Sept. 5, 2018

Christopher Clauson carded rounds of 68 and 72 to prevail.

Lu Lu’s Clauson captures 48th Senior Amateur Championship

  CINNAMINSON, N.J. — Mother Nature didn’t halt Christopher Clauson’s quest for Senior Amateur Championship gold this time.

| Scoring portal | Silver Cross Award standings | Donatoni wins Super-Senior Division in playoff |
| Day One recap | History | Photo gallery |

  Withstanding oppressive heat and a feisty field, he seized the tournament’s 48th edition Wednesday at Riverton Country Club (par 71, 6,386 yards). Clauson carded a 1-over-par 72 in the final round to prevail by a stroke over groupmates Christopher Fieger, Sr. of Philadelphia Publinks GA and Joseph Russo of Running Deer Golf Club. Last year, he trailed clubmate Glenn Smeraglio by two strokes after Round One. Rain shortened the event to 18 holes, forcing Clauson to settle for second.

  “It was an incomplete feeling last year,” Clauson, 62, of Philadelphia, Pa., said. “This is the first Golf Association of Philadelphia tournament that I’ve won. It’s nice. At Lu Lu, I won’t get heckled for being the only one who’s never won anything. I’ll get heckled for other things. I’ll get heckled for being a liberal.”

  No heckling or politicking after Clauson’s campaign ended with the Lu Lu Country Club member standing at the podium, addressing his Allan Sussel Memorial Trophy constituents.

  Clauson and Fieger started the day deadlocked atop the leaderboard at 3 under. Russo rounded out the final pairing, lurking at 2 under.

  What he lacked in distance compared to his compatriots, Clauson made up for in consistency. He held a two-stroke advantage before a near unraveling on the par 4, 330-yard No. 8, which Clauson deemed a turning point. Clauson’s wedge from 115 yards came out heavy. His ensuing chip contained even more meat on the bone. Clauson somehow converted a stifling uphiller to save par. Fieger missed a three-footer for birdie to move to within one.

  “Chris played great and made the putts he needed to make. I made some mental mistakes and had some three putts that hurt,” Fieger, 55, of Denver, Pa., said.

  The clash of the Christophers seemed to fade after Clauson birdied the par 4, 427-yard 12th hole. As the adrenaline pulsated, Clauson hammered an 8-iron 155 yards to six feet. He annihilated a 5-iron on No. 14 (par 3, 188 yards) when the yardage demanded less substance. Clauson overcame the overcharged swing with a 30-footer for birdie. Fieger followed with a 25-footer of his own to remain two back.

  After both players bogeyed the severe dogleg right 15th hole (par 4, 414 yards), the adrenaline resurfaced — this time for worse — on the next hole (par 3, 154 yards). Clauson launched an 8-iron into the back section of the left greenside bunker — an unwelcoming detention center.

  “I knew it was dead in that spot. I knew I had to make 4 somehow,” Clauson said.

  And he did. Clauson’s tedious sand shot slid down the back-to-front sloped green and settled in the rough. A delicate chip to a front left hole location fashioned a welcome 4. Riverton’s bunkering threatened to penalize Clauson once again on No. 17 (par 5, 476 yards). He deposited a 3-wood from 230 yards into the front left pit. A spectacular splash set up a six-footer for birdie. Fieger matched that score to remain one back. With adrenaline changing hands as rapidly as cash in a high-stakes poker game, he towered a drive over the left fairway bunkers, leaving a yardage of 190 for his second shot. Fieger blasted a 4-iron to 30 feet and narrowly missed his eagle effort on the high side.

  On the 18th hole (par 4, 354 yards), Fieger split the fairway and knocked a gap wedge 115 yards to 25 feet above the flagstick. Clauson’s drive caught the right rough. A well-struck 54-degree wedge from 100 yards landed two feet from the hole and released to 28 feet due to the downhill slope. With honors, Clauson ran his birdie attempt eight feet past the cup — a common occurrence given his trouble with green speeds on this day. Clauson, however, made the comebackers on those occasions. He didn’t do so on No. 18.

  Fieger knew what he needed to do to force a sudden-death playoff.

  “[For my birdie putt], Chris was on a similar line. I watched him putt it eight feet by,” Fieger said. “I left mine three feet short. I actually thought the second putt was going to break left. It just stayed there.”

