MALVERN, Pa.–Don Donatoni played trumpet solo with his school band in the 1964 New York World’s Fair. He vividly remembers belting out notes with his top-of-the-line Bach Stradivarius.
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When it comes to the Super-Senior golf sect, Donatoni doesn’t need to toot his own horn; he’s a maestro on the course.
At his home track of White Manor Country Club Wednesday, Donatoni punctuated a second Senior Amateur Championship Super-Senior Division victory in dominant fashion. Donatoni finished the two rounds in a 1-over-par 143 total, eclipsing the field and his nearest foe, Robin McCool of Saucon Valley Country Club, by a record eight strokes. Donatoni and McCool both posted closing 73s.
“It’s thrilling. Anytime you win a GAP Major it’s a tremendous honor given the competition and the history of the event,” said Donatoni, 68, of Malvern, Pa., who holds 31 overall White Manor club championships, 19 men’s and 12 seniors. “To do it at my own club makes it extra special because you know the members are rooting for you. You don’t want to let them down. It’s very fulfilling in many ways.”
The previous Super-Senior record for margin of victory in the Senior Amateur was five strokes. Donatoni (2013) and O. Gordon Brewer, Jr. (2008) of Pine Valley Golf Club each held the mark.
Donatoni entered the final round with a commanding five-shot lead over Mike Rose of Talamore Country Club. Playing conservatively, using more 3-woods than drivers and emphasizing accuracy, he extended the advantage to seven shots thru 9 and even bogeyed No. 18 (par 4, 356 yards) to finish with the decisive eight-stroke margin.
Donatoni record 16 pars and two bogeys.
“I came in with the mentality of playing conservative. I hit a lot of fairways and a lot of good iron shots again. The putter wasn’t cooperating as it did yesterday but I made a lot of really good two-putts and a couple of really good, five-, six-, eight-foot par putts,” said Donatoni, who hit 12 fairways and 14 greens in regulation.
McCool did his best to keep stride, but an opening-round 78 dug too big a hole to recover.
Still, second-place in his first Senior Amateur Championship Super-Senior Division has McCool ready for more.
“I’m disappointed that I didn’t play very well yesterday. Even if I would have played well, I’m not sure it would have made any difference,” said McCool, 65, of Bethlehem, Pa. “You can’t take anything for granted [at this level] because the competition is very, very good, which I knew. The only thing you can do when you finish second is to work harder. That’s what I’m going to do for next year.”
The Donatoni victory also secured a fourth-straight Super-Senior Silver Cross Award, earned by the player with the lowest aggregate score in the Warner Cup (Gross), Chapman (Gross) and Senior Amateur Championship.
Donatoni defeated McCool by 12 strokes for that.
“It’s a terrific accomplishment. To do it once is a great honor. To be able to back it up and do it several times in a row is very special,” said a humbled Donatoni. “It’s a hard award to win. It’s a testament to consistency.”
Donatoni entered the Senior Amateur fresh off a victory in the Super-Senior Division of the 65th Senior Men’s North & South Amateur Championship at Pinehurst Resort. A national event, Donatoni rallied from eight shots back in the third and final round to defeat Day 2 leader Logan Jackson of Winston Salem, N.C. by a stroke.
|Don Donatoni, White Manor Country Club||70-73–143|
|Robin McCool, Saucon Valley Country Club||78-73–151|
|Robert Billings, Rolling Green Golf Club||80-74–154|
|Carl Everett, Merion Golf Club||77-78–155|
|Dave Jacobson, Medford Village Country Club||76-79–155|
|Richard Krauss, Manufacturers Golf & Country Club||77-78–155|
|Michael Rose, Talamore Country Club||75-81–156|
|Tom DiCinti, Old York CC at Chesterfield||81-75–156|
|Alan Van Horn, Commonwealth National Golf Club||78-80–158|
|John Rowe, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club||77-82–159|
|Frank Polizzi, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club||83-77–160|
|Michael Howanski, The Springhaven Club||79-81–160|
|Scott Shafer, Whitford Country Club||83-77–160|
|Norman Linker, Old York CC at Chesterfield||80-81–161|
|James Sullivan, Sr., Huntingdon Valley Country Club||80-82–162|
|Michael Anton, Lookaway Golf Club||85-77–162|
|Charles McClaskey, Loch Nairn Golf Club||85-78–163|
|Charles Whipple, Huntingdon Valley Country Club||83-80–163|
|Donald MacKelcan, Wilmington Country Club||81-82–163|
|James Haynie, Commonwealth National Golf Club||83-80–163|
|John Cech, Riverton Country Club||79-84–163|
|John Turner, The Springhaven Club||79-84–163|
|Michael Nilon, Philadelphia Country Club||81-82–163|
|Howard Press, Little Mill Country Club||82-82–164|
|Frank Treml, Philadelphia Publinks GA||85-80–165|
|Raymond Pawulich, Little Mill Country Club||84-81–165|
|Robert Lodovici, Little Mill Country Club||83-82–165|
|Donald Ashley, Philadelphia Country Club||86-80–166|
|Rory Loberg, Bent Creek Country Club||82-84–166|
|Terry Law, Yardley Country Club||88-78–166|
|Thomas Mallouk, Lookaway Golf Club||82-84–166|
|Jon Mabry, Moorestown Field Club||80-87–167|
|Larry Martin, Five Ponds Golf Club||81-86–167|
|Theodore Beringer, Philadelphia Country Club||82-85–167|
|Michael Doyle, Cedarbrook Country Club||83-85–168|
|Thomas Mairone, Philadelphia Publinks GA||83-85–168|
|Eugene Maginnis, Jr., Whitemarsh Valley Country Club||80-89–169|
|Joseph McLean, Rolling Green Golf Club||89-81–170|
|Dale Moss, Manufacturers Golf & Country Club||83-88–171|
|Jay Ward, Cedarbrook Country Club||86-85–171|
|Richard Keesling, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club||88-85–173|
|Joel McFadden, Philadelphia Publinks GA||83-91–174|
|Gordon Schafer, Woodcrest Country Club||87-NS–NS|
|Michael Civitello, Chester Valley Golf Club||84-WD–WD|