MT. HOLLY, N.J. – Sudden-death playoffs decided both the Senior and Super-Senior victors in Thursday’s Frank H. Chapman Memorial (Gross) at Burlington CC (par 70, 6,043 yards).
Michael Domenick of Phoenixville CC and Chip Lutz of LedgeRock GC each carded 1-under-par 69s to top the Senior Division. Jay Howson, Jr. of St. Davids GC and Richard Smith of Philadelphia CC finished tied atop the Super-Senior Division after registering respective 1-over-par 71s.
And the similarities don’t end there. Lutz and Smith earned dramatic victories on the first playoff hole.
“It’s always great to have your name on a GAP event,” Lutz, of Reading, Pa., said. “I’m thrilled to get on the map on the senior schedule here in Philadelphia. It’s my first senior win officially here. I’m excited. Unfortunately, I may end up missing the Senior Amateur because of some other events I have lined up. I’m disappointed, but I’m sure I’ll be back. It’s a good start to my name here on the senior schedule. For me, it’s a wonderful accomplishment.”
On the decisive par 4, 410-yard No. 1, Lutz drilled his pitching wedge 125 yards into the left fringe, directly parallel to the flagstick. Domenick’s approach came to rest 15-feet below the flagstick. Lutz played his shot first and dunked a trying left-to-right breaker for birdie.
“I just got very fortunate to get it on the right line and hit it at the right speed. It was a very difficult putt,” he said. “I was just pleased that I hit it perfectly.”
Domenick’s valiant red figure effort breezed by the cup, and a handshake followed.
“I’m definitely proud of the way I played,” Domenick said. “Everybody thinks you’re going to come into the Senior Division, and since you’ve been playing well in the Middlle-Amateurs, that you’re going to be a star. There are a lot of stars already here. There’s only room for so many. You still have a lot of good players in this division. The competition is great out here.”
In regulation, Domenick, of Phoenixville, Pa., shined like a star. He tallied four straight pars to start, one of which proved highly vital. He nuked his 6-iron over the No. 3 (par 4, 382 yards) green, but came back and converted a left-to-right breaking 30-footer to save par. Domenick, 55, posted his first red figure on the par 3, 148-yard No. 5 after sticking his 6-iron to within inches of the hole location. He completed his outward tour at 1 under.
Domenick’s flatstick then caught fire. He cleared the water hazard on No. 11 (par 4, 338 yards) with a sand wedge from 110 yards out and sunk a 10-footer for birdie. Domenick drilled his 5-hybrid to 10 feet on No. 12 (par 3, 169 yards) and cleaned up the under-par chance. He had two prime opportunities to dig deeper on Nos. 14 (par 5, 548 yards) and 15 (par 4, 421 yards). Domenick bumped his 54-degree wedge 97 yards to six-feet on the first, but watched his birdie try merely flirt with the left edge. His approach settled in front of the No. 15 green, and Domenick cozied his under-par putt to within inches of the cup. Domenick also missed a 12-footer for birdie on No. 16 (par 4, 421 yards).
Nevertheless, the tournament remained his for the taking. Domenick, who spends his winters working in the bag room at The Vineyards in Naples, Fla., maintained a 3 under on his scorecard with two holes to play. Lutz, his nearest rival, stood at 2 under playing two groups behind. Nerves and pressure quickly overcame Domenick’s body. On No. 17 (par 4, 411 yards), he cranked his drive onto the adjacent 16th fairway, punched with a 6-iron and overpowered his lob wedge 70 yards to the rear of the green. His downhill chip to save par barely missed the cup right. Domenick nearly pushed his hybrid out-of-bounds on No. 18 (par 4, 316 yards). He attempted to climb onto the green with a 9-iron from 120 yards out, but it landed on the uphill slope.
“The ball was a little above my feet. You can’t hit it long, and you can’t be short,” Domenick said. “So I tried to muscle a 9-iron. I just hit it a little heavy.”
Domenick’s chip shot stopped six-feet shy. His par putt burnt the right edge.
“When I made those two birdies on the back nine, that’s when I started to feel the nerves,” Domenick said. “I started to feel the pressure, and it caught up to me in the end. I’m not used to being in that position. I made a lot of the putts in the beginning of the round and kept it going. It was just one of those days when things went my way until the end.”
