Robin Rubrecht built a massive lead during the second round of the Romain Buick Senior City Golf Championship on Sunday at Fendrich. But rather than rest on that cushion, Rubrecht kept playing the same style that gave him that advantage in the first place. “I played aggressive, kept it in play, hit a lot of greens and made some putts today,” said Rubrecht, who fired a 3-under 67 to finish with a 5-under two-day total of 136. “I just, overall, never backed up.” Rubrecht, 60, claimed his second Senior City title, with the other coming in 2010. “It feels good anytime you win a tournament,” he said. “This one’s special because you’re playing with your peers. ”The Newburgh resident won by seven strokes and was the only golfer to shoot below par on either day of the tournament. Saturday’s first round was held at Helfrich Golf Course, a par-71 layout. “I knew when he got to red numbers he wasn’t going to back up,” said Bryan Compton, who finished in a fourway tie for second with a two-round 143. “We’d have to get to red numbers to catch him, and I don’t know if my game’s that strong in a tournament. He’s a good player.” Rubrecht recorded four birdies — on holes five, seven, 11 and 16 — and didn’t card a bogey until the 18th. Knowing the victory was well in hand, Rubrecht walked across the green and embraced his wife, Connie, who doubled as his caddie. “Just about all my tournaments, she’s caddied for me,” Rubrecht said. “She doesn’t pick my clubs for me, she doesn’t read putts, but she’s very calming. It’s nice to have somebody pulling for you and keeping you calm.” Rubrecht and others took advantage of the “preferred lies through the green” rule, which was instituted to combat poor course conditions due to the harsh winter. Golfers were allowed to move the ball up to one club length, but not closer to the hole, to improve their lies. “When you can put your hand on the ball, you can be more aggressive,” he said. “I hit (a drive) on nine that took a nasty kick and went over by a tree. I got to move it a club length, chipped it out and made a par.” Greg Glisson, Tom Haines and Dave Bates tied Compton at 143 strokes for second place. Because Compton, Haines and Bates were all tied at the top of the age 60-64 flight behind Rubrecht — who wasn’t eligible for the flight victory due to his overall win — they played a sudden-death playoff to determine the age-group winner. Each golfer recorded par on the 10th hole before Compton won it with a birdie on the par-3 11th. He said he hit an 8-iron three feet from the hole and made the putt. “I drove the ball well, never got in any trouble off the tee, actually,” Compton said of his round. “The short game and the putting wasn’t there, but I managed to get it done at the end, which is really all you have to do.” Flight Champions: 50-54 Drexel Brothers 73-73-146 55-59 Greg Glisson 73-70-143 60-64 Bryan Compton 72-71-143 65-69 Tony Hill 75-73-148 70+ Steve Pritchett 76-72-148
Michael Finnin ousts Robert Pope on 2nd Playoff hole.
Mike Finnin had to wait a long time for his happy ending to the rain-shortened Romain Buick Senior City Golf Championship on Sunday at Helfrich Hills, and all it did was make him sad. Finnin, who beat Robert Pope in a two-hole playoff, wanted to share it with someone special but couldn’t.
“This was for my dad (Gary),” said Finnin, 50, in his first year of eligibility. “I wish he was still around for me to call and tell about this, but he died on April 1.
“So when it ended, when Bob missed that last putt, I just started bawling. It was very emotional.” Finnin and Pope had been among the first players off on Sunday and posted even-par rounds of 71. Then they had to wait and wait for the rest of the 110-player field to finish their rounds. Robin Rubrecht, the 2010 winner, and Bryan Compton and Jim Atkins all finished in a tie for third at 72. “I had to wait almost four hours to the minute,” said Pope, 56. “It was tough because there were couches (in the clubhouse), but no pillows. I looked. So I just tried to keep moving, tried to stay loose.”
Finnin, who said he waited 3½ hours, took another approach. “I just worked on my putting the whole time,” he said. “I just stayed on the practice green.” When the playoff finally started at 5 p.m. at No. 1, both players missed the fairway off the tee. Pope missed the green short from the 18 fairway before Finnin hit his second shot to 8 feet from the rough. But both made par, Pope from 3 feet and Finnin tapping in from 3 inches. “I thought that first putt would move a little,” Finnin said.
“But it stayed right there.” Both players hit the second playoff hole, No. 2, a par-4, in regulation. But Pope faced a putt twice as long as Finnin and pushed his approach more than 3 feet past the hole. “That was a tough putt Bob had,” Finnin said. “Three guys in our group had it and missed it because it breaks the opposite of what you think.” And Pope missed it, too.
