Sep 04, 2018

Three tied for #GAPSrAm Supers lead after Day 1

CINNAMINSON, N.J. — After 18 holes of Super-Senior action, eight players find themselves within three shots of the lead. Three of those players sit in the best position of all, sleeping on the 48th Senior Amateur Championship lead heading into final-round action at Riverton Country Club (par 71, 5,992 yards).

Scoring portal | History | Senior/Super-Senior Silver Cross Award standings
Pair leads Senior Division |

  Reigning five-time Super-Senior Player of the Year Don Donatoni of White Manor Country Club, Robin McCool of Saucon Valley Country Club and Lookaway Golf Club’s Michael Anton are the frontrunners. Simultaneously entering the scoring area, each player fired rounds of even-par 71 to grab a share of the lead.

  The three low men will tee off together Wednesday morning at 9:20 a.m.

  Donatoni, no stranger to playing in a final grouping, birdied four of his first five holes, including a 60-footer on Riverton’s opener (par 4, 339 yards).

   “I came out of the box hot with the putter, there’s no doubt about that,” said Donatoni, who currently leads the Super-Senior Player of the Year standings with 210 points. “It’s been a long time since I’ve made that many birdies in such a short stretch. It was much needed.”

  After that, on a day where temperatures were in the upper-90s with no relief in sight, heat exhaustion settled in.

  “The heat really started to get to me there on the front nine. I was feeling close to calling it quits,” said Donatoni, 70, of Malvern, Pa. “I just kept drinking and chugging water, but I was still very dizzy at times.”

  Despite the scorching conditions, Donatoni held it together, finishing 2 over on the back nine. All in all, he was able to accomplish his goal of setting himself up for a run at tomorrow’s title.

  “Luckily I was able to hang in there, hit some fairways and greens on the second nine and bring it home. It all kind of evened out. I was happy as I don’t think I could have scored better under those temperatures,” he said. “Tomorrow will be a fun one. Hopefully I’m able to do the same as today.”

  McCool, a 15-time USGA competitor, matched Donatoni’s mark with an even number of his own. McCool’s round hosted four birdies to go along with four bogey blemishes.

  After three putting the first hole, McCool “plugged along and made some putts.” The highlight came on the par-3, 160-yard 15th hole, where McCool’s 7-iron came to rest five feet from the cup. He’d go on to knock the birdie look in.

  “I stuffed that one. It was a good one,” said McCool, 67, of Center Valley, Pa. “I’m happy with a 71 today. I’ve had some great rounds here in the past (including a 6-under 65 that clinched the 1990 Silver Cross Award in a playoff), so I’m glad to be back here after so many years of having not played [Riverton]. It’s looking and playing very nice.”

  Like Donatoni, his playing partner, McCool’s golf game stayed cool while his body temperatures rose. In doing so, the 2006 Senior Amateur Champion has put himself in contention to breakthrough again, this time in the championship’s Super-Senior Division.

  “It was so damn hot out there, I could barely think. It was incredibly difficult to concentrate,” said McCool, a former member of the GAP Executive Committee (2004-2012). “I’m sure we’re hoping the weather cooperates with us a little more tomorrow.”

  Anton, who has been struggling with back problems for the past 15 seasons, showed no sign of injury Tuesday. His three birdies paired with three bogeys were more than enough to earn him a spot in tomorrow’s final grouping.

  “All around, it was solid for me today, ” said Anton. “I struggled with some three putts, because the greens, at least to me, were running quick. But I’m absolutely thrilled with the round.”

  Joining Donatoni and McCool has set Anton up for a Major opportunity. Playing his best game as of late, the 69-year-old seems more than prepared.

  “I’ve been playing very well the past few months. I’ve been going to physical therapy and it’s really helping my back problems. That’s been showing in my game,” said Anton, of New Hope, Pa. “I’ve played alongside Don and Robin before, and it hasn’t gone great in the past. It would be great for me to fare well because I’m definitely the underdog.”

  After today’s first round score of 1-over 72, Lookaway’s Roc Irey will have a healthy lead heading into the final 18 of the Super-Senior Silver Cross Award. Irey (+4 total) holds a five-stroke advantage over McCool (+9) into tomorrow.

  Irey, this year’s Frank H. Chapman Memorial (Gross) Champion at Commonwealth National Golf Club, is currently battling prostate cancer. He headed to radiation therapy after Tuesday’s round.

  “To be honest, I’m not even thinking about the [Silver Cross Award], because I’m just happy to be out here and playing golf,” said Irey. “It’s a big deal that I can come out here with my friends and do that.”

Golf Association of Philadelphia
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 260 Member Clubs and 75,000 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.

Name, club Score
Michael Anton, Lookaway Golf Club 71
Don Donatoni, White Manor Country Club 71
Robin McCool, Saucon Valley Country Club 71
Michael Moser, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club 72
Roc Irey, Lookaway Golf Club 72
Alan Van Horn, Commonwealth National Golf Club 72
Richard Umani, Honeybrook Golf Club 73
Carl Everett, Merion Golf Club 74
Thomas Humphrey, Wilmington Country Club 75
Robert Billings, Rolling Green Golf Club 75
Craig Aronchick, Rolling Green Golf Club 76
Vincent Scarpetta, Jr., Nittany Country Club 76
Tom DiCinti, Mercer Oaks Golf Course 76
Buck Jones, Philadelphia Publinks GA 76
Donald Ashley, Philadelphia Country Club 77
Matthew Bellis, Commonwealth National Golf Club 77
Ralph Bincarowsky, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club 77
Daniel Burton, Lancaster Country Club 77
Bill Holt, III, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club 77
Richard Masi, Riverton Country Club 78
James Muller, Manufacturers  Golf & Country Club 78
Peter Torras, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club 78
Terrence Sawyer, Lu Lu Country Club 78
Joe Cordaro, Saucon Valley Country Club 79
Thomas Mallouk, Lookaway Golf Club 79
Bob Majczan, Lookaway Golf Club 80
Howard Press, Little Mill Country Club 80
John Cech, Riverton Country Club 81
Jon Mabry, Moorestown Field Club 81
Bennett Meyer, Rolling Green Golf Club 81
James Prendergast, Spring Ford Country Club 81
Joseph Zelechoski, Steel Club 82
Dave Jacobson, Medford Village Country Club 83
William Lawler, Fox Hill Country Club 83
Bernie Zbrzeznj, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club 83
John McKay, Manufacturers  Golf & Country Club 84
Charles Caparo, The 1912 Club 85
Charles Whipple, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 85
Charles McClaskey, Philadelphia Publinks GA 85
Robert Brusco, Sr., Medford Village Country Club 87
O. Gordon Brewer, Jr., Pine Valley Golf Club WD
Jay Howson, Jr., St. Davids Golf Club WD
Thomas Mairone, Philadelphia Publinks GA WD
Charles McDowell, Wilmington Country Club WD
Michael Rose, Talamore Country Club WD
Raymond Pawulich, Little Mill Country Club WD
WD – withdrawal

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