May 04, 2023

89th Francis B. Warner Cup

Olde Homestead’s Hudson wins Warner Cup

Bernville, Pa. — As CEO of North American Operations for HB Leisure, a company that operates games of skill in more than 100 major theme parks and entertainment attractions worldwide, Jeff Hudson travels. A lot.

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The company’s recent growth — from 16 to 28 amusement properties, including 12 Six Flags locations — puts Hudson on the road 2-3 weeks a month. Hudson’s golf game, like his professional skillset, can travel. A lot.

The Olde Homestead Golf Club member carded a 2-under-par 68 to win the 89th Francis B. Warner Cup at a chilly Heidelberg Country Club (par 70, 6,254 yards) Thursday. Lancaster Country Club’s John Barry, the 2021 Brewer Cup runner-up, and White Manor Country Club’s Don Donatoni, an eight-time GAP Super-Senior Player of the Year (2013-20), tied for second at even-par 70.

It marks Hudson’s third Senior title, in his third Pennsylvania county no less. Hudson won the 2020 Frank H. Chapman Cup at Yardley Country Club in Bucks County and the 2021 Chapman at Lehigh Country Club in Lehigh County.

Add Berks County to the list.

“I’d like to think I travel well,” Hudson, 58, of Center Valley, Pa., said. “Today was still a surprise. I didn’t know what to expect. I got out last night and hit some balls. I can’t say I’m striking it great. But I’m hitting it in the right place, and I putted well today. I made several five-footers to save par. You had to be putting up the hill. For me, the golf course played long. We’re not getting much roll, and it’s still 50 degrees.”

Hudson saw Heidelberg for the first time Thursday. It almost became a greet-and-go situation. His drive on No. 1 (par 4, 321 yards) screamed toward the right tree line. Provisional. Another prayer as the provisional follows the same route.

Fortunately for Hudson, his initial drive clipped a tree and remained visible/playable. He hit an 8-iron 138 yards to 15 feet for birdie. 

“I’m thinking I may be in the car. Never do that,” Hudson, who won the Senior Silver Cross Award in 2021, said. “I got away with [that birdie] obviously. That puts you in a good frame of mind.”

From near scare to nearly unstoppable. Hudson added a pair of birdies to turn in 3 under. On No. 3 (par 4, 325 yards), he knocked a gap wedge 110 yards to eight feet. Hudson’s hybrid from 185 yards on No. 6 (par 4, 414 yards) fell short of the green complex. A chip-in birdie followed.

Six holes, 3 under. “Try to get some more birdies” became the mindset. Leaving the Heidelberg property became a distant memory.

“That’s something I’ve gotten better with as I’ve got older. In my younger days, it was, ‘You get a couple under par. Oh my gosh. Hold on.’ Today it was, ‘Let’s see if we can make another birdie,’” Hudson said.

He did just that on No. 13 (par 4, 400 yards). After a textbook drive, Hudson drilled a 9-iron 130 yards to 15 feet and drained the downhiller. A pair of bogeys threatened to spoil an otherwise sweet Heidelberg orientation. Hudson missed an eight-foot comebacker on No. 14 (par 4, 357 yards). A “bad hybrid” from 203 yards on No. 15 (par 4, 435 yards) resulted in a missed green. Flop it on, leave with a 5. Accomplished. Pars therein stopped the bleeding.

Hudson posted the day’s lone subpar score. The field scoring average crested to 80.8.

Incorporate a meaningful Warner victory into a busy yet exciting time in Hudson’s life. In addition to his HB Leisure responsibilities (Hudson is heading to Kennywood in West Mifflin, Pa. tomorrow morning), Hudson’s son Lucas will graduate from Lehigh University in two weeks.

“Lots of reasons I’m happy for him,” a smiling Hudson said. “He’s going to go work for Bank of America in global equities and research. He interned this past summer for them. He worked hard to do this.”

With his performance Thursday, Hudson crosses a 2023 goal off his list: win a GAP event. There’s more.

“I want to contend for Senior Player of the Year. I want to try and win another Senior Silver Cross. I want to qualify for the U.S. Senior Amateur,” Hudson said.

The last one may be complicated. Tim Batstone, Chairman of HB Leisure, is expected to meet and travel with Hudson from July 20-31. GAP will administer U.S. Senior Amateur Qualifying on July 31 at Kennett Square Golf & Country Club in Kennett Square, Pa.

So Hudson may need to travel (Connecticut, Virginia and West Virginia all possibilities) for qualifying. Go figure. 

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, in 2022, separated a Super-Senior Division from its traditional Warner Cup counterpart. The Warner Cup – Super Senior, set for May 31 at Medford Lakes Country Club, will feature two divisions: 65 years of age or older (Super Senior) and 70 years of age or older (Legends). It will be limited to 78 individuals.

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 organization’s 340 Member Clubs and 100,000 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.

