Virginia Mid-Am: Partridge Wins Third Title

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (October 6-8,2006) –– Manakin-Sabot’s David Partridge, 51, shot a final round 2-under 67 to win the 30th Virginia State Golf Association Mid-Amateur Championship, which concluded today at Cavalier Golf and Yacht Club (6,175 yards, par 35-34—69).

Partridge, who matched the low round of the championship, was the only competitor to record a 36-hole aggregate under par in the tough conditions, concluding the event at 1-under 137 (70-67). He finished two shots clear of local Robert Bradshaw, 34, of Suffolk (139, +1), who delivered a final day 68. George MacDonald of Virginia Beach (69) and Central Virginian Steve Serrao of Midlothian (70) finished three back at 2-over 140.

After Saturday’s first round was postponed due to darkness, Partridge and other competitors who did not finish their first round returned Sunday morning to complete their round before competing in the final round the same day. Partridge made a 15-foot birdie putt at the par-3 18th to shoot 1-over 70 and start the final round one back of Roger Newsom of Virginia Beach, who opened with 69. Partridge was one of six players within one shot of the lead going to the final 18 and five others were two off the pace.

On a difficult day for scoring, Partridge shot one under on the front nine, but a bogey at No. 11 sent him back to even par for the day. In one of the pivotal moments of the championship, Partridge holed a 73-yard sand wedge second shot for eagle at the par-4 13th hole to get to two under for the day and one under for the championship. The ball landed just past the flagstick, spun back and rolled in like a putt.

“I couldn’t have hit the shot any more perfectly, but I was extremely fortunate to have it go in,” Partridge said. Serrao, his playing partner, made birdie at the same hole to also get to two under for the day and one under for the event.

After Partridge didn’t get up and down from short of the green at the par-4 16th, he made bogey and was tied with Serrao at even par for the championship. But at the demanding par-4 17th hole, Serrao pulled his tee shot way left and out of bounds and wound up making double bogey.

“There are two holes out here that give me a hard time. I needed to hit a draw [at No. 17] and I don’t really draw my driver,” Serrao said. “I think if I would have made a more aggressive swing, I would’ve been okay. I felt really good until I got over that shot.”

Partridge then struck a fabulous shot at the par-3 18th hole, rifling a 2-iron through a strong wind to 28 feet short of the hole. He then put the exclamation point on the victory, rolling in the right-to-left breaker to make his second birdie at the tough hole on the day. The brilliant tee shot set it up.

“I could have sat out there for a week and not hit a shot more solidly than I did at No. 18,” Partridge said.

With a strong northeast wind, Nos. 15-18 were playing very difficult throughout the round, but Partridge played that four-hole stretch in even par to secure the title. He and 2002 VSGA Mid-Am winner David Passerell (Scottsville) shot 67 for the low total of the final round and the ’06 event.

With the victory, Partridge picked up his eighth VSGA title. In addition to recording his third Mid-Am title (the others were in 1988 and 1993), Partridge has won two State Ams (1993 and 1995) and three State Four-Balls (1999, 2001 and 2002). Today’s victory marks his first VSGA individual title since the ’95 State Am.

“I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to capture one of these, but it feels great,” said Partridge, who missed only one fairway on the inward nine. He took home the M.W. “Dyke” Peebles Trophy, honoring the former VSGA president (1977-78). “I felt like I played really well to shoot 67 in the wind and demanding conditions. That makes it more gratifying.”

Newsom turned in one over and inward nine bogeys at Nos. 14 and 17 derailed his chances of catching playing partner Partridge.

Playing a grouping behind Partridge, Bradshaw made a 30-foot eagle putt at the par-5 15th hole to get within two. Knowing where Partridge stood, he narrowly missed birdie chances at the last three holes. A 15-footer at No. 16 missed by a sliver on the left, he came up a few inches short on his birdie putt at No. 17 and a birdie chance caught a portion of the bottom lip of the hole at the last.

“I tried to do my best to plug away, but I couldn’t catch him,” said Bradshaw, who plays at Cedar Point Country Club. “David was too tough today.”

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