“That wasn’t the same swing I took with me earlier in the day,” said Pope, who did finish first in the Billie Martin Flight. “But I can’t feel too bad. “You look at the names on the (leader)board and it feels good to play with them.” Said Finnin: “I played well today. I only missed one fairway with the driver and had it 2-under after 15. Then I went bogey, par, bogey over the last three.” “But it all worked out in the end. Winning made it worth the wait.”
Tim Heath was consistently good for a finish around the top 10 and sometimes even better in five years playing the Senior City Golf Championship. Always the bridesmaid but never the bride — at least until Sunday. Heath out-dueled defending champion John Kaposta in a one-hole playoff at Fendrich Golf Course to win the Romain Buick Senior City Golf Championship, his biggest win outside of Helfrich Hills club championships in 30 years playing golf. "I feel like I paid my dues," said Heath, who carded a even-par 70 to Kaposta's 69 on Sunday, "and that I belong up there with the (1984 City champion) John Kaposta and (nine-time City champion) Kevin Wassmer — well, not quite Kevin Wassmer — but I feel like I'm coming into where I need to be."
Heath capitalized when Kaposta found a green-side bunker at the par-four 10th hole, then positioned his approach inside Kaposta's chip out of the sand. The New Harmony native missed a putt to win on the 18th and another that would have moved him a stroke ahead through 17. But Heath had two chances to hole out in the playoff, eventually scoring a par ahead of Kaposta's bogey to win the two-day tournament. "The bad shot was my tee shot," Kaposta said. "I didn't make a good swing and ended up in the rough over there, which was really thick and heavy. I couldn't get my club on it enough. "But good for Tim.
He got through it, did it, and he deserves it." Heath's opening-round 3-under 69 on Saturday at McDonald Golf Course gave him a one-stroke lead over Kaposta entering Sunday. Both carded two-day totals of 139, followed by Jim Atkins' 141 in third and a twoway tie for fourth between 2010 champion Robin Rubrecht and tournament administrator Dave Bates at 143. Kaposta dominated the 2011 final round, shortened to nine holes because of rain, and finished ahead of a trio tied for second that included Heath.
The two know each other well after years playing in the Senior City and in the same group at last year's Courier & Press City Tournament. "It's an honor to beat (Kaposta), and it takes everything you can to get there," Heath said. Heath, who will retire from his job at UPS in nine months, collected a $600 gift card with the win and will have his name engraved on the Jerry Schreiber Cup, named for the nine-time City champion. Flight winners collected $400 apiece out of the $9,000 purse payout. The 55-year-old Heath played to his strengths in the final round: accuracy along with making fairways and greens. "I'm not the longest hitter out here, but I'm fairly straight," he said.
Those qualities came in handy on the back nine at Fendrich as Kaposta missed fairways at 16, 17 and 18. Heath's bogey on 16 created a tie but finally, on the playoff 10th hole, Kaposta missed another fairway and couldn't recover. "It's never over with John," Heath said. "That's the beautiful thing about John Kaposta." Kaposta won the Frances leming Flight (ages 50-54), and Rubrecht's 143 topped the Billie Martin Flight (55-59), with Heath as the overall winner. Atkins led the Bob Hamilton Flight (60-64) with a 141, Michael Hurt the Richie Moore Flight (65-69) and Don Shull the Ed Wolf Flight (70-plus).
Dave Bates, tournament director of the Romain Buick Senior City Golf Championship, joked with champion John Kaposta that his two-day score of 99 was a new tournament record as scorekeepers posted the number at the Fendrich clubhouse Sunday. The leaders' tee times were pushed back and the final round cut to nine holes after late-morning storms prompted a delay that lasted longer than an hour. With the tournament shortened to 27 holes from 36, the 53-year-old Kaposta shot a 33 on Sunday to finish six strokes ahead of the rest of the field at Fendrich. As he waited for the final scores to come in at the clubhouse, Kaposta said a short day at what marked the tournament's 10th year played to his advantage. "It gives the field less of a chance to make up ground," said Kaposta, the 2008 Senior City Champion and 1984 Men's City Champion. "But you've still got to go out and play a good nine holes to win.
