Sunnehanna Senior Am: Nathan Smith, Sherrill Britt take titles
Nathan Smith (Mid-Am); Sherrill Britt (Sr.); Jim Hegarty (Super); Lee Lykens (Legends)
Amateur golfers with their own detailed Wikipedia pages are few and far between. But when you have won four U.S. Mid Amateurs and competed on three consecutive U.S. Walker Cup teams like Smith has, you get a page.
Along with his national and international success as an amateur, Smith has won many of the biggest tournaments in Pennsylvania. Today, he made the trip to Sunnehanna Country Club worthwhile by capturing the new 40-54 Mid-Am division of the Sunnehanna Senior Invitational.
Playing a course with brisk weather and fast and firm greens (running around 12 on the stimp) Smith relied on his USGA setup experience to shoot rounds of 68-70-70 (2-under 208) for an eight shot margin of victory. Runners-up Daniel Neveu and Kevin Dillard posted rounds of 69 to tie for second place at 6-over.
But the main event at the Sunnehanna Senior is, in fact, the senior division. And Sherrill Britt of North Carolina captured the title there with the same 54-hole score as Smith, albeit from a set of tees that was approx. 250 yards shorter.
That's some excellent golf, and it was needed since Britt's margin was smaller -- Michael Mercier of New York finished two shots back at even par.
Mercier had opened with the round of the tournament, a 6-under 66 to take an early three shot lead, but he fell a shot behind Britt when he shot 73 to Britt's 69 in the second round. That set up a final round duel that saw Britt post even par 70 against Mercier's 71.
Jim Hegarty of Grand Rapids, Michigan took the Super Senior title over Duke Delcher of Hilton Head, SC. Hegarty, 66, has played in a number of U.S. Senior Amateurs in the past and Delcher, a member of the 1997 Walker Cup team, has a full 27 USGA appearances under his belt. Hegarty got a big of pressure from Delcher today, but his final round of 74 (vs. Delcher's 72) was good enough for a two stroke win.
Lee Lykens enjoyed a 7 shot victory in the Legends Division. Lykens sandwiched rounds of 72 with a second round 74 to defeat John Blank.
ABOUT THE Sunnehanna Senior
54-holes stroke play with Senior (ages 55+), super
senior (65+) and legends (70+) divisions. Played on
classic A.W. Tillinghast design. Traditional dates are
Monday through Wednesday after Labor Day but the
2020 dates will be a one year trial.
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