Scott Mayne is 1-for-1 in GAP championships (GAP photo)
WAYNE, PA (July 12, 2017) - Scott Mayne has had his eyes set on a Golf Association of Philadelphia prize for years now. He could only watch from afar as others collected pieces of GAP hardware.
Now eligible to play in tournaments as a new member of LedgeRock Golf Club, he made his perfect rookie debut this week at St. Davids Golf Club (par 70, 6,249 yards). Mayne defeated Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Greg Guyer, a member of the GAP Executive Committee, 1-up, on Wednesday to earn the Senior title in the Brewer Cup presented by Callaway Golf.
“The reason I joined LedgeRock in March was to play in GAP events. I figured if I could play in these events, because of the competition level, it would make me a better player,” said the 58-year-old Mayne, who made the three-hour trek from Harrisburg, Pa. each day to compete this week.
In his morning semifinal match, Mayne downed Tavistock Country Club’s Bill McGuinness in a battle featuring two players with excelling short games. The turning point, and the shot which Mayne said “catapulted me the rest of the day,” came on the par-5, 540-yard 11th. After finding a lie up against a bunker face on the left, he failed to get out with his second shot. Mayne’s third play served as the escape, leaving him with 157 yards to the flagstick.
“That was a perfect 9-iron for me. It landed behind the hole, took one hop forward and rolled back in,” he said. “Talk about a killer in match play. [Bill] was down there around the edge of the green in two and still lost the hole. That absolutely kickstarted me.”
In this case, a kickstart is an understatement. More like a rocket launch.
A matchup with Guyer came to be after the Cricketeer defeated Lu Lu Country Club’s Glenn Smeraglio, 1-up, in an intense semifinal showdown. The Final teed off as the clock struck noon.
Mayne flipped a wedge to eight feet on the first hole (par 4, 385 yards) of the Final, then converted the birdie putt to take an instant edge on Guyer. He proceeded to apply more pressure after a blasted drive followed by a sand wedge led to a 12-foot birdie on No. 2 (par 4, 436 yards).
Both players were able to convert easy birdies on the short 4th hole (par 4, 293 yards). Mayne then continued his hot streak on the par-3, 135-yard 6th with a wedge off the tee that left him with a six-foot look that dropped. Thanks to a 4-under 31 on St. Davids’ front, Mayne would go on to make the turn with a 3-up advantage.
“Greg was playing well, too, on the front. When we made the turn, I said to myself, ‘Man, he’s playing under par and he’s 3-down,’ which goes to show how well we were playing,” said Mayne.
Pars were traded on Nos. 10 (par 3, 171 yards), 11 and 12 (par 4, 439 yards). Then came Guyer’s push. He landed his approach on the top right of the No. 13? green, leaving a speedy, 25-foot downhill attempt for birdie. Guyer drained it, bringing the deficit 2 back.
More 4s came on Nos. 14 (par 3, 165 yards) and 15 (par 4, 425 yards). On the par-5, 504-yard 16th, both players went wayward off the tee – Guyer to the right, his opponent way left. Mayne played a shot to wedge distance and scooted a pitch up to the center of the green, leaving him with just 15 feet left for par. Guyer failed to reach the green in regulation and chipped on from the left rough, leaving a tough five-foot look for par. Just as it appeared Mayne was about to close out the match, he announced he had played the wrong ball.
“All I saw was Titleist 2 on the ball. I had hit it so far left, so I didn’t even check it. It’s totally my fault,” said Mayne. “Somewhere in the round, the mark – a dot under the number -- on one side of the ball came off, but that’s still no excuse. After that, I really had to regroup.”
Mayne went from potentially winning the match, to crossing the street with just a 1-up lead headed to No. 17 (par 3, 151 yards). Both players hit the right side of the green there, but were left with long looks that ultimately rolled well past the hole. Mayne’s would not fall, leaving the door open for Guyer to even the match heading to St. Davids’ finisher. The potential leveler was left on the lip.
On to No. 18 (par 4, 380 yards). Identical tee shots were played to the left bend in the fairway, leaving Guyer and Mayne with similar 125-yard looks. Mayne played first, flying a 50-degree wedge over the green. Guyer’s wedge approach settled softly on the top of the green’s bank and trickled down to 12 feet – almost an identical look he faced this morning versus Smeraglio.
“In my earlier match, the putt was straight so that’s the way I played it here this afternoon,” said Guyer, 55, of Flourtown, Pa. “It ended up missing left, but it really was just a great match. Scott played out of his mind early and caught fire.”
Mayne saved par from the back rough with a nifty flop shot leading to three-foot par for the win. Awaiting greenside was tournament namesake O. Gordon Brewer, Jr. with the hardware in his arms. Mayne was handed the trophy, and it was then when he realized what he had just accomplished in his first official GAP event.
“I played some really good golf this afternoon. [The win] is a great honor,” said Mayne.
The reigning Pennsylvania Golf Association Senior Amateur Champion has already shaken things up in the GAP Senior Division after just one appearance. He’ll get one more chance to prove himself when the GAP Senior-Amateur Championship is played Sept. 5-6 at Lehigh Country Club.
“These past three years, when I turned 55, I’ve started playing a lot more. I’m playing a ton now… and really well,” he said. “I told some of the guys after the round today, ‘I better quit while I’m ahead.’”
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