TUXEDO PARK, NY (August 30, 2005) -- With two of the tournament favorites at the top of the leader board and with so many seasoned golfers within striking distance of the final round at the 9th MGA/Canon Senior Open at Tuxedo Club in breathtaking Tuxedo Park, NY, was poised to be a memorable one. However, the final round belonged to three-time Met Open winner and 2003 Senior Open champion Darrell Kestner of Deepdale who followed his opening round 68 with a two under par 69 to take the title by four strokes over first round leader Ron Vannelli of Metuchen and Bobby Heins of Old Oaks. This is Kestner’s second win in three years and adds to his already impressive resume capping a stellar season that has included a 4th place finish at the CPC, making the cut at the PGA Championship at Baltusrol and a tie for third at the Met Open.
Kestner, a favorite coming into the tournament, started the day one shot back of Vannelli who posted a spectacular 67 in the first round, but made his move early with a birdie on the 417-yard par 4 first hole. While Vannelli would play steady even-par golf over the front nine, Kestner, after a bogey 4 on the par three-3rd hole, caught fire and posted birdies on the 5th, 8th and 9th holes to finish the front in 32 and take a two shot lead.
Kestner, who took a bogey six on the par-5 tenth hole the day before, then parred the hole while Vannelli would finally earn his first birdie of the day bringing him to five-under par and within one of Kestner. Unfortunately, however, Vannelli’s quest to become the first amateur to win the event would come to an end with a triple bogey on the 12th hole.
Kestner, however, made few mistakes on the back nine with the exception of a bogey 5 on the par 4 14th hole, and finished with a 69 and a 137 total, while Vannelli finished with a 74 and 36-hole total of 141. Vannelli, who earns low amateur honors for the finish shared second place with Bobby Heins of Old Oaks who followed his first round 69 with a 72 for a 141.
Kestner earns $6,000 for the win from the record $30,000 purse which is the largest for any professional senior event in the Met Area.
“I won it two years ago,” said a proud Kestner. “And I came in second last year, so I really wanted to win it this year, and I felt I could. I was booming with confidence after the PGA Championship, so to win such a great tournament with the year I am having is wonderful.”
For complete results, click on the tournament link above (amateurgolf.com premium membership requested).