Thomas Finn, Buddy Reed and Alan Wagenschnur of Loch Nairn Golf Club knew they wanted to get involved in the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Senior Four-Man Team Championship this year. They just needed a fourth.
Finn asked his friend of several decades, David West of Whitford Country Club, if he’d like to join them. Didn’t hurt that the 57-year-old West is playing some of the best golf of his life, elbowing his way into the mix in the very competitive top levels of GAP’s senior circuit as evidenced by his recent medalist performance in qualifying for the Brewer Cup at St. Davids Golf Club. West was up for it.
West did his part, making seven birdies in a 5-under 65 on his own ball, as the partnership of Finn, Reed, Wagenschnur and West proved to be a winning one Tuesday at Heidelberg Country Club in Bernville. They put together a two-best-balls-of-foursome total of 8-under 132 over the 6,056-yard, par-70 Heidelberg layout and captured the title in a scorecard playoff with the quartet of Bob Arthur of Tavistock Country Club, Thomas Hyland of Little Mill Country Club, Bryan Marvin of Old York Road Country Club and James Muller of Manufacturers Golf & Country Club, who matched their 8-under 132 total.
It's the second straight runnerup finish for Arthur, Hyland, Marvin and Muller, who lost by a shot a year ago at Philmont Country Club.
The back-nine 4-under total for Finn, Reed, Wagenschnur and West proved to be decisive in the scorecard playoff.
West rattled off four straight birdies on the front side at Heidelberg, punctuating the run with a chip-in at the eighth hole. And his spectacular play proved to be infectious.
“It was very loose and fun out there,” the 57-year-old Reed told the GAP website. “We had a great time. No pressure. Dave made it easy for us.”
It was another three shots back to the foursome of Gregory Buliga of Yardley Country Club, Christopher Clauson of Lu Lu Country Club, Steve Lucas of Wilmington Country Club and Michael Quinn of the Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association, which finished alone in third place at 5-under 135. No other team finished under par.
Two foursomes shared fourth place at even-par 140. They were the Wilmington Country Club quartet of Gary Ferguson, Robert Hackett Jr., Brett Koelle and Randy Mitchell and Richard Custer, Marty Dorminy and James Prendergast of Bellewood Country Club and Byron Whitman of Philadelphia Publinks.
Four more teams got a share of sixth at 1-over 141.
They were: Donald Ashley of Philadelphia Country Club, Michael Nilon of Philadelphia Publinks and the Raven’s Claw Golf Club duo of Buck Jones and Jim Yenser; the Bent Creek Country Club quartet of Gerald Eckert, Jud Gemmill, Alan Peterman and Ronald Yarnell; the Merion Golf Club foursome of Donald Dissinger, Gordon Jamieson, J. Kirk Luntey and Robert Wagner; and the Schuylkill Country Club and Moselem Springs Golf Club combination of Dennis Campbell, Tom Fudge Jr., Dan Sipple and Tim Wood.
Finishing in a tie for 10th at 2-over 142 were two teams, including the Commonwealth National Golf Club and Kennett Square Golf & Country Club combination of John Alterman, Frank Kovalcheck, Tom Krug and John Nottage and the Bellewood and RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve combination of Hugh Gallagher, Les Wetty, Jamie Wolsky and Terry Woodward-Williams.
The team of Mike Ceribelli of Stonewall, Jim Howell of Honeybrook Golf Club and Christopher Terebesi and Richard Umani of Chester Valley Golf Club finished alone in 12th with a 4-over 144 total.