PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. — Like a biker leaning against a high school locker, Bill Burke plays it cool. He calmly determines a yardage, swings his club of choice, retrieves a lit cigar and casually puffs until the next shot.
A no-nonsense kind of guy.
“It’s my life attitude actually. I don’t let anything bother me. I just live life,” Burke, 55, of Little Egg Harbor, N.J., said. “Golf is just a game. You focus for 15 seconds, then I go back. Nothing bothers me. I try not to worry about the little stuff.”
Burke certainly bothered the Senior circuit Thursday. The divisional rookie carded a 2-under-par 69 to capture the 88th Francis B. Warner Cup at The 1912 Club (par 71, 6,366 yards).
Little Mill Country Club’s Ed Kahn, LedgeRock Golf Club’s Chris Storck and Philadelphia Publinks GA’s David West shared runner-up honors at 1 under.
“Fabulous,” a smiling Burke said once his victory became official. “I love it. I can’t wait to play in more events.”
Playing in the morning wave, Burke posted his 69 slightly after 11 a.m. Instead of driving 90-plus minutes to his Jersey Shore home, he hung out at the host site. Ate lunch, hit balls, rolled putts, smoked cigars, chilled and almost napped before regulation ended.
“I stuck around because it’s a GAP event. It has more importance to it.Bill Burke
Oh, and refreshed live scoring presented by NJM Insurance Group “probably 100 times.” Kahn, Storck and West played in the afternoon. Storck, in the day’s last group, emerged as the grandest threat at 3 under with four holes remaining. However, bogeys on Nos. 6 (par 5, 553 yards), 7 (par 3, 160 yards) and 9 (par 4, 362 yards) caused a Burke exhale in the parking lot.
“I stuck around because it’s a GAP event. It has more importance to it,” Burke said “If it wasn’t a GAP event, then I probably would’ve left. It means a lot.”
Starting on the back nine Thursday, Burke registered 10 fairways and 17 greens in regulation, the only miss spearheading the only bogey. Burke left a 7-iron on No. 14 (par 3, 209 yards) short of the putting surface and missed a five-footer to save par.
Back-to-back birdies reset Burke. He stopped a pitching wedge 20 feet flag-high right on the par 3, 135-yard 16th hole. Aimed three feet outside the hole, Burke buried the right-to-left breaker. He reached the No. 17 (par 5, 477 yards) green in two strokes with a 7-iron from 192 yards. A two-putt from 20 feet above a front hole location moved Burke into red figures.
The Galloway National Golf Club member never relinquished said status. On No. 3 (par 5, 495 yards), Burke’s 7-iron from 198 yards settled 10 yards shy of the green. He made a 10-footer for birdie after addressing a front-left hole location with a delicate wedge. Pars therein preserved Burke’s spot atop the leaderboard.
As Burke shook playing partner G. Patrick Dougherty’s hand upon the round’s completion, the latter offered a remark common in these circumstances.
“Great playing, Bill. Hope it holds up for you,” Dougherty said.
And Burke responded on brand.
“It is what it is,” he said.
Competitive golf feels relatively fresh for Burke. He didn’t start in the game until age 28. He, for the most part, only played casual rounds and club championships afterward. Burke did show some competitive mettle by winning 13 club championships overall at Sea Oaks Golf Club. That facility, however, closed in April 2020. Burke soon found a new home in Galloway National. That alone altered his golf trajectory.
“I decided to play more competitive golf only because I play Galloway, which is one of the harder courses to play. It’s sharpened every tool in my game. It’s brought that focus in,” Burke, a field engineering supervisor of 27 years for Comcast, said.
Burke, who saw The 1912 Club for the first time Thursday, intends to fill his competitive schedule this season. Just don’t expect a non-nonsense kind of guy to fill any social media timelines.
“Nobody needs to know what I’m doing. More importantly, nobody cares about what I’m doing,” Burke said.
The Senior circuit cares now.
