Chris Fieger (GAP/Twitter photo)
Chris Fieger set himself apart on Wednesday in the Philadelphia Senior Amateur at Little Mill CC in Marlton, N.J. With five shots between himself and the next-closest player, Fieger triumphantly took home his first Golf Association of Philadelphia trophy. Host-club hopeful Tom Hyland carded rounds of 74 and 73 to place second.
Fieger began the second round with a five-shot lead after an opening 68. He maintained that advantage throughout. The margin of victory equaled David Brookreson’s record set in 2005.
“It’s the biggest Senior event in the area. I definitely wanted win it,” said Fieger, 56, of Denver, Pa. “It’s a great feeling, especially after last year.”
Fieger three-putted the final green in last year’s Senior Amateur at Riverton Country Club to miss forcing a playoff by one shot as a senior rookie.
As for lessons learned from that experience a year ago, Fieger had this to say: “I remained aggressive for most of the day. I was trying not to get caught up with what everyone else was doing. I just wanted to keep hitting good solid golf shots.”
Fieger entered the Senior Amateur fresh off a career performance in the U.S. Senior Amateur (Aug. 24-29) at Old Chatham Golf Club in Durham, N.C. He carded rounds of 73 and 72 in stroke-play qualifying. Fieger was seeded 10th for match play before falling in 21 holes to Victor Minovich of Thornton, Colo. in the Round of 64.
For Hyland, 63, of Marlton, N.J., this was his best showing in a Senior Amateur. Playing with Fieger, he knew second place was the ceiling, though. He said he was most proud of the way his club represented itself.
“The club is a proud member of GAP. It means a lot to host any GAP event here. We think this place is incredibly underrated,” said Hyland. “I think this week showed how its conditions stack up against some of the best.”
Thomas Bartolacci, Jr., meanwhile, won the super senior title in a playoff.
Information from the Golf Association of Philadelphia used in this report
View results for Philadelphia Senior Amateur
ABOUT THE Philadelphia Senior Amateur
Format: 36-hole individual stroke play over two
Eligibility: Open to GAP Member Club golfers who
55 years of age and over as of the first day of the
championship. Players must have a handicap index
of 7.0 or lower, super-senior 7.0 or lower handicap
index. A Super Senior (65 years of age and older)
may play in the "Senior tournament," play to be
the Senior tees.
View Complete Tournament Information