Kaposta received a $600 gift certificate for winning along with the Jerry Schreiber Cup, named after the nine-time Men's City champion who finished with a 116 in this weekend's tournament. The eventual winner distanced himself quickly over the competition Sunday after an opening-round 66 at Helfrich Hills positioned Kaposta a shot ahead of Tim Heath and two ahead of Dave DeLong. "He doesn't really make mistakes. He waits for you to come and make a mistake," said Tim Heath, whose second-round 38 was five strokes off Kaposta's 33. "Everyone had to play up to him today because he was leading, and then we made mistakes." Heath's 105 put him in a three-way tie for second with DeLong and George Nord. Defending champion Robin Rubrecht was fifth with a 106, and Bates, Joe Stellern and Tom Haines all shot 107.
It wasn't until Kaposta sat 1-under after the eighth hole Sunday that he thought a win was a sure thing. "A big part of tournament golf is controlling your emotions," he said. "I was nervous the whole day, and I'm sure everyone else was. It's about being able to play while nervous." George Nord won the Frances Fleming Flight (ages 50-54) by defeating Tim Heath in a two hole playoff. Rubrecht won the Billie Martin Flight (ages 55-59), Bates the Bob Hamilton Flight (ages 60-64), Ed Nicholson the Richie Moore Flight (ages 65-69) and George Green the Ed Wolf Flight (ages 70+) at three over par. The 18-hole course at Fendrich had already been narrowed to nine because recent flooding left some holes unready for tournament play. Players worked through the nine-hole layout once instead of twice after weather again affected the tournament. Bates said the tournament was an overall success — both as someone who was forced to play a shorter round and as a tournament director who had to help make that call. "We had to kind of go on the fly, but we had established a scenario in case this happened," he said. "We thought there might have been additional showers coming, so we couldn't really try to stretch it out to the last element of darkness."
EVANSVILLE — Heading into the back nine of the final round of last year’s Romain Buick Senior City golf tournament, Robin Rubrecht bogeyed four holes to fall out of contention. This year was a different story. Rubrecht bogeyed just one hole on his way to winning his first Senior City tournament championship at Helfrich Hills.
Rubrecht, who was playing in only his third Senior City tournament since moving to Evansville in 2006, shot a 3-under 68 on Sunday to finish at 6-under for the tournament, giving him a two-stroke victory over 2006 champion Paul Gentry. “I played steady golf,” Rubrecht said. “I hit good drives and hit the greens regularly. The field was very tough this year, so that makes me feel a lot better about the win. ”The leaders remained bunched up for the duration of the tournament, making for what Rubrecht called a “grind-it-out type of win.” He and Gentry were tied at 5-under on the back nine until Gentry, whose group was one hole ahead of Rubrecht’s, ran into trouble on hole No. 16. He hit a ball to the left of the green that landed in the rough, then had a tough time recovering from the shot and had to settle for bogey. Meanwhile, Rubrecht drove the green on No. 15, a par four, and birdied the hole to gain a two-stroke lead that he never lost.
He parred the next hole and said that he was able settle in from there. “That was a critical hole for me,” he said. “When I made that putt, I just thought to myself, ‘Just keep doing what you’re doing,’ which was playing smart, conservative golf. “I just picked my spots where I wanted to go for it, and other places I felt better off playing it safe.” Gentry came into Sunday’s round tied with Rubrecht and just one stroke behind the first-round leader, Ken Schreiber, and said he felt if he shot under par that he’d win. However, he said he simply didn’t make enough putts.
Gentry, who missed last year’s Senior City tournament because of injuries to his knee and ankle, said he was still happy with how he played and wasn’t disappointed with a second-place finish. He tried to make it interesting on No. 18 when he nearly sank a 20-foot birdie putt, only to leave it a few inches short of the hole. He ended up settling for par. “I left it on the lip,” he said. “It looked like it was going in until it didn’t go in.” Schreiber couldn’t capitalize on his 68 from Saturday and shot a 77 on Sunday to finish with a 145 for the tournament and fifth-place finish. “I played some pretty rotten golf,” he said. “I lost some confidence on hole No. 6. I just wasn’t hitting the ball in the middle of the club. “ I just wasn’t very good at all today.” John Kaposta followed up a 72 from Saturday with a 68 on Sunday to finish with a 140 and third place. Tony Hill finished fourth with a 142, and Tim Heath tied with Schreiber with a 145 for fifth.
