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MGA Ike Championship: Zahringer wins No. 11

SCARSDALE, N.Y. (June 26, 2007) – On a day when temperatures surged into the 90’s and the treacherous Fenway Golf Club greens became even slicker, 54-year-old George Zahringer of Deepdale notched his record 11th MGA major title with a four-stroke victory at the Ike Championship presented by Canon, USA.

It was Zahringer’s fifth win in the Ike, the premier stroke play championship in the Met Area. Zahringer entered the second round of the 54-hole championship one stroke behind Andreas Huber of Garden City Golf Club, Larry Haertel Jr. of Greenwich and John Murphy of Brooklawn. A second-round 75 by Zahringer kept him within a stroke of the lead and put him in the final twosome with the 27-year-old Huber, the 2007 Long Island Amateur runner-up. During that final round, Zahringer took the lead on the second hole and never relinquished it, though Huber climbed back to within two with four holes to go.

Huber, who finished second, was the leader of a contingent of younger players in the final groups, which included 2005 Ike champion Andrew Giuliani of Van Cortlandt Park, 2003 Carter Cup winner Morgan Hoffmann of Arcola and Larry Haertel Jr., the 2006 New England Championship winner. But Zahringer, who will play in the U.S. Senior Open next week at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, rose to the top, carding a one-over 71 which included an even-par back nine.

However, Zahringer’s age and experience did not alleviate the pressures of big time competition that every player feels. “I felt the nerves a little more today than usual,” said Zahringer. “I haven’t been in the hunt in a while.”

Down the stretch, Zahringer played some of his best golf in recent years, especially on the back nine. He sunk a 45-foot birdie putt on the 13th hole that put him four strokes ahead of Huber. “That putt gave me a little momentum down the stretch; the pace of the putt was perfect and it gave me some breathing room.”

Huber had a chance after draining a 30-footer for birdie at 14 and then making par to Zahringer’s bogey at the 15th, which cut the lead to two strokes. But with a ten-foot putt for birdie at the 16th, Huber three-putted and lost a stroke. After his tee shot at the par-three 17th found the water hazard fronting the green, Huber made a five and Zahringer held a five-shot lead on the 18th tee.

Asked about his fifth Ike title and his record 11th MGA major championship, Zahringer said, “This is a great thrill, I would rank it up there with the Walker Cup and my Masters appearance [in 2003].” It is clear that age has not slowed one of the most accomplished players in MGA tournament history.

Full results follow:

  Name Rd.1 Rd.2 Rd.3 Tot.
1 Zahringer, George III 73 75 71 219
2 Huber, Andreas 72 75 76 223
T3 Kleinrock, Matt 76 75 74 225
T3 Foley, Kevin 78 73 74 225
T3 Giuliani, Andrew 76 74 75 225
T3 Murphy, John 72 77 76 225
T3 Tulacz, Michael 77 71 77 225
T8 Hoit, Roger 74 78 74 226
T8 Blumenfeld, Jay 74 76 76 226
T10 Small, Allan 77 77 73 227
T10 DeForest, Christopher 77 76 74 227
T10 Kashevaroff, Kirk 76 77 74 227
T10 Haertel, Larry Jr. 72 77 78 227
T14 Issler, Marc 78 74 76 228
T14 Cronheim, Robert 76 72 80 228
T16 Hartong, Pieter 78 80 71 229
T16 Abbondandolo, Daniel 79 76 74 229
T18 Weisfeld, David 75 79 76 230
T18 Falussy, Al 75 76 79 230
T20 Suarez, Stephen 77 77 77 231
T20 Fuchs, Adam 75 77 79 231
T20 Auerbach, Philip 79 72 80 231
T20 Hoffmann, Morgan 74 76 81 231
T24 Gutterman, Philip 73 84 75 232
T24 Connolly, Gerard 75 81 76 232
T26 Wilson, Peter 79 80 74 233
T26 Fillian, Patrick 79 79 75 233
T26 Zachar, Ned 79 78 76 233
T26 Gramigna, Thomas 79 76 78 233
T26 Bakst, Kenneth 76 77 80 233
T26 Komline, Brian 78 74 81 233
T26 Lessing, Lawrence 75 76 82 233
T26 Graham, Jim 79 72 82 233
34 Chisholm, Scott 78 78 78 234
35 Hwang, Brian 77 78 80 235
36 Roche, Bradley Jr. 74 81 82 237
T37 Trundle, E. J. 76 82 80 238
T37 Stamberger, Michael 77 80 81 238
39 Hartman, Sean 79 79 81 239
40 Cohen, Andrew 73 86 82 241
41 Bauman, John 79 84 85 248

 

ABOUT THE The "Ike"

The Ike tournament was founded in 1953 by Daily News sportswriter Dana Mozley and nurtured through the years by Mozley and former MGA President George Sands. Although always immensely popular, the event suffered during the late 1970s and early ‘80s after The Daily News dropped its sponsorship. In 1986, the MGA (with the financial support of MetLife) purchased the rights to the Ike. With the MGA’s involvement, the event regained its stature and quickly became the area’s premier stroke-play amateur event. The Ike today attracts more entries than any other MGA championship for individuals. The Ike is Open to male golfers who are members of an MGA member club. (courtesy Metropolitan G.A.)

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