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51st Senior Amateur: CC of Scranton

Lutz leads Senior Amateur at CC of Scranton after Round One

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CLARKS SUMMIT, Pa. – Chip Lutz took his first spin of the Country Club of Scranton (par 72, 6,616 yards) last Friday courtesy of member Mike Vassil. In Tuesday’s Final Round of the 51st Senior Amateur Championship, the two find themselves together once again after finishing atop the Day One leaderboard.

Lutz of LedgeRock Golf Club leads after a stellar 4-under 68. Vassil stands alone in second place at 2 under. Both are in search of a second Allan Sussel Memorial Trophy.

They begin their title quest at 1:45 p.m., along with groupmate Mark Bartkowski of Pocono Farms Country Club, who finished level par.

“We played a practice round together. He was a great host. He showed me around and gave me some pointers so I have to give him some credit for my round today,” said Lutz, 66, of Reading, Pa. “It’ll be fun to play with Mike again tomorrow.”

This won’t be the first time the two face each other with Senior Amateur glory up for grabs. In 2012, Vassil defeated Lutz in a playoff for the title at Wilmington Country Club (South). Lutz’s tournament triumph came in 2014.

“It’s nice knowing the course and where to hit it and not to hit it,” said Vassil, a 14-time Scranton Club Champion and 10-time Senior Club Champion. “The course is playing firm and fast for the first time all year. Home course knowledge is a big advantage when the greens get like this.”

Lutz’s recent knowledge – courtesy of Vassil – and a sensational wedge game, proved the perfect scoring potion Monday.

The nine-time GAP Senior Player of the Year Award (2010-18) carded seven birdies and three bogeys. He carded a spotless front nine with birdies on Nos. 4, 8 and 9. On No. 4 (par 5, 514 yards), he lifted a 60-degree wedge from 72 yards to two feet; on No. 8 (par 4 , 293 yards) clipped a 56-degree wedge from 82 yards to two feet; and on No. 9 (par 4, 343 yards), lofted a pitching wedge from 108 yards to three feet.

Wedge theme alert.

Lutz, who advanced to the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship Quarterfinals two weeks ago, gave a pair of shots back to start his inward nine when he missed the fairway on No. 10 (par 4, 400 yards) and three-putted No. 11 (par 3, 151 yards) from 40-feet before ripping off three straight birdies to regain his footing. On No. 12 (par 5, 480 yards), he hit a 50-degree wedge from 105 yards to five inches; on No. 13 (par 4, 356 yards) drained a 15-footer; and on the downhill No. 14 (par 5, 532 yards) ripped a 5-iron from 240 yards to the front of the green before two-putting from 90 feet.

An eight-foot par try on No. 15 (par 4, 403 yards) resulted in another bogey, before on No. 18 (par 5, 530 yards), Lutz knocked down a pitching wedge from 109 yards that flew 15-feet past the cup, spun back and stopped five feet below the hole.

“It was a gratifying day for me. I’ve actually been putting well but not on the level I did today,” said Lutz. “All the approaches were really good. All my wedges were spot on today.”

Vassil, who started his round on the back nine, also made his turn at 3 under. The highlight coming on the difficult No. 17 (par 3, 215 yards) when he laced a 3-hybrid to five-feet left of the hole and made the putt. The 17th played as the fourth hardest hole with a 3.63 scoring average.

Vassil is a 30-year member of Scranton.

“We had a better-ball-of-partners tournament over the weekend so I got used to the course being firm for the first time there. It was meant to play firm and fast. [The course] is fairly generous off the tee. The greens are big but when the ball is bouncing you have to be in the correct quadrant of the green to have a chance. Knowing how the course plays makes a big difference.”

This is Lutz’s first GAP tournament of the year. Schedules and life have dictated such. Vassil has competed in the other two GAP Senior Majors of the season, the Chapman Cup (Gross) and Warner Cup (Gross), without any success.

“I didn’t have a whole lot of expectations,” said Vassil. “I haven’t been playing great all year long. I was just looking forward to playing a solid round. I started making a couple of putts which I haven’t been making lately.”

Jeff Hudson of Olde Homestead Golf Club, at 3 over, leads the Senior Silver Cross Award by three strokes over Oscar Mestre of Overbrook Golf Club. Hudson has never won the Senior Silver Cross.

Mestre won the award in 2019. The Senior Silver Cross is awarded to the player with the lowest aggregate score in the Francis B. Warner Cup (Gross), Frank H. Chapman Cup (Gross) and Senior Amateur Championship.

Owsik owns Super-Senior Division lead after Round One

Mike Owsik owns the Super-Senior lead after Round One in the Senior Amateur Championship at Country Club of Scranton (par 72, 6,114 yards).

The Hershey’s Mill Golf Club member got in the house Monday at even-par 72, giving him a one-stroke lead over four players at 1-over par. Tuesday’s Final Round begins at 8 a.m.

Despite beginning the day with a three-putt bogey on Scranton’s opener (par 4, 360 yards), eight pars followed on the front side.