Meanwhile, Lutz, too, struggled coming in. Showing a 2 under on the scorecard with three holes remaining in regulation, he “came on top” of his 6-iron from 167 yards away and poked it left of the green. His pitch ran out, and Lutz, of Reading, Pa., failed to convert a 12-footer for par, which pushed him into a deadlock with Domenick. Lutz, 55, couldn’t break the chains on his final two holes.
Lutz, who’s ranked the No. 1 Senior Amateur by Golfweek, began his title journey by blasting his 4-rescue to three feet on No. 2 (par 3, 207 yards) and executing the under-par chance. An incorrect club selection on No. 5 (par 3, 148 yards) led to his first bogey of the day. He pulverized his 8-iron over the green and couldn’t recover. Lutz snaked in a 20-footer for birdie on No. 6 (par 4, 413 yards), and followed it up shortly with a left-to-right 15-footer on No. 8 (par 4, 407 yards) courtesy of a 135-yard, 9-iron set-up.
Lutz couldn’t convert a five-footer to save par on No. 13 (par 4, 437 yards). His 7-iron sailed 157 yards and set up camp right of the green. However, on the challenging 14th hole, Lutz’s knocked his sand wedge 110 yards to three-feet and wiped up the birdie putt.
|JAY HOWSON, JR.|
Like Lutz, Smith, of Villanova, Pa., triumphed on the first hole (par 4, 389 yards). His 9-iron approach from 130 yards out hooked left of the green. Howson, of Malvern, Pa., also pushed his 5-iron 170 yards to the left. His chip ran seven feet past the jar. Smith then removed the flagstick and placed his chip to within two feet. Howson’s par putt skirted the left edge, opening the door for a Smith tap-in-and-win.
“It feels great,” Smith said. “I was very pleased with how I played. It’s nice to have a win today.”
“I played pretty well to the end,” Howson, the Super-Senior victor in last year’s Chapman (Gross) at Philadelphia CC, said. “I would’ve liked to repeat. Congratulations to Smitty on the win.” Howson and Smith also dueled in last year’s Brewer Cup, which saw Howson attaining victory in extra holes at Old York Road CC.
In regulation Thursday, Smith, 73, carded three birdies and four bogeys in regulation. On No. 2 (par 3, 181 yards), his 4-iron stopped four-feet from the flagstick, and Smith finished off the hole with a birdie. He went back-to-back on Nos. 4 (par 5, 474 yards) and 5 (par 3, 135 yards). On the first, he rolled in a tricky 15-footer, and on the latter, Smith halted his 8-iron at seven feet.
Howson, 72, held the Super-Senior lead after firing a 25-footer for birdie on No. 15 (par 4, 380 yards), which put the 2009 Super-Senior Player of the Year at 2 under. However, he bogeyed his final three holes to finish tied with Smith for the title. A poor chip and two-putt from 25-feet on No. 16 (par 4, 388 yards) inflicted damage to Howson’s scorecard. He powered his 8-iron 142 yards into the bunker on No. 17 (par 4, 398 yards) and couldn’t get up-and-down. Howson’s approach on No. 18 (par 4, 308 yards) dropped short of the green. He reached it with a wedge from 60 yards away, but two-putted for bogey.
|55 to 59|
|Chip Lutz*||LedgeRock Golf Club||69|
|Michael Domenick||Phoenixville Country Club||69|
|Allen Padovano||Yardley Country Club||72|
|Michael Moser||Kennett Square Golf & Country Club||72|
|Raymond Thompson||Overbrook Golf Club||72|
|Thomas Bartolacci, Jr.||Mercer Oaks Golf Course||72|
|Fred Giblin||Merchantville Country Club||73|
|Steve Javie||Whitemarsh Valley Country Club||73|
|Richard Umani||Golf Course at Glen Mills||74|
|Robin McCool||Saucon Valley Country Club||74|
|Roc Irey||Lookaway Golf Club||74|
|Tom Borsello||White Clay Creek Country Club||74|
|Stan Zabytko||Loch Nairn Golf Club||75|
|Andrew Harmer||The Springhaven Club||76|
|James Muller||Manufacturers Golf & Country Club||76|
|Drew Panebianco||Talamore Country Club||77|
