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Bent Creek CC’s Burton takes Senior Tournament

  HARRISBURG, Pa.-Dan Burton of Bent Creek Country Club, a longtime member of the Pennsylvania Golf Association Executive Committee, survived blustery conditions and a field of 212 players to finish 6-over-par and atop the leaderboard of the 12th Senior Tournament. The victory was Burton’s second state title (he also won the 1994 Middle-Amateur Championship) and first Senior Tournament victory.

  The Senior Tournament is a two-day, 36-hole stroke play event with competitors playing 18 holes at each of the event’s two venues – Blue Ridge Country Club and Colonial Country Club.

  "I’m amazed, but I’m thrilled," said Burton, 55, of Lititz, Pa. "I thought I had a chance at winning if I could shoot a 78, but then when I made the eight [on the 16th hole] I thought that was that."

  Burton entered the final round with a four-shot lead after posting an impressive first-round 68 at Blue Ridge Country Club (par 72, 6,260 yards) on Monday. On Tuesday at Colonial CC (par 72, 6,312 yards), with difficult windy conditions resulting in higher scores at both courses, Burton carded an almost disastrous 82.

  Burton started the final round in cruise control and posted an even-par 36 on the front nine. He birdied No. 1 (par 4, 391 yards) and bogeyed No. 9 (par 4, 359 yards).

  However, the round started to fall apart on the 10th hole (par 4, 371 yards). He three-putted the 10th, 11th and 12th holes for bogey. On No. 15 (par 4, 383 yards), Burton failed to get up and down from the bunker for a double bogey. On the par-4, 387-yard 16th hole, Burton thought he lost the tournament when his drive landed in a pine tree and was never found. His second ball hit the tree again, but he found that one and was forced to chip out, twice in fact. Burton finished the hole with a quadruple bogey.

  "I’m very excited," said Burton. "Golf is such a fragile game. I’m cruising and then I three-putt 10-11-12 and all of a sudden doubt starts to enter the mind and it gets hard. Then I get a bad break on No. 16."

  Burton posted a pair of pars on the final two holes – No. 17 (par 3, 140 yards) and No. 18 (par 4, 402 yards) – for a final-round score of 82 and 150 total to edge Don Lamb of St. Clair CC (79-72–151) by a shot. David Gale of Stonewall (76-76 – 152) placed third.

  "I was thinking more about the team than about any individual [honors]," said Lamb, 63, of Pittsburgh, Pa. "I’m actually surprised."

Team Championship
  The 6th Team Championship, run concurrently with the Senior Tournament, saw the foursome of Bill Douds, John Groninger, Lamb and Ned McFarland from St. Clair CC lap the field with a 464 total, nine shots clear of the field.

  The Kahkwa Club’s Jack Gornall, Jim McKibben, Phillip Tredway and Ed Tansey, Sr. finished second at 473.

  Lamb pointed to the grueling intraclub competition at St. Clair CC as a reason for his team’s success.

  "We are fortunate at our club. We have four or five really top senior players and we all play against each other. It’s good competition and that makes a difference in an event like this," said Lamb. "They are all grinders."

   The top three of four individual scores are used in determining the team’s total.

Gross Division
1. Dan Burton, Bent Creek CC 150
2. Dan Lamb, St. Clair CC 151

Net Divison
1. John Pagana, Susquehanna Valley CC 137
2. Cal Ritter, Blue Ridge CC 138

Class A (Ages 75 and over)
1. Robert VanZandt, The Springhaven Club 171
1. Harris Margolis, Green Valley CC 150

Class B (Ages 70-74)
1. Leon Buchter, Golden Oaks CC 159
1. Jack Elder, Latrobe CC 146

Class C (Ages 65-69)
1. John Trach, CC of Harrisburg 154
1. James Sherratt, Old York Road CC 149

Class D (Ages 60-64)
1. David Gale, Stonewall 152
1. John Brouse, CC of Harrisburg 144

Class E
1. Jack Holland, Whitford CC 153
1. John Fleming, Huntingdon Valley CC 144

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