Aug 09, 2010

Loch Nairn GC’s Walker grabs Marston Cup in playoff

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Marston Cup

CONCORDVILLE, Pa. – Loch Nairn GC’s Michael Walker knocked off Byron Whitman of Golden Oaks GC to capture the Marston Cup Monday at Concord CC (par 71, 6,611 yards).


  Walker earned his second piece of GAP hardware by prevailing on the first playoff hole. He drilled his 8-iron 156 yards to 15-feet on No. 1 (par 4, 393 yards) and two-putted for par. Whitman, meanwhile, steered his approach to the left of the green, watched his delicate chip burn the right edge of the cup and missed a five-footer to save par.

  “It feels great,” Walker said. “I didn’t expect it. There are a bunch of good players in this field. I’m real excited. To have my name on this cup with all of the players that have won this is a special feeling and something I’ll always remember.”

  Walker isn’t a stranger to sudden-death scenarios. He triumphed in the 2007 Tournament of Champions by edging Mike Owsik of Plymouth CC, Rich Pruchnik of West Chester G&CC and P. Chet Walsh of Philadelphia CC in a playoff at Coatesville CC.

  Playing in the same group, both Walker and Whitman carded respective 1-under-par 70s in regulation. Walker, of Oxford, Pa., gave himself opportunities to score, but he couldn’t find the right formula with the flatstick.

  “I hit the ball pretty good all day,” he said. “My irons were pretty solid. I just couldn’t make many putts today. I kept putting the ball in the wrong positions on the green. I didn’t capitalize on my better iron shots.”

  Walker didn’t get off to the start he anticipated. He pierced his pitching wedge to 15-feet above the No. 2 (par 4, 312 yards) flagstick, rolled his birdie effort four feet by and missed the comebacker to save par. Walker, 42, responded by striking his pitching wedge 130 yards and by sinking a downhill 18-footer for birdie on No. 3 (par 4, 334 yards). A second blemish occurred on No. 5 (par 4, 370 yards) as Walker three-putted from 15-feet. Once again, however, he redeemed himself by posting an eight-footer for birdie on No. 6 (par 5, 560 yards) thanks to a gentle 30-yard sand wedge shot. Walker carded another red figure on No. 11 (par 3, 187 yards) after lacing his 5-iron to 10-feet. He just missed an uphill 12-footer for birdie on No. 12 (par 4, 442 yards).

  “I’m proud of the way I played,” Walker said. “I hit the ball real solid. If I putted better, it could’ve been a real good round, but overall, I’m happy with the way I competed today.”


  Whitman, of Reading, Pa., carried a sizzling golf game into Concord Monday. He won the Berks County Golf Association’s 78th Amateur Championship by a sensational five-stroke margin at Berkleigh GC Aug. 1.

  “I’ve been riding kind of a hot streak,” he said. “I was hoping that would carry over. This was a shot-maker’s course where you needed to control your tee shots, and I felt like I did that fairly well today. I made some opportune putts down the stretch to overcome some bad swings.”

  A “bad bogey” on the par 4, 312-yard No. 2 temporarily cooled Whitman off. His approach sand wedge flew the green and he couldn’t get up-and-down. Whitman went on to card three birdies on his outward tour. His smooth 4-iron settled 15-feet from the No. 4 (par 3, 178 yards) flagstick, and converted a left-to-right breaker.

  “That got me pumped up,” Whitman, 51, said.

  Whitman stuck his wedge 30 yards to three feet on No. 6 (par 5, 560 yards). Another solid tee shot on a par 3 (No. 8, 170 yards) set Whitman up for his third red figure of the day. His full 7-iron stopped three feet from the hole location. Facing a tricky lie on No. 9 (par 4, 409 yards), Whitman pushed his 5-iron into the greenside bunker, blasted out to within 12 feet and missed the ensuing par putt. A three-putt bogey on No. 13 (par 4, 430 yards) brought Whitman’s scorecard back to the blue. His approach landed close to the left fringe. Whitman ran his birdie putt four feet by and failed to convert the comebacker.

  “I misjudged it there, and didn’t hit the second putt as firm as I would’ve liked to. It broke a little right on me,” he said.

  Whitman blocked his 5-iron right on No. 15 (par) directly into a tree. He pitched up to 15-feet and couldn’t save par. Sensing that he needed a strong finish, Whitman registered back-to-back red figures on Nos. 17 (par 4, 333 yards) and 18 (par 5, 508 yards). He nearly drove the No. 17 green. With a comfortable yardage into the hole location, Whitman knocked his sand wedge to 10-feet. Knowing where Walker stood on the leaderboard, Whitman fired his 5-iron just short of the putting surface. His chip halted 10-feet from the cup, and Whitman executed the under-par chance.

  “It felt good to make a putt like that,” he said. “Today was great. This was my best finish in a GAP event.”

Byron Whitman and Michael Walker shake hands 
following Walker’s win on the 
first playoff hole.

  The Marston Cup honors Max Marston. For four months in the summer of 1923, Marston was America’s best amateur golfer. Between mid-May and mid-September, Marston was virtually unstoppable through a series of club, state, national and international events.

