Von Borsig hangs on to advance in Phila. Amateur

Conrad Von Borsig, by defeating James Kania Jr., earned a spot in the Philadelphia Open. Von Borsig prevailed yesterday on the Old Course at the Stonewall Golf Club.
Conrad Von Borsig, by defeating James Kania Jr., earned a spot in the Philadelphia Open. Von Borsig prevailed yesterday on the Old Course at the Stonewall Golf Club. (RON TARVER / Staff Photographer)
Posted: June 21, 2013

After a successful 2009 season in which he won the Philadelphia Amateur, Conrad Von Borsig thought turning pro was the way to go in his quest to play golf for a living. But more than two years on the road soured him on the idea, and he applied to the U.S. Golf Association to have his amateur status restored.

The USGA granted his request four months ago, and Von Borsig is back in the Philadelphia Amateur and advancing through the bracket. He shook off adversity a few times in Friday's quarterfinals and moved on with a victory over Zach Herr on the 20th hole at Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square.

"I didn't like the lifestyle," said the 26-year-old Von Borsig, who starred at Strath Haven High and Virginia. "I figured I'd give [turning pro] a shot. I played in every tournament I could, but traveling 30 weeks out of the year and flying all over wasn't for me - living like a nomad. I have a better sense of community here. There's no place like home, I guess."

Playing in his first Philadelphia Amateur since his victory four years ago, Von Borsig is feeling his competitive instincts kicking in again. He fended off defeat Thursday on the 17th, 18th, and 19th holes against Herr, a former Council Rock North High star who will enter Vanderbilt in August.

Standing 1-up with two to play, Herr three-putted No. 17 to match Von Borsig's bogey. He drew a bad lie in the rough behind the green on 18, chipped to 15 feet, and watched his par putt lip out, losing the hole to Von Borsig's par.

Herr then hit a brilliant second shot out of the rough to six feet on No. 1, the first extra hole, but missed the putt. Von Borsig sank a seven-footer for par, and the match played on.

Herr provided an opening when he drove into a fairway bunker on the second hole and flew his approach over the green. Von Borsig punched his second shot through an opening and onto the green, and two-putted to win the match after Herr could not get his 25-foot par putt to fall.

The second round and quarterfinals were played Thursday, reducing the field from 16 to four.

Von Borsig advanced to a semifinal match Friday morning against Merion's Michael McDermott, the 2008 Amateur champion, who downed Tucker Koch, 4 and 3. The other semifinal has William and Mary junior Alexander Hicks facing recent Villanova graduate Michael Kania.

Hicks knocked out Paul Tighe, 2 up, and Kania went 19 holes before defeating Christopher Fuga.

Contact Joe Juliano at jjuliano@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @JoeJulesInq.

Second round: Paul Tighe, Little Mill, def. Ben Cooley, Huntingdon Valley, 5 and 3. Alexander Hicks, Wildwood, def. Paul Bartholomew, Philadelphia Cricket, 4 and 2. Michael Kania, Overbrook, def. Ben Smith, Huntingdon Valley, 4 and 3. Christopher Fuga, Phoenixville, def. Christopher Crawford, Spring Mill, 19 holes. Conrad Von Borsig, White Manor, def. Michael Johnson, Talamore, 4 and 3. Zach Herr, Jericho National, def. Charles Cai, Mercer Oaks, 3 and 1. Michael McDermott, Merion, def. James Kania Jr., Overbrook 7 and 6. Tucker Koch, RiverCrest, def. Joe April, Philadelphia Cricket, 4 and 3.

Quarterfinals: Hicks def. Tighe, 2 up. Kania def. Fuga, 19 holes. Von Borsig def. Herr, 20 holes. McDermott def. Koch, 4 and 3.

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