|Joe Olin||Little Mill Country Club||77|
|Bob Majczan||Lookaway Golf Club||78|
|James Prendergast||Brookside Country Club||78|
|Joe Viechnicki||Saucon Valley Country Club||78|
|Lee King||Heidelberg Country Club||78|
|Mark Quigley||Lu Lu Country Club||78|
|Rich Thon||The Springhaven Club||78|
|Wayne Bartolacci||Jericho National Golf Club||78|
|Brian Sexton||Seaview Resort & Spa||79|
|Michael Harms||Philadelphia Publinks GA||80|
|Richard Custer||Brookside Country Club||80|
|Charles Dowds, III||Applebrook Golf Club||81|
|Charles Jones||Blue Bell Country Club||82|
|Bennett Meyer||Philmont Country Club||83|
|James Macallister||Manufacturers Golf & Country Club||83|
|George Henninger||Huntingdon Valley Country Club||84|
|Martin Klagholz||Applebrook Golf Club||85|
|Mike Miklinevich||Greate Bay Country Club||86|
|Paul Keating||Aronimink Golf Club||86|
|Gary McNutt||Loch Nairn Golf Club||88|
|Eugene Maginnis, Jr.||Whitemarsh Valley Country Club||89|
|Frederick Banta||Running Deer Golf Club||91|
|60 to 64|
|Craig Scott||Huntingdon Valley Country Club||70|
|David Brookreson||Huntingdon Valley Country Club||73|
|Francis McFadden||Overbrook Golf Club||73|
|Gary Daniels||Saucon Valley Country Club||73|
|Robert Ockenfuss||Indian Valley Country Club||73|
|Tom DiCinti||Links Golf Club||73|
|Don Donatoni||White Manor Country Club||74|
|Michael Dougherty||Huntingdon Valley Country Club||74|
|Michael Rose||Philmont Country Club||74|
|John Emmel, Jr.||Links Golf Club||75|
|Terrence Sawyer||Commonwealth National Golf Club||75|
|Alan Van Horn||Lu Lu Country Club||77|
|Gary Gordon||Talamore Country Club||77|
|Michael Quinn||Edgmont Country Club||77|
|Robert Lodovici||Little Mill Country Club||77|
|Jon Mabry||Moorestown Field Club||78|
|Michael Egan||Lookaway Golf Club||78|
|Thomas Mallouk||Lookaway Golf Club||78|
|Ed Chylinski||Chester Valley Golf Club||79|
|Mark Shuman||Whitford Country Club||79|
|John Rowe||Whitemarsh Valley Country Club||80|
|Larry Paster||Philmont Country Club||81|
|Matthew Bellis||Commonwealth National Golf Club||81|
|Charles Whipple||Huntingdon Valley Country Club||82|
|Donald Ashley||Philadelphia Country Club||82|
|James Haynie||Lu Lu Country Club||82|
|Thomas Daymont||Blue Bell Country Club||82|
|Gregory Gaul||Merion Golf Club||83|
|John Patton||Little Mill Country Club||83|
|Richard Speranza||Jericho National Golf Club||83|
|Michael Nilon||Philadelphia Country Club||84|
|John Cech||Riverton Country Club||85|
|Edward Bondi||Huntingdon Valley Country Club||86|
|John Snyder||Waynesborough Country Club||86|
|Rick Bunn||McCall Golf & Country Club||86|
|Thomas Mairone||McCall Golf & Country Club||88|
|Dave Jacobson||JC Melrose Country Club||89|
|Richard Smith*||Philadelphia Country Club||71|
|Jay Howson, Jr.||St. Davids Golf Club||71|
|Charles McClaskey||Back Creek Golf Club||72|
|Warren Deakins||Philadelphia Country Club||72|
|James Robertson||Saucon Valley Country Club||74|
|O. Gordon Brewer, Jr.||Pine Valley Golf Club||75|
|Jim Lloyd||Running Deer Golf Club||76|
|Joseph Virdone||Philadelphia Country Club||76|
|Terry Fair||RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve||79|
|Thomas ORourke||Chester Valley Golf Club||79|
|Art Brosius||DuPont Country Club||80|
|Bill Weinfeld||JC Melrose Country Club||80|
|David Jordan||Sakima Country Club||81|
|James Barron||Hartefeld National||81|
|John Owens||Tavistock Country Club||81|
|Louis Pace||Medford Village Country Club||81|
|Fred Olt||Little Mill Country Club||82|
|James Hilty||Talamore Country Club||82|
|Herbert Gordon||Doylestown Country Club||83|
|James Sherratt||Old York Road Country Club||84|
|Bob Wicker||Little Mill Country Club||85|
|David Pullen||Burlington Country Club||86|
|Walt McGuinness||Running Deer Golf Club||88|
|John Ayres||Woodcrest Country Club||89|