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111th Parent/Child Older

Donatonis find victory at Hershey’s Mill

WEST CHESTER, Pa. — Don and A.J. Donatoni know what team success on a grand stage feels like. They captured the Pennsylvania Golf Association’s Father-Son Championship in 2014 and 2018.

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But a GAP Father & Son title always eluded the Donatoni team. Until Thursday.

The Donatoni team carded a 1-under-par 70 to win the 111th Parent/Child Older (formerly Father & Son (Older)) at Hershey’s Mill Golf Club (par 71, 6,184 yards).

The event’s format is greensomes (selective drive/alternate shot).

“First of all, it’s tremendous to play golf with your son in an event like this. I got lucky today because I got to play with two of my sons,” Don, who teamed with his son Michael in the morning, said. “I wasn’t quite sure if I’d have enough energy to play another 18 holes. A.J. played terrific and drove the ball extremely well. I hit some good wedge shots. It’s exciting to come out on top.”

“This is one I knew I always wanted to win with my dad. I’m glad we were able to do it today,” A.J., 34, of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., added. “We both played really well. It’s just a thrill to come out on top against a great field.”

Starting on the back nine, the Donatoni team fired back-to-back birdies to enter a groove. On No. 14 (par 3, 176 yards), A.J. painted the flagstick with a 6-iron that landed 10 feet below the hole. Don buried the straight putt. A.J., a Fox Hill Country Club member, nearly holed out for eagle on No. 15 (par 4, 362 yards). His wedge from 55 yards flirted with a 2.

“It just released toward the hole. We were certain it was going in, and it just kind of ticked off the flagstick and ended up two inches from the hole,” Don, 74, of West Chester, Pa., said. “That was big for us. I knew the ties were going to be broken by the back nine. To shoot 2 under on the back nine, I thought we were in pretty good shape.”

That shape slightly altered on No. 2 (par 5, 470 yards) when Don’s 5-wood hid under a fur tree. In escape mode from a perilous spot, A.J. failed to reach the green on the team’s third shot. Don, a White Manor Country Club member, then tried to jam a chip for 4, and A.J. missed a comebacker for 5. The Donatoni team, playing in the day’s last group, also made bogey on No. 6 (par 4, 420 yards) from the right greenside bunker.

Now a shot clear with three holes to play, the eventual winners shifted into championship shape. On No. 8 (par 4, 354 yards), Don hit a wedge 80 yards to four feet. A.J. cleaned up the birdie putt.

“We haven’t played a whole lot this summer, but the rounds that we have played together, I could tell that my dad is still at a very high level,” A.J. said. “When I have played this year, I have played well. I’ve been confident with my game. I knew coming into this that as long as we kept the ball in play, we were going to give ourself as good a chance as any to have a winning score.”

“Playing with your sons is even more important than winning an individual tournament,” Don, who won the GAP Super-Senior Championship a month ago, added. “It’s all the more special. This was another one of those extra special days. Not only did I get to play with two of my sons, one of us were fortunate enough to come out on top.”

A.J. didn’t plan on driving two-plus hours home Thursday. Instead, he elected to celebrate with dad, who moved to the Hershey’s Mill community in December 2021.

A victory walk home for father and son.

Super-Senior Division
Bob and Robert Billings won their fourth Parent/Child title Thursday. The team carded a 1-over-par 72 to claim the event’s Super-Senior Division (par 71, 5,884 yards).

The Billings previously captured the Super-Senior Division in 2019. They won consecutive Father & Son titles in 2012-13.

“Obviously, as we get older, it gets more special. The GAP, as I’ve said, always does a great job,” Bob, 72, of Media, Pa., said. “This is our highlight of the year. I’m lucky enough to still be playing well at my age.”

“We go out of our way to make sure we play in these events,” Robert, 52, of Cherry Hill, N.J., added. “We always ask to be paired [with Peter and Peter Dilullos]. They play in the Father & Son at Rolling Green. We play at Applebrook’s Father & Son. We’ve made this a really special tradition.”

