CHARLESTON, S.C. (Oct. 9, 2013) -- Playing in his first tournament as a member of the Society of Seniors, Jon Tingley of Osprey, Florida, won the SOS-Yeamans Hall Senior Championship Wednesday by one shot over Dan Cook of the Woodlands, Texas. Dan Smith of Fairfield, Ohio, edged Dave Carroll of Napa, California, and Frank Costanzo of Savannah, Georgia, by one stroke in the Super Senior division. And that wily Kentuckian Don Wood of Louisville blitzed the field in the Grand Masters as he ran away to victory by nine shots over laconic Charlie Busbee of McDonough, Georgia.
After Round One was rained out and Round Two was played in abnormally chilly conditions that included sporadic deluges of rain and stiff, shifting winds, Wednesday’s final round was contested under ideal conditions – and the long-lost sun even made a grand appearance. As always, Yeamans Hall – a classic Seth Raynor design – was in meticulous condition. And, as always, the SOS players were baffled by the speed and the tricky reads on the large Raynor greens that feature a whole lot of grain, more slopes than a Swiss ski mountain and tap-in putts that read straight-in but then inexplicably and uncontrollably break several inches in the direction of Bermuda or Miami or Birmingham or Buffalo.
Tingley played two solid rounds to win the Senior Division, shooting a one-over par 71 on Tuesday and then a two-over par 72 in Wednesday’s finale. “I played very steadily and had a whole lot of two-putt greens,” Tingley said. “On Tuesday I had 17 pars and one bogey, and didn’t do anything spectacular – or bad – in the final round.”
Though an SOS rookie, Tingley, a telecom consultant in real life, has had an impressive start to his senior amateur career. Back in May he won the Metropolitan Golf Association’s Senior Amateur championship at the Navesink Club in Rumson, New Jersey. The MGA includes players from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. He also was low amateur at the 2013 MGA Senior Open Championship played at Sunningdale in Scarsdale, New York. And back in 2010 he became the first – and still only – amateur to win the New Jersey Senior Open Championship, prevailing over a stellar field at the Alpine Club.
And now he’s off to a great start as a new member of the SOS.
In the Super Seniors, Smith opened with a 76 but then shot a smooth final-round 69, one-under par, for a 36-hole score of 145 – and victory. Costanzo, the first-round leader at one-over par 71, shot 75 in the finishing Carroll closed with a final-round 72 after opening play with a 74.
Wood dominated the Grand Masters from the git-go, opening with a solid 76 for a three-shot lead over Busbee and then firing a superb final-round 72 en route to his lopsided triumph.
And now the SOS moves a bit more to the South for the annual SOS Championships that will be played at The Landings in Savannah, Georgia, starting with practice rounds on Friday, October 25th, and continuing with tournament rounds the following three days. The fields in the Grand Masters and the John Owens Super Seniors are filled and have waiting lists. However, there are still openings in the field for the Dale Morey Seniors. In all, some 210 SOS members will compete in what ought to be spectacular competitions played over three superior courses at The Landings along Savannah’s Low Country on Skidaway Island.
The 2013 SOS season will conclude with the playing of the Ralph Bogart tournament at The Forest Golf and Country Club in Fort Myers, Florida. Like the SOS Championships, the Bogart will be played over a weekend, with the practice round on Friday, December 6th, and tournament rounds the next three days. Invitations to the Bogart will be emailed to the membership on Monday, October 14th