NORTH HILLS, Pa. (May 5, 2011) -- Tom Borsello of White Clay Creek CC isn’t a stranger to the winner’s circle in his home state.
The Wilmington, Del. resident is a former Delaware State Golf Association Amateur and Open Champion. It’s Golf Association of Philadelphia hardware that’s eluded Borsello throughout his golf career.
Tom Borsello pumps his fist following a birdie on No. 8.
That all changed Thursday. Borsello, 57, carded a 1-over-par 72 at a cool and windy Lu Lu CC (par 71, 6,386 yards) to win the Francis B. Warner Cup (Gross).
“It feels great,” he said. “We have a great field here. These guys are good players. You have to play good golf to beat them. There are a lot of guts up here. I feel like I’ve had some chances and played good, but got beat. Coming down the stretch, I couldn’t finish the job a couple of times. It’s nice to get your first win. They are always the hardest.”
Borsello, a GAP fixture and relative Senior rookie, didn’t have any expectations entering Thursday’s tournament.
“I haven’t played a lot at all this year," said Borsello. "I’m in the irrigation business, so this is a busy time for me. I felt something good on the range and stuck with it throughout the day. I’m tickled to death. It was very windy and hard to get the right club. To me, I hit a lot of good, pin-high shots. I was very fortunate there.”
Whatever it was that circulated through Borsello beforehand, it revealed itself on No. 3 (par 4, 424 yards). He powered his 2-hybrid 208 yards to 18-inches behind the flagstick. Borsello capped his outward march with a red figure on the challenging par 4, 312-yard 9th hole. Following an unfriendly tee shot that left Borsello underneath a tree, he punched an 8-iron 90 yards to 18 feet. Borsello drained the right-to-left breaker.
“It kind of went up the hill and down the hill,” he said. “I got a really good read on it from the other side of the hole. I looked back and said it flattens out maybe 14 or 15 inches before the cup. It went right in the middle. It was tough reading these greens today. You really had to be careful.”
Borsello overcame tee trouble on No. 11 (par 4, 345 yards) to post his third and final birdie of the day. Standing in the left-side rough, with a mound partially obstructing his view of the flagstick, Borsello stuck his 9-iron 124 yards to 10-feet hole-high on the right. He cleaned up the birdie putt.
“The wind was coming at my face,” Borsello said of the approach shot. “I wanted to make sure I hit it right of the pin because I couldn’t see what was to the left. I gripped down on a 9-iron and was fortunate enough to get a good read on the putt. It was one that could’ve gotten away from me. I hit it the perfect speed.”
When Borsello did experience problems, they came in pairs. He registered back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 7 (par 4, 436 yards) and 8 (par 4, 416 yards). On the first, his pitch out of the rough put Borsello 15-feet away from the flagstick, and he failed to save par. A wayward drive on the downhill 8th hole forced Borsello to lay up and wedge onto the green. He then missed a deceiving 15-footer.
“If I hit it two inches harder, it goes in the middle,” Borsello said. “I just didn’t get the speed right.”
The bogey twins made an encore appearance on Nos. 13 (par 4, 435 yards) and 14 (par 4, 360 yards). Borsello knocked a 6-iron to the front of the green and left his birdie effort five feet short. He misjudged the speed of the green to card a bogey. Borsello failed to reach the green with his 9-iron approach on No. 14. He again missed a five-footer for par.
Thursday’s victory officially places Borsello on the Senior Division map. It may set the tone for a successful year, but Borsello is keeping his expectations in check.
“If it comes my way, great, but if not, I’m not going to sweat it,” he said.
Gary D. Daniels of Saucon Valley CC carded a 2-over-par 73 to finish second. Daniels, 61, of Center Valley, Pa., fired three birdies on the day. On No. 2 (par 4, 356 yards), he pulverized his hybrid 225 yards and two-putted from 20 feet. Daniels, the 2009 Senior Player of the Year, watched his pitching wedge shot from 65 yards out on No. 17 (par 5, 520 yards) hit the flagstick. Daniels stuck his 9-iron 127 yards to 15-feet on No. 18 (par 4, 406 yards) and converted the left-to-right breaker.
Francis B. Warner of Philadelphia Cricket Club served as secretary-treasurer for the Golf Association of Philadelphia for 18 years. After his death in 1933, the Association started the Francis B. Warner Cup, an 18-hole, stroke play Senior event, as an ongoing tribute in his memory. Lu Lu CC has hosted the event five times, most recently in 1997, when St. Davids GC’s Jay Howson, Jr., the 2009 Super-Senior Player of the Year, triumphed with a score of 74.
View results for Philadelphia Francis B. Warner Cup Golf Tournament