  “It wasn’t a celebratory feeling; it was relief,” Clauson added. “I felt bad for him. You don’t want to win by someone missing a putt, but I’ll take it.”

  After signing his scorecard, Clauson leaned back in his chair and lit his first cigarette in more than a year. A celebratory drag for a man who took care of unfinished business Wednesday.

  “This is an alternate reality for my season this year. I didn’t start playing well until the U.S. Senior Amateur Qualifier [in July],” Clauson, runner-up in the 2016 Brewer Cup, said. “I figured something out two days ago [during a lesson with Scott Yurgalevich at Lu Lu]. That and the putter Mike Dynda gave me have been huge. This win feels great.”

Senior Silver Cross Award
Russo inked birdies on his last two holes to tie Fieger for runner-up honors in the Senior Amateur Championship. Those conversions also afforded a comfortable three-stroke cushion in the Senior Silver Cross Award race.

  Russo, who spent 25 years in law enforcement, filed a 3-over-par 287 total to edge two-time reigning winner Smeraglio. The Senior Silver Cross Award is presented to the player with the lowest aggregate score in the Francis B. Warner Cup (Gross), Frank H. Chapman Cup (Gross) and Senior Amateur Championship.

  “You have to play consistent to beat these guys. Surprisingly, I managed to keep it together and played well,” Russo, 60, of Washington Township, N.J., said. “After we got down to the last four holes, I knew I wasn’t going to catch Chris [Clauson for the Senior Amateur]. I knew I had a shot or two lead on Glenn. I just didn’t want to make any mistakes. Winning the Senior Silver Cross Award is something I’ve never done before, something to look forward to next year.”

Golf Association of Philadelphia
Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) is the oldest regional or state golf association in the United States. It serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. The Association’s 260 Full Member Clubs and 75,000 individual members are spread across Eastern Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey and Delaware. 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.

