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Terebesi/Umani win Philadelphia Four-Ball Stroke Play

ROYERSFORD, Pa. — Christopher Terebesi and Richard Umani’s golf experience as a team transcends three decades. The Honeybrook GC duo knows what it takes to capture a tournament. They proved it Thursday with a victory in the 40th Four-Ball Stroke Play Championship at Spring Ford CC (par 72, 6,662 yards). Terebesi and Umani carded a 4-under-par 68 to prevail by a stroke.

Christopher Terebesi & Richard Umani
  “We know each other’s games. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” Umani, 58, of West Chester, Pa., said. “We make a very good team. We’re best of friends, too. When he hits a bad shot, I still love him.”

“We’re very comfortable playing together, that’s for sure,” Terebesi, 51, of Glenmoore, Pa., said. “When I see he’s in trouble, I do what I have to do and when he sees me in trouble, he does what he has to do. We’re very good that way.”

Terebesi and Umani, along with the rest of the 38-team field, battled intermittent rainfall and difficult course conditions throughout the day. A bogey on No. 2 (par 4, 420 yards) squashed the duo into an early deficit. Both failed to reach the green in regulation as their drives led to tough lies.

The sour taste didn’t linger. Umani ignited a spark into the duo’s round with birdies on the next three holes. He knocked a 9-iron to eight feet below the No. 4 (par 3, 145 yards) flagstick. Umani hit a 54- degree wedge 95 yards to 20 feet on No. 5 (par 5, 520 yards) and converted the downhill slider. He nearly drove the green on the reachable par 4, 273-yard No. 6. A solid 40- yard pitch left Umani a mere four inches from the jar.

A bogey on No. 7 (par 3, 204 yards) marked a minor setback as Umani fired back- to-back birdies to cap the duo’s outward voyage. He stuck a pitching wedge 123 yards to eight feet on No. 8 (par 4, 374 yards). He smacked a GAP wedge 110 yards to five feet on the uphill par 5, 538-yard No. 9, but his golf ball spun backwards and settled 36 feet from the flagstick. Umani drained the uphill birdie putt.

“Rick got really hot from the fourth hole through the 11th hole,” Terebesi He made six birdies. I just carried the flagstick.”

 Terebesi and Umani moved to 4 under after a crucial birdie on No. 12 (par 4, 354 yards). Umani stopped a 9-iron at 12 feet. Critical pars on Nos. 16 (par 3, 210 yards) and 17 (par 4, 413 yards) saved the team’s scorecard. Terebesi, who serves as Secretary for the Golf Association of Philadelphia, two- putted the first and executed a splendid up- and-down out of the bunker on the latter. The duo had a chance to finish at 5 under, but Umani left a nine-footer for birdie short after a fantastic gap wedge shot from 110 yards.

“To win means a lot to both of us,” Umani said. “We’re getting up there in age. It was important.”

Umani and Terebesi are both former Middle-Amateur Champions. In fact, Umani claimed the 1996 title at Spring Ford. Earlier this year, he and Terebesi represented Diamante, Mexico in the World Club Championships at Nine Bridges in Jeju, South Korea.

Six teams placed tied for second at 3- under-par 69. Overall, 12 finished in red figures.

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