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Fox Hill makes it 6-for-6 in SS Coal Scuttle

Fox Hill Country Club’s record in the Super-Senior Coal Scuttle remains perfect.

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Led by Individual Champion Jim Hoover’s score of even-par 71, Team Fox Hill cruised to its sixth consecutive title Aug. 19. The Super-Senior Coal Scuttle, presented by Erickson, Hudacek, & Leibman Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, is 6 years old. Fox Hill finished at 7 over on its home course (par 71, 5,702 yards), four shots clear of runner-ups Elmhurst Country Club and Emanon Country Club. The format is the top three of four scores count toward a team’s total. The defending team champion’s venue plays host.

“The most important thing was for the team to come through again,” said Hoover, 66, of Dallas, Pa. “The individual [title] was extra icing on the cake.”

It was a very special victory for a club celebrating its 100th anniversary.

“We had such a big year planned, sadly, the Coronavirus wrecked it for everyone,” said Fox Hill Team Member Bill Lawler, 73, of West Wyoming, Pa., who has been at the club for more than 50 years. “The Scuttle is our own little deal up here. It’s our big team championship. Whether it is the centennial or not, our guys like to win.”

Lawler, Thomas Gill, Hoover and Ed Hennigan (left to right in photo above) comprised Team Fox Hill. It was a slow start for the four with six collective bogeys or worse in their first combined 12 holes. However, the group righted the ship and played steady golf down the stretch. Its 220-stroke total included Hoover’s level finished, Gill’s round of 74 and a 75 by Hennigan. Gill and Hennigan were both 3 over thru three holes.

Hoover was the lone Fox Hiller to get off to a good beginning. He birdied No. 1 (par 4, 378 yards) when he knocked a 9-iron from 135 yards to 25 feet and drained the putt. However, he double bogeyed No. 7 (par 3, 160 yards), his “nemesis,” when he found the front greenside bunker. Hoover turned in even.

He went birdie-bogey on Nos. 11 (par 3, 126 yards) and 12 (par 5, 417 yards) before playing the final six holes at 1 under. He registered a red figure on No. 14 (par 5, 474 yards). Hoover was 20 yards short of the green in two shots and chipped up to five feet to make birdie.

“You kind of forget about yourself. With the team format you have to think about team and bear down and do your best,” said Hoover, who has won the individual title in the Senior Coal Scuttle a couple of times. “When you screw up, you feel terrible.”