“It was a really clean card besides that one, especially on the front,” said Owsik, 66, of Bryn Mawr, Pa. “I just trusted the putter today.”

A second bogey blemish surfaced on No. 10 (par 4, 360 yards), but the leader’s first birdie soon followed. On No. 11 (par 3, 133 yards), Owsik’s 8-iron landed 35 feet away, and the long look rolled in over the front lip for a 2. He’d go on to make his second and final birdie on No. 16 (par 4, 398 yards) to get back to level par. A pured driver rolled to the bottom of the hill, and again his trusty 8-iron was struck and placed to eight feet. Owsik rolled that birdie putt in.

“It just seems I’m too streaky with the [putter]. One day it’s good, you know, and the next day it’s bad. You’ve got to make all of those putts [out here],” said Owsik.

As the owner of MGOLF Driving Range & Learning Facility in Newtown Square, Pa., Owsik didn’t play much golf last season. He was understandably busy with his business due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and then the golf craze that came along with it. This season is a different story. He’s back, and his game is fine tuned.

“Last year I really didn’t play in many tournaments. We were closed down for six weeks when all the courses were closed down. But after that, it was just crazy on the business side,” said Owsik. “At the beginning of this year, I kind of refocused. I played in 20 tournaments, really all over the place.”

With a chance at his first GAP Senior Major trophy, Owsik sees another even-par round getting the job done tomorrow. Scranton’s grueling greens, plus the Super-Senior talents chasing the top spot, will make that goal even more challenging. Fourteen players are within five shots of the lead.

“I’ll try and shoot the best score I can and see where the chips fall. That’s all I can do,” said Owsik.

The Super-Senior Silver Cross race also wraps up tomorrow. Heading into the fourth and final round, Owsik (10-over par) sits tied for second, just three strokes back of Great Bear Golf Club’s Craig Scott (7-over). Five Ponds Golf Club’s Brian Rothaus also sits at 10 over.

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

GAP
Celebrating Amateur Golf since 1897, GAP, also known as the Golf Association of Philadelphia, 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 300 Member Clubs and 80,000 individual members are spread across the Eastern half of Pennsylvania and parts of Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

