolfe in the next-to-last group, cut the margin to one with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5.
After six solid pars to start, Wolfe bogeyed Nos. 7-9 to suddenly fall two shots behind. And unlike Ott, he knew where he stood.
"I let it get away from me at the end of the front nine. I made some tight swings," Wolfe said. "I tried to be more aggressive on the back nine, and I played OK."
Wolfe birdied the 10th and 12th holes, but Ott birdied the 11th and 13th to stay two shots ahead. Both bogeyed the 14th, and Wolfe birdied the 16th to pull within one. Ott bogeyed the 18th and Wolfe parred the last two holes, so they finished 72 holes tied at 1-under-par 283.
The playoff started on the par-4 18th, and both players reached the green in regulation. Ott hit his 60-foot birdie putt too hard, but the ball slammed into the middle of the cup and popped out, just inches away. Wolfe then left his 30-footer inches short, sending them back to the 18th tee for a second extra hole.
Wolfe said his tee shot "was only five yards left of where I was aiming, but that's five yards too much." It rolled into a bunker, and from there he hit into another bunker left of the green.
Ott hit the fairway and the green, and left a 25-foot birdie putt inches short. Wolfe blasted out of the second bunker to within 12 feet, but missed his par putt on the low side to make Ott the winner
"I hit a bad putt," Wolfe said. "That's the one you want, uphill, right to left. I hit a terrible putt."
Ott, from just across the Delaware River in Pilesgrove, N.J., just completed his sophomore season on the Wilmington University golf team. It was a big day for the Wildcats, as they placed three golfers in the top four. Andrew Baldo finished third, three shots out of the playoff, and P.J. Tighe was fourth.
"This is my first state amateur, so it's nice to have being from this area," Ott said. "I know a lot of people around here."
Ott was scheduled to attempt to qualify for the DSGA's Open Championship on Monday, but after his victory DSGA executive director Bill Barrow informed him the Amateur winner receives an exemption. So Ott will be in the field to try to sweep the DSGA's two biggest events Aug. 1-2 at Kings Creek Country Club in Rehoboth Beach.
DSGA Amateur Championship
1. Dan Ott 71-69-74-69-283 (won in playoff)
Greg Wolfe 69-72-70-72-283
3. Andrew Baldo 70-73-71-72-286
4. P.J. Tighe 72-72-74-72-290
5. Jeff Whiteside 70-76-73-72-291
6. Christopher Hickman 74-69-78-72-293
Sean Mercer 73-72-74-74-293
8. Ron Jamarowicz 73-74-75-72-294
Bob Bechtold 75-71-74-74-294
10. Rand Mendez 76-74-69-76-295
David Lynch 73-72-73-77-295
12. Anthony Apostolico 80-70-75-71-296
Doug Zelner 73-72-78-73-296
Tim Freeh 74-75-74-73-296
Greg Matthias 75-75-73-73-296
Brad Foxwell 74-68-78-76-296
17. Scott Davidson 76-73-73-75-297
Ryan Barba 74-75-72-76-297
19. Rich Pruchnik 71-79-76-72-298
20. Bret Morris 74-76-75-74-299
21. Tom Finn 71-75-78-76-300
22. Eric Asel 73-76-77-75-301
23. Cameron Sprowls 77-75-78-73-303
Randy Mitchell 76-71-80-76-303
Tom Borsello 74-75-77-77-303
Chase Brockstedt 73-76-76-78-303
27. Steven Harvey 76-73-78-77-304
28. Chris Anderson 82-72-76-75-305
29. Ed Brown 78-76-75-77-306
Chris Smedley 75-75-74-82-306
31. Wesley Hood 76-78-78-75-307
Aaron Weiner 74-79-76-78-307
33. Pem Rosal 78-76-77-77-308
Nick Iacono 75-75-79-79-308
35. Michael Chambers 77-75-80-77-309
Pete Widdoes 77-74-77-81-309
37. Mark Wachter 76-77-82-79-314
38. Jesse Betts 78-73-80-85-316