Brookside Country Club eagles way to Philadelphia Senior Four-Man victory
WEST CHESTER, Pa. (July 17, 2014) — When friends Rob Francis, Bruce Jackson, Alexander Maguire, Sr. and Pat Romano experienced a golf rarity together Thursday, they sensed a special day ahead. Dual chip-in eagles sparked a spectacular round full of red numbers as well as the typical jabbing and jawing among the Brookside Country Club collective. Francis, Jackson, Maguire and Romano filed an 8-under 134 to win the 25th Senior Four-Man Team, sponsored by PerryGolf at Hershey’s Mill Golf Club Club (par 71, 6,150 yards).

Team scores are determined using the two best balls of four.

The par 5, 465-yard No. 2 presented the Brookside team with its moment of destiny. Jackson, 60, of East Greenville, Pa., left a 4-hybrid from 220 yards just off the green — front left with a friendly lie. Francis, 56, of Gilbertsville, Pa., followed with a 5-hybrid from 205 yards that settled in the same area. Playing first, Jackson nestled a chip that darted into the jar.

The Brookside team bellowed.

Seeing how Jackson’s golf ball reacted once it crested upon the surface, Francis then holed his chip for a wild eagle as well.

The Brookside team bellowed even louder.

“I’ve never seen two eagles on the same hole, especially chip-ins,” Maguire, 72, of Pottstown, Pa., said.

“We were all screaming,” Francis added. “[A spectator who saw it] said, ‘quit right now.’”

Francis and company didn’t follow the onlooker’s advice. Instead, they proceeded to dig deeper. On No. 5 (par 4, 354 yards), Jackson knocked a gap wedge 90 yards to three feet for birdie. He stopped a 7-iron at six feet for a 2 on the par 3, 164-yard No. 7. Francis, the team’s fiery lefty, briefly stole Jackson’s birdie thunder by hitting a 58-degree wedge 100 yards to 10 feet on No. 8 (par 4, 360 yards). Not to be outdone, Jackson propelled a 9-iron from 134 yards onto the back fringe and dunked a 30-footer for a 3 on No. 9 (par 4, 381 yards).

The Brookside team turned in a blistering 8 under.

The red figure rhythm didn’t end there. On No. 10 (par 4, 337 yards), Maguire joined the birdie spree by cranking a pitching wedge 110 yards to six feet. He also inked red on No. 12 (par 5, 513 yards) after sending a wedge 95 yards to 15 feet. Maguire, in a way, guided his team to a birdie on the par 3, 175-yard 14th hole. Francis converted a 20-footer following a 6-iron set-up, thanks to a read assist.

“I putted first and mine lipped out, so he saw exactly what I did,” Maguire said.

On No. 15 (par 4, 361 yards), Jackson sent a lob wedge 60 yards to 10 feet for a 3. He totaled four birdies and an eagle on his own ball.

“Nice weather on a great course. You can’t ask for more than that,” Jackson said.

An incident on the par 4, 342-yard 16th almost spoiled the team’s jovial spirit. Romano, 60, of Boyertown, Pa., identified Francis’s golf ball dogleg left. Francis took his playing partner’s word and played his second shot. He, however, played the wrong golf ball. The misidentification miffed Jackson and Maguire.

“He doesn’t check his ball before he hits it,” Maguire said. “He’s got an octopus on it. How do you not see it?”

A couple more stumbles prevented a double-digit subpar finish. The Brookside team played No. 17 (par 4, 384 yards) in 2 over after all four members missed the green. Romano, who anchored the squad with clutch pars throughout the day, lipped a kick-in for 4 on No. 18 (par 4, 413 yards).

The lackluster closing, though, couldn’t extinguish the thrill of a memorable day for the Brookside team.

“You always enjoy it when you win,” Maguire said. “You’re not enjoying it as much if you don’t win.”

“For a Senior event, this is perfect,” Francis added. “It’s a great golf course. This course is set up where if you hit good shots and putt well, you can score.”

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 150 Member Clubs and 57,000 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.

ABOUT THE Philadelphia Senior Four-Man Team

Format: 18-hole gross and net stroke play. Two best gross scores and two best net scores (90% of individual handicap) of the four are the score for each hole.

Eligibility: Open to GAP Member Club golfers with a USGA Handicap Index of 18.0 or lower and who are 55 years of age and over. Partners need not be members of the same club.

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