Chris DeJohn wins Walter J. Travis Invitational at Garden City Golf Club
Chris DeJohn (Credit: Greg Mattura)
Chris DeJohn (Credit: Greg Mattura)

The Walter J. Travis Invitational required some creativity this year as rain washed away Saturday afternoon's golf at Garden City Golf Club.

In the end, Chris DeJohn ended up with the coveted Travis Cup for winning the top flight's match play bracket. However, it was a bit of a different path than in typical years.

Usually, competitors play 18 holes of stroke play on Friday. Based on their scores they are put into one of five flights of 16 players for the remainder of the weekend's match play battles. This year, after each flight completed the first-round matches, leaving 8 players in each flight remaining, the rains came hard and heavy, canceling the rest of the golf on Saturday.

With three rounds of match play left and just one day to name a winner, the event called an audible and had a second round of stroke play qualifying involving the eight players from each flight. The two players with the low scores from each flight would play an afternoon final match for their flight's championship.

It was a nimble way to find a winner in a timely fashion.

"It was equitable, and the club handled it really well," Rusty Strawn said.

On Sunday, Chris DeJohn (Ridgewood, N.J.) paced the field in the stroke play qualifier with a score of 70 on the par 73 Golden Age gem. The Arcola CC member recorded six birdies, including four on the front nine.

Andrew Bailey was the only other player under par after carding a 72, however, he had qualified for the Devereux Emmet flight, so he faced Garret Engel who shot 74. .

In the legends division, Daniel Russo impressed on Sunday morning with a bogey-free 70 to beat Chris Lang by three shots, setting up a match between the two for the Eisenhower Cup.

In the championship match of the Travis Flight, DeJohn beat Kevin Miller in a touch-and-go battle. Miller shot 74 to reach the final. Both players held the lead early, and after eight holes they were tied. However, DeJohn grabbed control of the match when he won hole Nos. 9, 11, and 13. Miller bounced back and won holes 14 and 15 but ran out of time and lost 2 and 1.

In the Devereux Emmet flight, Andrew Bailey beat Garrett Engel 5 and 4. Bailey dominated holes 5-12, winning five of them while shutting out his opponent in that stretch.

Andrew Lane will take home the Charles Blair McDonald Cup after beating Greg Shuman 2 and 1. Lane shot a 73 and Shuman a 74 to reach the final. The opponents tied each of the opening nine holes, so the players made the turn all square. After Shuman won the tenth hole, Bailey ripped off three straight wins on holes 12-14 to grab a lead he wouldn't relinquish.

Alex Roger (76) and Mike Mitchell (75) battled for the Robert T. Jones Cup. Roger raced out to a 3-up lead after six holes. Mitchell could not get any closer than 2 down the rest of the way and lost 3 and 2.

Johnathan Keane (78) captured the William H. Taft Cup with a 2-and-1 win over Kevin Gai (77). Gai fell behind by 3 holes but battled back after the turn to win holes 10 and 14 to put some pressure on Keane. Keane held Gai off in the end, closing out the match on the 17th hole.

The legends division hands out the Dwight D. Eisenhower Cup to its match play winner. Daniel Russo rode that wave of his Sunday morning 70 to a 6-and-5 victory over Chris Lange. Russo had control from the outset and didn't lose a hole in the match.

Results: Walter J. Travis Invitational
WinNJChris DeJohnRidgewood, NJ300
Runner-upVAKevin MillerRichmond, VA200

View full results for Walter J. Travis Invitational

ABOUT THE Walter J. Travis Invitational

Tournament honors Walter Travis, three time U.S. Amateur champ and the first American to win the British Amateur. Travis reworked the original Devereaux Emmet design. 18 hole qualifier establishes match play flights. Great event, great golf course.

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