LuLu Country Club’s Christopher Clauson aced No.2 (par 3, 174 yards) with a 6-iron. It marked the sixth ace of his career … Lebanon Country Club’s Craig Kliewer, the event’s defending champion, didn’t compete Thursday.
Francis B. Warner of Philadelphia Cricket Club served as GAP secretary-treasurer for 18 years. After his death in 1933, the Association started the Francis B. Warner Cup as an ongoing tribute in his memory. It is the first Senior Major of the GAP tournament season.
To meet the needs of its members, GAP separated a Super-Senior Division from its traditional Warner Cup counterpart. The Warner Cup – Super Senior, set for May 31 at Bala Golf Club, will feature two divisions: 65 years of age or older (Senior) and 70 years of age or older (Legends). It will be limited to 78 individuals.
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.
|Bill Burke, Galloway National Golf Club||69|
|Ed Kahn, Little Mill Country Club||70|
|Chris Storck, LedgeRock Golf Club||70|
|David West, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association||70|
|John Alterman, Commonwealth National Golf Club||71|
|Jim Gavaghan, Commonwealth National Golf Club||71|
|Ken Phillips, Lancaster Country Club||71|
|Tom Soares, Lehigh Country Club||71|
|G. Patrick Dougherty, Philadelphia Cricket Club||72|
|Kevin Kelly, Philadelphia Cricket Club||72|
|Rand Mendez, Fieldstone Golf Club||72|
|Joseph Russo, Running Deer Golf Club||72|
|Jeff Shockley, Makefield Highlands Golf Club||72|
|Michael Anderson, Philadelphia Cricket Club||73|
|Adam Armagost, Little Mill Country Club||73|
|Christopher Clauson, LuLu Country Club||73|
|Don Donatoni, White Manor Country Club||73|
|Joe Lebender, Northampton Valley Country Club||73|
|Eric Meyer, Whitford Country Club||73|
|Bob Beck, Lehigh Country Club||74|
|Don Dimoff, Bon Air Country Club||74|
|Brian Dorey, Metedeconk National Golf Club||74|
|Mike Fagan, DuPont Country Club||74|
|Paul Hess, Hartefeld National||74|
|Tom Humphrey, Wilmington Country Club||74|
|Mark Walkush, Sunnybrook Golf Club||74|
|John Barry, Lancaster Country Club||75|
|Mark Choi, Saucon Valley Country Club||75|
|Tom DiCinti, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association||75|
|Buck Jones, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association||75|
|Matthew Kohn, DuPont Country Club||75|
|Paul Rogowicz, Yardley Country Club||75|
|Bill Thornton, LedgeRock Golf Club||75|
|Steve Walczak, Wilmington Country Club||75|
|John Ward, Atlantic City Country Club||75|
|Gregory Buliga, Yardley Country Club||76|
|Richard Colaguori, Spring Ford Country Club||76|
|Jeff Frazier, Carlisle Country Club||76|
|John Gosselin, Aronimink Golf Club||76|
|Mike Hoffman, Coatesville Country Club||76|
|Robin McCool, Saucon Valley Country Club||76|
|Oscar Mestre, Overbrook Golf Club||76|
|Matthew Mingione, The 1912 Club||76|
|Mike Moffat, LuLu Country Club||76|
|Carlos Ochoa, Little Mill Country Club||76|
|Michael Stanley, Aronimink Golf Club||76|
|George Steinmetz, Spring Ford Country Club||76|
|Paul Stewart, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale||76|
|David Strohl, Olde Homestead Golf Club||76|
|James Bell, III, Makefield Highlands Golf Club||77|
|Norman Charlesworth, Wedgwood Country Club||77|
|Jeff Hudson, Olde Homestead Golf Club||77|
|Dennis Konczyk, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale||77|
|Patrick O’Brien, North Hills Country Club||77|
|Michael Vassil, Country Club of Scranton||77|
