Jul 10, 2013

Brewer Cup: White Manor’s Donatoni dons Super-Senior crown

  BUCKINGHAM, Pa. — A sought-after Super-Senior sweep remains within Don Donatoni’s reach.

  The Division rookie is now three-for-three in Golf Association of Philadelphia tournaments this year. He upended Sakima Country Club’s David Jordan, 2&1, to win the Super-Senior title in the 6th Brewer Cup at Lookaway Golf Club Wednesday. Donatoni captured the Warner Cup (Gross) and Chapman Cup (Gross) earlier this year. He is the first player to win all three in the same year since Back Creek Golf Club’s Charles McClaskey did so in 2011.

   “It’s an honor to win this one because of Gordon and what he represents to all of us,” Donatoni, 65, of Malvern, Pa., said. “He’s a special man and an iconic figure in Philadelphia golf. As far as I’m concerned, this is the crème de la crème of events.”

   “I was hitting the driver really well, but the irons were absolutely horrible,” Jordan, 70, of Swedesboro, N.J., said. “I was nervous this morning for one thing. It’s the first time I’ve ever been in this position. It was one of those things where I was just happy to be there, and I just made some bad swings. That’s the way it goes.”

  Jordan’s aforementioned iron play at the match’s outset allowed Donatoni to gain full control. He claimed the first hole (par 4, 351 yards) after Jordan bladed an upwind 6-iron 150 yards into the right rough and nudged a downhill chip that rapidly released to the fringe. On No. 3 (par 5, 490 yards), Donatoni nuzzled a wedge 20 yards to four feet for a conceded 4 and a 2-up edge. Jordan miscues on Nos. (par 4, 342 yards), 7 (par 4, 351 yards) and 9 (par 4, 333 yards) merely fed Donatoni’s greens machine (he hit all nine on the front side).

 Standing 5-up with nine holes left on the slate, Donatoni’s confidence beamed. Mother Nature briefly thwarted his vibes on No. 10 (par 4, 315 yards). The wind howled as Donatoni hit a knockdown 8-iron from 140 yards into a bed of rough atop the right greenside bunker. He lofted a chip to eight feet and missed the par try. Jordan’s approach on the par 4, 367-yard 13th hole resulted in a conceded 3 after Donatoni flushed a 9-iron out of the left fairway bunker and into a patch of thick weeds behind the green.

   “He started to play very solid on the back nine and hit his irons very crisply. It put a lot of pressure on me,” Donatoni said. “He was playing a built-for-broke kind of style.”

   “It took me nine holes to figure out what I was doing wrong,” Jordan added. “I was just glad to come back and make it competitive. I pulled myself together, and it just lets me know I can do it.”

  With the wind remaining steady on No. 15 (par 3, 140 yards) tee, Donatoni grabbed a 7-iron and de-committed on the downswing. His golf ball landed behind the front bunker, and a Jordan two-putt shrunk the deficit to two. Gritty halves on the next two holes assured Donatoni the trophy.

   “At the beginning of the year, if you had told me I’d win the Warner (Gross), the Chapman (Gross) and the Brewer, I wouldn’t have believed you,” Donatoni said. “I’ve played the well, and the results show it. This is very special.”

  The Brewer Cup is named in honor of O. Gordon Brewer, Jr., the former president of Pine Valley Golf Club. He is a two-time U.S. Senior Amateur Champion and veteran of 42 USGA Championships. He’s captured two Golf Association of Philadelphia Amateur Championship titles (1967, 1976), a GAP Senior Amateur Championship crown (1997) and a Senior Player of the Year (1997) as well as countless invitational titles. Four years ago he was recognized for his contributions to the game with the USGA’s Bob Jones Award.

  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 143 Member Clubs and 57,000 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.

5. Don Donatoni, White Manor CC d. 6. David Jordan, Sakima CC, 2&1

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