McClaskey’s final-hole birdie clinches 2, almost 3, Super-Senior titles - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Sep 08, 2010

McClaskey’s final-hole birdie clinches 2, almost 3, Super-Senior titles

  PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa.–Charles McClaskey of Back Creek GC hauled in the Super-Senior version of a King’s Ransom on Wednesday at a challenging and windy Sunnybrook GC (par 72, 6,141 yards). Battling a gusty back-nine breeze and treacherous putting surfaces, the 71-year-old former elevator constructor carded a final-round 73 to win the Senior Amateur Championship Super-Senior title by two strokes over division rookie James Robertson of Saucon Valley CC. In doing so, McClaskey also clinched the Super-Senior Silver Cross and, barring an unlikely long and sustained run at the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship by any his rivals, the Super-Senior Player of the Year Award.

  McClaskey stamped all three feats with one dramatic 20-foot downhill birdie on the final hole.

“The goal was to see if I could win the Silver Cross and the Amateur at the same time. That’s exactly what I was trying to do,” said the Elkton, Md. resident. “I played solid golf both days. I don’t know how to explain it other than I did what I was trying to do. You don’t win very often no matter how good you play. It’s very satisfying.”

  McClaskey, who finished the two days with a 147 total, forged through Wednesday’s difficult conditions with great precision, hitting 17 of 18 greens in regulation. On No. 18 (par 4, 344 yards), after watching eight consecutive birdie bids slip away, McClaskey asked an official on the green for his placing as it pertained to both the event and Super-Senior Silver Cross standings, before rolling in his one and only second-round birdie.

  The putt added a bit of fluff to his final Senior Amateur Championship victory margin, but just as important, gave McClaskey a one-shot edge over longtime buddy O. Gordon Brewer, Jr. of Pine Valley GC for the Super-Senior Silver Cross.

  “He’s gotten me a couple of times and it’s satisfying for me to get him,” said a gracious McClaskey. “That was the longest putt I had on the back nine. I wanted to make it without drilling it by. I knew I hit a good putt going down there. I really wanted to make that putt, of course, I wanted to make all the rest, too, but they didn’t go in. It was almost dead center. That was my first one-putt of the day.”

  McClaskey’s round mirrored his scorecard’s par line. He matched 15 numbers, had two bogeys and that birdie. He three putted No. 2 (par 4, 394 yards) and failed to get up-and-down on No. 4 (par 4, 362 yards) after missing the green with his approach for those two above-par scores.

  A myriad of contenders made a run at McClaskey throughout the morning. However, in the end, his closest foe was Robertson. Playing in only his second Golf Association of Philadelphia Senior competition, the 66-year-old resident of Bethlehem, Pa. almost provided himself with the ultimate birthday present. He turned a year older today.

  Robertson settled his nerves with a birdie on No. 1 (par 4, 341 yards) but bogeyed the front side’s two par 5s, No. 3 (par 5, 489 yards) and No. 7 (par 5, 489 yards), to make the turn in 1-over-par 37. At that point, McClaskey held a one-shot advantage.

  “I knew I had to make some birdies [coming in],” said Robertson. “I played with Charlie and Gordon at the Chapman [Cup (Gross)]. I knew Charlie wasn’t going to give it to me, so at that point I had to go out and get it.”

  Robertson opened his final push with a birdie on No. 10 (par 5, 510 yards) but seemingly every time he gained some momentum with an under-par figure, a bogey or worse reared its ugly head. Case and point, a double bogey on No. 11 (par 4, 386 yards) after a poor chip and three-putt countered his good work on the hole prior. Robertson continued to grind, however, and responded with a birdie on No. 13 (par 4, 374 yards) with a 6-iron from 155 yards to four feet. He posted another bogey-birdie combination on No. 15 (part 3, 159 yards) and No. 16 (par 5, 504 yards), before facing a 25-foot putt from just off the front of the No. 18 green for the tie.

  His effort stopped a foot short and dead in the heart.

  “At that point I knew I had to get another birdie,” said Robertson, a long standing Saucon Valley CC member. “[Close friend] Tom Bartolacci convinced me I should be playing [in Golf Association of Philadelphia events]. He can be difficult [wink, wink] at times if you don’t listen to him.”

  NOTES-The Super-Senior Silver Cross is awarded to the player with the lowest aggregate score in the Warner Cup (Gross), Chapman Cup (Gross) and Senior Amateur Championship rounds.

Name, club Rd. 1 Rd. 2 Total
Charles McClaskey, Back Creek Golf Club 74 73 147
James Robertson, Saucon Valley Country Club 76 73 149
Michael Civitello, Chester Valley Golf Club 76 75 151
David Jordan, Sakima Country Club 79 73 152
O. Gordon Brewer, Jr., Pine Valley Golf Club 76 77 153
Charles McDowell, Wilmington Country Club 80 75 155
Ken Gaskill, Rancocas Golf Club 79 76 155
Terry Fair, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve 75 81 156
Jarrett Kling, Merion Golf Club 80 77 157
Jay Kocher, Loch Nairn Golf Club 77 80 157
Herbert Gordon, Doylestown Country Club 78 80 158
John Owens, Tavistock Country Club 79 79 158
W. Scott Yard, Whitford Country Club 78 80 158
Curt Fromal, The Springhaven Club 82 77 159
Jay Howson, Jr., St. Davids Golf Club 78 82 160
Richard Smith, Philadelphia Country Club 81 79 160
Art Brosius, DuPont Country Club 77 85 162
Thomas O’Rourke, Chester Valley Golf Club 84 78 162
James Barron, Hartefeld National 79 85 164
James Sherratt, Old York Road Country Club 86 79 165
Michael McNichol, The Springhaven Club 80 86 166
Bill Weinfeld, JC Melrose Country Club 85 82 167
Warren Deakins, Philadelphia Country Club 82 85 167
Joseph Virdone, Philadelphia Country Club 90 78 168
Thomas Morgan, Riverton Country Club 78 90 168
Louis Pace, Medford Village Country Club 80 89 169
Raymond Fuller, Running Deer Golf Club 81 88 169
Jim Lloyd, Running Deer Golf Club 85 85 170
Frank Kunze, Spring Ford Country Club 90 81 171
Robert Agran, Reading Country Club 88 84 172
Bill Smith, Sandy Run Country Club 88 86 174
Clay von Seldeneck, Sunnybrook Golf Club 88 86 174
Joseph Milutis, Northampton Country Club 86 88 174
James Hilty, Talamore Country Club 85 91 176
Mark McDermott, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club 86 90 176
Thomas Daymont, Blue Bell Country Club 86 90 176
John Clough, Philadelphia Cricket Club 89 88 177
John Ayres, Woodcrest Country Club 92 87 179
John Evans, Moorestown Field Club 90 89 179
Richard Genoni, Waynesborough Country Club 92 88 180
Lawrence Capuzzi, Sr., Rolling Green Golf Club 92 89 181
Peter Stanley, Sunnybrook Golf Club 95 88 183
James Callaghan, Rolling Green Golf Club 95 89 184
Joseph Maxwell, Hartefeld National 83 WD WD
Paul Franks, Wedgwood Country Club 82 DQ DQ
DQ-disqualification; WD-withdrawal

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