The Billings pointed to the turn as the round’s critical juncture. A pair of gap wedges courtesy of Robert, a Philadelphia Publinks GA member, set up birdie putts of six and four feet, respectively, on Nos. 10 (par 4, 336 yards) and 11 (par 3, 109 yards). 

“That got us settled down. We made four birdies but had a double bogey and three bogeys. We needed to settle down, and that got us settled down,” Bob, a Rolling Green Golf Club member, said.

“He gave me a little pep talk in the cart. That kind of really got us going,” Robert added.

The Billings intend to keep their father-and-son tradition going; the Dilullos will continue to oblige.

“As long as I can still get the club back, and as long as [Robert] can get out for the day, we’ll be back,” Bob said. “You cherish the moments you get.”

Formerly known as the Father & Son (Older), GAP renamed the event Parent/Child Older to reflect today’s modern family. 

GAP
Celebrating Amateur Golf since 1897, GAP, also known as the Golf Association of Philadelphia, 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 330 Member Clubs and 90,000 individual members are spread across Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

Gross results
Championship Division
Name, clubScore
Don Donatoni/A.J. Donatoni, White Manor Country Club/Fox Hill Country Club70
Jimmy Muller/Max Muller, Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club72
Rick Alessi, Jr./Vinny Alessi, Llanerch Country Club/McCall Golf Club72
Dan Brown/Mike Brown, Llanerch Country Club72
Mike Owsik/Mike Owsik, Hershey’s Mill Golf Club/Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association76
Dennis Wysocki/Ben Wysocki, Makefield Highlands Golf Club76
Sean Semenetz/Gregg Semenetz, Philadelphia Cricket Club77
Bill Holt/Will Holt, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club78
Brad Cornforth/Doug Cornforth, Radley Run Country Club/Ed Oliver Golf Club78
Dwight Dudas/Matt Dudas, Indian Valley Country Club79
Don Donatoni/Michael Donatoni, White Manor Country Club/The 1912 Club79
Joe Owsik/Andrew Owsik, Hershey’s Mill Golf Club79
Gerard Brnich/Jake Brnich, LuLu Country Club80
Robert Brusco/Robert Brusco, Jr., Medford Village Country Club81
Dennis Wysocki/Chris Wysocki, Makefield Highlands Golf Club82
Joseph Templin/Drew Templin, LedgeRock Golf Club82
Matt Milligan/Mike Milligan, Bluestone Country Club/Lederach Golf Club83
Brian Sexton/Sean Sexton, Greate Bay Country Club/Five Ponds Golf Club85
Terry Bray/Christopher Bray, Cedarbrook Country Club85
Steven Mastrocola/Steven Mastrocola, Jr., Gilbertsville Golf Club/Frosty Valley93
Louis Newett/Stephen Newett, Indian Valley Country Club94
Matthew Alfeche/Paul Alfeche, USGA/GAP GC95
Nicholas Matteo/Domenic Matteo, LuLu Country Club105
Craig Kliewer/Alan Kliewer, Lebanon Country ClubWD
Super-Senior Division
Name, clubScore
Bob Billings/Robert Billings, Rolling Green Golf Club/Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association72
Jack Seese/Sean Seese, Huntingdon Valley Country Club75
Gene Carroll/Ryan Carroll, Chester Valley Golf Club/Bidermann Golf Club76
Fran Doyle/Fran Doyle, Sr., Makefield Highlands Golf Club/Sandy Run Country Club76
Alan Wagenschnur/Jeffrey Wagenschnur, Newark Country Club76
Joe Dulka/Joseph Dulka, DuPont Country Club/Bellewood Country Club76
