Steve Harwell (L) and Brett Boner dominated at Dye Preserve
(Dye Preserve photo)
JUPITER, FL (January 10, 2018) - Steve Harwell
(Mooresville, NC) and Brett Boner
(Charlotte, NC) completed a dominating performance at the National Senior Junior Championship, closing with a 9-under 63 to win by seven shots at The Dye Preserve Golf Club.
The National Senior Junior is a unique team event with each team comprised of one senior player and one mid-amateur, and always draws a strong national field. The format of the first round was four-ball stroke play, and the second round was a Pinehurst format. The final round was a scramble, which all but guaranteed low scoring.
While the last two playings of this event had to be decided in playoffs, this one was decidely one-sided.
No lead is ever comfortable, but taking an eight-shot lead into a final-round scramble gave the North Carolina pair a tremendous cushion. In the end, even 10-under rounds by their two closest chasing teams could only shave one shot off of their lead.
For the tournament, Harwell and Boner had rounds of 63-62-63 for a 188 total, 28 under par.
Alan Fadel & Austin Sipe of Ohio finished joint runners-up with the Louisiana-based team of Tommy Brennan & Patrick Christovich, winners of this event in 2014 and 2015. Both teams finished at 21 under, shooting 62 to tie for low-final-round honors.
Also shooting 62 was the team of Mike McCoy (W. Des Moines, IA) and Brian Lovett (St. Louis, MO). Lovett replaced John Engler, McCoy's partner from last year, with whom he won the championship, and performed admirably as the duo finished tied for fourth at 19 under.
The Florida-based team of Robbie Dew & Ryan Howison were also fourth after a closing 64.
Pat Tallent (Vienna, VA) and Jeronimo Esteve (Puerto Rico) shot a 62 to pull into a sixth place tie with Pete Williams (Juno Beach, FL) and Dennis Bull (Norwalk, IA) who finished with a 64.
In all, there were 15 rounds of 64 or lower in the final-round scramble format.
The Tennessee-based team of Tim Jackson and Craig Smith, winners of the 2016 National Senior Junior, finished solo eighth at 16 under.
In the Legends Division, Larry White and Larry Clark won by three shots over Joe Cordaro and Don Erickson, with Jack Marin and George Morrow in third, six shots back. White and Clark closed with a 67 to finish at 14-under 202, while Marin and Morrow had the day's low round of 64.
The team of former Walker Cup captains, Vinny Giles and Spider Miller, finished fifth at 6 under par.
ROUND TWO RECAP
Steve Harwell (Mooresville, NC) and Brett Boner (Charlotte, NC) shot a 10-under 62 to break open a close tournament and take an eight-shot lead into the final round of the National Senior Junior Championship at Dye Preserve Golf Club.
Harwell and Boner entered the day with a one-shot lead, but for the second straight day shot the low round, as their nearest competitors both fell down the leaderboard. Kevin Carey & Herbie Aikens (64-73) from Massachusetts, and Keith Decker & Jon Hurst (65-75) of Virginia fell out of contention in round two, allowing the leaders to race ahead of the field.
Harwell/Boner (63-62) are an impressive 19 under par through two rounds.
The Louisiana-based team of Tommy Brennan and Patrick Christovich, champions in this event in 2014 and 2015, are in a group of three teams tied for second, eight shots back. Alan Fadel & Austin Sipe (Ohio) and Robbie Dew & Ryan Howison (Florida) are also at 11 under.
Dew and Howison had the day's second low round, an 8-under 64.
Mike McCoy, who won last year's event with John Engler, shot a 66 with partner Brian Lovett to move into a tie for fifth at 9-under 135. They are tied with Pete Williams (Juno Beach, FL) and Dennis Bull (Norwalk, IA).
The Tennessee-based team of Tim Jackson and Craig Smith, winners of the 2016 National Senior Junior, are tied for seventh at 8 under.
In the Legends Division, Larry White and Larry Clark shot the day's low round by four shots, a 6-under 66, to pull ahead by four over first-round co-leaders Joe Cordaro and Don Erickson. White and Clark are at 9-under 135 through two rounds.
Vinny Giles and Spider Miller, each a former Team USA Walker Cup captain, are in a tie for third at 1-under 143.
After four-ball and Pinehurst in rounds one and two, the final round of the National Senior Junior will feature a scramble format, all but ensuring that the low scoring should continue.
ROUND ONE RECAP
Steve Harwell (Mooresville, NC) and Brett Boner (Charlotte, NC) shot a 9-under 63 to take a one-shot lead after the first round of the National Senior Junior Championship at Dye Preserve Golf Club.
One shot back of the leaders are the Massachusetts-based team of Kevin Carey and Herbie Aikens at 64. Keith Decker and Jon Hurst, both from Virginia, are in third after a 65.
Tommy Brennan (Covington, LA) and Patrick Christovich (New Orleans, LA), winners of this event in 2014 and 2015, are two shots back after an opening 66. They are tied with the Ohio-based team of Alan Fadel and Austin Sipe. Brennan and Christovich took the lead into the final round of last year's tournament but ultimately finished fourth.
Last year's champions Mike McCoy (W. Des Moines, IA) and John Engler (Augusta, GA) were unable to defend this year as Engler could not play. McCoy and new teammate Brian Lovett (St. Louis, MO) shot a 69 in round one. At that same number are the 2016 champs, Tim Jackson and Craig Smith from Tennessee.
In the Legends Division, which pairs legends and super seniors, Larry White and Larry Clark are tied with Joe Cordaro and Don Erickson at 3-under 69.
Mark Mulvoy & Allan Small and Tom Graham & Ned Steiner are one shot back at 70, while the team of former Walker Cup captains, Vinny Giles and Spider Miller, are fifth after a 71.
For round two, the format changes to a Pinehurst, which combines elements of a scramble and alternate shot.
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