When golf tournaments end with one stroke of separation, it’s tempting to look back and say
Dave Delong won his second consecutive Evansville Men’s Senior City golf Championship on
some particular hole or with one certain swing or putt.
It could’ve been the 10-footer that died on the lip of the 18th hole on Sunday for runner-up Bryan
Compton at Helfrich Hills. Or it could’ve been the miraculous birdie roll DeLong made from off the
green and above the hole on No. 6.
But the only real difference may have been something as simple as a break, the results from
similar offline second shots on the par-5 13th that took two very divergent paths for DeLong and
Both attempts went right, DeLong’s by design from a tight lie; Compton’s wasn’t by design.
DeLong’s hit a tree, Compton’s the cart path. But DeLong’s caromed back into the fairway while
Compton’s bounded through the green and into a lateral hazard.
“That’s just golf,” both would say later.
DeLong was able to make par and Compton could not. And what had once been a five-stroke
lead for Compton – the first-round leader for the third year in a row – had become DeLong’s
advantage by one. It would be enough.
DeLong increased his lead to two strokes on No. 14 with a long par putt, and then saw it halved
on No. 17 when Compton hit his second shot to within 3 feet and made the putt for birdie.
On No. 18, it appeared Compton might force a playoff when his second shot settled 10 feet below
the hole and DeLong’s lag putt was solid and he marked less than a foot away before finishing
with a 1-under-par 142 total to win the Francis Fleming Flight.
“I still had a chance there at the last hole,” said Compton, “but it’s hard to release that putter head
even when you have to make it. But, I thought I made it when I hit it.”
Instead, it tickled the bottom lip and Compton was left to groan with the crowd.
“I just didn’t make enough putts,” said Compton. “The thing about Dave is you know he’s going to
be steady. He’s all about fairway and greens. He just doesn’t make mistakes.”
DeLong hit the last three greens and two-putted them all to finish the round in 1-over 72. He hit
14 greens and needed only 33 putts.
“To be honest, I really didn’t play that well,” he said. “I hit it OK, but my hands felt like wood when
I was holding the putter. But I was somehow able to nurse it around the course. I just don’t try to
do anything I can’t do.”
Tom Haines had the best round of the day at Helfrich with a 69 to finish in third at 144. Jim Atkins
was fourth at 145.
Other flight winners were Joe Hahn at 144 in the 55-59 Billie Martin; Bob Van Briston at 151 in
the 60-64 Bob Hamilton; Harold Vore at 152 in the 65-69 Richie Moore; and Don Partridge at 156
in the 70-up Ed Wolf. It was Partridge’s third win in as many years.
The tournament’s first round was held at McDonald Golf Course on Saturday.
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