Jon Valuck (Society of Seniors Photo)
Dr. Jonathan Valuck
credits a new set of irons at the beginning of the season and a stretch of solid ball-striking for his 2023 successes. The Oklahoma City native also won the Society of Seniors' Jack Hesler Tournament back in July at Olde Stone in Bowling Green, KY, and finished off a wire-to-wire victory this week here at Flying Horse. Valuck shot 69-69-71 for a 7-under, 209 total.
Stephen Maddalena of Jackson, Mich., made some noise early and often on the front nine en route to a 3-under 33 to cut into Valuck's lead. Going back to Wednesday's round, Maddalena went a staggering 29 holes without a bogey until his 16th hole today. He would finish at 1-under in the final round, and even-par for the tournament at 216. Chris Carlson of Highlands Ranch, Colo., would match Maddalena's total as the two shared runner-up honors.
Valuck finished all three rounds under par, with the most special perhaps coming today in some tough scoring conditions. After a slow start on the front, Valuck took advantage of the par 5's, making a birdie on No. 10 and an eagle on No. 12. Valuck hit a hybrid to about 15ft behind the hole and knocked in the putt to all but slam the door.
"The two 69's back-to-back put some pressure on me to keep it going," said Valuck. "I was glad to have a bit of a lead, and I was hoping that the weather might prevent anyone from going really low. I struggled on the front nine, but righted the ship on the first three holes of the back nine."
Valuck added, "I saw Steve (Maddalena) shot 33 on the front, so getting the birdie on 10 and eagle on 12 kind of settled me down. I hit a lot of solid iron shots coming in, although I didn't make any putts. It was nice to walk away with another win at such a great venue. The courses and views were spectacular, it's a really special place."
Super Senior Division
Gregory Goode of Salina, Kan., played steady and strategically sound golf on his way to a win on the Tom Weiskopf layout that was opened in 2006. Goode finished the event ten strokes clear of runner-up Robin Rubrecht of Newburgh, Ind. However, the final scores don't tell the whole story. Rubrecht applied pressure early on, but Goode was able to seize the momentum after a 50-foot birdie putt on the par 4, 5th hole.
"I knew I was going to have to play well, especially with Robin right behind me, such an accomplished player," said Goode. "I made a lot of good club decisions off the tee and was lucky enough to make quite a lot of putts all three days. I hit a lot of 2-irons in the fairway and putted well, and I think that was the biggest thing. Robin put some pressure on early, and on hole 5, he was about 15 feet for birdie, and then I drained a 50-footer, and I think that was kind of a tipping point."
Asked about the host club, Goode added, "Oh man, this is a beautiful venue, both courses were excellent, the views were excellent, the North Course was quiet and serene, greens were very fast. It was an absolutely breathtaking venue to play a competition."
Goode would finish the event at 1-over overall after posting rounds of 69-74-74 for a 217 total. Denny Fields of Golden, Colo., finished in third at 12-over.
Legend/Grand Master Division
Sean Forey of Morrison, Colo., was able to put together another solid round on Thursday, finishing the event at 2-over following rounds of 67-77-74. George Walker of Fairhope, Ala., finished in second place at 231. Forey credited the local Colorado knowledge as a major factor for his success.
"Being from Colorado we're kind of prepared for this kind of weather, and it gave us a big advantage because of the altitude and things like that," said Forey. "Two fun golf courses we played, in great condition. On Tuesday, I just hit it unbelievably well and only missed one fairway due to hitting a drain cover and bounced into the woods. I somehow still made par. Today I just hit a lot of good iron shots and kept it in play. The course was great, fairways were perfect, and greens we rolling very nice."
Congratulations to David Bell of Peoria, Ariz., on his hole-in-one on the No. 13 from 142 yards with a 7-iron.
ABOUT THE SOS Fall Classic
54-hole stroke play tournament open to SOS members,
with Senior (55+), Super Senior (65+) and Grand
Master (75+) divisions.
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