The Society of Seniors headed west in November for the Founder's Cup, picking the historic and much loved Pasatiempo Golf Club as the venue.
Craig Hurlbert of Magnolia, Texas took the title in the senior division going away, posting an impressive trio of rounds -- 71, 70, and 71 for a 2-over total that kept him clear of his closest competitors (Stephen Maddalena of Jackson, MI and Doug Stiles of Athens, GA) by a full nine shots.
It wasn't that other players couldn't figure out the famed Alister MacKenzie layout -- which, by the way, can be played by the public -- it was that they could only "own" it for one round.
For example, the lowest score of the tournament was posted by Greg Sanders of Anchorage, Alaska in the second round. After posting 78 in the first round, he got himself into contention with a 68, that included six birdies. But the next day he posted 78 again, much closer to the field scoring average of 78.82.
Pasatiempo is a hard course to make birdies on, and an easy one to record bogeys. The hardest hole in the tournament was No. 16. That par four is the site where MacKenzie had a house. It's a tough driving hole with a triple-tier undulating green that would probably be shunned if designed today, but stands as one of the most interesting green complexes in California.
The scoring average on No. 16? That would be 4.93. And it played between 355 and 367 yards on the week.
Back to Hurlbert. He played No. 16 1-over, making par the first two days and a bogey in the final round. Despite shooting 3-over 38 on the back nine in the final round, Hurlbert was coming off of a 33 on the front and had two hands on the trophy by that point.
The Society of Seniors is "tour" of sorts that rewards longevity by providing players of various age brackets the chance to compete against players their own age.
In the Super-Senior Division, two highly regarded Californians finished 1-2.
Jeff Burda of La Quina fired two straight sub par rounds (68 and 69) to take a commanding lead and came home with 74 to finish eight shots clear of smooth-swinging Jim Knoll of Sunnyvale, who posted consistently-improving rounds of 74, 73, and 72 to place solo second at 9-over.
Chris Maletis of Indian Wells, CA took the Legends title at 10-over by two over Bob Kain of La Quinta (notice a desert theme in these addresses?) while Jim Saivar (San Diego) won the Grand Master division by eight shots over Jim Dubois of Coral Springs, Florida.
ABOUT THE SOS Founders Cup
Created in 2016, this tournament is a 54-hole stroke
play championship with Senior, Super Senior and
Grand Master Divisions.
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