Mack Daddy medalist: Whitman earns #BrewerCup No. 1 seed
WILMINGTON, Del. – They say it’s not the golf club that makes the golfer. A magical Callaway Mack Daddy made an exception Monday at Fieldstone Golf Club (par 71, 6,329 yards).
Byron Whitman, the recent Frank H. Chapman Memorial Cup (Gross) Senior champion, translated the power of a new 56-degree sand wedge into an outstanding 2-under 69 in the Brewer Cup presented by Callaway Golf. The day’s low number resulted in medal honors and the No. 1 overall match-play seed for the Berkshire Country Club member.
The qualifying round’s cut line stopped at 5-over 76 on the rainy-turned-sunny day. A 6-for-2 playoff decided the final match-play berths. Fox Hill Country Club’s Robert Gill and Laurel Creek Country Club’s Joe Russo both drained birdies on the first playoff hole, hosted on the par-3, 128-yard 16th, to secure the final two spots.
Whitman’s sparkling-new Mack Daddy, a popular Callaway product which he picked up last week, quickly gained favoritism. Starting on the back side, Whitman’s 56-degree approach on No. 10 (par 5, 552 yards) landed within a foot. He’d choose the wedge once again, rocking the flagstick on No. 11 (par 4, 301 yards). A birdie-birdie start brought instantaneous good vibes to the fresh friendship.
“It was the Mack Daddy magic right from the beginning,” said Whitman, 60, of Reading, Pa. “I’m already thinking about adding a 52-degree Mack Daddy to the bag. It just feels different.”
The blossoming affair didn’t end there.
On Fieldstone’s finisher, the par-5, 498-yard 18th, Whitman ripped a driver, 3-wood combination that made for even more Mack Daddy momentum. He lifted the wedge 80 yards to eight feet, draining the putt, and made the turn at 2-under par.
“Famous for big numbers”, Whitman slowly took his foot off the pedal while heading to his second nine, meaning hitting drivers at 80 percent and playing a tad more conservatively. That meant bogeys arrived on Nos. 1 (par 4, 412 yards) and 5 (par 5, 502 yards). It didn’t mean he’d give away his lead.
On No. 3 (par 3, 175 yards), a 7-iron led to a 10-foot birdie conversion. Another one came on yet another par-3, the 174-yard 6th, that hosted Whitman’s 7-iron once again, this time paired with a 25-foot make. Whitman almost got his final putt of the day to fall, but his golf ball decided to travel around the rim of the cup instead. Still, a 2-under round stood tall at the top of the leaderboard at day’s end.
“It’s incredible how different each day is in golf. You can be off by a fraction, or on by a fraction. This past weekend, I shot 80 in Berkshire’s Senior Club Championship. Today I go out and shoot 69,” said the medalist.
Confidence is at an all-time high for Whitman, who says “with the new wedge and irons in my bag that I feel very good with”, anything can happen moving into the next round of match play. His Chapman title at Moselem Springs Golf Club — Whitman’s former home of 10 years — came in early June, and has served as a motivator ever since.
“With my game, and my tendency to have big blow-up holes with big numbers, match play suits me. I can throw those out and move on,” he said. “After that, anything can happen.”
Whitman will square off with Gill, the 16th seed, Tuesday at 8 a.m.
Donatoni begins chase for 6th Brewer win with Supers medal
It was masterful balance that helped Don Donatoni earn medalist honors in the Super-Senior Division of the Brewer Cup on Monday at Fieldstone Golf Club (par 71, 5912 yards).
Should he go on to win the Major for the sixth time in the last seven years, Donatoni believes patience will be pivotal.
Donatoni, the six-time reigning Super-Senior Player of the Year, used an acrobatic birdie on No. 11 (par 4, 281 yards) to fuel his 1-under-par round of 70, the best score in a field of 30 players. The cut line for the eight available match play spots finished at 75.
Donatoni’s 3-wood off the tee on the short par four came to rest on the edge of the treacherous bunkers left of the fairway, putting the 71-year-old in an awkward position for his approach.
“As I was taking my stance, it [the hill] was so steep that I fell into the bunker,” Donatoni, of Malvern, Pa., said. “I had to position myself on my toes. The ball was at my belly button. I was just trying to maintain my balance.”
As it turned out, the White Manor Country Club member did more than stay on his feet, his 52-degree wedge from 60 yards would finish just three feet from the hole, resulting in a remarkable birdie.
Although No. 11 undoubtedly proved to be a wild ride, Donatoni’s play was, unsurprisingly, incredibly consistent overall. Using a recently de-lofted driver, he continually found fairways and put himself in good position off the tee. It is a trend Donatoni hopes will continue when match play begins Tuesday.
“I do realize that I could get knocked out in the first round and that could be it,” Donatoni said. “Anything can happen in 18 holes of match play. I’ll try to hit in in the middle of the fairways and try to hit it in the middle of greens and see what happens.”
In a rematch of the 2017 Super-Senior Final, Donatoni will take on Thomas Humphrey of Wilmington Country Club in the Quarterfinals at 9 a.m.
Last year’s medalist, Robin McCool of Saucon Valley Country Club finished second in this year’s Super-Senior qualifying round. McCool, who won the Super-Senior title in 2016, fired a 2-over round of 73. He also claimed Senior titles in 2010 and 2013.
The Brewer Cup is named in honor of O. Gordon Brewer, Jr., the former president of Pine Valley Golf Club. He is a two-time U.S. Senior Amateur Champion and veteran of 42 USGA Championships. He’s captured two Golf Association of Philadelphia Amateur Championship titles (1967, 1976), a GAP Senior Amateur Championship crown (1997) and a Senior Player of the Year (1997) as well as countless invitational titles. Seven years ago he was recognized for his contributions to the game with the USGA’s Bob Jones Award.
