Wilmington Country Club’s Randy Mitchell carded a steady 1-over 72 Wednesday at White Manor Country Club to win the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Senior Amateur Championship by a shot.
Mitchell, who was the medalist in a U.S. Senior Amateur local qualifier at Cedarbrook Country Club last week, had opened the GAP Senior Amateur with a 1-under 70 over the 6,577-yard, par-71 White Manor layout. He followed it up with a three-bogey, two-birdie round that held off a hard-charging Glenn Smeraglio of LuLu Country Club by a shot.
Mitchell offset a bogey at nine with a birdie at 11, offset a bogey at 13 with a birdie at 14 and then made a bogey at 15 to finish at even-par 142.
Smeraglio had birdies at 10 and 11 to get to 1-over, but gave those shots back with bogeys at 13 and 14. He finished strong, though, again making back-to-back birdies at 16 and 17 to finish with an even-par 71, which, combined with his opening-round 72, gave him a 1-over 143 total.
Overbrook Golf Club’s Ray Thompson had the day’s best round, a 1-under 70, to finish alone in third place at 3-over 145.
Craig Kliewer of Honeybrook Golf Club had trailed Mitchell by a shot after an opening-round 71, but fell back with a 76 to finish alone in fourth at 147.
Three players – Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Greg Guyer (74-74), The Ridge at Back Brook’s Bert Kosup (72-76) and Lancaster Country Club’s Kenneth Phillips (72-76) – shared fifth place at 6-over 148. Thomas Bartolacci Jr. of Saucon Valley Country Club followed up an opening-round 77 with a solid 72 to finish alone in eighth place at 149.
Joseph Russo (77-73) of Laurel Creek Country Club and David West (73-77) of Whitford Country Club finished in a tie for ninth at 150.
Finishing in a tie for 11th at 152 were Brian Rothaus (76-76) of Five Ponds Golf Club, Doug Fedoryshyn (74-78) of Concord Country Club and Steven Walczak (73-79) of Wilmington Country Club.
The Super Senior division was pretty much a coronation as Don Donatoni cruised around his home course with 16 pars and two bogeys to win by eight shots.
The 68-year-old Donatoni added a 2-over 73 over a White Manor layout that measured 6,053 yards for the Super Seniors to his opening-round 70 for a 1-over 143 total. Donatoni also wrapped up his fourth straight Super Senior Silver Cross win for combined low aggregate from the Warner Cup, the Chapman Cup and the Senior Amateur.
“It’s thrilling,” Donatoni told the GAP website. “Any time you win a GAP major it’s a tremendous honor given the competition and the history of the event. To do it at my own club makes it extra special because you know the members are rooting for you. You don’t want to let them down. It’s very fulfilling in many ways.”
The reigning three-time GAP Super Senior Player of the Year was coming off a win in the Super Senior division at the prestigious North & South Senior Championship at the Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina.
Saucon Valley’s Robin McCool closed with a 2-over 73 after an opening-round 78 to finish alone in second place at 151. Rolling Green Golf Club’s Robert Billings bounced back from an opening-round 80 with a 74 to finish third at 154.
Three players – Merion Golf Club’s Carl Everett (77-78), Medford Village Country Club’s Dave Jacobson (76-79) and Manufacturers Golf & Country Club’s Richard Krauss (77-78) – shared fourth place at 155.