CHERRY HILL, N.J. (Aug. 31, 2011) -- James Sullivan, Sr. of Huntingdon Valley CC and his son James, Jr. of Mercer Oaks GC carded a sturdy 1-over-par 72 to grab the 100th Father & Son (Older) at Woodcrest CC (par 71, 6,239 yards) Wednesday. Consistent chemistry, coupled with a fiery flatstick from James, Jr., were key factors in the tandem's triumph.
“The kid putted his eyes out,” James, Sr., 60, of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., said. “He hit it good all day. Kudos to the grounds crew, too. The golf course was beautiful. The greens were perfect.”
“We’ve played a lot of tournaments together, so we get along well and kind of know what each other are thinking and what we’re doing,” James, Jr., 36, of Glenside, Pa., said.
Signals were crossed early, though, as the Sullivan squad bogeyed its first hole (par 4, 404 yards). After reaching the green in regulation, Sullivan, Jr. left a 20-footer for birdie six feet short, and his father couldn’t coax in the par putt. The Sullivan team also experienced a breakdown on No. 4 (par 5, 512 yards). Sullivan, Sr. attempted to clear the water hazard with a 24-rescue from 250 yards, only to witness his golf ball create a merciless splash. Sullivan, Jr. resurrected the duo’s round with a rousing birdie on the challenging par 3, 153-yard No. 5. After his father stopped a 6-iron 40 feet from the flagstick, he sunk a squirrely slider.
“It crossed the ridge where it broke to the left going up and right going by,” Sullivan, Jr. said. “Going down, it looked like it was going to go eight feet by, and then the hole jumped out and grabbed it. At that point in the round, we needed something to help us.”
The Sullivan squad maintained its newfound mojo on No. 6 (par 4, 330 yards). The elder Sullivan stuffed a sand wedge 75 yards to two feet, and his son cleaned up the kick-in birdie. A three-putt on No. 8 (par 4, 381 yards) led to a bogey, but the Sullivan team stayed spirited and fired a birdie on No. 9 (par 4, 360 yards). Father converted a 12-footer following son’s spectacular 115-yard 9-iron shot from underneath the right tree-line. The two gave a stroke back on the uphill par 4, 344-yard 10th hole. Father missed the green with wedge, son knocked a chip to 10 feet and father couldn’t finish off the par putt. The Sullivan squad posted eight consecutive pars, including a fabulous save on No. 12 (par 4, 368 yards), to complete its quest one above the blue.
The younger Sullivan caught the right greenside bunker with an 8-iron from 150 yards. His father extracted the duo from the sandy circumstances. Sullivan, Jr. acknowledged the exit by executing an essential 20-footer to save par.
“That sort of saved our back nine,” Sullivan, Sr. said. “That was big for us.”
The Sullivans captured the Father & Son (Younger) in 1991 at Bala GC.
Bryan McClaskey drained an incredible downhill 30-footer for birdie on the first playoff hole to give him and father Charles of Back Creek GC the Super Senior crown. The duo edged Charles Minter of Trenton CC and his son Michael of Makefield Highlands GC, who also carded a 3-over-par 74 in regulation. Defending champions Herbert Gordon of Doylestown CC and his son Neil, who plays out of Five Ponds GC, were unable to return for the playoff.
“I’m happy we did it for dad,” Bryan, 48, of Haddon Heights, N.J., said. “He’s been having such a great season. I wanted to be able to give him an opportunity to savor it.”
It’s indeed been a great season for the elder McClaskey, who now holds every Super Senior title in 2011.
“It was fun,” Charles McClaskey, 72, of Elkton, Md., said. “I enjoyed it.”
On No. 1 (par 4, 389 yards), Bryan McClaskey, mere minutes removed from returning to Woodcrest for the playoff, pured a 3-wood off the tee. The elder McClaskey hit a transition wedge 112 yards to 30 feet above the flagstick. Bryan then reported for birdie duty.
“I saw it was downhill. I knew it was going to be pretty fast,” Bryan said. “It looked like it was straight. I just wanted to get it started online and figured gravity was going to take care of the rest. It kept trickling until it just fell in.”
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