SOS Ed Tutwiler: Johnson, Empanger prevail
26 Mar 2014
see also: Southern Pines Golf Club, Jon Empanger Profile

VERO BEACH, Fla. (March 26, 2014) -- For two days the 47 teams in the annual SOS Ed Tutwiler Four Ball Championship enjoyed perfect playing conditions at the Hawk’s Nest Golf Club, a hidden gem in Vero Beach, FL.

For Wednesday’s final round, the players had to battle what seemed like arctic conditions with stiff chilly blasts wreaking havoc with their golf shots. The dress code for the day included ski gloves, hand warmers, rain pants and parkas.

So, it probably was no real surprise that the winners in the Senior division were a couple of Minnesotans, Gary Johnson and his guest Jon Empanger, who normally would be ice fishing on Lake Wobegon in March. Johnson and Empanger shot rounds of 69-68-69 for a 54 hole total of 206 and a one shot victory over the team of Owen Joyner and Jeff New.

Johnson and Empanger played the final nine holes in three under par 33. Empanger made birdies on holes 10 and 14, while Johnson birdied hole 15 and victory was theirs.

In the Super Senior division, wily Ohio Golf hall of famers Bob Lewis, a former Walker Cup Captain and Randy Reifers, winner of ten Ohio State Championships parred the first hole of sudden death to capture victory over Charles Bagby and Peter Roby. Roby birdied their final hole for a round of one under par 71 while Reifers their 17th hole for a round of three under 69—and that setup the playoff. On the first hole of sudden death, only Reifers hit the par three 15th green with his tee shot, and then he calmly two putted for the victory.

But perhaps the major winner of the week was Hawk’s Nest Golf Club, founded in 1987 and designed by Jim Fazio. Set on a sand ridge that starts north of Vero Beach and ends 70 miles away near Jupiter Hills, Hawk’s Nest demanded precise tee shots, accurate approaches to relatively small greens and a surgeon’s touch with the putter. The club’s staff and membership were fully supportive of the tournament in every way. If invited back, we shall return.

ABOUT THE Ed Tutwiler Four-Ball

Played in honor of one of the greatest amateurs to play the game, the Ed Tutwiler Memorial Four-Ball is one of the Society of Seniors' premier events.

Format: 2 person team; 3 rounds stroke play; Society of Seniors members only.

View Complete Tournament Information

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