McGuire Rallies Past Jones to Win Super-Senior Title
LANCASTER, Pa. - Hannastown Country Club's Mike McGuire entered the second and final round of the Super-Senior Amateur Championship trailing Buck Jones by two shots at Lancaster Country Club. After a two-stroke penalty led to a triple bogey on the 8th hole, McGuire's deficit was five shots. But he made up the difference with a strong back nine, finishing with a two-round total of 147 (+7) to win the event, which was presented by Allegheny Health Network.
"This course plays very difficult," Mcguire said. "There are a lot of uphill shots here and the course probably played about 300 yards longer than the listed yardage as a result."
For McGuire, it was the short game that was the key to his comeback at the classic William Flynn layout.
"It was mostly my putting that saved me," said McGuire, who became the second straight Hannastown CC golfer to win the Super-Senior title (Dave DeNezza in 2015). "My approach putts from long distances were really close and that didn't leave me a lot of stress on my putts.
Jones and McGuire played together for round two, and despite bogeys on No. 3 and No. 5, Jones had a birdie on the par-4 fourth hole that kept him ahead by three shots as they got to the par-3 eighth hole. McGuire found trouble there after he took a two-stroke penalty for grounding his club in the bunker. The result was a triple-bogey 6, and with Jones safely making par, the deficit for McGuire was five shots. But he played the rest of his round at even par, including birdies on No. 12 and No. 13. On No. 16, Mcguire hit a great bunker shot to just inches away from the cup and completed the up and down for his par. At the par-3 17th, with Jones still up by one shot, Mcguire two-putted for par. Meanwhile, Jones found the bunker and made bogey.
That set up the drama on Lancaster CC's closing hole, the 425-yard par 4 18th. McGuire hit a solid drive and then watched as Jones hit his tee shot into the fairway bunker and couldn't get out of the sand with his second shot. Though he was able to exit the bunker on his third shot, Jones left an opening for McGuire. Looking to safely reach the green, McGuire's approach faded out to the right and landed in the greenside bunker. Knowing that Jones was looking at double bogey, McGuire was able to get up and down for bogey and the final score of 7-over par to win the championship.
"I really wanted to make that last par, but I kind of lagged it up there and just took my five," McGuire said. "Buck played really solid here and I didn't think I was going to win this."
Finishing in third place was Joe Ruby of Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, who shot 149 (+9) to finish two shots off the pace. A trio of golfers tied for fourth at 150 (+10) - Indiana Country Club's Lee Lykens, Punxsutawney Country Club's John Benson and Saucon Valley Country Club's Robin McCool.
The Pennsylvania Golf Association would like to thank the staff and membership of Lancaster Country Club for their hospitality during the championship.