June 6, 2018

Oscar Mestre carded a 1-under-par 70 to win the Senior Division title Wednesday.

Chapman (Gross): Overbrook’s Mestre magical in Senior Division win

  HORSHAM, Pa. — After carding an 82 in a U.S. Senior Open Qualifier two days ago at Indian Valley Country Club, Oscar Mestre stopped at the office — completing work, clearing headspace. During the drive home, he decided, on a whim, to stop at Overbrook Golf Club’s driving range.

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  Mestre unearthed an alignment thought there, and, subsequently, uncovered his first individual Senior title. He won the Frank H. Chapman Memorial Cup (Gross) at a pleasant Commonwealth National Golf Club (par 71, 6,563 yards) Wednesday. Mestre carded a 1-under-par 70 to prevail by three strokes.

  Four players — Lu Lu Country Club’s Glenn Smeraglio, Overbrook’s Ray Thompson and Little Mill Country Club’s Thomas Hyland and Joseph Roeder, the tournament’s defending champion — tied for second at 73.

  “I’m an eternal optimist because if not, I’d be a really sad man. I always feel like I’m very close to the next thing,” Mestre, 58, of Berwyn, Pa., said. “I hit a few shots [on the range] and had a thought that I felt I could take to the golf course. That thought was the only thing I worked with today. As you get older, it gets harder to turn away from the ball, so I’m thinking about turning away from the ball. I hit it really solid today.”

  Commonwealth, by its nature, places a premium on tee position. Forced carries here, hazards there. Mestre answered those demands accordingly, equipping driver when aggression and confidence arose.

  A flowing front nine flung Mestre, an Overbrook member since 1976, into the leaderboard mix early. His lone birdie came on No. 4 (par 4, 373 yards), where Mestre knocked a 9-iron 142 yards to three feet. Other red opportunities came and went.

  Mestre, who works in finances and investments, did capitalize on the par 5, 515-yard 11th hole, extricating a 9-iron 145 yards out of the fairway bunker to 12 feet for birdie. A mark of 2 under is hardly a Commonwealth comfort. The Costanza’s “Serenity Now,” however, is commonplace. That’s what Mestre repeated internally on the next two holes. He missed a par putt — all 14 inches of it — on No. 12 (par 3, 168 yards).

  “I marked my ball because I didn’t want to stand in [playing partner] Bob Beck’s line. I missed [the par putt], and now I’m like, ‘Come one’ because I was 2 under at that stage,” Mestre, the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Vice President, said. “You don’t want to let it affect you.”

  Despite his best efforts, it somehow, someway affected Mestre on the challenging 13th hole (par 4, 410 yards). Shoved drive right, tree collision, golf ball 40 yards farther right. To return to civilization, Mestre elected to travel underneath an obstructing tree. Another bark ricochet, cart path travel, golf ball still near the adjacent 11th hole. Mestre fortunately then found fairway, green and two-putt.

  “At that moment, making a double bogey is a good score. It’s hard to swallow a double bogey as a good score,” he said. “In the (GAP) Team Championship Qualifier at Springhaven, I started bogey, bogey, par, birdie triple bogey. I finished the day 1 over. That recent memory of the fact that you can come back was reassurance. I followed a train wreck with a lot of birdies. That comfort was in the back of my mind today. The good news is I composed myself.”

  The composure of a champion it seems. Mestre reset with back-to-back birdies. Keeping the driver at bay, he relied on the likes of a rescue and 3-wood for 7-iron set-ups: 165 yards to 12 feet on No. 14 (par 4, 384 yards), 155 yards to eight feet on No. 15 (par 4, 386 yards). A tugged 6-iron on the next hole (par 3, 189 yards) spearheaded a bogey and left Mestre at a crossroads.

  “The 17th hole was a defining moment,” he said. “I don’t usually like hitting driver there. It’s very narrow, and if you don’t hit it well, you bring bunker left into play, or the tree right into play. I felt like I needed to do something. sometimes that doesn’t work.”

  It worked. Mestre dusted off the driver and promptly split the chute fairway. He then lifted a wedge 100 yards to six feet for birdie. Standing on the 18th tee — trouble on his left, trouble on his right, Mestre didn’t cage the driver; he unleashed that elephant down the fairway’s center, reached the green with a 7-iron from 165 yards and executed a strenuous two-putt to assure the reassured.

  “I was able to handle the emotions today. I had that swing thought that worked,” Mestre, who won the GAP Middle-Amateur Championship in 2002, said.

  That thought counted as a win Wednesday.

  “You wonder if you’ll ever be in a strong finish or a position to win. Whenever you get that shot, it’s pretty special,” Mestre said. “Every day, as you get older, you say to yourself in the back of your mind, ‘Do I have anything left in the tank?’ It’s nice to have something left in the tank.”

NOTES — Home-club hopeful Tom Krug, 56, of Glenmoore, Pa., aced No. 8 (par 3, 122 yards) with a 9-iron. It marked the third hole-in-one of his career … Frank H. Chapman, a Whitemarsh Valley Country Club member, served as the Association’s secretary-treasurer for 23 years. He died on June 7, 1955 at the age of 88. The Gross tournament, now in its 12th year, is held in his honor.

