The Deeg Sezna has become an event Golf Association of Philadelphia players have come to look forward to.
Named in memory of Davis “Deeg” Sezna Jr., who was working at his new job on the 104th floor in the South Tower of the World Trade Center Sept. 11, 2001, the event pairs a younger golfer with a mentor in his or her life in much the same way that Deeg was a mentor to younger brothers Teddy and Willy.
At the Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort, 45-year-old Paul Kennedy invited Evan Choy, the 20-year-old Millersville junior who beat Kennedy for the club championship last year, to be his partner for The Deeg Sezna.
The select-drive/alternate-shot format fit the pair perfectly as they overcame an early triple bogey to card a 2-under-par 70 over the 6,516-yard, par-72 Whitemarsh Valley Country Club layout to capture the title Monday by two shots.
“We both hit it really well off the tee,” Choy told the GAP website. “We needed him to putt today. I wasn’t putting well for the first 12, 13 holes. I had a stretch of four or five holes when I was putting and wasn’t making a single thing. We decided toward the end to make sure he was rolling the rock. It worked out.”
A Kennedy approach to the second hole plugged in a bunker and resulted in a triple bogey.
From there Kennedy’s putter did a lot of the work. He holed a 15-footer for birdie at the par-5 third, a 15-footer for birdie after the team reached the par-5 fifth in two, a 30-footer for birdie at the seventh, an eight-footer for birdie at the 13th and a tap-in for birdie at the 17th after Choy stiffed the approach to the par-5 hole.
Choy added a five-foot birdie putt on the 16th and made a 25-footer to save par at the last.
Robert Olseski and Jeff Kavanagh of Sandy Run Country Club matched par with a 72 to claim runnerup honors.
Six teams finished in a tie for third at 1-over 73. They were: Matt Mancini of Glenmaura National Golf Club and Michael Fedak Jr. of Spring-Ford Country Club; Buddy Aiken of St. Davids Golf Club and Jack Mitchell V of Waynesborough Country Club; Gregory Buliga and Patrick Laushell of Yardley Country Club; Carlos Fullerton of Brookside Country Club of Allentown and Scott Harrington of Moselem Springs Golf Club; William Weihenmayer and D.J. Pinciotti III of Huntingdon Valley Country Club; and Richard Ogorek and Ryan Bree of Fieldstone Golf Club.
Scott Storck and Justin Dougherty of Philadelphia Cricket Club finished alone in ninth place with a 75. Michael Gregor and Wade Gregor of Huntingdon Valley and J.J. Berenato and Jack St. Amour of Llanerch Country Club finished tied for 10th at 77.
Three teams – Michael Rose of Talamore Country Club and Daniel Galbreath of Huntingdon Valley, Hugh Farris and Rocco Sciotto of Huntingdon Valley and Jim Fullerton of Brookside of Allentown and Max Harrington of Moselem Springs – finished in a tie for 12th, each pair carding a 78.
In the Junior/Junior division, Brendan Nolan turned to his old Cheltenham High golf teammate, Michael Brown Jr., to team up with Nolan’s 12-year-old son Darren, who has been appearing on Philadelphia Section PGA Junior Tour leaderboards all summer.
And it proved to be a strong team as the 43-year-old Brown, who has a pair of wins in GAP majors on his resume, and Darren Nolan, playing out of Talamore, topped the division with a 3-under 69.
In the Mixed Division, the Whitemarsh Valley pair of Peter Oppenheimer and Casey Oppenheimer, another name that appears frequently in the Junior Tour results, took advantage of some local knowledge to finish first with a 78.
Meaghan Bonner of Tavistock Country Club and Kevin Bonner of Talamore finished second with a 79 and Owen Brown and Kelly Brown of Coatesville Country Club were another shot back in third with an 80.