|Richard Young, Makefield Highlands Golf Club||77|
|David Blichar, Olde Homestead Golf Club||78|
|Tom Borsello, Wyncote Golf Club||78|
|Doug Fedoryshyn, Concord Country Club||78|
|Andrew Lombard, The Springhaven Club||78|
|Larry Martone, Stonewall||78|
|Bill McGuinness, Tavistock Country Club||78|
|Scott McIntosh, LuLu Country Club||78|
|Michael Quinn, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association||78|
|Jeff Rogatz, Wilmington Country Club||78|
|Vince Scarpetta, Jr., Nittany Country Club||78|
|Glenn Smeraglio, LuLu Country Club||78|
|Brian Trymbiski, Doylestown Country Club||78|
|Joe Arrante, Newark Country Club||79|
|Brian Corbett, Country Club of Scranton||79|
|Ronan Culligan, Saucon Valley Country Club||79|
|Tom Finn, DuPont Country Club||79|
|James Gross, Glenmaura National Golf Club||79|
|Drew Harmer, The Springhaven Club||79|
|Jim Prendergast, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association||79|
|Brian Rothaus, Five Ponds Golf Club||79|
|Ron Weaver, Bent Creek Country Club||79|
|John Conway, Little Mill Country Club||80|
|Denis Darragh, Olde Homestead Golf Club||80|
|Mike Farlling, Carlisle Country Club||80|
|Mark Fuessinger, Llanerch Country Club||80|
|Greg Mitchell, Fieldstone Golf Club||80|
|Jules Quinones, Blue Bell Country Club||80|
|P. Chet Walsh, Philadelphia Country Club||80|
|Jim Boburka, Green Pond Country Club||81|
|Gary Dolan, Belles Springs Golf Club||81|
|Fran Hamm, Country Club of Scranton||81|
|Kevin Sartell, Wild Quail Golf & Country Club||81|
|Jim Sherma, Hershey Country Club||81|
|Chip Studer, North Hills Country Club||81|
|Rich Thon, The Springhaven Club||81|
|Don Uhrig, LedgeRock Golf Club||81|
|Gregory Day, Old York Road Country Club||82|
|Robert Harrington, Merion Golf Club||82|
|Edward Kelly, Old York Road Country Club||82|
|Stephen McIntyre, French Creek Golf Club||82|
|Michael Moonan, Trenton Country Club||82|
|John Puskar, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club||82|
|Alan Wagenschnur, Frog Hollow Golf Club||82|
|Byron Whitman, Berkshire Country Club||82|
|Buddy Aiken, St. Davids Golf Club||83|
|J.R. Cattoni, Huntsville Golf Club||83|
|Elliot Sheftel, Lehigh Country Club||83|
|James Witt, Commonwealth National Golf Club||83|
|Gary Daniels, Applebrook Golf Club||84|
|John Nottage, Commonwealth National Golf Club||84|
|Drew Panebianco, Five Ponds Golf Club||84|
|Michael Schoedler, Five Ponds Golf Club||84|
|Matthew Smith, Regents’ Glen Country Club||84|
|Frank Corrado, LuLu Country Club||85|
|Joe Duhack, LuLu Country Club||85|
|John Hughes, Honeybrook Golf Club||85|
|Richard Reed, Downingtown Country Club||85|
|Mark Walker, Laurel Creek Country Club||85|
|Henry Wadsworth, Blue Bell Country Club||86|
|Jeffrey Amrhein, Plantation Lakes Golf & Country Club||87|
|Robert Dietrich, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association||87|
|John Luca, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association||87|
|Kenneth Nestor, Sr., Country Club of Scranton||87|
|Dave Loftus, Five Ponds Golf Club||88|
|Brian Sexton, Greate Bay Country Club||88|
|Steven Cucinotti, Talamore Country Club||90|
|Paul Leddy, Golden Pheasant Golf Course||90|
|Timothy Burden, Cedarbrook Country Club||95|
|Bob Wurtz, Philadelphia Cricket Club||NS|
|Kenneth Bolcavage, Elkview Country Club||WD|
|Andrew Sterge, Applebrook Golf Club||WD|
|NS – no show; WD – withdrawal|
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