Michael R. Brown, Jr./Michael Brown, LuLu Country Club76
George Marshalek/Patrick Marshalek, Coatesville Country Club/Whitford Country Club77
Dave Owsik/Rich Owsik, Rolling Green Golf Club77
Tom Craig/Brendan Craig, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club77
Mike Todd/Mike Todd, Coatesville Country Club77
Mike Civitello/Mike Civitello, Chester Valley Golf Club78
Brian Dancer/Quentin Dancer, Skippack Golf Club78
Bryan McClaskey/Charlie McClaskey, Merchantville Country Club/Chesapeake Bay Golf Club79
Peter Dilullo/Peter Dilullo, Applebrook Golf Club/Waynesborough Country Club79
Mike Dancer/Thomas Dancer, Skippack Golf Club/Cedarbrook Country Club79
Thomas Brennan/Thomas Brennan, Moselem Springs Golf Club/Jeffersonville Golf Club80
Jeffrey Amrhein/Austin Amrhein, Briarwood Golf Club/Pilgrim’s Oak Golf Course81
Lee Oxman/Nathaniel Oxman, Moselem Springs Golf Club/Talamore Country Club82
Rich Thon/Jesse Thon, The Springhaven Club82
John Howson/Greg Howson, St. Davids Golf Club82
Kevin Turner/Thomas Turner, Llanerch Country Club/Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association82
Nick Wanck/John Wanck, Talamore Country Club/Gilbertsville Golf Club84
Scott Lumbatis/Ralph Lumbatis, Hershey Country Club84
Joe Montgomery/Patrick Montgomery, Riverton Country Club85
Travis Lock/Cory Lock, RiverWinds Golf & Tennis Club85
James Gurski/Nicholas Gurski, Green Pond Country Club85
Scott Bracken/Jim Bracken, Medford Village Country Club/McCall Golf Club86
Phil Over, Jr./Philip Over, Penn Oaks Golf Club/Foxchase Golf Club86
Timothy Casale/Anthony Casale, Moorestown Field Club86
Don Hoegel/David Hoegel, Little Mill Country Club87
Dante Frederico/Joe Frederico, Running Deer Golf Club87
Justin Smith/James Smith, French Creek Golf Club88
Frank Lucard/Graham Lucard, LuLu Country Club/Philadelphia Cricket Club88
John VanDame, Jr./Barrett VanDame, Talamore Country Club/Linfield National Golf Club89
Adam Jenkins/Bob Jenkins, Reading Country Club/Spring Ford Country Club90
Jack McCormick/Jack McCormick, Stone Harbor Golf Club/McCall Golf Club90
Matthew Montgomery /Mike Montgomery, USGA/GAP GC/Hershey’s Mill Golf Club96
Timmy Harmon/Benjamin Harmon, Eagle Creek Golf Club99
Bill Dwyer/Brian Dwyer, Applecross Country Club101
Net results
Championship Division
Name, clubScore
Dan Brown/Mike Brown, Llanerch Country Club68
Dennis Wysocki/Ben Wysocki, Makefield Highlands Golf Club69
Don Donatoni/A.J. Donatoni, White Manor Country Club/Fox Hill Country Club70
Rick Alessi, Jr./Vinny Alessi, Llanerch Country Club/McCall Golf Club71
Dennis Wysocki/Chris Wysocki, Makefield Highlands Golf Club73
Jimmy Muller/Max Muller, Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club73
Brad Cornforth/Doug Cornforth, Radley Run Country Club/Ed Oliver Golf Club75
Mike Owsik/Mike Owsik, Hershey’s Mill Golf Club/Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association75
Don Donatoni/Michael Donatoni, White Manor Country Club/The 1912 Club75
Gerard Brnich/Jake Brnich, LuLu Country Club76
Bill Holt/Will Holt, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club76
Joseph Templin/Drew Templin, LedgeRock Golf Club77
Terry Bray/Christopher Bray, Cedarbrook Country Club77
Joe Owsik/Andrew Owsik, Hershey’s Mill Golf Club77
Dwight Dudas/Matt Dudas, Indian Valley Country Club78
