By Chris Lang, editor of Virginia Golfer magazine and the VSGA’s manager, digital media.
- VSGA photo
David Jordan’s strong spring started, in all places, Scotland, where the Glen Allen resident figured out why his golf swing was just a little off.
“I went over to Scotland and found a swing key, and for me, it’s swinging with tempo … tempo and rhythm,” Jordan said. “And it’s kind of stuck. So taking that bucket list trip to Scotland, it gave me some good tips.”
Jordan, a member at Willow Oaks Country Club, won the Richmond Golf Association’s senior championship last month, and he continued his run of success Wednesday in the 34th Virginia State Golf Association Senior Stroke Play Championship, held at Cavalier Golf & Yacht Club. Jordan followed his bogey-free opening 65 with a 3-over-par 72 for a two-day aggregate 137, leaving him clear of three second-place finishers: Martinsville’s Keith Decker and Cavalier members Bill Williard and Jeff Flax.
The win was Jordan’s first in a VSGA championship, and it earned him an exemption into the 106th VSGA Amateur Championship in two weeks at Keswick Golf Club. Jordan missed out on qualifying for that event on Monday at The Dominion Club.
“So that’s a little bonus right there,” he said.
For the first time, the Senior Stroke Play Championship (for players ages 50 and older) featured a shotgun start. With everyone on the course at the same time, Jordan—who opened with a four-shot lead—didn’t quite know how others around him were faring.
“The mindset was to play like I was two strokes behind,” he said. “All day, I just kept telling myself, play aggressive golf, play smart golf. It started off pretty good, then it got a little squirrelly and a little dumb—I took a penalty stroke (for improperly lifting his ball in the fairway on No. 4)—and I had a few three-putts, which made it interesting.
“You’ve got to play your game. It doesn’t really matter what anybody else is doing. You can’t play defense in golf.”
Jordan made the turn Wednesday at even par for his round, but he leaked a little oil coming in. He made bogeys on 12, 15 and 18 to drop three shots. But it was a clutch par save on the par-4 17th that helped him maintain control.
He said his backswing on 17 tee was twice interrupted by cars passing by on the road behind him. When the road cleared, he rushed his swing and nearly drove his tee shot out of bounds to the left. Instead, it was found under a tree, and he recovered with a low shot off a sandy lie to reach the green in regulation. His birdie putt came up about six feet short, leaving him a nervy putt for par, which he sank.
“I told myself if I had any chance of winning, I had to make that putt,” he said. “It was good to see that one go in the middle.”
Ahead of Jordan, Williard and Flax—close friends and workout partners who play Cavalier on a regular basis—were trying to make a run. Williard was 2 under for the day through 12 holes but took a bogey on No. 14 and never could get it going again. He made four straight pars before ending his round with a bogey on No. 1. Both players shot even-par 69s after opening with 71s for two-day 140s.
“We both wanted to win, but our goal going into the tournament—more importantly—was to play well and have a good showing on our own course,” Williard said. “For the most part, we did. Everyone can go back and say woulda-coulda-shoulda. But I figured it would take 65 today to win. I’ve been playing well, and Jeff’s been playing well, but it just didn’t happen.”
Stafford’s Chris Robb (Augustine GC) opened the day four shots back of Jordan, but his round got off to a tough start when he hit it out of bounds on No. 4 and took a triple-bogey 8. He responded with back-to-back birdies, but played the rest of his round at 2 over and returned a 72 for a two-day 141, good for fifth place.
Williamsburg’s Dave Pulk (Two Rivers CC) shot a second straight 71 to finish tied for sixth at 142 with Haymarket’s Randy Newsome (Dominion Valley CC). Newsome rebounded from an opening-round 74 and was the only player on Wednesday to shoot under par, posting a 1-under 68.
Jordan spent the last few days with his mother, who lives in the area, and she was out on course Wednesday to cheer him on, along with Jordan’s stepfather. Her presence gave him a special boost, he said.
“It was an awesome, home-cooked meal (Tuesday night), so a lot of credit goes to that,” Jordan said. “Her health isn’t that great. I thought she’d try to come out for a couple of holes, but they walked about 14 holes. It was just a blessing having them out there. You can see, she’s the proudest mom in the world, and I’m the proudest sun. So that was really cool.”
View results for VSGA Senior Stroke Play
ABOUT THE VSGA Senior Stroke Play
36-hole stroke play competition (18 holes per day).
Age groups will be 50-54, 55-59 and 60-and-over. All
players will compete from the same set of tees. Open
to VSGA members at least 50 years of age holding an
active GHIN number issued by a licensed VSGA
Member Club in good standing.
View Complete Tournament Information