It's Partridge vs. Vigotsky for VSGA Senior Am Title

HOT SPRINGS, Va., Aug. 25, 2011 –– Stroke play medalist David Partridge, 56, of Manakin will face northern Virginian Tim Vigotsky, 57, of Centreville in Friday morning’s scheduled 18-hole final of the 64th Virginia State Golf Association Senior Amateur Championship being conducted at The Homestead’s Cascades Course.

Both players posted a pair of victories in Thursday’s quarterfinal and semifinal round matches to set up Friday’s deciding encounter, which will begin at 8 a.m.

Partridge continued the same strong play that he has displayed throughout this week’s championship, posting two victories over a pair of locals. In the quarterfinals, the central Virginian notched a 3 and 2 win over Salem’s Jack Allara, before ousting event rookie and his former University of Virginia teammate Van Renick of Roanoke, 5 and 4 to reach the final.

Vigostky (pictured left ), meanwhile, recorded a pair of 1-up victories, getting past local and Homestead member Jack Vardman (Hot Springs) in the morning. He then defeated 2009 event champion Mike McDonald of Williamsburg in the semifinals.

In his round of eight encounter against Allara, Partridge built a three holes up lead through four, shot the stroke-play equivalent of one under par in that stretch and led the remainder of the match.

Against the 55-year-old Renick in the semifinals, he again took control of an all- square match in the early stages by claiming four of six holes from Nos. 4-9 to gain a four holes up advantage. Partridge played that span of holes in even par counting the concessions that are customarily a part of match play.

After his opponent got within two with wins at Nos. 10 and 11, Partridge claimed the last three holes of the match. The central Virginian drilled a 7-iron to 7 feet for an eventual birdie at the par-4 12th hole to gain a three holes up lead. Partridge then blistered his tee shot at the par-4 13th hole and had the perfect distance in – 101 yards – to set up his gap wedge approach for an ensuing birdie from 4 feet. He closed the match with a deciding par at No. 14.

“I still felt like I had the edge, but to come back and retake control of the match was fun, I must admit,” said Partridge, a VSGA member at Hermitage Country Club. “If I hadn’t played well on Nos. 12 and 13, the result could’ve been entirely different.”

Admittedly, his second day 5-under 65 that carried Partridge to low qualifying honors gave him some added confidence. Since, he has relied on the steady play that match play demands – and the Cascades Course rewards. His closest match has been a 2 and 1 victory over Lexington’s J.W. Entsminger to open match play.

“I’ve played pretty solidly throughout the championship and feel like my game is in pretty good shape,” Partridge said. “My game isn’t super-sharp, but it certainly is in good shape.”

After reaching the age eligibility requirement of 55 last year, Partridge made it to the quarterfinals in his debut appearance in 2010. A veteran of VSGA competitions, Partridge is twice a winner of the VSGA Amateur Championship and a three-time VSGA Mid-Amateur victor.

He says his mindset entering the championship final will remain the same.

“Typically if you play your own game and play aggressively in match play, you’re going to come out better,” Partridge said. “You want to be the aggressor, shoot a good score and hopefully have the advantage.”

Vigotsky played 36 holes in recording two victories on Thursday. In the quarterfinals, he scored a par-win at the par-3 18th hole, two- putting from 30 feet, to slip past Vardaman, the sixth low-qualifier for match play.

After the lunch break, neither Vigotsky nor McDonald held more than a one-hole up lead in the match. Following a weather delay in the afternoon, Vigotsky returned to claim the par- 4 14th hole via an adventurous route. In trouble off the tee, his drive came to rest near a big rock on the left and he barely advanced his second shot.

“It literally moved about 10 or 15 yards,” Vigotsky recalled with a laugh.

On his third shot, he still had trees and overhanging limbs to contend with, but managed to lace a 2-hybrid from 180 yards that darted low, scurried between two greenside bunkers and found the green where he two-putted for a bogey win. If ever there was a good bogey, the great escape more than qualifies. He held the 1-up lead the rest of the way.

“It was one of the best shots that I’ve hit out of trouble. I’ve got a big selection to choose from given the places I’ve been over the years,” Vigotsky smiled. 

Vigotsky has won three demanding matches in earning his first appearance in the final. He bested Vienna’s Pat Tallent, the third low qualifier for match play, in Wednesday afternoon’s round of 16. Then came Thursday’s endurance test.

“It was a grind – I got the full arsenal from them,” said Vigotsky, a VSGA member at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville. “They’re all fighters – they scrap, they claw – but they’re all great to play with.”

Vigotsky knows things will get no easier against Partridge, who has basically rolled through match play.

“He’s really playing well and taking care of business,” Vigotsky said. “You have to be hitting on all cylinders to make it a good, tight match because you know he is going to be.”

HOT SPRINGS  ––Results from the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of match play at the 64th VSGA Senior Amateur Championship at The Homestead’s Cascades Course (6,256 yards, par 35- 35—70) on Thursday, Aug. 25 (stroke play qualifying score indicated).

Quarterfinal round of match play results

(1) David Partridge (Manakin), 137 def. (9) Jack Allara II (Salem), 144, 3 and 2 
(4) Van Renick (Roanoke), 139 def. (5) John Hoffman (Fairfax), 139, 4 and 3
(26) Mike McDonald (Williamsburg), 151 def. (2) John Price (Fairfax), 138, 3 and 1
(14) Tim Vigotsky (Centreville), 146 def. (6) Jack Vardaman (Hot Springs), 142, 1 up

Semifinal round of match play results

(1) David Partridge (Manakin), 137 def. (4) Van Renick (Roanoke), 139, 5 and 4
(14) Tim Vigotsky (Centreville), 146 def. (26) Mike McDonald (Williamsburg), 151, 1 up

HOT SPRINGS  ––Pairing  and starting time for the final round of match play at the 64th VSGA Senior Amateur Championship at The Homestead’s Cascades Course (6,256 yards, par 35- 35—70) on Friday, Aug. 26 (stroke play qualifying score indicated).

Friday (Aug. 26), Hole No. 1

8 a.m.: (1) David Partridge (Manakin), 137 vs. (14) Tim Vigotsky (Centreville), 146 

ABOUT THE VSGA Senior Amateur

36 holes of stroke play qualifying (18 holes per day); the low 32 players advance to match play. Open to VSGA members who are at least 50 years of age holding an active GHIN number issued by a licensed VSGA Member Club in good standing.

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