Doug Hanzel successfully defended his title at the Hammock Beach Resort
(High Point Enterprise photo)
PALM COAST, FL (January 18, 2018) - With temperatures in the 20's on Thursday morning, the final round of the Golfweek Senior Player of the Year Classic was canceled and Doug Hanzel
(Savannah, GA) was declared the winner.
For Hanzel, the 2017 AmateurGolf.com Senior Player of the Year, 2018 couldn't have started any better as he tries to win POY honors for the fourth time.
Robert Hess (Casselberry, FL) won the Super Senior Division by five shots, and Bill Engel (Alexandria, VA) took the Legends Division by seven.
This was just the latest in a string of Florida tournaments affected by unusually cold weather. The Harder Hall Women's Invitational and the Women's South Atlantic Amateur have also had rounds canceled, and the New Year's Invitational, Old Corkscrew Senior and Kingsway Senior all had higher-than-usual scoring in the cold and wind.
Following the tournament, the following players were honored by Golfweek as their 2017 Players of the Year:
Senior Division: (1) Doug Hanzel, Savannah, GA, (2) Jack Hall, Savannah, GA, (3) Keith Decker, Martinsville, VA
Super Senior Division: (1) Robert Hess, Casselberry, FL, (2) Evan Long, Charlotte, NC, (3) John Armstrong, Frostburg, MD
Legends Division: (1) George Washburn, Frederick, MD, (2) Ed Craig, Orlando, FL, (3) Joe Pavoni, Prospect, KY
The Golfweek Yancey Ford Award was presented to Urquit Morris for a lifetime of contributions to amateur golf.
SECOND ROUND RECAP
Doug Hanzel (Savannah, GA) is one step closer to defending his title at the Golfweek Senior Player of the Year Classic, taking the lead by three shots at the Hammock Beach Resort.
Hanzel shot a 1-under 71 to go along with his first-round 69 to reach 4 under for the tournament. It has been a mostly error-free tournament for Hanzel, as he has made only one bogey through 36 holes.
Two players are three shots behind the leader. Jim Romaniello (Stamford, CT) shot a bogey-free 70 to get to one under, while Bob Royak (Alpharetta, GA) is at the same total after an even-par 72 that included five birdie sand five bogeys.
Keith Decker (Martinsville, VA) pulled into fourth position with a 71, but a full seven shots behind Hanzel at 3-over 147.
Four players--Roger Dean (Ormond Beach, FL), Gene Elliott (W. Des Moines, IA), Steve Groom (Raytown, MD) and Allen Peake (Macon, GA)--are tied for fifth at 6-over 150, ten shots back and likely out of contention unless the leaders back up on Thursday.
SUPER SENIOR DIVISION
The round of the tournament was shot by Robert Hess (Casselberry, FL) on Wednesday, a 5-under 67 that included 7 birdies (with 4 in a row from the 2nd through the 5th). Hess is the only player under par for 36 holes, at 1-under 143, five shots ahead of John Armstrong (Frostburg, MD).
Evan Long (Charlotte, NC), Shawn McLoughlin (Newtown, CT) and Jim de Leon (Bluffton, SC) round out the top five.
There was a four-way tie for the lead coming into the second round, but Bill Engel (Alexandria, VA) has broken ahead of the field with a 69 that has him seven shots clear with one round to go. Engel had a hole-in-one at the short par-three 3rd to spark his round.
Wayne Gardner is in second, seven shots back at 6-over 150. Kim Kamis (Marietta, GA) and Jack Ramsey (Germantown, TN) are third and fourth, respectively, while a group of five players are tied for fifth at 9-over 153.
FIRST ROUND RECAP
Playing in his first tournament of 2018, the 2017 AmateurGolf.com Player of the Year has taken the lead at the Golfweek Senior Player of the Year Classic at the Hammock Beach Resort.
Doug Hanzel (Savannah, GA), whose POY honor was his third in the last five years, had a bogey-free opening round of 3-under 69. He leads Bob Royak (Alpharetta, GA) by two shots. Royak shot the only other par-or-better round on Tuesday, a 1-under 71.
Hanzel is also the defending champion in this event, having won the championship by six shots last year at the Mission Inn Resort.
Gene Elliott (W. Des Moines, IA), who finished as the runner-up in the 2017 Senior Player-of-the-Year points standings to Hanzel, is also playing his first event of the new season, and currently sits in third place after a 1-over 73.
Perhaps a little rusty after spending a few chilly weeks in his home state of Iowa, Elliott staretd the tournament with four bogeys in his first seven holes before steadying himself and picking up a couple shots coming in.
Steve Groom (Raytown, MO), who has had a nice start to his 2018 season with three straight top-7 finishes, is in contention again this week with a 73. He is tied with Elliott, Jim Romaniello (Stamford, CT) and Allen Peake (Macon, GA) at one over par.
In the Super Senior Division, Bob Casamento (Palm Coast, FL) and Phil Pavoni (Macon, GA) are tied for the lead after matching 1-over 73s. The highlight of Casamento's round was an eagle at the par-5 18th hole.
Shawn McLoughlin (Newtown, CT) and Evan Long (Charlotte, NC) are tied for third, two shots back at 3-over 75, while four golfers shot 76 to sit three shots behind the leaders.
The top of the Legends Division leaderboard is crowded, with four players at 2 over. Wayne Gardner (Mobile, AL), George Owens (Virginia Beach, VA), Bill Engel (Alexandria, VA) and Jim Kamis (Marietta, GA) all shot 74.
Three more players--Jack Ramsey (Germantown, TN), John Casstevens (Glen Allen, VA) and George Washburn (Frederick, MD)--are tied for fifth at 4-over 76, two shots back.