EXTON, Pa. — Same score. Same venue. Different result for the team of Joe Dellicarpini, John Marshalek, David West and Bryan Winsko.
Five years ago, the collective carded a 9-under-par 135 in the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Four-Man Team, but lost in a scorecard playoff at Whitford Country Club. A fierce finish prevented déjà vu Monday at the par 72, 6,374-yard layout. Dellicarpini, Marshalek, West and Winsko edged the team of Kirby Martin of Commonwealth National Golf Club, Daniel Pinciotti, Jr. of Huntingdon Valley Country Club and John Breenan and Daniel Feeney of Philadelphia Cricket Club in a scorecard playoff to triumph.
Both teams finished at 9 under. The Dellicarpini, Marshalek, West and Winsko team won the scorecard tiebreaker by posting a 66 heading in.
Two of four scores on each hole count toward the team total.
”We always have a lot of fun. We’ve been doing the Four-Man — Ryan, Joe and I — for the last five or six years,” Marshalek, 56, of Exton, Pa., said. “I’ve been playing more recently with David. He’s a seven-time club champion. I’m a little guilty in picking a stud. West was our anchor, especially for the front nine. He was just solid.”
“Without our man Dave, I don’t think we’d be at 9,” Winsko, 38, of Schwenksville, Pa., said. “I think we’d be around 4 or 5.”
West, a 15-year Whitford member, is the squad’s new addition. The trio of Dellicarpini, Marshalek and Winsko — rounded out by Matt Smith of Lancaster Country Club — lost that playoff in 2009 but prevailed a year later at Talamore Country Club and, in the processs, set an event scoring record, in relation to par, of 127.
“They paid me an appearance fee,” West, 54, of Exton, Pa., said jokingly.
The team saw an immediate return of that figurative investment with a West birdie on No. 1 (par 4, 358 yards), where the reigning GAP Winter Series Amateur Gross Player of the Year sent a 60-degree wedge 75 yards to three feet. West stopped a pitching wedge at 15 feet for a 2 on the par 3, 113-yard No. 5. Winsko exhibited solid wedge play on the next hole (par 4, 367 yards), flipping one 80 yards to three feet for birdie. The team turned in 3 under, but sought spiritual intervention from Whitford’s wildlife to make an inward march.
“We sacrificed a squirrel on the 10th hole. You got it with a knockdown hybrid, right?” Winsko said jokingly to fellow Philadelphia Cricket member Dellicarpini. “We had to do something. We sprinkled a little sand on it.”
Truth or tall tale, the squirrel story inspired the squad. On No. 12 (par 5, 493 yards), Winsko powered a high-cut 3-wood 220 yards to six feet and just missed his eagle effort on the low side. West left his second shot 10 yards short of the front hole location and nestled a chip into kick-in range. Those birdies moved the team to 5 under. Marshalek, also a Whitford member, maintained the red figure mojo with a 2 on No. 13 (par 3, 144 yards), where he stuck a 7-iron to three feet. Marshalek added another birdie on the next hole (par 4, 363 yards) after cranking a gap wedge 85 yards to 10 feet. On No. 17 (par 3, 170 yards), West returned to the subpar scoring train by knocking an 8-iron to 15 feet.
And in true championship fashion, the 2010 titleholders clinched victory on the closing par 4, 371-yard 18th hole. Marshalek failed to reach the green with an 8-iron from 138 yards. Facing an uphill 30-footer that needed to travel thru a good portion of fringe, he rolled a left-to-right breaker and watched it drop into the jar. West then converted a testy downhill 15-footer for birdie to spark a series of hi-fives and handshakes.
“It was a lot of fun,” Dellicarpini, 46, of Chestnut Hill, Pa., said. “We struggled a little bit on the front, but we played really well on the back nine.”
“We only had one hole (No. 14) that we struggled on,” Winsko said. “Everything else was pretty standard. We had at least three looks at birdie and could have made a lot more putts.”
The Four-Man Team is an 18-hole stroke play event in which the two best gross and two best net scores count per hole. Participants from different clubs can compete on the same team. Whitford hosted the Four-Man Team in 2002 and 2009.
View results for Philadelphia Four-Man Team Championship