Disaster was dogging the heels of the leaders of the Senior City Golf Tournament on Sunday at McDonald like a Westminster Kennel Club champion on a leash. Each time a new old guy grabbed the lead, it turned on him and took huge bites out of his psyche while adding extra strokes to his score. First-round leaders Dave Bates and Robin Rubrecht took turns watching the lead lurch from their grip and then it spent a couple of holes with defending champion John Kaposta before his lead strayed out of bounds. Jim Cheaney looked ready to follow the trend when he greeted his first hole with the lead with a trip to the water on the par-5 14th hole. That made his fourth shot to the green of paramount importance and even the laconic Cheaney couldn't help but grimace when he stabbed it 30 feet by and above the hole. But Cheaney, a self-confessed "B" player in his regular Saturday game, was having himself a day, especially with his putter. He bent his 30-foot downhill-sidehill slider into the cup for an improbable par and showed some emotion for the first time all day with an emphatic pump of his right fist. The lead was his for good. "When I made that putt I thought, 'This just might be my day," he said, unable to stop smiling. "I'm going to have this grin on my face for the next month." Cheaney is certainly still smiling today because the 2009 addition to the Jerry Schreiber Trophy that goes to the Senior City champion is his. He followed an even-par 70 Saturday at Fendrich with the round of the day Sunday at McDonald, a 4-under 66. It gave Cheaney a three-stroke victory over a Who's Who of Evansville senior golf: Kaposta, Bryan Compton and Tony Hill at 141. Bates and Rubrecht finished at 143. Bates had the early lead Sunday when he played the first five holes 1-under. "I knew I had a two-shot lead going into six," said Bates. "Then I caught a bad lie in the fairway and made bogey." Then Bates backed out of the lead with another bogey at No. 8 and suddenly Rubrecht was making the turn all alone at 4-under for the tournament. "I hit a great drive on 10," said Rubrecht, "but then I had a tough lie just off the green. After that I hit some bunkers, which is something you can't do out here. They killed me." Sand on No. 11 helped Rubrecht to the second of four straight bogeys right after Kaposta had made a two-putt birdie on the hole. That moved the defending champion, who won in his first year of eligibility last year, to 4-under, where he stayed through No. 12. But on 13 he hooked his drive out of bounds. "That's not where I usually miss," said Kaposta. "I play a fade. But I pulled four shots today and the last two were the difference in the tournament for me. They cost me three strokes." Cheaney wasn't missing, though, especially with his putter on the back nine. He one-putted the first six holes and two-putted the last three when he had good looks at birdie. By the time Cheaney walked to the 18th tee, the grin had crossed his face and he celebrated early when his 4-iron rolled inches from the cup and stopped 3 feet above the hole. "At that point I was feeling pretty good, but I still wasn't sure," said Cheaney, 58. "Walking up there with my friends around the green was pretty special. Then somebody told me they couldn't catch me, that it was over, well, I can't stop smiling. "The funny thing is I three-putted the first hole today. That was a wake-up call. I hadn't played here in two years, but I was able to get it going after that. This is a credit to the good friends I have who have made me stay competitive through the years, and Jim Hamilton, who's really helped me this summer. I'm going to enjoy this."
Minutes after shooting himself back into contention in the Romain Buick Senior City Golf Championship on Sunday, John Kaposta faced a shot that could take him right back out.
Kaposta was on the par-4 16th hole at Fendrich, both one stroke and one hole ahead of firstround co-leader Dave Bates at 1-over par for the tournament. After clunking a tree off the tee, Kaposta watched his ball come straight back behind it and snuggle down in the rough, hard to see, let alone hit. All that he had to do was pull out a 4-iron and "punch fade" it 160 yards under and around a stately gum tree. Then he did it, keeping the ball low and landing it short, where it ran up on the green and stopped just four feet left of the hole. One putt later, Kaposta had all but won.
Kaposta parred in for the day's only under-par around at 2-under 68, while Bates made a bogey and finished alone in second, his second straight Senior City runner-up finish. That left Kaposta even-par (141) for the tournament after a 2-over 73 Saturday at Helfrich. Bates finished at 143. Robin Rubrecht was third at 144 and three tied for fourth at 146: first-round co-leader Britt Reddington, Tony Hill and Jim Atkins. Kaposta said he was ready for the miracle shot at 16 because he'd already faced and executed two others like it earlier on the same nine holes. "I probably hit a better shot just like it on 12," said Kaposta. "That was a 180-yard punch fade with the hybrid (club).
