Saint Joseph's Hall of Famer Billy Stewart '06 captured the 114th Philadelphia Open Championship in dramatic fashion as he prevailed in a three-man playoff on Thursday.
Playing at the par-70 St. Davids Golf Club (6,500 yards), Stewart shot a 4-under-par 66 in the final round for a two-round score of 135 (-5). After waiting more than an hour for the final pairings to finish, Stewart found himself in a three-way tie with Jeff Osberg and Brett Melton.
Going to a four-hole aggregate playoff, Stewart saved par on the opening hole, then birdied the next two to enter the final hole ahead by one on Osberg and three on Melton. Sticking his tee shot in the middle of the green on the 232-yard ninth hole (par 3), Stewart two-putted for par to capture the title.
"I’ve been wanting to win this tournament a long time, back to when I was an amateur at St. Joe’s, being from the Philadelphia area," Stewart told media in attendance. "I’ve been knocking on the door. It felt great to get a couple of putts to drop to finally get my name on that trophy."
Inducted into the SJU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014, Stewart made an immediate impact for the Hawks as a rookie as he became the first freshman in Atlantic 10 history to earn first place at the conference championship in 2003, capturing both the Atlantic 10’s Outstanding Player and the Most Outstanding Rookie that year. The Hawks' top performer from 2002 to 2006, he twice earned A-10 All-Conference accolades and received SJU’s Class of 1950 Award in 2006 as the top graduating male student-athlete.
A graduate of Malvern Prep, Stewart has been a constant presence in at the Golf Association of Philadelphia's events. Now an assistant professional at The Ace Club, he previously captured the Philadelphia Amateur Championship in 2002 and finished runner-up in 2013 at the Philadelphia Open Championship.
"I grew up playing in so many GAP events," Stewart said. "It’s a tournament you want to be a part of because of the history of GAP. I won the Philadelphia Amateur, which was great, and now I’ve got the Philly Open.”