McDonald, Flanders team for Virginia Super Senior title
 Bill Flanders (L) and Mike McDonald (R) <br>(VSGA Photo)
Bill Flanders (L) and Mike McDonald (R)
(VSGA Photo)

WILLIAMSPORT, VA (August 30, 2016) -- Two Rivers Country Club’s Mike McDonald and Bill Flanders insisted they were just having fun during the first round of the 4th VSGA Super Senior Four-Ball Championship on Monday. That fun can turn quickly to pressure, though, when a side enters the final round with a one-shot lead.

The pair put any nerves to rest quickly in Tuesday’s final round, making birdie on the first two holes to get right back into the groove they were in on Monday. McDonald and Flanders posted an 8-under-par 64 to run away for a six-stroke victory at the Golden Horseshoe’s Green Course, setting championship records for low score and margin of victory.

The McDonald/Flanders side shot a two-day 129, besting the previous low score in the short history of the championship for players ages 65 and older by three shots. The six-shot victory was also the largest in the championship, bettering the four-shot win from last year’s winners, John Cuomo and J.P. Leigh.

“It’s fun when you play good,” McDonald said. “We kept it in play all day long off the tee, and out here that makes a big difference.”

“Fairways and greens,” Flanders added.

McDonald won a VSGA championship for the second time, having previously claimed the title at the 2009 VSGA Senior Amateur Championship. The win was the first for Flanders.

“It was great,” Flanders said. “I enjoyed playing, and it’s always fun to win.”

The side of Rick Bendall (Boonsboro CC) and Steve Isaacs (Independence GC) shot the second lowest round of the day, posting a 6-under 66 that allowed them to move up the leaderboard and finish in a tie for second at 135 with Bob Rotella (Glenmore CC) and Charles Green III (The Virginian GC).

Bendall and Isaacs teamed to finish second in the 2007 VSGA Senior Four-Ball Championship.

“We’ve played golf together for 50 years at least, so we always have a good time,” Bendall said. “You just try to play your best. The big thing in these things is getting both guys on the hole putting for birdie. I didn’t play well today, but Steve played great. He had six birdies. I had one. He really played as steady a round of golf as I’ve seen.”

Three sides tied for fourth at 136: Lee Coble (Independence GC) and Tim Rash (Salisbury CC); Leigh (Elizabeth Manor G&CC) and Cuomo (Laurel Hill GC); and Jim Hudson and Pat Gregory (Salisbury CC).

McDonald and Flanders opened the day with the lead, and they never let anyone get close down the stretch. Flanders raised his arms in celebration after draining a long birdie putt on No. 6. Then the side rattled off four birdies in a row from No. 9 to No. 12. They added one more at No. 17 to cap off the sensational round.

“We only birdied one par 5,” McDonald said. “We played the 3s and 4s really well, but not so good on the par 5s.”

McDonald and Flanders join fellow Two Rivers member Dave Pulk as VSGA champions in the last calendar year. Pulk won the 2015 Senior Open of Virginia.

“He’s young, so we don’t count him,” McDonald joked. “He hits it way past us. We let him play with us occasionally. In the noon group, we might have bragging rights for one day.”

Among the super senior set, though, McDonald and Flanders will have bragging rights for the next year, thanks to a dominating two days at the Green Course.

ABOUT THE VSGA Super Senior Four-Ball

36-hole four-ball stroke play competition (18 holes per day). Open to VSGA members who are at least 65 years old and hold an active GHIN number issued by a licensed VSGA Member Club in good standing.

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