Then I had to do it again on the very next hole from 160 yards with the 4-iron. I was fortunate enough to par both of them." When Kaposta followed with a two-putt birdie at the par-5 14th, he was back to 1-over for the tournament while Bates was backing up with three bogeys in four holes behind him. "I couldn't get up-and-down when I missed the greens," said Bates, who made the turn at even-par for the tournament. "I had trouble chipping to them at 10, 12 and 13 and bogeyed. Then I got a couple back." Bates did that with a two-putt birdie of his own at No. 14, before hitting it inside three feet at the par-3 15th to make a second straight birdie and get back to 1-over for the tourney. But that was almost the exact moment Kaposta hit the shot of the tournament one hole ahead. "That's when I saw John had a short putt on 17 (for birdie)," said Bates. "I just assumed he'd make it. I thought I had to birdie in and probably got a little too aggressive. "But I can't feel too bad. I'm an old baseball coach and I always tried to instill in my kids the importance of being a worthy adversary. I may not have won again, but at least they knew it was a battle."
Kaposta agreed. "That's all I was trying to do, battle," he said. "I really didn't have confidence in my swing all weekend, but I managed to get it around. The thing was, when I needed a shot today, like on 16, I hit it." Kaposta, 50, a former Evansville Courier & Press Men's City Golf Tournament champion, became the second player in three years to win the Senior City in his first year of eligibility after Paul Gentry won in 2006.
Dave DeLong wasn't playing in the last group of the Romain Buick Senior City Golf Championship Sunday at Helfrich Hills when he got their attention on the 15th tee. First-round leader Dave Bates had just moved back into what he thought was the lead with a routine par on the 14th as Jim Crumbaker bogeyed. Crumbaker had parred the first 12 holes Sunday to ease into the apparent lead before bogeying two straight. That gave Bates the chance to steady himself at 1-under after his first-round 6-under, 66 Saturday at McDonald. He was starting to feel better when word arrived about DeLong. The former two-time winner shot 75 Saturday when he triple-bogeyed the final hole, but played Helfrich 10 strokes better eight groups ahead of the leaders. He was in the clubhouse at 3-under. "How could he play that well without a sign?" said Bates with a laugh at 15. "Are you sure?" Bates, who was referring to the leaderboards carried for the four lead groups, was suddenly behind by two strokes. He knew he needed birdies. "I tried to drive the green at No. 15," he said, "but blocked it out a little. But I hit a decent approach and made the putt (for birdie). I knew I still had a chance." It didn't last long, though. He missed the green at 16 and bogeyed and then failed to birdie 17. When his approach to the 18th green from the fairway didn't find the bottom of the cup, DeLong couldn't be caught. "That was such a shock when we heard about (DeLong's 65) on 15 tee," said Bates. "I was paying attention to all the signs and knew none of those guys were in it except our group (Crumbaker and Tony Hill, who would finish third and fourth, respectively). That was tough." DeLong was surprised as anybody after his round Saturday. "Actually, I hit the ball about the same both days," said DeLong. "Without the triple bogey on the last hole (when he bladed a sand shot) I was right there. I just didn't make a putt." So he called a friend, Rick Hankins, because he's a fine putter and DeLong respects his advice. They talked mechanics, a possible putter change. When DeLong got to the golf course on Sunday, putting was still a mystery. First he tried a long putter with no results. Next out was a two-ball (putter), but that didn't work, either. "Five minutes before I was supposed to tee off, I got out the Ping I used Saturday and went with a new grip," said DeLong, holding up his hands in a bizarre tangle. "It's the claw. I never putted like that in my life. "I never did feel comfortable over the ball, but it felt better than anything else. I still didn't make a putt longer than 10 feet." But he made five-footers for birdie at holes number 1 and 5 for a 33 on the front nine, and then he came home with birdies on holes 11, 14, 16 and 18 on the back nine for a score of 32. There were no bogeys. The longest putt was a 10-footer on the par-5 11th. "I didn't do anything special," he said. "I just kept it in front of me and then, when I got on the green, I didn't move my head and I kept my eye on the ball until it went in the hole. I must've been moving my head on Saturday." The only heads that moved on Sunday were those turning to watch DeLong vault himself over almost the entire field into his third Senior City title. His other wins were in 2003 and 2004. Joe Hahn, who won in 2005, and Paul Gentry had won the previous two years. "It's a little frustrating," said Bates. "I hit it so pure Saturday and then today I just never had any timing. But there's one thing I'm definitely proud of, that red number (his 1-under 142 total)." DeLong's 3-under, 140 was a testament to his never-give-up mentality — even after starting the day nine shots behind the leader. "My thought when I started was that if I could get it to even-par, I might have a chance," said DeLong. "When I clawed it to 3-under, I knew winning was a possibility."
