With a birdie on his final hole, Jim Hoover claimed the Anthracite Golf Association’s 36th Senior Coal Scuttle Championship at The Country Club of Scranton’s Old Course (par 72, 6,107 yards) Aug. 20.
After hitting a driver and 3-wood to the front fringe on No. 18 (par 5, 459 yards), the Huntsville Golf Club member chipped up to four feet with his lob wedge and converted the putt to win by a shot.
“As I tell everybody, when you get up there in age you never know when your last victory will be your last,” said Hoover, of Kingston, Pa. “It’s great to still be competitive at 64 years old and playing the young kids at 50.
“At the time, I didn’t know I needed a birdie at the last to win. If I knew I needed a birdie to win, I am not sure how it would have turned out. I was trying to birdie to help my team out so that’s all that was on my mind playing the hole.”
That birdie helped solidify Huntsville’s place at the top of the Senior Coal Scuttle team championship with a four-man total of 11-over-par — seven shots clear of Elmhurst Country Club.
Hoover added three other birdies to his card on Nos. 3 (par 3, 157 yards), 4 (par 5, 394 yards) and 7 (par 4, 369 yards).
Hoover stuffed a 7-iron to a foot on the third and stuck a gap wedge from 100 yards to five feet on the fourth.
But he said the highlight of the day came on the seventh. After hitting a solid drive, Hoover had 150 yards for his second. He used the same swing he exhibited on No. 3 and hit 7-iron to 20 feet. He would convert the right to left “snake” putt to get to 2 under.
That’s all Hoover needed to claim his second Senior Coal Scuttle. He won the 2013 edition at Irem Country Club.
“The weather hasn’t allowed us to play a decent amount of golf,” said Hoover. “This round was only the second one I have played in the last 10 days. I’ve been playing good. My game has been coming around since I had shoulder surgery in February. It took longer to recover than I thought.
“At 64, I appreciate still being able to play golf and I enjoy being around the guys. If I get a win once and awhile it’s nice but I know the wins won’t be as frequent. I just enjoy being out there.”
Anthracite Golf Association
The Anthracite Golf Association merged with the Golf Association of Philadelphia in 2018. Anthracite, an organization founded in 1951, promotes golf in the Northeastern Pennsylvania region. At the height of its growth, Anthracite included 46 Member Clubs in 18 counties.
Golf Association of Philadelphia
Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) 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 260 Full Member Clubs and 75,000 individual members are spread across Eastern Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey and Delaware. 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.