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 274 Full Member Clubs and 75,000 individual members are spread across the Eastern half of Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey and Delaware. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.
|Byron Whitman, Berkshire Country Club||69|
|Gregory Buliga, Yardley Country Club||70|
|Paul Rogowicz, Yardley Country Club||72|
|Steve Walczak, Wilmington Country Club||72|
|William McGuinness, Tavistock Country Club||73|
|Oscar Mestre, Overbrook Golf Club||73|
|Rand Mendez, Fieldstone Golf Club||74|
|Carlos Ochoa, Little Mill Country Club||74|
|Glenn Smeraglio, Lu Lu Country Club||74|
|Thomas Soares, Lehigh Country Club||74|
|Michael Vassil, Country Club of Scranton||74|
|Bob Beck, Lehigh Country Club||75|
|Christopher Clauson, Lu Lu Country Club||75|
|Rufino Rosal, Wild Quail Golf & Country Club||75|
|*Joseph Russo, Laurel Creek Country Club||76|
|*Robert Gill, Fox Hill Country Club||76|
|Failed to qualify|
|*Kenneth Phillips, Lancaster Country Club||76|
|*Joseph Roeder, Little Mill Country Club||76|
|*Adam Armagost, Philadelphia Publinks GA||76|
|*David Blichar, Olde Homestead Golf Club||76|
|*George Steinmetz, Spring Ford Country Club||76|
|*Andrew Sterge, Applebrook Golf Club||76|
|Doug Fedoryshyn, Concord Country Club||77|
|Thomas Hyland, Little Mill Country Club||77|
|Craig Kliewer, Lebanon Country Club||77|
|Drew Panebianco, Five Ponds Golf Club||77|
|Robert Wagner, Merion Golf Club||77|
|Jay Desjardins, Waynesborough Country Club||78|
|David West, Wyncote Golf Club||78|
|Thomas Finn, Loch Nairn Golf Club||79|
|Rob Cook, DuPont Country Club||80|
|Denis Darragh, Olde Homestead Golf Club||80|
|Gregory Day, Old York Road Country Club||80|
|John Gosselin, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club||80|
|Robert Harrington, Merion Golf Club||80|
|John Psillas, Moselem Springs Golf Club||80|
|Marlin Detweiler, Lancaster Country Club||81|
|Patrick O’Brien, North Hills Country Club||81|
|Alan Wagenschnur, Loch Nairn Golf Club||81|
|Jim Yenser, Raven’s Claw Golf Club||81|
|Richard Atcavage, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club||82|
|Mark Cubberley, Mercer Oaks Golf Course||82|
|Andy Lykon, Makefield Highlands Golf Club||82|
|Bryan McClaskey, Merchantville Country Club||82|
|Michael Quinn, Philadelphia Publinks GA||82|
|Jeff Rogatz, Wilmington Country Club||82|
|Rich Thon, The Springhaven Club||82|
|Brian Corbett, Country Club of Scranton||83|
|John Donnelly, Concord Country Club||83|
|Peter Ierardi, Jr., Old York Road Country Club||83|
|James Muller, Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club||83|
|Kevin Sartell, Wild Quail Golf & Country Club||83|
|Steven Welte, Fieldstone Golf Club||84|
|John Alterman, Commonwealth National Golf Club||86|
|Greg Mitchell, Fieldstone Golf Club||86|
|Steven Lucas, Wilmington Country Club||87|
|Vincent Guarino, Sea Oaks Country Club||88|
|Paul Berg, The Springhaven Club||89|
|Scott Mayne, LedgeRock Golf Club||WD|
|Buddy Reed, Loch Nairn Golf Club||WD|
|Harold Schweitzer, Jr., Broad Run Golfer’s Club||WD|
|Elliot Sheftel, Lehigh Country Club||WD|
|Don Donatoni, White Manor Country Club||70|
|Robin McCool, Saucon Valley Country Club||73|
|Daniel Burton, Lancaster Country Club||74|
|Joe Cordaro, Saucon Valley Country Club||74|
|Gary Daniels, Applebrook Golf Club||74|
|Robert Billings, Rolling Green Golf Club||75|
|Thomas Humphrey, Wilmington Country Club||75|
|Raymond Pawulich, Little Mill Country Club||75|
|Failed to qualify|
|Tom Borsello, Hartefeld National||76|
|O. Gordon Brewer, Jr., Pine Valley Golf Club||76|
|Buck Jones, Philadelphia Publinks GA||77|
|Charles McDowell, Wilmington Country Club||77|
|Vincent Scarpetta, Jr., Nittany Country Club||77|
|Tom DiCinti, Mercer Oaks Golf Course||78|
|Bennett Meyer, Rolling Green Golf Club||78|
|Thomas Bartolacci, Jr., Lu Lu Country Club||80|
|Steve Meyer, Rolling Green Golf Club||80|
|Michael Anton, Lookaway Golf Club||81|
|Terrence Sawyer, Lu Lu Country Club||81|
|John Owens, Tavistock Country Club||82|
|Steve Tagert, Spring Ford Country Club||82|
|Robert Dietrich, Loch Nairn Golf Club||84|
|Howard Press, Little Mill Country Club||84|
|Bob Majczan, Lookaway Golf Club||86|
|Charles McClaskey, Philadelphia Publinks GA||90|
|James Prendergast, Bellewood Country Club||91|
|Thomas Mallouk, Lookaway Golf Club||WD|
|Michael Moser, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club||WD|
|Frank Polizzi, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club||WD|
|Richard Smith, Philadelphia Country Club||WD|
|WD – withdrawal|
|* – decided in playoff|