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Delcher Wins SOS Spring Classic

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Duke Delcher, playing in his first Society of Seniors tournament, won the Spring Classic with pars on the first two playoff holes Thursday. A real estate agent from Bluffton, S.C., who turned 55 in September, Delcher outlasted two other seniors after they tied at five under par 211 on the Wanamaker course at the PGA Golf Club.

“I played very well but putted terribly,” Delcher said. “I don’t think I missed a green all week. That’s pretty special.” He scored 70-72-69 with a hole-in-one, 11 birdies and eight bogeys. He aced the 163-yard sixth hole Thursday with a 6-iron.

Second round leader Robert Hess, a veterinarian from Casselberry, was eliminated on the first playoff hole, the par-3 17th, when heess, He hit 2- iron well left and out of play. He would have had at least a double bogey had he finished the hole. Hess shot rounds of 73-67-71.

Both Delcher and Mike Bodney of Jacksonville, recently retired as an official on the PGA Tour, advanced with two-putt pars.

At the par-4 18th, Bodney three- putted from some 50 feet, giving Delcher the title on a two-putt par from 12 feet. Bodney scored rounds of 74-68-69. Entering the final round, Delcher and Bodney were tied for third at 142.

On the adjacent Dye course, Walter Martin of Oakton, Va., won the Super Senior division by five shots with 72-71-74— 217, and Dick McClear of Boynton Beach topped the Grand Masters by 15 strokes at 73- 71-76—220. Martin is the only one of the flight winners who has earned a Society of Seniors title, taking age group events in the Fall Classics of 2007 and 2010.

There were 142 entries, including 76 seniors, ages 55-64; 60 super seniors, 65-74; and six Grand Masters, 75-older.

A former touring pro and club professional, Delcher regained his amateur status in 1989, qualified to play in the U.S. Amateur at Merion later that year, played on the Walker Cup team in 1997 and last year qualified for both the U.S. Mid-Amateur and Senior Amateur championships. This was Delcher’s fifth victory in South Florida, the first on an individual basis. He was a member of the winning teams in the Raymond Floyd Cup at Indian Creek in Miami Beach in 1999 and 2003, and in the International Four-Ball in 1996 at Emerald Dunes and in 2009 at Old Trail, both in Palm Beach County. “I enjoy playing down here,” Delcher said. “There are a lot of great golf courses and I have a lot of friends in the area.”

The Spring Classic is the first of seven tournaments on the Society of Seniors calendar this year: Also scheduled: May 3-5, Ed Tutwiler Memorial Four-Ball, The Wanderers Club, Wellington, Fla.; May 18-20, John Kline Super Seniors, Champions GC, Houston, Texas; July 19-21, The Hesler, Brookside CC, Worthington, Ohio; Oct. 24-26, Championship, Mid-Pines Resort and Pine Needles CC, Southern Pines, N.C.; Nov. 18-20, West Coast Fall Classic, Sandpiper GC, Santa Barbara, Calif.; Nov. 30-Dec. 2, Ralph Bogart Memorial Tournament, John’s Island Club-West, Vero Beach, Fla.
Results For Society of Seniors Spring Classic Golf Tournament
Place  PtsScores
T1SCDuke DelcherBluffton, SC50070-72-69--211
T1FLMike RodneyJacksonville, FL40074-68-69--211
T1FLRobert HessCasselberry, FL40073-67-71--211
4OHDan SmithFairfield, OH30073-68-72--213
5INRon CarterMonticello, IN30071-72-72--211

View full results for Society of Seniors Spring Classic Golf Tournament

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