CONCORDVILLE, Pa. (May 3, 2012) — LedgeRock Golf Club’s Chip Lutz is up to his old tricks again. Tricks as in birdies, eagles, subpar scores and tournament victories.
The two-time reigning Golf Association of Philadelphia Senior Player of the Year continues to validate and expand his stellar senior résumé. Lutz continued his superb play Thursday by carding a sensational 6-under-par 65 to win the 78th Francis B. Warner Cup (Gross) at Concord Country Club (par 71, 6,583 yards) by six strokes. Three years into his Senior Division tenure, Lutz now holds three Senior titles. He is the 2010 Chapman Memorial (Gross) Champion and reigning Brewer Cup Champion.
“I love winning GAP events. It’s one of the best associations that I know of and get to play in,” Lutz, 57, of Reading, Pa., said. “We have a great group of people and the tournaments are run so well. I enjoy it, and it’s a thrill to win in my own backyard.”
Fresh off a runner-up finish in Golfweek’s George L. Coleman Invitational, Lutz tapped into his red figure reservoir early with a birdie on No. 2 (par 4, 315 yards). He nuzzled a 60 degree wedge 30 yards to three feet. Lutz stopped a 5-iron 15 feet below the flagstick on the par 3, 183-yard No. 4 and converted the right-to-left breaker to move to 2 under. Lutz added a third birdie to the collection on No. 7 (par 4, 425 yards), sending a 6-iron 70 yards to 20 feet.
“The keys were trying to stay patient because you’re going to miss greens, and fortunately, I made nice recoveries,” Lutz, a member of the Association’s Executive Committee and one of LedgeRock’s founding members, said. “The putter was working well for me. I had a great degree of confidence with it. I felt pretty well balanced today. I mishit some shots, but the key was missing in the correct direction and with a reasonable distance. I was pleased with my overall game.”
From tee to green, Lutz was an exceptional case study. His performance on the par 4, 357-yard 10th hole is evidence. After striping his drive down the middle of the fairway, Lutz knocked a 56-degree wedge 70 yards to seven feet below the flagstick and deposited the straightaway putt for birdie. Following a critical two-putt for par on the uphill No. 11 (par 3, 185 yards), Lutz stepped off the subpar street and carded consecutive bogeys on Nos. 12 (par 4, 435 yards) and 13 (par 4, 420 yards).
“I drifted a little bit there,” he said. “I sort of lost my concentration.”
On No. 12, he missed the green left, chipped on to four feet and failed to execute the short putt. Lutz reached the 13th green with a 7-iron from 163 yards, but misjudged its make-up.
“I was on the green, but I didn’t pick up the fact that it was a downhill putt,” he said. “It ran by probably a good eight feet. I had a long putt coming back that I didn’t make.”
Lutz showed his championship resolve on the next hole (par 5, 543 yards). He hit an uphill 52-degree wedge 106 yards to three feet and tapped-in for birdie. A birdie-eagle finish formally solidified Lutz’s place in the winner’s circle. He stuffed a 60-degree wedge 70 yards to two feet on the uphill par 4, 332-yard 17th hole. Lutz’s drive on No. 18 (par 5, 521 yards) caught the left rough.
“At first, I had a 5-iron in my hand and was thinking I had a little bit of a jumper there with a flier lie,” Lutz said of the ensuing approach. “Then I saw [playing partner] Don (Donatoni) come up short on his shot, and I thought he hit it decently good. So I decided on the 4-iron, knowing it was the right club for the distance. Then I just settled in and hit it good.”
Good indeed. His golf ball traveled 190 yards and settled 20 feet right of the flagstick. Lutz answered the eagle call.
“I actually got a little aggressive with it,” Lutz said. “I was on a great line and it just went dead-center. It was a perfect putt, a great way to finish.”
Lutz’s success is widespread. He is the reigning R&A Seniors Open Amateur Champion and Canadian Men’s Senior Amateur Champion. He is a two-time Golfweek/Wilson Senior Player of the Year. How has Lutz maintained such a high level of play?
“That’s a great question. I really couldn’t tell you,” Lutz said. “It’s a small miracle in some regards. I don’t know what to attribute it to. I’ve stayed in good physical shape. I like to work on my game and do it when I can. I’ve been consistent and enjoying scoring well. I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself.”
“If you play well, you have some personal expectations, but then you also have to think about the other guys who are thinking you’re going to play well. It’s an interesting balance to hold onto.”
Four players finished at even par to share runner-up honors. They included Tom DiCinti of Links Golf Club, William Lawler of Fox Hill Country Club, Rich Thon of The Springhaven Club and Michael Vassil of the Country Club of Scranton.
Francis B. Warner of Philadelphia Cricket Club served as secretary-treasurer for the Golf Association of Philadelphia for 18 years. After his death in 1933, the Association started the Francis B. Warner Cup, an 18-hole, stroke play Senior event, as an ongoing tribute in his memory.
Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) is the oldest regional golf association in the United States and serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. Its 145 Member Clubs and 57,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. As Philadelphia’s Most Trusted Source of Golf Information, the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.
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