Name, club

R1-R2–Total

Christopher Clauson, Lu Lu Country Club

68-72–140

Joseph Russo, Running Deer Golf Club

69-72–141

Christopher Fieger, Sr., Philadelphia Publinks GA

68-73–141

Brian Rothaus, Philmont Country Club

74-68–142

Rand Mendez, Fieldstone Golf Club

74-69–143

Thomas Hyland, Little Mill Country Club

72-71–143

Jeffrey Allen, Wild Quail Golf & Country Club

73-71–144

Kenneth Phillips, Lancaster Country Club

72-72–144

Glenn Smeraglio, Lu Lu Country Club

73-72–145

Michael Quinn, Philadelphia Publinks GA

76-70–146

Oscar Mestre, Overbrook Golf Club

76-71–147

David West, Philadelphia Publinks GA

75-72–147

Duke Delcher, Sandy Run Country Club

75-72–147

Mark Hutchinson, Lookaway Golf Club

74-73–147

Dennis Konczyk, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale

76-72–148

John Alterman, Commonwealth National Golf Club

74-74–148

Gregory Buliga, Yardley Country Club

73-75–148

Bob Beck, Lehigh Country Club

73-75–148

Chris Smedley, Hartefeld National

72-76–148

William McGuinness, Tavistock Country Club

76-73–149

Greg Guyer, Philadelphia Cricket Club

76-73–149

Michael Vassil, Country Club of Scranton

74-75–149

Gary Smith, Pine Valley Golf Club

74-75–149

Randy Mitchell, Wilmington Country Club

76-74–150

Patrick O'Brien, North Hills Country Club

75-75–150

Doug Jones, Little Mill Country Club

74-76–150

Bob Arthur, Tavistock Country Club

73-77–150

Joseph Roeder, Little Mill Country Club

72-78–150

George Steinmetz, Spring Ford Country Club

76-75–151

Timothy Burns, Country Club of Scranton

76-75–151

Gary Daniels, Applebrook Golf Club

74-77–151

Eric Lamm, Schuylkill Country Club

70-81–151

Alan Wagenschnur, Loch Nairn Golf Club

77-75–152

Ray Pyontek, Mercer Oaks Golf Course

76-76–152

Byron Whitman, Berkshire Country Club

76-76–152

Steve Meyer, Rolling Green Golf Club

75-77–152

Robert Gill, Fox Hill Country Club

75-77–152

Tim Sindorf, Laurel Creek Country Club

77-76–153

Carlos Ochoa, Little Mill Country Club

75-78–153

Doug Fedoryshyn, Concord Country Club

80-74–154

Bert Kosup, Lu Lu Country Club

78-76–154

Bryan McClaskey, Merchantville Country Club

77-77–154

Rich Thon, The Springhaven Club

79-76–155

Craig Kliewer, Lebanon Country Club

78-77–155

Richard Atcavage, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club

77-78–155

Jim Gavaghan, Commonwealth National Golf Club

77-79–156

David Lees, Metedeconk National Golf Club

75-81–156

Jon Stein, McCall Golf & Country Club

81-76–157

Jeff Poet, Country Club of York

79-78–157

Norman Charlesworth, Running Deer Golf Club

80-78–158

Charles Dowds, III, Applebrook Golf Club

79-79–158

Marlin Detweiler, Lancaster Country Club

77-81–158

Michael Fagan, Philadelphia Publinks GA

76-82–158

Scott Carney, Commonwealth National Golf Club

80-79–159

Michael Stanley, Aronimink Golf Club

76-83–159

Gregory Day, Old York Road Country Club

83-77–160

Drew Panebianco, Five Ponds Golf Club

80-80–160

Brian Corbett, Country Club of Scranton

78-82–160

Ed Kahn, Little Mill Country Club

78-83–161

Greg Galtere, Reading Country Club

78-83–161

Elliot Sheftel, Lehigh Country Club

83-79–162

John Kernan, Merchantville Country Club

82-80–162

Mark Cubberley, Mercer Oaks Golf Course

82-81–163

Thomas Krug, Commonwealth National Golf Club

83-81–164

Guy McKeone, Reading Country Club

82-82–164

John Ward, Greate Bay Country Club

79-85–164

Patrick Cahill, III, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club

82-84–166

Steven Lucas, Wilmington Country Club

85-82–167

Andrew StergeApplebrook Golf Club

86-83–169

Timothy Dickens, Five Ponds Golf Club

82-87–169

Michael Anderson, Philadelphia Cricket Club

81-89–170

Rob Cook, DuPont Country Club

91-80–171

Timothy McCabe, Bon Air Country Club

91-81–172

Paul Berg, The Springhaven Club

86-87–173

Gerald Henderson, Blue Bell Country Club

86-87–173

Scott Mayne, LedgeRock Golf Club

73-WD–WD

J. Kirk Luntey, Merion Golf Club

77-WD–WD

Frank Brigidi, III, Philadelphia Cricket Club

77-WD–WD

Bill Boyle, Metedeconk National Golf Club

77-WD–WD

Andy Thompson, Overbrook Golf Club

77-WD–WD

Robert Dietrich, Loch Nairn Golf Club

83-WD–WD

Andy LykonMakefield Highlands Golf Club

86-WD–WD

Bob Enders, Running Deer Golf Club

88-WD–WD

 

WD-withdrawal

[ Back ]

MY GAP LOCKER LOGIN  |  REGISTER
SECTION LINKS
 Rules of Golf
 About GAP
 Handicapping
 Tournament Schedule
 BMW GTM Home
 Junior Program
 Platt Caddie Scholarship
 Presidents’ Council
 Breakfast Seminars
 Related Links
 
GAP
About GAP
Contact Us
Executive Committee
GAP Chat
Meetings
Login/Register
Join/Renew Membership
TOURNAMENTS
AGA/GAP Tournaments
GAP Central Tournaments
GAP Central Series
Outing Central
Tournament Schedule
Exemptions
Rules
Play Ready Pledge
Association Policies
HANDICAPPING
Establish/Renew Your Handicap
Post a Score
Member Course & Slope Ratings
OUR CLUBS
How to Join GAP
Member Club Benefits
Member Clubs
Individual Member Benefits
OTHER PROGRAMS
Youth Programs
Member Play Days
Platt Caddie Scholarship
PLAY Golf
CONNECT
GAP Magazine
The GAP App
Twitter
Facebook
YouTube
Press Pass blog
Copyright © 2018 The Golf Association of Philadelphia. All Rights Reserved.
Developed by AppNet Solutions