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Former Virginia collegians to face off in state Mid-Senior
Harry Thomas (VSGA/Facebook photo)
Harry Thomas (VSGA/Facebook photo)

By Chris Lang

PURCELLVILLE, Va. (Oct. 31, 2018) — After a day of tight competition at Loudoun Golf & Country Club in which nearly every semifinal match made it to the 18th hole, the title matches in 3rd VSGA Mid-Senior Amateur Championship and 24th VSGA Super Senior Amateur Championship are set.

The Mid-Senior Amateur Championship is for players ages 60-64. The Super Senior Amateur is divided into three age divisions: 65-69, 70-74, and 75 and over. One round of stroke play qualifying, held Tuesday, determined the participants and seeds for match play.

The top seeds in each age division advanced to Thursday’s 18-hole championship matches. The Mid-Senior Amateur title match will go off first Thursday, starting at 8:30 a.m., followed by the Super Senior 65-69 title match at 8:38, the 70-74 title match at 8:46 and the 75-and-over title match starting at 8:54.

Mid-Senior Amateur

David Partridge and Harry Thomas played different sports at the University of Virginia at the same time in the 1970s, Partridge a member of the Cavaliers’ golf squad and Thomas a pitcher on the Hoos’ baseball team. Thursday, they’ll compete against each other for a title in the Mid-Senior Amateur Championship.

Partridge, the top seed, defeated Wil Fekeci in the quarterfinals 4 and 2 before surviving a tough semifinal match with Ron Clatterbuck, winning 1 up with a two-putt par on the 18th green.

For Partridge, Thursday presents a unique opportunity. A 12-time VSGA champion, Partridge has titles in the VSGA Amateur, the VSGA Mid-Amateur and the VSGA Senior Amateur championships. A win over Thomas would make him the only player to win Amateurs in four age groups.

“I have a chance to do something tomorrow that’s never been done in Virginia history,” Partridge said. “There have only been two people who have done it in three age divisions—(Keith) Decker and I. It’s something I’ve been shooting for. … I hope that doesn’t sound egotistical, but it’s something I would take a great deal of pride in.”

Thomas was stretched to the limit in both of his matches. He defeated Richard Lion 1 up in the morning before topping David Prokop 1 up in his afternoon semifinal.

Both finalists rallied for their victories. Partridge was 3 down through four holes but won three of the next four holes to square the match by No. 8. Partridge never trailed again, but he needed a par on No. 17 to win the hole and take the lead for good.

Two down at the turn, Thomas won the first two holes on the back nine to square the match and took the lead for good with a par on No. 16.

Super Senior 65-69

Marc Haller, a member at nearby Raspberry Falls G&HC, recently retired, and one of his post-retirement wishes was to play more competitive golf. After winning two matches Wednesday to reach the 65-69 championship match, the itch has been scratched even further.

“My goal was just to make the match play,” Haller said. “I hadn’t played against the state-level guys before, so I didn’t know how I was going to match up.” Haller, the top seed, will face Dayton Slater, who advanced comfortably with a pair of 5-and-4 victories against Jeff Johns and Van McCarter. In each match, Slater gained momentum early. Against Johns, he holed out from the fairway on No. 2 for eagle. In the semifinal against McCarter, he bombed in a long birdie putt on No. 1 to take the early lead.

“I got all the breaks, all day long,” Slater said.

Haller defeated Brian Maloney 4 and 2 in the morning. In the afternoon, he needed a birdie on the 20th hole to beat John Hoffman (Evergreen CC) and advance.

“I know Dayton, and he’s a tremendous golfer,” Haller said. “All of these guys are unbelievable golfers. So we’ll see what happens.”

Super Senior 70-74

The top two seeds advanced to meet in Thursday’s championship match.

Brown jumped to an early lead and rolled past Charles Ballou 6 and 5 in his semifinal match. Jeanes defeated Ray D’Amore, 2 and 1, in the other semifinal.

Jeanes took the lead for good with a par on No. 3. After losing the first hole, he won two straight to go 1 up. He pushed the lead to 2 up with a par on No. 12, and he and D’Amore halved the next five holes to end the match.

Super Senior 75 and over

Jack Vardaman has one VSGA title to his credit this year, winning the 33rd VSGA Super Senior Stroke Play title at The Homestead’s Old Course in June. He’ll look to add another title on Thursday.

Vardaman eliminated David King 1 up in one semifinal match, with Joe Cochran squeaking out a 1-up victory over Bob Moyers in the other.

Vardaman held a 3-up lead on King through 11 holes, but King battled back to square the match with a par on No. 15. Vardaman made par on No. 17 to take the lead and won the match when both players made par on No. 18. Cochran won the final two holes in his match to erase a deficit and eliminate Moyers.

Vardaman last won a VSGA Super Senior Amateur title in 2015, when he defeated Harry Cain in the championship match of the 75-and-over division at The Homestead.

ABOUT THE Virginia Mid-Senior & Super Senior

36 holes of stroke play qualifying (18 holes per day); the low 8 players advance to match play. The Mid-Senior field is for players aged 60-64, and the Super Senior field is divided into three age groups (65-69, 70-74 and 75-and-over). Players will only compete against those in their age group. Open to VSGA members who hold an active GHIN number issued by a licensed VSGA Member Club in good standing.

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