Scott Mayne wanted to test his game against the best competition a 58-year-old golfer could find. And he knew exactly where to go to square off against some top seniors.
The Harrisburg resident joined LedgeRock Golf Club in Mohnton for the specific purpose of doing battle in the Golf Association of Philadelphia. Heck, the man named by Global Golf Post as the best male amateur golfer in the world in 2016 is a member at LedgeRock, reigning seven-time GAP Senior Player of the Year Chip Lutz. The 62-year-old Chip Lutz.
Wednesday at St. Davids Golf Club, the underrated Donald Ross design where Radnor and Tredyffrin townships meet, Mayne showed he belonged with a 1-up victory over the Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Greg Guyer, a member of GAP’s executive committee, in the final of one of GAP’s senior major championships, the Brewer Cup, presented by Callaway Golf. Mayne was competing in his first official GAP event.
“The reason I joined LedgeRock in March was to play in GAP events,” Mayne told the GAP website. “I figured if I could play in these events, because of the competition level, it would make me a better player.”
Mayne jumped out to a 3-up advantage through nine holes of the final by touring the front nine of the 6,249-yard, par-70 St. Davids layout in 4-under 31. Guyer chipped away at the lead and then drew within 1-down when Mayne discovered on the 16th green, after driving errantly off the tee, that the ball he had found and played was not his ball.
Guyer, a 55-year-old Flourtown resident, had good looks at 17, for par, and at 18, for birdie, to square the match, but couldn’t get them to fall.
That was the end of a long day that began Wednesday morning with equally tough semifinal battles for the two finalists.
Mayne, the reigning Pennsylvania Senior Amateur champion, claimed a 3 and 2 victory over Tavistock Country Club’s Bill McGuiness. He won the match with a classic match-play turnaround on the par-5 11th at St. Davids.
Mayne drove it in a bunker with such a bad lie, he couldn’t get it out. His third shot left him 157 yards to the pin. McGuiness, meanwhile, had nearly reached the green in two. Mayne’s 9-iron shot hopped past the pin, caught the slope and rolled into the hole for a birdie, a birdie McGuiness couldn’t match.
Guyer, meanwhile, claimed a 1-up victory over Lu Lu Country Club’s Glenn Smeraglio, one of GAP’s best players -- senior, junior or anywhere in between.
Tuesday’s quarterfinals featured a couple of classics as McGuiness outlasted Tavistock clubmate Michael Tash in 21 holes while Guyer also needed 21 holes to finally oust Whitford Country Club’s David West, who claimed medalist honors in qualifying Monday with a sparkling 3-under 67.
In the Super-Senior division, White Manor Country Club’s Don Donatoni, the ageless 69-year-old Malvern resident, won his fourth Brewer Cup victory with a 2 and 1 victory over Thomas Humphrey, a 65-year-old Chadds Ford resident who plays out of Wilmington Country Club.
Donatoni is the reigning four-time GAP Super-Senior Player of the Year.
Donatoni reached the final with a 4 and 3 semifinal victory over Charles McClaskey of the Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association. Humphrey, who captured medalist honors with a 2-over 72 in Monday’s qualifying round, rallied for a victory over Merion Golf Club’s Carl Everett in 19 holes after standing on the 17th tee 2-down with two holes to play.
Tournament namesake O. Gordon Brewer was on hand to make the trophy presentations to Mayne and Donatoni. Brewer teed it up in 42 United States Golf Association events, winning the 1994 and 1996 U.S. Senior Amateur crowns.
It’s always been that way in the Philadelphia area. You’ve always been able to find some of the best senior players – amateur and professional – around here. Scott Mayne didn’t have to look far to find the kind of competition he was looking for.