2023 Senior Open
Spring Ford Country Club's Rich Steinmetz Wins the 3rd Pennsylvania Senior Open
Williamsport, Pa- Rich Steinmetz, head golf professional at Spring Ford Country Club in Royersford, converted a four-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a sudden death playoff to take down defending Champion Kevin Shields and win the 3rd Pennsylvania Senior Open at the Williamsport Country Club on Tuesday. Shields played the last three holes in 3 under par to catch Steinmetz and produce an exciting finish to the tournament in its third year.
Steinmetz, the reigning Philadelphia PGA Section senior champion, opened play with a five-under par 66 Monday and owned a two-shot lead over Shields and Lehigh Country Club amateur Tom Soares. Several others lurked within striking distance after round one but the second round developed into a four-man race. All three players in the final pairing got off to a rough two-over start but Steinmetz’s lead grew to 4 shots after 27 holes after he posted an opening-nine 38 to Shields 39.
Playing five holes ahead of the final pairing, reigning Philadelphia Amateur Champion Michael Brown Jr. of LuLu Country Club in Oreland was making a charge and posted a four under par 67 to finish at 2 under par for the tournament. With Steinmetz 2 over par for the day and three under for the tournament standing on the sixteenth tee, he held a one-shot lead over Brown in the clubhouse and a three-shot advantage on Shields with three holes remaining.
When Shields jarred his third shot from 90 yards out of deep rough on the par five 16th for eagle and Steinmetz failed to get up and down for a birdie from just off the green the lead was just one over two pursuers. Shields remained close with a12-foot par-saving putt on 17, and right in front of the leaders professional Kevin Kraft of Harrisburg, a former Pennsylvania Open winner, birdied the last hole to join Brown and Shields at two under.
Shields tee shot on 18 caught some trees on the right and landed short but in the middle of the fairway some 270 Yards from the green. A beautifully struck 3 wood left Shields with a lengthy putt from just off the green for eagle while Steinmetz chipped long leaving a 30-footer for birdie. When Shields lagged his eagle putt to within tap in range, Steinmetz two putted for par setting the stage for the playoff.
Brown and Kraft tied for third place with Brown grabbing low amateur honors. Steinmetz received $4000 for the victory while Shields picked up $2000 for runner up finish. Seventeen professionals in the field earned prize money while nine amateurs received gift certificates.
The tournament was sponsored by Dick's Sporting Goods