WILLIAMSBURG, PA (May 25, 2016) - Pete DeTemple just had to know what was going on. Heavy rain Sunday night left Williamsburg Golf Club unplayable on Monday, meaning the participants of the 34th VSGA Senior Four-Ball Championship would play 36 holes on Tuesday. Another wrinkle: To simplify the process and keep Tuesday’s action on schedule, players went off in the same order in the afternoon as they did in the morning.
That meant players with the best scores were spread all over the course. The only way for DeTemple to know what he needed to do down the stretch in the second round was to pull out his smartphone and check out the online leaderboard.
DeTemple, a Maryland resident who plays out of Old Hickory Golf Club in Woodbridge, paired with Ballyhack’s Mike Krulich. And as the pair approached the final stretch of holes, DeTemple surmised he and his partner would have to go low.
How does birdie-birdie-birdie sound? That’s exactly what DeTemple did, with the third birdie capping a second-round 64 and a two-round 133 that was enough to secure a one-stroke victory in the event. It was DeTemple’s first win in a VSGA event. Krulich teamed with Charles Green in 1993 to win the VSGA Four-Ball Stroke Play Championship.
“There’s no use in looking until the last four holes,” DeTemple said. “I knew we were at 7 (under). Then we got to 8 when we birdied the par 5. I was like, ‘OK, we need more.’ I didn’t think we’d go boom, boom. We both crushed our drives on 9.”
“A really good round of golf,” Krulich said. “It was impressive. A really, really nice round of golf.”
For a while, it appeared the event would end in a playoff, which could have been problematic as the daylight retreated into shadows in the late afternoon. Jack Allara II (Hidden Valley CC) and Jon Zampedro (Pleasant Valley GC) posted the best score of the first round, a 65, and a second-round 69 left them at 10 under. Rich Buckner (Robert Trent Jones GC) and Andy Heye (Chantilly National G&CC) also hit the clubhouse at 10 under, as did 2013 champs Jim Gallagher (TAGT) and Jim Nirich (Stonewall GC).
DeTemple knew the significance of his 5-foot birdie putt on No. 9, his final hole of the day. Eleven under was the number his side had to hit to have a chance to win. They still had to sweat out what the defending champions, Keith Decker of Chatmoss CC and Pat Tallent of Westwood CC, would do. Decker told Tallent at the turn that they would probably need to go 6 under on the back to catch the leaders, and they birdied three of the first five holes on the back. But a bogey and three straight pars left them with a second-round 69 and in a tie for fifth.
“Those are some of the best in the state there,” DeTemple said. “Best in the world, really.”
Gallagher and Nirich chose not to keep up with the leaderboard on the course.
“We decided early on that we weren’t going to check,” Gallagher said. “We were just going to try to put up the best number that we could.”
Gallagher and Nirich had five birdies in their second round, but a bogey on No. 1 ultimately kept them from joining DeTemple and Krulich at 11 under.
The 36-hole marathon proved to be difficult. Not only was it 36 holes, but it came on a cartpath-only day, meaning players essentially walked 36 holes.
“We needed to make a call to Wawa after No. 3,” Zampedro joked. “Because we were running out of gas.”
Gallagher, among others, commended the course for its ability to withstand the weekend rain. Conditions were soggy in the morning, but the course dried out in the afternoon some thanks to brilliant sunshine and increased winds.
View results for Virginia Senior Four-Ball Golf Championship