Senior Division
Name, clubR1 Score
Lutz, Chip, LedgeRock Golf Club68
Vassil, Michael, Country Club of Scranton70
Bartkowski, Mark, Pocono Farms Country Club72
Fieger, Sr., Chris, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association73
Weiscarger, Joseph, Wyoming Valley Country Club74
Hudson, Jeff, Olde Homestead Golf Club74
Burns, Tim, Country Club of Scranton74
Frazier, Jeff, Carlisle Country Club74
Anderson, Michael, Philadelphia Cricket Club74
Kelly, Kevin, Philadelphia Cricket Club74
Darragh, Denis, Olde Homestead Golf Club74
Landis, Perry, Moselem Springs Golf Club75
Ruby, Bob, Bon Air Country Club75
Charpek, Bill, Merion Golf Club75
Rogowicz, Paul, Yardley Country Club75
Pruchnik, Rich, Downingtown Country Club75
Brunn, Art, Wyoming Valley Country Club75
Armagost, Adam, Little Mill Country Club76
Mestre, Oscar, Overbrook Golf Club76
Lupica, John, Lookaway Golf Club76
Lewis, Norman, Pine Valley Golf Club77
Tash, Michael, Stone Harbor Golf Club77
Roeder, Joe, Merion Golf Club77
Kahn, Ed, Little Mill Country Club77
Choi, Mark, Saucon Valley Country Club78
Buliga, Gregory, Yardley Country Club78
Boyle, Bill, Metedeconk National Golf Club78
Beck, Bob, Lehigh Country Club78
Fedoryshyn, Doug, Concord Country Club78
Barry, John, Lancaster Country Club78
Cuddy, Matt, Huntsville Golf Club78
Russo, Joseph, Running Deer Golf Club78
Cahill, Barry, Radley Run Country Club79
Dimoff, Don, Bon Air Country Club79
Kliewer, Craig, Lebanon Country Club79
Bolcavage, Kenneth, Elkview Country Club79
Gill, Bob, Fox Hill Country Club79
Andrejko, Bob, StoneHedge Golf Assn.80
Brown, Michael, Country Club of Scranton80
Smeraglio, Glenn, LuLu Country Club80
Walsh, P. Chet, Philadelphia Country Club80
Trymbiski, Brian, Doylestown Country Club80
Hooper, Bruce, Jack Frost National Golf Club80
Atcavage, Rick, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club80
Strohl, David, Olde Homestead Golf Club80
Day, Gregory, Old York Road Country Club81
Steinmetz, George, Spring Ford Country Club81
Hutchinson, Mark, Lookaway Golf Club81
Brown, William, Country Club of Scranton81
Jankowski, Brad, Little Mill Country Club81
Ball, Russ, Gulph Mills Golf Club82
Blichar, David, Olde Homestead Golf Club82
Loftus, Bob, Overbrook Golf Club82
Sterge, Andrew, Applebrook Golf Club82
Wiedecke , Jeff, Shawnee Country Club82
Ochoa, Carlos, Little Mill Country Club82
McIntosh, Scott, LuLu Country Club82
Hinton, Tim, Elmhurst Country Club82
Coulson, Joe, Wedgewood Golf Club82
Jasinski, Joe, Steel Club82
Bell, III, James, Makefield Highlands Golf Club82
Swanson, Paul, Mountain View Country Club82
Whitman, Byron, Berkshire Country Club82
Soares, Tom, Lehigh Country Club83
Westington, Barry, Scranton Canoe Club83
Gross, James, Glenmaura National Golf Club83
Cattoni, J.R., Huntsville Golf Club83
Carr, Dominic, Olde Homestead Golf Club84
Shanahan, Jerry, Radley Run Country Club84
Allen, Jeffrey, Loch Nairn Golf Club84
Speaker, Andrew, Jericho National Golf Club84
Uhrig, Don, LedgeRock Golf Club84
Nestor, Sr., Kenneth, Country Club of Scranton85
Dougherty, Jerry, Scranton Canoe Club85
Wall, Kevin, Old York Road Country Club85
Treese, Kevin, Mountain View Country Club85
Corbett, Brian, Country Club of Scranton85
Sartell, Kevin, Loch Nairn Golf Club85
Hess, Paul, Hartefeld National85
Holstein, Richard, Rolling Green Golf Club85
Cubberley, Mark, Mercer Oaks Golf Course85
Hamm, Fran, Country Club of Scranton86
Folkes, David, Metedeconk National Golf Club86
Gosselin, John, Aronimink Golf Club86
Occhipinti, Mark, Country Club of Scranton87
O’Sullivan, Stephen, Philadelphia Cricket Club87
Decker, Michael, Old York CC at Chesterfield87
Leddy, Paul, Seaview Country Club88
Lanzalotto, Jim, Llanerch Country Club88
Dietz, Andy, Laurel Creek Country Club88
McCormick, Andy, Rolling Green Golf Club92
Cavanaugh, Mike, Jericho National Golf Club92
Smith, Gary, Pine Valley Golf ClubWD
Lykon, Andy, Wedgewood Golf ClubWD
O’Brien, Patrick, North Hills Country ClubWD
Alterman, John, Commonwealth National Golf ClubWD
Robinson, John, LuLu Country ClubWD
Luca, John, Philadelphia Publinks Golf AssociationWD
Quinn, Michael, Philadelphia Publinks Golf AssociationWD
Super-Senior DivisionR1 Score
Owsik, Mike, Hershey’s Mill Golf Club72
Delcher, Duke, Sandy Run Country Club73
Polizzi, Frank, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club73
White, Thomas, Buck Hill Falls Golf Club73
Scott, Craig, Great Bear Golf Club73
Rothaus, Brian, Five Ponds Golf Club74
Panebianco, Drew, Five Ponds Golf Club74
Osborne, Gregory, Overlook Golf Course75
Scarpetta, Jr., Vince, Nittany Country Club76
Clauson, Christopher, LuLu Country Club76
Mastromatteo, Jim, Briarwood Golf Club77
Daniels, Gary, Applebrook Golf Club77
Brewer, Gordon, Pine Valley Golf Club77
Thon, Rich, The Springhaven Club77
Detweiler, Marlin, Lancaster Country Club78
Maloney, Kerry, Country Club of Scranton78
Dowds, Chuck, Applebrook Golf Club79
Billings, Bob, Rolling Green Golf Club79
Hyland, Tom, Little Mill Country Club79
Smith, Matthew, Regents’ Glen Country Club79
Sheftel, Elliot, Lehigh Country Club79
Majczan, Bob, Lookaway Golf Club80
Donatoni, Don, White Manor Country Club80
Gonsior, John, The Bucks Club80
Nilon, Michael, Philadelphia Country Club80
Heck, Michael, Elkview Country Club80
DiCinti, Tom, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association81
van Horn, Al, Commonwealth National Golf Club82
Carney, Scott, Commonwealth National Golf Club82
Borsello, Tom, Wyncote Golf Club82
Press, Howard, Little Mill Country Club82
Zavada, John, Elkview Country Club83
Farlling, Mike, Carlisle Country Club83
Dorsey, Bob, Medford Lakes Country Club83
Pappas, Kevin, Mercer Oaks Golf Course84
Culley, Joe, The Springhaven Club84
McCool, Robin, Saucon Valley Country Club84
Sullivan, James, Huntingdon Valley Country Club85
Duhack, Joe, LuLu Country Club86
Lusto, Thomas, Green Pond Country Club87
Burton, Dan, Lancaster Country Club87
Dietrich, Robert, Loch Nairn Golf Club88
Vergari, John, Tavistock Country Club89
Mimmo, Peter, North Hills Country ClubNS
WD – withdrawal; NS – no show