McDermott, 32, of Havertown, started the 36-hole event with an even-par 70 at Moselem Springs Golf Club and separated himself from the talented 133-player field in the afternoon a couple of miles down the road at Berkleigh in Kutztown.
Coming three days after he shot a 78 and a 77 Monday at Merion, his home course, and finished well back in the pack at the Open, McDermott felt a great deal of satisfaction.
"It was somewhat disappointing and somewhat frustrating," McDermott said of his Open showing. "I thought I played some holes real well but I wound up making bogey on them. The golf gods really got me. The ball wound up in some strange spots. On the way home, my dad said to me, 'All the shots that didn't turn out well will turn out well on Thursday.' And they did."
Overbrook's Chris Lange, who had the 18-hole lead after a morning 68 at Berkleigh, and college-freshman-to-be Nathan Sutherland of Berkshire tied for second at 138. Chris Gallagher of Penn Oaks matched McDermott's low round, a 66 at Berkleigh, and took fourth at 139.
Despite rain that spread over both courses in the afternoon, McDermott began his second round with three consecutive birdies. Still, he didn't feel safe, especially after posting his third bogey of the round on his 10th hole.
But he recovered nicely with a birdie on his 11th, and came back from an almost disastrous drive into a hazard at the 14th to birdie the hole with a 20-foot putt.
"I had to laugh after that one," he said.
The victory, his first in the Patterson Cup, was sweet for McDermott, who got married last year and has spent much of his recent time establishing an investment-management and business-planning company.
"Your priorities change," he said. "I was starting to doubt if I could win again in GAP. My friends would kid me that my time had passed. And with guys shooting scores the way they have, it's tougher to win. So that's why it's good to win one of these."
McDermott also captured the Silver Cross, the trophy awarded to the GAP player who shoots the lowest 72-hole totals when the scores of the Patterson Cup and the Philadelphia Amateur qualifying rounds are added together. It marked his second Silver Cross victory.
Contact staff writer Joe Juliano at 215-854-4494 or email@example.com.
(Moselem Springs score first)
Michael McDermott, Merion. . . 70-66–136
Nathan Sutherland, Berkshire . . . 70-68–138
Chris Lange, Overbrook . . . 70-68–138
Chris Gallagher, Penn Oaks. . . 73-66–139
Cole Willcox, Phila. CC . . . 70-70–140
Christopher Gold, Little Mill . . . 72-69–141
James Kieserman, Talamore . . . 73-68–141
Robert Robertson, Sunnybrook . . . 73-69–142
Chip Lutz, LedgeRock . . . 73-69–142
Ray Thompson, Overbrook . . . 72-70–142
Donny Wessner, Golden Oaks . . . 72-71–143
Stephen Arnold, Yardley . . . 73-70–143
Bo Maguire, Brookside . . . 72-72–144
Adam Cohan, ACE Club . . . 70-74–144
Chase Duncan, Meadia Heights . . . 69-75–144
Philip Bartholomew, Yardley . . . 72-72–144
Doug Zelner, Coatesville . . . 74-71–145
Tom Borsello, DuPont . . . 74-71–145
Michael Moffat, Commonwealth Natl. . . . 71-74–145
John Michael Pelet, Wyncote . . . 74-72–146
Mike Danner, LuLu . . . 73-73–146
Dave Gardener, Blue Bell . . . 73-73–146
Roc Irey, Cedarbrook . . . 74-72–146
Silver Cross standings
Michael McDermott, Merion . . . 277
Cole Willcox, Phila. CC . . . 281
Chase Duncan, Meadia Heights . . . 284
Chris Lange, Overbrook . . . 284
Chris Gallagher, Penn Oaks . . . 285