william hyndman, iii player of the year
White Manor Country Club’s unheralded Colbert
caps scintillating season By Martin D. Emeno, Jr.
Brian Colbert’s college career at Villanova University ended disappointing- ly quiet. “I didn’t do anything I was expecting to accomplish in college golf my senior year.” Fast forward just months later, and his Golf Association of Philadelphia tenure ended as a made for television movie. Colbert, a virtual mystery when arriving on the Philadelphia golf scene before the summer’s Amateur Championship, exited the season with the
organization’s highest playing honor possible, the 2012 William Hyndman, III
Player of the Year trophy.
Colbert edged Brandon Matthews of Fox Hill Country Club, 587.5-547.5.
The 40 points is the slimmest margin of victory since 2002 when Michael Tash of
Tavistock Country Club defeated Christian Bartolacci of Jericho National
Golf Club by eight points.
“It was a goal coming into the summer. I thought it would be nice to end my
“something clicked a week before the
competitive college career years like that,” said Colbert of the award. “I had a
terrible college season. I took some time off after that and played some casual
golf. Then something clicked a week before the Amateur and the next thing I
know I was holding the trophy.”
Colbert, playing out of White Manor Country Club, defeated Greg Jarmas of
the Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association, a Princeton University junior, 6& 4,
for the 112th Amateur Championship at Huntingdon Valley Country Club to
catapult to the top of the Player of the Year standings—a perch he would never
relinquish. Colbert qualified as medalist on Day 1 with a 2-under 140 score. He
was the only player to navigate day-long rain at HVCC and Torresdale-Frankford
Country Club under par. “Obviously I wanted to shoot the lowest score I could but
the most important thing was to get into the Round of 32.”
Colbert cited two matches, both on the same day, as pivotal to his victory. One
was against former college teammate Robert Galbreath, Jr. of Philmont Country
Club in a quarterfinal matchup. The pair dueled 22 holes in a match in which
amateur and the next thing I know I
was holding the trophy.”
neither player held more than a 1-up advantage. “That was an epic battle,” Colbert
said. “We were halving holes with birdies. There was a lot of really good stuff
going on there.” His semifinal contest, a short time later, proved even more dramatic. Ben Feld of Green Valley Country Club was 4-up on Colbert with seven
holes to play. Colbert then won five of the next six holes to force extras. “I was
already thinking about what I was going to say to him when we shook hands,” said
Colbert. “I made a couple of birdies to get back in it. The next thing I know I was
1-down.” Colbert drew All Square with pars on the treacherous par 3, 17th and
uphill 18th to force extra holes. “I hit driver on No. 1 (No. 19, par 4, 344 yards) all
four times and hit it on the green with three of them. I knew what shot I needed
and hit it on and two putted.” Colbert made a three. Feld managed a par.
“That was definitely one of those matches I did not have it,” said Colbert of the
Feld contest. “I kind of felt like a player of destiny after that happened.”
In the final a steely-eyed Colbert pushed early. He was 4-up after nine and
6-up after 18. He led by as many as 7-up but never less than 5-up in the afternoon
session before winning 6& 4.
“I wanted to get off to a fast start and was lucky enough I did,” said Colbert.
“I was pretty comfortable after the front nine. In the afternoon, I decided he was
going to need to beat me.
“I heard from people who I never thought would find out and say something to
me about it; family members, my friend’s parents. It was pretty cool. It was definitely
a good way to go out,” he said in reference to his GAP Amateur Championship career.
Colbert, at the time, was scheduled to head back to his native Chicago to start work in
September. He currently is an auditor at Crowe Horwath LLP in Oak Brook, Ill.