Steven Mastrocola/Steven Mastrocola, Jr., Gilbertsville Golf Club/Frosty Valley78
Robert Brusco/Robert Brusco, Jr., Medford Village Country Club78
Sean Semenetz/Gregg Semenetz, Philadelphia Cricket Club78
Matt Milligan/Mike Milligan, Bluestone Country Club/Lederach Golf Club79
Brian Sexton/Sean Sexton, Greate Bay Country Club/Five Ponds Golf Club82
Nicholas Matteo/Domenic Matteo, LuLu Country Club85
Louis Newett/Stephen Newett, Indian Valley Country Club88
Matthew Alfeche/Paul Alfeche, USGA/GAP GC89
Craig Kliewer/Alan Kliewer, Lebanon Country ClubWD
Super-Senior Division
Name, clubScore
Fran Doyle/Fran Doyle, Sr., Makefield Highlands Golf Club/Sandy Run Country Club70
Brian Dancer/Quentin Dancer, Skippack Golf Club70
Bob Billings/Robert Billings, Rolling Green Golf Club/Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association71
Mike Dancer/Thomas Dancer, Skippack Golf Club/Cedarbrook Country Club71
Gene Carroll/Ryan Carroll, Chester Valley Golf Club/Bidermann Golf Club72
Mike Civitello/Mike Civitello, Chester Valley Golf Club73
Thomas Brennan/Thomas Brennan, Moselem Springs Golf Club/Jeffersonville Golf Club73
George Marshalek/Patrick Marshalek, Coatesville Country Club/Whitford Country Club73
Jack Seese/Sean Seese, Huntingdon Valley Country Club73
Tom Craig/Brendan Craig, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club73
Joe Dulka/Joseph Dulka, DuPont Country Club/Bellewood Country Club73
Timothy Casale/Anthony Casale, Moorestown Field Club74
Peter Dilullo/Peter Dilullo, Applebrook Golf Club/Waynesborough Country Club74
Mike Todd/Mike Todd, Coatesville Country Club74
James Gurski/Nicholas Gurski, Green Pond Country Club74
Alan Wagenschnur/Jeffrey Wagenschnur, Newark Country Club74
Kevin Turner/Thomas Turner, Llanerch Country Club/Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association74
Joe Montgomery/Patrick Montgomery, Riverton Country Club75
Lee Oxman/Nathaniel Oxman, Moselem Springs Golf Club/Talamore Country Club75
Bryan McClaskey/Charlie McClaskey, Merchantville Country Club/Chesapeake Bay Golf Club75
Adam Jenkins/Bob Jenkins, Reading Country Club/Spring Ford Country Club75
Dave Owsik/Rich Owsik, Rolling Green Golf Club76
Phil Over, Jr./Philip Over, Penn Oaks Golf Club/Foxchase Golf Club76
Jeffrey Amrhein/Austin Amrhein, Briarwood Golf Club/Pilgrim’s Oak Golf Course76
Dante Frederico/Joe Frederico, Running Deer Golf Club76
Scott Bracken/Jim Bracken, Medford Village Country Club/McCall Golf Club77
Frank Lucard/Graham Lucard, LuLu Country Club/Philadelphia Cricket Club77
Jack McCormick/Jack McCormick, Stone Harbor Golf Club/McCall Golf Club77
Travis Lock/Cory Lock, RiverWinds Golf & Tennis Club78
John Howson/Greg Howson, St. Davids Golf Club78
Michael R. Brown, Jr./Michael Brown, LuLu Country Club78
Justin Smith/James Smith, French Creek Golf Club79
Scott Lumbatis/Ralph Lumbatis, Hershey Country Club79
John VanDame, Jr./Barrett VanDame, Talamore Country Club/Linfield National Golf Club80
Nick Wanck/John Wanck, Talamore Country Club/Gilbertsville Golf Club80
Don Hoegel/David Hoegel, Little Mill Country Club80
Rich Thon/Jesse Thon, The Springhaven Club81
Bill Dwyer/Brian Dwyer, Applecross Country Club84
Matthew Montgomery /Mike Montgomery, USGA/GAP GC/Hershey’s Mill Golf Club87
Timmy Harmon/Benjamin Harmon, Eagle Creek Golf Club87
WD – withdrawal