CONCORDVILLE, Pa. — Crisp ball-striking proved critical for James Robertson of Saucon Valley Country Club as he competed in Thursday’s Francis B. Warner Cup (Gross) at Concord Country Club (par 71, 6,217 yards). The Bethlehem, Pa. resident only missed one fairway en route to his first Golf Association of Philadelphia victory. He won the Super-Senior Division with a score of 2-over-par 73.
“This feels outstanding,” an emotional Robertson said. “My good friend Tom Bartolacci was a good part of this because he got me back involved in playing. It really feels good to win. I got lucky and made shots when I had to. This is special.”
Ironically, Robertson’s missed fairway was the par 4, 394-yard No. 9, one of two birdie holes on the day. With 180 yards to the flagstick, Robertson flighted a 4-iron onto the green, but his golf ball kicked into the left rough. He then chipped in for birdie.
“I shortsighted myself, so I was just trying to get it close where I could have a five-footer coming back up the hill,” Robertson said.
Robertson’s other birdie occurred on No. 2 (par 4, 309 yards). He smacked a sand wedge 88 yards to 12 feet below the hole location.
Starting on the back nine, Robertson posted three straight pars before trouble arose on the treacherous No. 13 (par 4, 390 yards). Facing a downhill lie, Robertson made a “bad swing” with a 5-iron from 165 yards and failed to reach the green in regulation. He then nuked an ensuing wedge, returned to the putting surface and missed a 10-footer to card a double bogey.
The par 3s on Robertson’s inward tour also damaged his scorecard. A three-putt from the front fringe on No. 4 (par 3, 170 yards) resulted in a bogey. Robertson caught the left greenside bunker on No. 8 (par 3, 165 yards) with a 5-iron and failed to get up-and-down.
Robertson attributes his pristine ball-striking to extensive practice in Florida this past winter. He diligently worked on his game and looks forward to making an impression on the Super-Senior Division this season.
“ The driver has really come around. Today was as good as I ever hit the driver,” Robertson, 67, said. “I’m very enthused for a good year.”
Charles McClaskey of Back Creek Golf Club, the defending champion and reigning Super-Senior Player of the Year, carded a 3-over-par 74 to finish a shot back.
“Charlie always plays well and you’re always looking over your shoulder at him,” Robertson, who finished runner-up in the 2010 Senior Amateur Championship behind McClaskey, said. “It was a great field.”
Francis B. Warner of Philadelphia Cricket Club served as secretary-treasurer for the Golf Association of Philadelphia for 18 years. After his death in 1933, the Association started the Francis B. Warner Cup, an 18-hole, stroke play Senior event, as an ongoing tribute in his memory.
Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) is the oldest regional golf association in the United States and serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. Its 145 Member Clubs and 57,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. As Philadelphia’s Most Trusted Source of Golf Information, the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.
James Robertson, Saucon Valley Country Club
Art Brosius, Golf Course at Glen Mills
Charles McClaskey, Back Creek Golf Club
Edward Pappas, Rolling Green Golf Club
George McLaughlin, Commonwealth National Golf Club
James Haynie, Lu Lu Country Club
Michael Rose, Talamore Country Club
Jay Howson, Jr., St. Davids Golf Club
John Owens, M.D., Tavistock Country Club
Gary Gordon, Talamore Country Club
John Rowe, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club
Joseph McLane, JC Melrose Country Club
Ken Gaskill, Rancocas Golf Club
David Jordan, Sakima Country Club
Frank Petrecco, Yardley Country Club
Frank Polizzi, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club
John Snyder, Waynesborough Country Club
Lawrence Capuzzi, Sr., Rolling Green Golf Club
Terry Fair, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve
Thomas O’Rourke, Chester Valley Golf Club
Carl Everett, Merion Golf Club
George May, Manufacturers Golf & Country Club
Raymond Fuller, Running Deer Golf Club
Michael Rowland, Lehigh Country Club
Richard Smith, Philadelphia Country Club
Michael Civitello, Chester Valley Golf Club
Steve Yassky, Edgmont Country Club
Thomas Morgan, Riverton Country Club
John Paul, Philadelphia Publinks GA
Gregory Gaul, Merion Golf Club
Herbert Gordon, Doylestown Country Club
Gordon Bennett, Northampton Country Club
John Capers, III, Merion Golf Club
Jon Mabry, Moorestown Field Club
Joseph Maxwell, Hartefeld National
James Barron, Hartefeld National
Joseph Virdone, Philadelphia Country Club
William Fry, Reading Country Club
Charles Whipple, Huntingdon Valley Country Club
Bill Weinfeld, JC Melrose Country Club
Curt Fromal, The Springhaven Club