Results
Name, clubScore
Jeff Hudson, Olde Homestead Golf Club68
John Barry, Lancaster Country Club70
Don Donatoni, White Manor Country Club70
Rich Pruchnik, Downingtown Country Club72
Steve Walczak, Wilmington Country Club72
Joe Roeder, Merion Golf Club72
Gregory Buliga, Yardley Country Club73
Paul Rogowicz, Yardley Country Club73
Michael Anderson, Philadelphia Cricket Club73
Neil Gordon, Doylestown Country Club73
Christopher Clauson, LuLu Country Club73
Chris Storck, LedgeRock Golf Club73
Brad Jankowski, Little Mill Country Club74
Jeff Frazier, Carlisle Country Club74
Byron Whitman, Berkshire Country Club74
Don Uhrig, LedgeRock Golf Club74
Ronan Culligan, Saucon Valley Country Club74
Oscar Mestre, Overbrook Golf Club75
Brian Corbett, Country Club of Scranton75
Tom Soares, Lehigh Country Club75
Edward Kelly, Old York Road Country Club75
Roc Irey, LuLu Country Club75
Michael Tash, Little Mill Country Club75
Drew Eddy, Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club76
Robert Amen, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association76
Joseph Russo, Wedgwood Country Club76
Bill Burke, Galloway National Golf Club76
Doug Fedoryshyn, Concord Country Club76
Mark Walkush, Sunnybrook Golf Club76
Andrew Sterge, Applebrook Golf Club77
P. Chet Walsh, Philadelphia Country Club77
Fred Lening, Green Pond Country Club77
Dave Olexson, Steel Club77
Gary Daniels, Applebrook Golf Club77
Rick James, Doylestown Country Club78
Jim Prendergast, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association78
Jeff Moyher, Merion Golf Club78
Joe Coulson, Wedgewood Golf Course78
Bill McGuinness, Tavistock Country Club78
Michael Quinn, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association78
David Blichar, Olde Homestead Golf Club78
Tom DiCinti, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association78
Mike Moffat, LuLu Country Club79
John Robinson, LuLu Country Club79
Perry Landis, Moselem Springs Golf Club79
Tom Borsello, DuPont Country Club79
Mark Choi, Saucon Valley Country Club79
David West, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association79
George Steinmetz, Spring Ford Country Club79
Mark Doughty, Fieldstone Golf Club80
Matthew Smith, Regents’ Glen Country Club80
Mike Walker, Hartefeld National80
Buck Jones, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association80
Michael Kandravi, Llanerch Country Club80
Joe Duhack, LuLu Country Club80
Jason Barkley, Moselem Springs Golf Club80
Michael Vassil, Country Club of Scranton80
Michael Stanley, Aronimink Golf Club81
Jeffrey Gingerich, Conestoga Country Club81
John Conway, Little Mill Country Club81
Frank Corrado, LuLu Country Club81
Alex Campbell, Cedarbrook Country Club81
Chris Ortman, Woodstone Country Club81
Bob Beck, Lehigh Country Club81
Tom Bartolacci, LuLu Country Club81
Christopher Vinci, Five Ponds Golf Club81
Craig Kliewer, Lebanon Country Club81
Drew Panebianco, Five Ponds Golf Club81
Anthony Fioretti, Riverview Country Club82
Adam Armagost, Little Mill Country Club82
Scott McIntosh, LuLu Country Club82
Tom White, Buck Hill Falls Golf Club82
Patrick O’Brien, North Hills Country Club82
Jim Gavaghan, Commonwealth National Golf Club82
Norman Charlesworth, Wedgwood Country Club82
Mike Moser, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club82
Alan Wagenschnur, Newark Country Club83
Michael Lewers, Aronimink Golf Club83
Larry Martone, Stonewall83
Chris Smedley, Hartefeld National83
Jay DesJardins, Stonewall83
Robert Harrington, Merion Golf Club84
Carlos Ochoa, Little Mill Country Club84
Scott Young, Overbrook Golf Club84
Ed Kahn, Little Mill Country Club84
David Strohl, Olde Homestead Golf Club84
Dominic Carr, Olde Homestead Golf Club85
Mike Farlling, Carlisle Country Club85
Thomas Egolf, Southmoore Golf Center85
Paul Dansbury, Yardley Country Club85
Larry Pritchard, Olde Homestead Golf Club85
John Nottage, USGA/GAP GC86
Fred Greene, Lehigh Country Club86
Eric Meyer, Whitford Country Club86
John Gosselin, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club87
Jeffrey Amrhein, Briarwood Golf Club87
John Alterman, Commonwealth National Golf Club87
Rich Thon, The Springhaven Club88
Tom Finn, DuPont Country Club88
Thomas Lusto, USGA/GAP GC88
Jules Quinones, Blue Bell Country Club88
Jeff Denbigh, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club89
John Luca, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association89
Mark Walker, Laurel Creek Country Club90
Gregory Day, Old York Road Country Club91
Andy McCormick, Rolling Green Golf Club91
Joe Arrante, Newark Country Club91
Matthew Mingione, The 1912 Club91
Keith Wilson, Ed Oliver Golf Club93
Andy Lykon, Wedgewood Golf Course94
Elliot Sheftel, Lehigh Country Club97
Kevin Wall, Old York Road Country Club98
John Puskar, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club102
Glenn Smeraglio, LuLu Country ClubNC
Scott Hendry, Moselem Springs Golf ClubWD
Robert Dietrich, Philadelphia Publinks Golf AssociationWD
James Gross, Glenmaura National Golf ClubWD
Bob Wurtz, Philadelphia Cricket ClubWD
Glenn Prokopik, LedgeRock Golf ClubWD
Mike Fagan, Whitemarsh Valley Country ClubWD
NC – no card; WD – withdrawal

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