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Hermitage, Federal Club Share Virginia Club Team Title
(VSGA photo)
(VSGA photo)

By Chris Lang

POWHATAN, VA (April 30, 2018) — For the second time in event history, the Virginia State Golf Association Club Championship ended with co-champions.

Hermitage Country Club’s ‘A’ team, featuring Craig Callens, Ben Beach, Ben Keefer, Greg Gerczak posted an 8-under-par 136 in the morning shotgun Monday at The Foundry Golf Club. The Federal Club’s ‘A’ team, featuring Ryan Taylor, Jeff Spears, Charlie Drummond and Kenton Scearce matched that score during the afternoon shotgun to forge the tie for the championship.

Because the event is split into two shotgun starts, there is no playoff to determine a champion. It’s the second time in four years that the event has produced co-champions. Army Navy Country Club and Cavalier Golf & Yacht Club shared the title in 2015.

The win was The Federal Club’s second overall, as the Glen Allen club also won the championship in 2012. Hermitage, located in Manakin-Sabot, won its 17th VSGA Club Championship and its first title since 2003.

The 2017 champion, the Foundry’s ‘A’ team of Jay Woodson, Ralph Reahard, TJ Austin and Starell Cox, finished a shot back at 7-under 137. Farmington Country Club and Two Rivers Country Club’s ‘A’ team tied for fourth as each finished at 6-under 138.

For Callens, 2018 marked his second title in the event in three years. He won in 2016 with the Country Club of Virginia before moving west to take over as Hermitage’s head professional. Callens and Beach teamed to shoot a 5-under 67 to pace Hermitage, with Gerczak—Hermitage’s 2017 club champion—and Keefer contributing a 3-under 69.

Teams were comprised of two four-ball sides, and the total score of those two sides represented the team’s score.

At one point, Beach and Callens realized they trailed their teammates on the scoreboard, giving them motivation to finish strong.

“We said, hey, let’s at least catch them,” Callens said. “We don’t want to come in second on our own team. So that was more of a motivator than anything. Then a few putts dropped.”

Callens made birdies on 16 and 17 to give his four-ball side a major push toward the finish.

“The formula to good four-ball golf is just to have two guys in the fairway and on the green,” said Beach, a past VSGA Four-Ball Stroke Play champion. “It’s so easy to play with (Callens). All I need to do is get out of his way and make a couple of birdies. Just a fun guy to play with.”

The Federal Club produced a similar finish. Drummond and Scearce posted a 5-under 67, with Taylor and Spears coming in with a 3-under 69. Drummond finished with four birdies, Scearce with three.

Rick Schuller and Austin Gray of Stonehenge Golf & Country Club’s team recorded the best round of the day, a 9-under 63 in which Schuller carded five birdies, and an eagle on the par-5 16th. They finished two shots ahead of Farmington’s Alex Simmons and Turner Lisle, who returned a 7-under 65, a round that included an eagle from each player. Simmons made his on the par-4 fourth hole; Lisle carded his on 16.

The shot of the day belonged to Two Rivers Country Club’s Chris Warring, who made a hole-in-one on the par-3 17th hole.

ABOUT THE VSGA Club Championship

18-hole stroke play competition. Four players per club, each club enters two four-ball sides (any combination of regulars, seniors and/or super seniors and up to one professional). Sum of two (2) four-ball scores make up the team total. There will be a regular set of tee markers, a senior set of tee markers (for those ages 50 & over) and a super senior set of tee markers (for those ages 65 & over).

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