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

Sep 14, 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.

Charles McClaskey watches his final dramatic birdie
putt on No. 18 (par 4, 355 yards) track toward the 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.”

James Robertson of Saucon Valley CC (left)
receives a hug from close friend Tom Bartolacci, Jr.
after completing his final round.

  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, clubRd. 1Rd. 2Total
Charles McClaskey, Back Creek Golf Club7473147
James Robertson, Saucon Valley Country Club7673149
Michael Civitello, Chester Valley Golf Club7675151
David Jordan, Sakima Country Club7973152
O. Gordon Brewer, Jr., Pine Valley Golf Club7677153
Charles McDowell, Wilmington Country Club8075155
Ken Gaskill, Rancocas Golf Club7976155
Terry Fair, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve7581156
Jarrett Kling, Merion Golf Club8077157
Jay Kocher, Loch Nairn Golf Club7780157
Herbert Gordon, Doylestown Country Club7880158
John Owens, Tavistock Country Club7979158
W. Scott Yard, Whitford Country Club7880158
Curt Fromal, The Springhaven Club8277159
Jay Howson, Jr., St. Davids Golf Club7882160
Richard Smith, Philadelphia Country Club8179160
Art Brosius, DuPont Country Club7785162
Thomas O’Rourke, Chester Valley Golf Club8478162
James Barron, Hartefeld National7985164
James Sherratt, Old York Road Country Club8679165
Michael McNichol, The Springhaven Club8086166
Bill Weinfeld, JC Melrose Country Club8582167
Warren Deakins, Philadelphia Country Club8285167
Joseph Virdone, Philadelphia Country Club9078168
Thomas Morgan, Riverton Country Club7890168
Louis Pace, Medford Village Country Club8089169
Raymond Fuller, Running Deer Golf Club8188169
Jim Lloyd, Running Deer Golf Club8585170
Frank Kunze, Spring Ford Country Club9081171
Robert Agran, Reading Country Club8884172
Bill Smith, Sandy Run Country Club8886174
Clay von Seldeneck, Sunnybrook Golf Club8886174
Joseph Milutis, Northampton Country Club8688174
James Hilty, Talamore Country Club8591176
Mark McDermott, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club8690176
Thomas Daymont, Blue Bell Country Club8690176
John Clough, Philadelphia Cricket Club8988177
John Ayres, Woodcrest Country Club9287179
John Evans, Moorestown Field Club9089179
Richard Genoni, Waynesborough Country Club9288180
Lawrence Capuzzi, Sr., Rolling Green Golf Club9289181
Peter Stanley, Sunnybrook Golf Club9588183
James Callaghan, Rolling Green Golf Club9589184
Joseph Maxwell, Hartefeld National83WDWD
Paul Franks, Wedgwood Country Club82DQDQ

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