A proven champion and an unproven newcomer shared medalist honors in a U.S. Mid-Amateur Qualifier administered by GAP Monday at a steamy Indian Valley Country Club.
Whitemarsh Valley Country Club’s Will Davenport, who captured the GAP Middle-Amateur earlier this year, and Bermudian Merion Golf Club’s David Ferreira, whose round total for 2019 sits in the single digits, carded respective 5-under-par 67s at the Par 72, 6,769 yards Course to top the leaderboard and thus grab two of five qualifying positions available.
The U.S. Mid-Amateur will take place September 14th – 19th at Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colo.
Playing in the afternoon, Ferreira matched Davenport’s mark thanks to a fist-pumping chip-in birdie on No. 18 (par 4, 387 yards).
“I had to shape a 9-iron [from 146 yards uphill] in there [for my approach]. It was one of those lies where you had to keep the clubhead moving through the ball,” Ferreira, 37, of Haverford, Pa., said. “I was having a great day. I knew that I was right there. I just wanted to be aggressive. Sometimes you just get lucky. That one went right in the heart, which is awesome.”
Luck also intervened on No. 9 (par 4, 367 yards), where Ferreira’s tee shot ricocheted off a tree and into the fairway. He then knocked a 9-iron 156 yards to 12 feet for birdie.
“I thought from No. 9, things were kind of going my way. I just needed to hang on through the back nine,” Ferreira said.
That he did. Back-to-back birdies on Nos. 14 (par 4, 377 yards) and 15 (par 5, 551 yards) separated Ferreira: a wedge 135 yards to 15 feet on the former, an up-and-in on the latter.
“The greens were great today. They rolled true,” Ferreira, a partner at a hedge fund in Chadds Ford, Pa., said. “If you hit your lines, you were in good shape. I hit my lines. I have no clue about any stats. I was taking it one shot at a time.
“I was pretty loose. I was just coming out here having fun. I holed a bunch of putts thanks to my caddie, Des Atkinson. He made sure I got over the line.”
Ferreira, a Bermuda native, moved to the Philadelphia area nine years ago for the sake of matrimony. He grew up “playing regional tournaments against Justin Rose, and I would lose all of the time.” Golf is limited these days — professional and personal (three kids under the age of 6) obligations. But now a national event awaits.
“I’m going to show up, apologize to my wife profusely and have a ton of fun. Zero expectations,” Ferreira said. “I’m thrilled that I put up a great round of golf today. I’m going to really enjoy my first USGA experience.”