  It began with the Walker Cup Matches where Marston won two matches as the Americans successfully retained the Cup. Marston returned home to capture the Patterson Cup and Amateur Championship in successive weeks and, in doing so, earned the Silver Cross Award. In July, he took the Pennsylvania Amateur title and finished as the low amateur in the Philadelphia Open.

  In September, Marston traveled to Floosmoor Country Club outside Chicago, Ill. for the U.S. Amateur. He rallied in the second round to defeat tournament favorite Bob Jones, 2&1, before knocking off Francis Ouimet in the semifinals. He stopped defending champion Jess Sweetser in the final on the 38th hole. In that four month span, he also captured the Merion Cricket Club championship and Pine Valley GC’s Crump Cup.

  The tournament is limited to players 40 to 54 years of age with a 10.0 handicap index or lower.

*Michael WalkerLoch Nairn Golf Club70
Byron WhitmanGolden Oaks Golf Club70
Santo LafocaHuntsville Golf Club72
Ron WeaverMeadia Heights Golf Club72
David LiottaWhitemarsh Valley Country Club72
Marlin DetweilerLancaster Country Club73
Doug FedoryshynConcord Country Club73
Oscar MestreOverbrook Golf Club73
Mark CzerniakowskiBlue Bell Country Club73
Scott KleeBellewood Golf Club74
James Bell, IIIMakefield Highlands Golf Club74
John LeBoeufPhiladelphia Country Club74
Dave O’BrienCedarbrook Country Club74
Blake SlaweckiPhiladelphia Publinks GA74
Mark WachterDuPont Country Club74
Thomas FinnCavaliers Country Club74
David DoreyTavistock Country Club74
Andrew DietzLaurel Creek Country Club75
Joseph RoederLinks Golf Club76
John StepanikBlue Bell Country Club76
Brian DobischTalamore Country Club76
Gerry BaldachinoOld York CC at Chesterfield76
Robert LoftusOverbrook Golf Club76
Rocky DareRunning Deer Golf Club77
Joseph KinsmanDowningtown Country Club77
Andrew AbramsRolling Green Golf Club77
P. Chet WalshPhiladelphia Country Club77
Douglas GregorHuntingdon Valley Country Club77
John DonnellyConcord Country Club78
Chris HungerWedgwood Country Club78
Edward EricksonMercer Oaks Golf Course78
Ralph GarianoCommonwealth National Golf Club79
Jack O’HaraCedarbrook Country Club79
Buddy ReedBack Creek Golf Club79
Scott BarthWyoming Valley Country Club79
Cameron CampbellMcCall Golf & Country Club79
James BlickleLedgeRock Golf Club80
Todd VonderheidHuntsville Golf Club80
Joe GranahanConcord Country Club80
John BrownRolling Green Golf Club80
Andrew LombardThe Springhaven Club81
Patrick Cahill, IIIWhitemarsh Valley Country Club81
Peter MoranEdgmont Country Club81
Ed KahnLittle Mill Country Club81
Patrick O’BrienNorth Hills Country Club82
Brett VivianLu Lu Country Club82
Jim MuehlbronnerSandy Run Country Club82
Brian PowellBurlington Country Club82
Greg BlackburnHoneybrook Golf Club82
Michael ShoupSandy Run Country Club82
Graham DesmondGolf Course at Glen Mills82
John GosselinKennett Square Golf & Country Club82
Walt NeumannMcCall Golf & Country Club83
Joe WintschBellewood Golf Club83
J. Kirk LunteyMerion Golf Club83
Chuck KraatzTalamore Country Club84
Robert Parsons, Jr.Huntingdon Valley Country Club84
Brian KreamerBala Golf Club84
Bryan McClaskeyMerchantville Country Club84
Kenneth ZimmerLaurel Creek Country Club84
Lee Johnson, Jr.Downingtown Country Club84
John WilladsenSakima Country Club85
William DaltonOverbrook Golf Club86
Robert TredinnickCommonwealth National Golf Club86
Brett CoddingtonBrookside Country Club87
Kevin MarcusLoch Nairn Golf Club88
Jeffrey PrickittManufacturers Golf & Country Club88
Peter ZukowskiMakefield Highlands Golf Club89
Skip HoerzRiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve89
Joseph GreenwaldRiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve90
Edward AttarianCommonwealth National Golf Club90
David MaslankaSeaview Resort & Spa90
William HagelMcCall Golf & Country Club91
Daniel CrowleyMcCall Golf & Country Club92
Joseph TemplinLedgeRock Golf Club97
George SteinmetzSpring Ford Country ClubWD
Antonio LetaDoylestown Country ClubWD
Steve AnuszewskiTrump National Golf Club – PhiladelphiaWD
Mark WalkushManufacturers Golf & Country ClubWD
John MullinsFive Ponds Golf ClubWD
Domenic CastagnaBensalem Township Country ClubWD
Matthew WelshSt. Davids Golf ClubWD
Mark KoskoMercer Oaks Golf CourseWD

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