NELLYSFORD, Va., July 9, 2011 –– Virginia Beach resident George Owens, 67, and Williamsburg’s Harry Cain, 73, posted victories in the 65-69 and 70 and over age divisions, respectively as the 17th Virginia State Golf Association Super Senior Amateur Championship concluded today at Wintergreen Resort.
Owens registered a wire-to-wire 4 and 3 victory over 66-year-old central Virginian Tony Aguiar (Richmond) to claim his first VSGA individual title. Cain, meanwhile, won four of the final five holes of the match to get past Walter Anderson, 71, of Richmond, 1 up. Cain recorded his second victory in the 70 and over category in the past three years, having also triumphed in 2009.
And each of the finalists seemingly proved the age-old golf adage true that anything can happen in a match play environment.
In the 65-69 division, Owens was four holes up on his opponent, while Anderson was two holes up through 10 holes in the 70 and over bracket as the deciding encounters got underway at Wintergreen Resort’s Devils Knob Golf Club.
Then, due to dense fog, play was suspended at Devils Knob’s mountain track and the finalists concluded the championship match at Wintergreen’s Stoney Creek Golf Club (Tuckahoe Course).
Owens was two under par through the first six holes to build a 4-up advantage on his opponent at Devils Knob. The site change didn’t deter Owens, whose crisp play continued throughout, birdieing the eighth hole of the match to extend his lead to a match-high five holes up. Aguiar, battling an off and on putter, made a 16-footer at the par-4 12th hole to get within four, but the steady Owens closed the match with three consecutive pars.
Owens, a VSGA member at Broad Bay Country Club in Virginia Beach, played the kind of consistent golf that will fit any layout. Emblematic of his play over the four-day championship, he missed only three fairways and three greens in the final on two courses that feature some tight playing corridors. Counting the usual concessions that are a part of match play, Owens was one under for the match. The 2006 VSGA Senior Four-Ball champion, Owens was a semifinalist at the VSGA Senior Amateur (ages 55 and older) on three occasions, before taking home the VSGA individual title he’s long sought.
“It feels good to get to the final and win it,” said Owens, the third low qualifier for match play. “I was hitting the ball solidly and playing soundly all the days. I didn’t have to putt for many pars.”
Anderson held a three holes up advantage through 13 holes, but the ever-consistent Cain won Nos. 14, 16 and 17 – all with pars – to get the match to all square headed to the par-3 18th hole. There, Cain played the shot of the match, nearly holing out his three-quarter 8-iron tee shot from 124 yards. The brilliant, controlled play came to rest an inch from the hole for a conceded birdie to complete the late comeback. Anderson, first to play at the green, faced an uphill 18-footer that just ran out of pace at the end.
A VSGA member at Two Rivers Country Club in Williamsburg, Cain, the second low qualifier for match play in the division, played the last five holes in even par, pounced on his opponent’s miscues and capped the match with a tee shot to remember.
“For us old guys, this is fun to get together – and to have success is even more fun.” Cain said with a smile.
View results for Virginia Mid-Senior/Super Senior Amateur Golf Championship