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.
|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|