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Virginia Senior Four-Ball: Serrao, Young Win By 1
Cam Young and Steve Serrao (VSGA photo)
Cam Young and Steve Serrao (VSGA photo)

BRISTOL, VA (May 31, 2018) — Steve Serrao played golf at the University of Virginia. Cam Young played quarterback at Virginia Tech in the late 1980s. This week at The Virginian, they proved that Hokies and Hoos can get along just fine on the golf course.

Serrao (Willow Oaks CC) and Young (Independence GC) shot a second consecutive 7-under-par 65 in Thursday’s second and final round of the 36th VSGA Senior Four-Ball Championship, good for a two-day aggregate 14-under 130 and a one-stroke victory in the event.

“You know, Steve’s a great player,” Young said. “He’s one of the best 50 year olds in this state, obviously. He hits it a mile and just doesn’t make any mistakes. He’s a great partner to have.”

The championship was the first in a VSGA individual or four-ball event for Young. Serrao, who turned 50 earlier this year and was playing in his first VSGA senior championship, took home his second VSGA title. He won the VSGA Junior Stroke Play Championship in 1984, with that victory also coming by a single stroke.

First-day leaders Rich Buckner and Andy Heye (Robert Trent Jones GC) tied for second with Jon Zampedro (Chantilly National G&CC) and Jack Allara (Hidden Valley CC) after each side finished at 13-under 131. After Wednesday’s 10-under 62, Buckner and Heye struggled to get going until the end Thursday, but they made a birdie on 17 to at least give themselves a shot at tying eagle on 18.

Zampedro and Allara, who played with Buckner and Heye, also had an eagle shot on 18 to tie Serrao and Young, who were already in the clubhouse. Zampedro’s long putt from the front of the green came up short, and Buckner’s chip from over the green back toward the hole went long, leaving both sides a shot off the pace.

Serrao closed his round with a two-putt birdie on 18 and turned to Young and said, “there’s our insurance right there.” That statement proved to be accurate.

“I needed to do something on 18,” Serrao said. “I felt like I had left Cam by himself on 16 and 17. He saved us with a great (up and down for) par on 16. On 18, I hit such a good drive, and that driver has been working for me all week. I don’t really think I missed one. I hit it perfect, and I knew I was going to have a mid-iron to the green. Cam just told me to hit it to the middle of the green. That’s what I did, and I was lucky enough to get a two putt.”

Serrao continued a trend of strong play that started last summer when he made the semifinals of the 104th VSGA Amateur Championship at Creighton Farms as a 49 year old. He was part of the winning Virginias team at last year’s Captain’s Putter matches and secured a tie for Virginia in this year’s Virginia-West Virginia Matches with a win in singles play.

Serrao’s son gave him a little motivation to improve as he got older.

“I committed to getting to the gym and getting stronger,” he said. “I just felt like I wasn’t strong enough. My son told me so. I spent a lot of time at the gym, a lot of time at the range and a lot of time chipping and putting. I don’t have a ton of time to practice, but I try to practice correctly. I work on a lot of chipping and putting, and it really loosens you up for everything else if you have a chance to get up and down.”

Serrao was already exempt into this summer’s VSGA Senior Amateur Championship, and the victory also earned Young an exemption into the event at the Golden Horseshoe’s Gold Course.

“That’s a big exemption, not to have to qualify for that. It’s huge,” Young said. “But winning a championship is more important. For us to do it in our first one—because I didn’t play in this event last year—to win it like this, it’s really special.”

Bob Bailey and Michael Link (James River CC) posted the low round of the day Thursday, a 9-under 63 that included two separate runs of four straight birdies. That moved them into fourth overall at 132. Three sides tied for fifth at 133: Buck Brittain and Charles Green III (The Virginian GC), Buddy Patch and Steve DeRisio (Springfield G&CC), and Leon Roday (Kinloch GC) and Scott Reisenweaver (Salisbury CC).

ABOUT THE VSGA Senior Four-Ball

36-hole four-ball stroke play competition (18 holes per day). Open to VSGA Members who will are at least 50 years old and have an active GHIN number issued by a licensed VSGA Member Club in good standing.

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