Mt. HOLLY, N.J. (June 21, 2012) -- As a junior, Michael Hyland cut his golfing teeth at Burlington Country Club. He took — and still takes — lessons from Michael Mack, the club’s head professional. Hyland is a five-time club champion at Burlington Country Club, his dad Thomas a two-time titleholder.
The Little Mill Country Club members joined forces with clubmate Mike Dunn and home-club hopeful Troy Vanucci to compete in the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Four-Man Team at Burlington (par 70, 6,099 yards). The Marlton, N.J. residents channeled their past successes and course familiarity into an 11-under-par 129 total to triumph.
“We had fun, and we like the golf course,” Thomas, 55, said. “We’ve all played here a lot. That was key. We knew the course. We’re very familiar with it.”
“It’s nice to win where I took lessons,” Michael added.
Temperatures breached the 100-degree boundary, but the Hylands, Dunn and Vanucci didn’t seem to mind. Vanucci and Michael Hyland, a two-time GAP Amateur Champion (2001 and 2011), initiated the team’s subpar charge on the par 5, 479-yard No. 4. Vanucci, 20, whacked a wedge 100 yards to five feet and cleaned up the birdie putt. Hyland powered a 5-iron 190 yards to the back of the green, then chipped in for eagle with a belly wedge. The two posted a pair of 3s on No. 6 (par 4, 380 yards). Vanucci hit a 60-degree wedge 80 yards to 40 feet, Hyland a wedge 60 yards to six feet.
The Hylands carded birdies on the par 3, 129-yard 10th hole. Michael, 33, knocked a sand wedge to 12 feet, Thomas a pitching wedge to five feet. Dunn, 21, stepped up to the birdie plate on the par 4, 322-yard 11th hole. He drove the green, nestled a chip onto the surface and sunk a seven-footer. The team’s lone hiccup occurred on No. 12 (par 3, 154 yards). Vanucci splashed his tee shot into the water hazard. Dunn failed to get up-and-down from the left greenside bunker. Michael Hyland three-putted from eight feet.
“I was extremely shook up after that (Vanucci’s) tee shot),” the affable Hyland said jokingly.
Vanucci more than made up for the mistake by carding birdies on Nos. 14 (par 5, 524 yards) and 16 (par 4, 385 yards). On the first, he flew a 5-iron 193 yards to the back of the green and guided a chip to six feet. Vanucci stopped a 56-degree wedge at 18 feet on the second. The Hylands rang the birdie bell on No. 17 (par 4, 369 yards). Thomas hit a 9-iron to six feet, Michael a wedge to 30 feet.
Both Dunn and Vanucci view the Hylands as mentors and close friends.
“It’s always nice to team up with Mr. Hyland and Michael,” Vanucci said. “They help me with everything. Tom is always using his head. Michael relaxes me out there.”
“I’ve known the Hylands for about five years now,” Dunn added. “I’ve played a lot of golf with Tom. He teaches me the game. It’s awesome. This is my first [Golf Association of Philadelphia] event.”
The Four-Man Team is an 18-hole stroke play event in which the best gross and net scores count per hole. Participants from different clubs can compete on the same team. The event began in 199
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