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Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) is the oldest regional golf association in the United States and serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. Its 260 Full Member Clubs and 75,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. As Philadelphia’s Most Trusted Source of Golf Information, the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

Senior Division results

Name, club

Score

Oscar Mestre, Overbrook Golf Club

70

Thomas Hyland, Little Mill Country Club

73

Joseph Roeder, Little Mill Country Club

73

Glenn Smeraglio, Lu Lu Country Club

73

Raymond Thompson, Overbrook Golf Club

73

Joe Campisano, Five Ponds Golf Club

74

Joseph Russo, Running Deer Golf Club

74

Alan Wagenschnur, Loch Nairn Golf Club

74

Steven Walczak, Wilmington Country Club

74

Brian Corbett, Country Club of Scranton

75

Gary Daniels, Applebrook Golf Club

75

Craig Kliewer, Honeybrook Golf Club

75

David West, Philadelphia Publinks GA

75

Patrick O'Brien, North Hills Country Club

76

Kenneth Phillips, Lancaster Country Club

76

George Steinmetz, Spring Ford Country Club

76

Michael Vassil, Country Club of Scranton

76

Michael Anderson, Philadelphia Cricket Club

77

Charles Dowds, III, Applebrook Golf Club

77

Tom Krug, Commonwealth National Golf Club

77

Carlos Ochoa, Little Mill Country Club

77

Brian Rothaus, Five Ponds Golf Club

77

Jim Witt, Commonwealth National Golf Club

77

Scott Carney, Commonwealth National Golf Club

78

Norman Charlesworth, Running Deer Golf Club

78

Robert Gill, Fox Hill Country Club

78

Rand Mendez, Fieldstone Golf Club

78

John Nottage, Commonwealth National Golf Club

78

Mike Owsik, Cobbs Creek Golf Club

78

Michael Moser, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club

79

Gary Smith, Pine Valley Golf Club

79

Trey Watts, Jericho National Golf Club

79

Byron Whitman, Berkshire Country Club

79

Jeffrey Allen, Wild Quail Golf & Country Club

80

Bob Beck, Lehigh Country Club

80

Barry Cahill, Radley Run Country Club

80

Mark Cubberley, Mercer Oaks Golf Course

80

Doug Fedoryshyn, Concord Country Club

80

John Gosselin, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club

80

Thomas Soares, Lehigh Country Club

80

Paul Berg, The Springhaven Club

81

Gregory Buliga, Yardley Country Club

81

Marlin Detweiler, Lancaster Country Club

81

George Henninger, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

81

Steve Hill, Hershey Country Club

81

Matthew Manfred, Commonwealth National Golf Club

81

Scott McIntosh, Makefield Highlands Golf Club

81

Drew Panebianco, Five Ponds Golf Club

81

John Robinson, Lu Lu Country Club

81

Harold Schweitzer, Jr., Broad Run Golfer's Club

81

Chris Smedley, Hartefeld National

81

Robert Wurtz, Jr., Philadelphia Cricket Club

81

John Alterman, Commonwealth National Golf Club

82

J.R. Cattoni, Huntsville Golf Club

82

Thomas Finn, Loch Nairn Golf Club

82

Alan Lazzarino, DuPont Country Club

82

Randy Mitchell, Wilmington Country Club

82

Wayne Bartolacci, Lu Lu Country Club

83

Robert Dietrich, Loch Nairn Golf Club

83

J. Kirk Luntey, Merion Golf Club

83

Jim Simmons, Stonewall

83

Michael Tash, Tavistock Country Club

83

Tom Borsello, Hartefeld National

84

Christopher Clauson, Lu Lu Country Club

84

Dave Loftus, Five Ponds Golf Club

84

Jon Stein, McCall Golf & Country Club

84

Rich Thon, The Springhaven Club

84

Richard Atcavage, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club

85

Jim Gavaghan, Jericho National Golf Club

85

Michael Lewers, Aronimink Golf Club

85

Matt Mingione, The 1912 Club

85

Bill Turner, Rancocas Golf Club

85

Ron Weaver, Bent Creek Country Club

85

George Connell, Jr., Gulph Mills Golf Club

86

Frank Corrado, Jr., Lu Lu Country Club

86

Gregory Day, Old York Road Country Club

86

Roy Gagne, Yardley Country Club

86

Mark Occhipinti, Country Club of Scranton

86

Andrew Sterge, Applebrook Golf Club

87

Joe Culley, The Springhaven Club

89

Allen Padovano, Yardley Country Club

89

Robert Tredinnick, Commonwealth National Golf Club

89

Brian Trymbiski, Doylestown Country Club

90

Jeff Lysek, Five Ponds Golf Club

91

Barry Westington, Country Club of Scranton

93

Matt Brady, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club

96

Cameron Campbell, McCall Golf & Country Club

97

David Justi, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve

98

Paul Altieri, Makefield Highlands Golf Club

100

John Ward, Greate Bay Country Club

WD

WD — withdrawal

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