Decker and Reeves win International Four Ball

PALM CITY, Fla. – Keith Decker of Martinsville, Va., said it didn’t seem as easy as it appeared when he teamed with Chris Reeves of Jupiter to win by seven strokes Sunday in the mid-amateur division of the 54th annual International Four-Ball golf tournament at The Fox Club.

“We weren’t trying to play differently,” Decker said. “It probably seemed that way. We tried to stay aggressive but we also were trying to protect our lead.” They led by three after the first round, by six after two and closed with 69-195. It was their highest score of the weekend.

In the senior division, the winners were Chip Lutz of Reading, Pa., and Chris Lange of Bryn Mawr, Pa., a pair of senior rookies, both newly turned 55 year olds, and friends since junior golf. They shot 66 the final round for 197, winning by three shots. It was their first team win over the years except for the occasional member-guest.

Decker, a furniture salesman, and Reeves, assistant manager of the Edwin Watts golf store on Northlake Boulevard in Palm Beach Gardens, were never threatened the final round after Decker birdied the first two holes. He made three birdies, Reeves two, and they had two bogeys. “The conditions were a little more difficult today,” Reeves said.

North Carolinians Thomas Parker, Charlotte, and John Blackwell, Wilmington, moved into second with 69-202. Rocky Costa of Alpharetta, Ga., and Robbie Dew of Palm Beach Gardens, the 1997 champions, were third on a match of cards at 203 as Nathan Smith and Frank Fairman of Pittsburgh, Pa., bogeyed the last two holes for 71. Smith has won the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship twice.

“Yesterday was a struggle,” Lutz said. “We were just too tentative.” They shot 61-70 the first two days, first leading by three, then tied at the top with Buddy Marucci and Dan Hearon. They took the lead quickly Sunday as Lutz birdired the 11th, Lange, a winter resident of Boynton Beach, the 12th and 13th. Lutz is a title insurance attorney and Lange’s in real estate.

In the senior division, Pat Tallent of Vienna, Va., and Chris Maletis of Portland, Ore, were second at 65-200. Maletis made an eagle and five birdies, Tallent two birdies and they bogeyed once.

Tallent and Decker won the National Senior-Junior Amateur Team Championship in January at The Dye Preserve in Jupiter. “This is the first golf I’ve played since then,” Decker said. “We’re really had some snow up there.”

The historic tournament drew 31 mid-amateur teams and 29 in the senior flight. The top three teams in each division were awarded prizes. The top six in each bracket:

International Four-Ball
The Fox Club, Palm City, Fla.

Mid-Amateur, 25-54 years, 6,900 yards, par 72
195 – Keith Decker, Martinsville, Va., and Chris Reeves, Jupiter, 62-64-69.
202 – Thomas Parker, Charlotte, N.C., and John Blackwell, Wilmington, N.C., 65-68-69.
203 – Rocky Costa, Alpharetta, Ga., and Robbie Dew, Palm Beach Gardens, 66-71-66.
Nathan Smith and Frank Fairman, Pittsburgh, Pa., 65-67-71.
204 – Eoghan O’Connell, Palm Beach Gardens, and Donald Weeks, Palm City, 68-68-68.
Mike McCoy and Gene Elliott, West Des Moines, Iowa, 65-71-68.

Seniors, 55-and-older, 6,500 yards, par 72
197 – Chip Lutz, Reading, Pa., and Chris Lange, Bryn Mawr, Pa., 61-70-66.
200 – Pat Tallent, Vienna, Va., and Chris Maletis, Portland, Ore., 68-67-65.
202 – Alan Fadel, Toledo, Ohio, and Hunter Nelson, Houston, Texas, 65-69-68.
203 – Steve Earsley, Hobe Sound, and Mike Rice, Houston, Texas, 64-70-69.
204 – Buddy Marucci, Villanova, Pa., and Dan Hearon, Juno Beach, 74-67-73.
207 – Joe Keller, Osterville, Mass., and Claude Hoopes, Marion, Mass., 69-74-64.

For complete results, click on the link below.

ABOUT THE International Four-Ball

Started in 1957, the International Four-Ball is one of the most prestigious amateur events in the country. The Championship includes Mid-Amateur (ages 25-54), Senior (ages 55-64) and Legends (ages 65 and up) Divisions. All divisions compete in a Four- Ball Stroke Play format which is contested over 3 days and 54 holes. This prestigious event has a rich history, with past champions such as Jack Nicklaus, Deane Beman, Dick Siderowf, Vinnie Giles, Jim Holtgrieve and Downing Gray.

View Complete Tournament Information

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