COATESVILLE, Penn. (Sept. 24, 2013) -- Playing golf together isn’t new to Robert Galbreath, Sr. and his son Robert, Jr. The two annually compete in the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Father & Son event and hold the tournament’s 2004 trophy. On Tuesday, they joined good friends Michael Rose of Talamore Country Club and Gary Smith of Huntingdon Valley Country Club to tackle the 24th Four-Man Team at a cool Coatesville Country Club (par 71, 6,260 yards).
The Huntingdon Valley, Pa. residents gelled as a unit and carded a 4-under-par 138 to triumph. They edged the team of Jason Barkley of Huntsville Golf Club, Matthew Finger of DuPont Country Club, Peter Moran of Edgmont Country Club and Grant Skyllas of LedgeRock Golf Club by a stroke. Two of four scores on each hole count toward the team total.
“The key was the father and son birdies on No. 18. That was exciting,” Smith, 53, said.
As mentioned, the Galbreaths inked 3s on the par 4, 332-yard closer to secure the title. Philmont Country Club’s Robert, Jr., 22, lifted a wedge out of the left rough to 20 feet and sunk the straightaway putt.
“I figured it was going to be close, but I didn’t realize that green sloped so severely front to back,” he said. “It was nice because if I didn’t see the wedge shot roll out so much, I wouldn’t have realized that I had such a nice uphill putt.” Huntingdon Valley’s Robert, Sr., 52, slammed a sand wedge 90 yards to seven feet.
The finish mirrored the team’s start. Robert, Jr. scooted a 5-wood onto the front edge of the No. 1 (par 5, 500 yards) green and two-putted for birdie. Smith followed with a 9-iron to 15 feet for a 2 on the par 3, 156-yard No. 2. He added another red figure to the team’s scorecard with a wedge from 130 yards to 15 feet on No. 8 (par 4, 371 yards). Robert, Jr. knocked a wedge 71 yards to six feet on No. 9 (par 4, 368 yards), putting the team at 4 under heading out.
Clutch saves on the par 3, 219-yard 12th hole, courtesy of the Galbreaths, kept the championship bid alive. Galbreath, Sr. redeemed a poor tee shot by stuffing a wedge 60 yards to a foot. His son caught the right greenside bunker with a 5-wood. He then splashed out to 30 feet and executed the par putt.
“We didn’t hit a green on three of the par 3s and made six 3s. That was probably the highlight,” Rose, 66, said.
“We really struggled down the stretch. We were leaking momentum and just died quickly,” Robert, Jr., added. “We didn’t think we had too much of a chance because we were backing up the whole back nine. For us to come out on top via a good closeout, it leaves some good memories going into the rest of the fall.”
The Four-Man Team is an 18-hole stroke play event in which the best gross and net scores count per hole. Participants from different clubs can compete on the same team. Coatesville hosted the inaugural Four-Man Team in 1995.