AVONDALE, PA, (August 3, 2010) -- The past 24 hours have been quite exhilarating for White Manor CC's Marc Mandel.
On the heels of qualifying for the U.S. Amateur Championship, the Conshohocken, Pa. resident joined forces with club-mate Cameron Liebert to compete in Tuesday’s Deeg Sezna Four-Ball at Hartefeld National (par 72, 6,363 yards).
The two did more than compete. Liebert and Mandel scorched the course and carded a 9-under-par 63 to win the tournament, which is now in its 9th year.
“This tournament means a lot to Mr. Sezna,” Mandel said. “It’s always fun to play with Cameron. It was a good time to play a little bit of a mentor to my boy here.”
“I’m pretty excited because I’ve been struggling all summer,” Liebert added. “Today was the first day I came out and played how I’m used to. We were both spot-on.”
The White Manor team frequently shared strategies, club selections and greens' analysis throughout the day. It worked.
“Marc was helping me with course management,” Liebert, of Malvern, Pa., said. “We play a lot together, and it’s just fun to read putts and discuss shots before you hit them. We just wanted to make sure everything was double-checked before we hit it.”
Mandel, 28, ignited the duo’s bogey-free round by rocketing his 5-wood 250 yards and two-putting for birdie on No. 1 (par 5, 536 yards). Liebert, 18, rolled in a right-to-left breaking 20-footer on No. 3 (par 4, 394 yards) after hitting his pitching wedge 145 yards to the upper shelf of the green. Mandel responded with a red figure on No. 4 (par 4, 400 yards), thanks to a tight 54-degree wedge shot that stopped three feet from the flagstick. The team fired back-to-back birdies to close its outward tour. Mandel slammed his 6-iron 190 yards to the left of the No. 8 (par 5, 445 yards) green and bumped his chip to within three feet of the jar. His 7-iron on the par 3, 183-yard No. 9 came to rest six feet from the hole location, and Mandel executed the under-par chance.
One needed to wield a heat shield when approaching Liebert on the back nine, as playing partner Jon Thomas of Hartefeld National put it. Liebert, an incoming freshman at Loyola University, fired three straight birdies on Nos. 11 (par 3, 152 yards), 12 (par 4, 330 yards) and 13 (par 5, 539 yards). His 9-iron set up shop 20-feet beneath the No. 11 flagstick, and Liebert cleaned up the birdie putt. Standing 30 yards from the No. 12 flagstick, Liebert pierced his wedge to 25-feet and converted a challenging left-to-right breaker for birdie. He smashed his 7-iron 170 yards to 25-feet on the par 5 13th hole and two-putted from 25-feet. Liebert’s hybrid traveled 230 yards to the left of the No. 16 (par 5, 513 yards) green. His delicate uphill chip stopped inches from the jar, and Liebert tapped-in to register his fourth red figure in five holes. He secured a 9 under on the scorecard by rolling in a feisty 10-footer for par on No. 18 (par 4, 354 yards).
Tuesday marked the White Manor team’s first appearance in the Deeg Sezna Four-Ball. Liebert and Mandel played golf together frequently throughout the year.
“If there’s ever a time after work when he can go out, we usually play nine holes. We always have a match between ourselves,” Liebert said.
Deeg Sezna newcomers Brett Anderson and his uncle Chris, both of Wilmington CC, carded a 1-over-par 73 to top the Junior-Junior Division. The pair complemented one another’s play throughout the day.
“I thought Brett played well today,” Chris, who won back-to-back Amateur titles in 1982 and 1983, said.
The Wilmington, Del. residents posted two birdies on the day. On No. 2 (par 3, 146 yards), Chris knocked his sand wedge to 15-feet. Brett converted an eight-footer on No. 13 (par 5, 539 yards) after pulverizing his hybrid 150 yards. He also made a critical par save on No. 9 (par 3, 183 yards). Brett, advised by Chris to hit driver, nuked his ball over the green, but recovered with a nice chip and three-foot putt.
“I clubbed him wrong,” Chris said.
Nevertheless, the Anderson team enjoyed its first experience in the Deeg-Sezna Four-Ball together.
“It was fun,” Chris said. “Brett’s just really getting into competition right now.”
“It was fun watching how far he can hit the ball and saving me sometimes,” Brett, a soon-to-be seventh grader at Tower Hill School, added. Tavistock CC's Brian and Jacob Klaus and Lookaway GC's Hayes Clark and Frank Ferino each carded a 60 to win the Net Division.
Tuesday’s tournament, which celebrates the mentorship of the older generation for its younger counterparts, is named in honor of Davis "Deeg" Sezna, Jr., who lost his life on Sept. 11, 2001 in the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City.
Deeg, an avid golfer long a mentor to his younger brothers Teddy and Willy, and a recent graduate of Vanderbilt University with a degree in economics, was in his sixth day of work on the 104th floor of the South Tower when the terrorists struck.
To memorialize his name, GAP and his father, Davis Sezna, Sr., established the Deeg Sezna Four-Ball, pairing a junior player and an older amateur in a better ball competition, with a minimum age difference of 10 years and the stipulation that the younger player be 21 or younger.
View results for Deeg Sezna Four-Ball Golf Tournament