Philly Senior Challenge- McFadden, Sawyer take top honors

ROYERSFORD, Pa. (Sept 2, 2010) -- Francis McFadden of Overbrook GC and Terrence Sawyer of Commonwealth National GC carded a tremendous 5-under-par 139 to triumph in Thursday’s Senior 27-Hole Challenge at Spring Ford CC (par 72, 6,465 yards).

Enduring brutally hot temperatures and a grueling grind of golf, McFadden, of Newtown Square, Pa., and Sawyer, of Yardley, Pa., jockeyed for position early and solidified their play during the event’s final leg to earn a one-stroke victory.

“We really played great in the select drive/alternate shot,” McFadden said. “Terry made huge putts.”

Sawyer, 62, and McFadden, 60, posted three birdies in the aforementioned segment. On No. 12 (par 4, 358 yards), both powered their drives to receive friendly yardages into the green. Electing to use Sawyer’s tee shot, McFadden stuck a sand wedge 90 yards to 10 feet. His partner completed the uphill birdie putt. The duo fired back-to-back birdies on Nos. 15 (par 5, 490 yards) and 16 (par 3, 196 yards). After Sawyer hit a “miraculous second shot” on No. 15, McFadden knocked a lob wedge 55 yards to 12 feet.

“We could’ve made six there in a heartbeat,” Sawyer said.

Sawyer struck his 4-utility to 15 feet on No. 13, and McFadden executed the under-par chance.

“I didn’t think it was going to get there,” McFadden said.

“He hit a great putt. It was in all of the way,” Sawyer added.

After the first 18 holes, McFadden and Sawyer stood two strokes off the lead. The pair truly mastered their play and ironed out any wrinkles in the aggregate portion.

“He didn’t miss a golf shot,” Sawyer, a member of the Association’s Executive Committee, said of his partner.

One of those accurate golf shots occurred on the dogleg left par 4, 393-yard 2nd hole. McFadden smacked his sand wedge 99 yards and sunk a straightaway 12-footer for birdie. Sawyer nearly aced the par 3, 139-yard 4th hole with a 9-iron that landed within inches of the cup. McFadden and Sawyer redeemed a tough bogey on No. 5 (par 5, 521 yards) by posting a birdie on No. 6 (par 4, 312 yards). The team burst to the top of the leaderboard after McFadden carded a sensational eagle on the uphill par 5, 525-yard 9th hole. His second shot fell just shy of the green, and the rest is history.

“He drove it just short of the collar and pitched it into the hill and it ran in like a putt,” Sawyer said of the eagle. “It ran in on the last roll.” Sawyer converted a 12-footer for par to ensure the eagle remained intact on the scorecard.

Both McFadden and Sawyer, along with brothers Andy and Raymond Thompson of Overbrook GC, won last year’s Senior Four-Man Team at Meadowlands CC. The two will now set their sights on the Association’s Senior Amateur Championship, set for Sept. 7-8 at Sunnybrook GC.

“It was great playing with Tommy (Bartolacci, Jr. of Saucon Valley CC) and Ray (Thompson of Overbrook GC) because you got something to go on,” Sawyer said.

Super Senior

Pine Valley GC’s O. Gordon Brewer, Jr. and Robert Housen compiled a 4-over-par 148 to take the Super Senior Division.

“As I said to Bob earlier, winning never gets old,” Brewer, of Pine Valley, N.J. said.

O. Gordon Brewer, Jr. & Robert Housen Pine Valley GC “And I told him old people can still win,” Housen, of Brielle, N.J., added.

Brewer, 73, and Housen, 72, posted two birdies in the aggregate portion. Brewer pierced his pitching wedge to 15 feet on No. 4. Housen returned the red figure favor by whacking his wedge 70 yards to six feet on No. 5. The group’s only stumble, or more apprpriately, catastrophe, came in the select drive/alternate shot segment. Housen detailed a sequence of traumatic events that led to a quadruple bogey on No. 8.

“Both of us drove it through the fairway and into the woods,” he said. “I proceeded to it out of the woods, but it hit a root and went backwards further into the woods. He chips out, and I chip it into the pond.”

“Then we one-putted for eight,” Brewer added.

The Senior 27-Hole Challenge replaced the Senior Net Championship on the tournament schedule in 2008. An event for players 55 years of age and older, the Senior 27-Hole Challenge is a gross event consisting of three nine-hole stipulated rounds in three different formats: better-ball of partners, selective drive — alternate shot and aggregate. The tournament is open to seniors with a USGA Handicap Index of 7.0 or lower. Super-Seniors must have a USGA Handicap Index of 12.0 or less.

ABOUT THE Philadelphia Senior 27-Hole Challenge

Format: Three gross Nine-hole stipulated rounds consisting of the first nine being four-ball stoke play, the second nine being aggregate and the last nine is selective drive – alternate shot. There will be two divisions Super Senior (both players 65 years and older) and Championship. The Super Senior division will play from a shorter set of tee markers.

Eligibility: Open to senior male golfers, fifty-five years of age and over, who are members of Member Clubs with a 18.0 or less handicap index.

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