Cutrell defends crown at 11th Art Wall, Jr. Memorial
Arnold Cutrell wins back-to-back Art Wall titles
ORWIGSBURG, Pa. - Arnold Cutrell, Greensburg Country Club, overcame a three shot deficit to successfully defend his title at the 11th Art Wall, Jr. Memorial Championship hosted by Schuylkill Country Club. Cutrell shot rounds of 72-70 for a tournament best 2-under 142 total. Tom Timby, The Bucks Club, held the overnight lead with a first round 3-under 69, but finished the event at even-par 144 and claimed runner-up honors. Ryan Gelrod, Philadelphia Cricket Club, and Michael Brown, Jr., Philadelphia Publinks, finished tied for third at +2, 146. The event was sponsored by the Allegheny Health Network.
The field of 111 players took to the classic Donald Ross designed Schuylkill Country Club (par 72, 6541 yards) and were greeted with a true tournament test on the undulated greens at SCC. Cutrell, playing in the penultimate group, made the turn in round two at 1-under par, thanks to a streak of three birdies on holes three through five that were squeezed between bogeys on two and six. He birdied the par three 11th to get to 2-under for the tournament and then made an improbable par on the tough par 4 13th. Cutrell's drive found the trees left of the fairway and he was forced to punch out toward the green. Faced with a difficult up-and-down, Cutrell cooly played a tough pitch to within inches for a tap in par save. He played steady golf the rest of the way with five straight pars to post the clubhouse lead.
"I'd like to thank everyone at Schuylkill Country Club for hosting the event on their great golf course. I hadn't played a practice round here, and that would have been a big help with the difficulty of these greens. I'm proud of the way I was able to play solid down the stretch and come away with the win," said Cutrell.
Runner-up Tom Timby is no stranger to Pennsylvania championship golf, and looked poised to add to his trophy case on Tuesday afternoon. However, the putts that were falling during the first round just kept burning the edges in round two. Facing a one shot deficit through 15 holes on Tuesday, Timby gave himself short birdie chances on both 16 and 17, but couldn't convert. Needing a birdie on hole 18 to force a playoff, his approach found the greenside bunker, and he had to settle for bogey.
"I certainly had my chances down the stretch to get back to even with Arnie, but the putts just weren't going my way. It was nice to be in the final group among great competition," said Timby.
Bob Beck poses with the Senior division trophy
Bob Beck, Lehigh Country Club, claimed the hardware in the Senior division by one stroke over David West, Whitford Country Club. Beck finished the tournament at +4, 148 after carding rounds of 72-76. Scott Mayne, Deer Run Golf Club, and Michael Vassil, Country Club of Scranton, tied for third at +8, 152.
"I'm surprised, I wasn't sure where I stood on the back nine there with David. I drove it poorly today, but was able to rely on the short game to sort of keep it together and pull out the win," said Beck.
Dave DeNezza tees off on the par 5 17th at Schuylkill Country Club
Dave DeNezza, Hannastown Golf Club, completed the sweep of 2015 Pennsylvania Super-Senior division championships. In May, DeNezza won the Super-Senior Match Play by defeating Don Lamb, St. Clair Country Club, in the final match at Scotch Valley Country Club in Hollidaysburg, Pa. In August, he outlasted Lee Lykens, Indiana Country Club, and Joe Ruby, Nemacolin Woodlands, in a four hole playoff at the Senior Amateur hosted by Longue Vue Club in Verona, Pa. That set the stage for the final event on the calendar at Schuylkill Country Club. DeNezza shot even-par 144 for the tournament, with rounds of 70-74 and won in style, finishing ten shots clear of runner-up Lee Lykens.
"It's an honor to be able to play in these events and the success I've had is a real treat. Schuylkill is a tough golf course where you need to control the ball and hole putts. It's going to come down to making good par saves and I putted well this week and I think that was the difference," said DeNezza.
NOTES: Congratulations to Patrick O'Brien on a hole-in-one on Monday on the 130 yard, par 3 16th. Ryan Gelrod carded an eagle on the par 4 9th hole by holing a wedge. The eagle helped propel Gelrod to a third place finish. David Kimbley fired the low-round of the tournament on Tuesday with a 4-under 68, good enough for a solo 5th place finish.
The Team Competition, comprised of the best two of three scores from each round, was won by the Philadelphia Publinks squad of Michael Brown, David Kimbley, and Byron Whitman.
Special thanks to the entire membership and staff at Schuylkill Country Club, including Golf Professional Larry Borden, General Manager Scott Murphy, Superintendent Will Schneider, and club President Mark Herring and the entire board of directors for their gracious hospitality in hosting the 11th Art Wall, Jr. Memorial Championship.