7th Father-Son - Hughes' Win Championship Flight and Scott's Take Senior Flight
CAMP HILL, Pa. - Heading into the second and final round of the 7th Father-Son Championship, Jim and JD Hughes of Carlisle Country Club had a comfortable six stroke lead. But after the 11th hole of that second round, a birdie by the team of Brendan and Craig Borst contrasted with a bogey by the Hughes' meant that the lead was down to just two shots. After dropping another shot on No. 13, the lead was a single stroke. But the Hughes duo settled down and birdied No. 14 and parred the last four holes to hold on for a victory at West Shore Country Club in the championship, which was presented by Allegheny Health Network.
"There's absolutely nothing more rewarding than competing in and winning this event with my son," Jim Hughes said. "We were leaking oil a little bit there in the second round, but we held on."
For Jim and JD Hughes, it was their second win in the seven-year history of the event. In fact, they became the first team to ever win the championship for a second time, following their 2014 win at Bedford Springs Resort. The winning score of 141 (-3) was very impressive, especially considering the event's unique Chapman format. Under that format, each player hits a drive off the tee. For the second shot, Player A hits Player B's ball and vice versa. They then select which ball to play and alternate shots the remainder of the hole. Since the top two teams were paired together in the day's final grouping, each team knew of its status. That made the finish by the Hughes' even more impressive.
"I have to give credit to the Borsts because they played very well in that second round," Jim Hughes said. "We played well both days. Tuesday we didn't hit the ball that badly, but we just didn't putt as well. We were fortunate that we hit some good shots to give ourselves opportunities on the greens."
In the first round, the Hughes' made it look easy, carding birdies on four of their first seven holes en route to a 5-under par 67. When the second round started, it looked like more of the same as they made birdie on the 312-yard par 4 first hole. But a bogey on the par 5 second made it clear that round two wasn't going to be as easy as round one. However, another birdie on the fourth hole extended the lead before back-to-back bogeys on holes 6-7 brought them closer to the field. They then made bogey on No. 11 and No. 13 to put them at 1-under overall. At that same time, the Borsts were making their run. After three birdies on the front nine balanced against a pair of bogeys, a comeback was still a longshot. But the two aforementioned bogeys from the Hughes', plus a birdie from the Borsts on No. 11 brought the margin to just one shot. However, that's as close as Brendan (Philadelphia Cricket Club) and Craig (St. Clair Country Club) could get.
"With a format like that, we knew what we needed to do. We wanted to try to get two looks at the green with our approach shots and try to stay below the hole for our first putt," Jim Hughes said. "We also looked at who was hitting the next shot to help determine which one of the balls we would pick."
Finishing in third place in the championship flight was the Out Door Country Club duo of Nicholas and Allen Geiman, who followed up a first round 73 with a 71 to shoot an even par total of 144. Scott McNeil and his father John placed fourth, bouncing back from a first round 78 to card a 72 in the second round. Tying for fifth place were the home club duo of Scott and Kevin Christie along with fellow West Shore member Theodore Mowery and his son, Adam.
In the net portion of the competition, the Geimans won with a score of 136, beating the Christies (139), Borsts (140) and Hughes' (143) to take home the prize.
"To be able to share the experience of winning this event again with JD is amazing," Jim Hughes said. "And we got to meet a lot of great people from across the entire state that we wouldn't otherwise get a chance to meet."
Local knowledge was key in the Senior Division, as the home club team of Rick Scott and his son, Tony, won the flight with a score of 146 (+2). The Scotts trailed by a shot heading into the final 18 holes but fired a second round 75 to win by two strokes over the team of Gary and Cody Smith.
"Playing it here at our home course helped out a lot," Rick Scott said. "Knowing to not hit it in certain spots and knowing the greens helped drastically."
Rick Scott mentioned that Tony actually experienced the course at West Shore CC earlier than he did.
"When Tony went to high school, he got to play here a lot because it was their home course," said Rick Scott of West Shore CC. "I didn't even get to play then because I wasn't a member!"
Rick and Tony Scott not only won the event, but it was the second time they've won a statewide Father-Son title, as they captured the Connecticut State Golf Association's 75th Father & Son Championship back in 2011.
In the decisive second round of play, the Scotts fired a 1-under par score of 35 on the front nine with a clean card showing a birdie on No. 7 but no bogeys or worse. On the back side, a bogey on No. 10 and a double bogey on No. 11 ("We both hit bad drives," said Rick Scott.) quickly brought the team closer to the rest of the field.
After another bogey on No. 15, the pressure grew on the Scotts. But three straight pars down the stretch closed things out and gave them the victory.
The Pennsylvania Golf Association would like to thank the staff and membership of West Shore Country Club for their hospitality during the championship.