Burns Wins Art Wall in Playoff
Tim Burns holds the Championship trophy
Elverson, PA - Tim Burns is taking the Art Wall Championship trophy back to Art Wall's home course, The Country Club of Scranton. The event has been won by a CC of Scranton member three of the six years that it has been competed. The victory was well earned and highly contested.
Burns began the final round one shot behind the leader, Robin McCool, of Saucon Valley Country Club, who posted a one-under-par 69 in the first round. Mike Domenick, of Phoenixville Country Club, and Robert Stoops, of Butler Country Club, posted first round scores of even-par, 70, to round out the top of the leaderboard.
Two shots back of the leader was a group of very accomplished players who would put pressure on the leaders early in the second round. Tom Bartolacci, Jr., of Saucon Valley CC, Paul Schlachter, of The Club at Nevillewood, Gary Daniels, of Saucon Valley CC, Joe Corsi, of Hannastown Golf Club, and Craig Scott, of Huntingdon Valley CC, posted rounds of one-over-par, 71, in the first round.
Tim Burns took over the lead through 27 holes after posting a one-under-par, 34, on his front nine that included one birdie and eight pars. Burns held a two-shot lead at that point over Robin McCool, who made the turn at two-over-par, 37, and Robert Savarese, Jr., of Philadelphia Cricket Club, who posted a one-under-par, 34.
John Sweeney, of Lancaster Country Club, made an early push in the afternoon posting a stellar three-under-par, 32, on his opening nine to put him three shots out of the lead. Paul Schlachter was also looming after carding a one-over-par, 36, to remain three shots back.
Robert Savarese hits an approach shot
It was an up and down final nine for the lead pack as no one player seemed to find a groove on the back nine. The 18th hole would be the deciding factor for the Champion. Savarese birdied the 500 yard, par 5, 18th hole in regulation to become the "leader in the clubhouse" at four-over-par, 144. Burns bogeyed the final hole to tie Savarese, and Robin McCool had to birdie the last hole to get into the playoff.
Robin McCool is awarded the Senior Division
Champions trophy from Chuck Dannenberg
So the three players headed back to the 18th tee to decide the Champion. All three players striped their drives down the fairway. Burns was first to play and had 265 yards to the green with a crossing hazard looming in front of the green. He chose to lay up and executed a perfect shot to the end of the fairway. McCool was next and had 255 yards to the center of the green. He pulled out 3-wood and hooked it into the hazard, left. Savarese also elected to go for the green from 235 and wound up in the hazard as well.
Tim Burns hits his approach during the playoff
Burns hit his approach to 35 feet from the flag while Savarese and McCool hit their fourth shots onto the surface inside of 20 feet. Burns rolled his putt to within inches and tapped in for his par. Savarese and McCool were unable to hole their par putts, and Burns walked away as the 6th Art Wall, Jr. Memorial winner.
"The first thing I did was call Greg Wall (Art Wall's son) and tell him 'I'm bringing the Art Wall Trophy back to Scranton!'," said Burns after accepting the trophy from Association President, Chuck Dannenberg.
"Then I had to call my daughter and tell her that her lucky hat had paid off! She had given me this hat, so I told her I would wear it for good luck."
Mike Vassil, of the Country Club of Scranton, is the other previous winner from Scranton to win the event (2009 & 2006).
The 151 yard, par 3, 6th hole conceeded two holes-in-one during the first round. Robert Savarese hit a 9-iron and Fred Stern hit a 7-iron.
Robin McCool took home the top honors in the Senior Division (55-64 years old). Paul Schlachter finished in second place and Rich Thon took the third place prize.
The Country Club of Scranton finished with a score of 290 to win by one shot over Saucon Valley Country Club. Tim Burns, Mike Vassil, and Tom Sohns represented the winning squad. Tom Bartolacci, Jr., Gary Daniels, and Robin McCool represented SVCC.
The team competition is open to players who reside from the same club. The scoring is a best 2 out of 3 scores per day.
Hometown hero, Paul Yeakle, of Stonewall, took the top prize in the Super-Senior Division after posting a 13-over-par, 153. George Anderson, of The Club at Shadow Lakes, carded a final round 73, to finish in second place.
Paul Yeakle (right) and George Anderson
SUPER-SENIOR TEAM COMPETITION
West Shore Country Club's Jim Hoffer and Bill Stasiulatis won the Team Competition in the Super-Senior Flight. The duo also won the 2nd place team competition in the 2010 Super-Senior Amateur Championship at Chester Valley CC.
The 2011 Art Wall, Jr. Memorial will be played at Bedford Springs Resort on September 19-20.
Special thanks to Dan Dale, Paul Mauer, Eric McNamee, Jerry Cashman and their staffs for making the event a success and for welcoming us to Stonewall.