For Paul Gentry, turning 50 years old doesn’t mean he’s over the hill. It means he’s just starting to thrive. Gentry, who became eligible for the fifth Senior City golf Championship by turning 50 on May 14, was the medalist with a three-under-par 67 on Sunday at McDonald to finish with a twoday total of 136. He defeated second-place Tm Alexander by eight strokes. “I don’t really pay much attention to age,” Gentry said. “I’ve made a couple of minor swing changes. I’m hitting it longer and better than I have in my whole life. It’s a matter of practice and good instruction.
I’ve worked hard. I’ve hit a lot of golf balls. There’s only one way to get better and that’s through practice.” Gentry, who won his first tournament title of the year, said he was going to delay his celebration. He will compete in the State Amateur qualifier today, which starts at 7:30 a.m. at Cambridge Golf Course near I-164. “I like to win,” he said. “That’s why I came here, to win. You could win the ‘podunk open’ and feel good.” Gentry and Alexander were tied at 69 after Saturday’s first round at Fendrich.
But Gentry began to take control in the latter half of the front nine on Sunday, finishing the day with five birdies and no bogeys. “I just never really put myself in difficulty,” Gentry said. “I only missed four fairways. I hit a 60-footer on the green and lo and behold (it went all the way into the cup). I played really solid. I was lucky to play a couple of par fives two under.” Alexander, 57, said Gentry deserved all the accolades. “Paul played beautifully,” said Alexander, who shot a 75 on Sunday to end with a 144. “He played great golf and I didn’t. It was pretty simple. To shoot a 67 out there today is pretty good. The conditions were a little wet (after a morning rain), but it wasn’t that bad. “About the seventh hole he started making birdies and ran away with it. I played like I did (Saturday). I didn’t get up and down. I was scrambling. I was all over the place. I’m not striking the ball real well. I’ve been able to get away with it.”
“The turnout of 121 players was about all McDonald could hold”, Alexander said. “I think (the Senior City tournament) is great,” he said. “The field was filled up. One hundred-twenty one was about all (McDonald) could stand. You can’t put any more players that that (on this course).” Gentry said the conditions were much soggier on Saturday at Fendrich. “There was some mud on the ball, but considering all the rain we’ve had the conditions (were great),” he said. Jim Atkins finished third with two rounds of 73 for a 146.
Senior talks himself into Senior City championship
For a man who did a lot of talking Sunday afternoon at Fendrich in the final round of the Romain Buick Senior City Golf Championship, Joe Hahn made very little noise. That’s because the talking alternated between words with himself and through the actions of his steady game. The result was a one-shot victory for Hahn over Tony Hill. Hahn backed up a 1-under par 70 on Saturday at Helfrich with an even-par 70 at Fendrich on Sunday for a 140 total to edge Hill, who went 72-69 (Sunday’s low round) for an even par, 141. Two-time defending champion Dave DeLong finished at 143 (71-72) to land alone in third. “I was just trying to stay in each shot and stay steady,” said Hahn. “I kept telling myself I was OK and not t think about what was going on around me.”
Actually, it was swirling pretty good around Hahn, who only blinked twice Sunday with bogeys at Nos. 8 and 9. But he righted the ship immediately after that with a string of four pars. Meanwhile, a list of contenders came and went before the only one with a real shot at the end was Hill, who had finished two groups ahead of the final grouping of Hahn, Delong and Mike Rhoades, who faded to a 77 Sunday after his 71 at Helfrich in the opening round.
The first to knock on the door was Alan Hite, who made the turn with Hahn at even par. But he three-putted No. 12 for bogey and added two more on the back to finish at 145 and in a tie for fourth with Britt Reddington. Reddington, who was playing with Hite, had two holes in the hunt, too, after a birdie on 14 pulled him back to 1-over and within a stroke of Hahn, who was watching from the fairway. DeLong, who had gotten to 3-over after a bogey at 10, pulled closer on 14, too. He had birdied 11 and just missed on the high side at 12 and 13. Then he followed with an 18-footer on the ar-5 14th to get back to 1-over. “That was a big hole,” said Hahn. Dave made a nice putt there, but I was able to make one right on top of it from about 12 feet.
That was big.” But after both parred 15, DeLong checked out with a bogey on 16, a hole that Hill had birdied two groups ahead. “I got pretty pumped up when I made the birder at 16,” said Hill, champion of the 1977 Evansville Courier & Press Men’s City Tournament. “I haven’t been in the thick of it for a while, so it felt good.” “Dave (Bates, one of his playing partners) said, ‘two more birdies, two more birdies and you’re right there.’ “But, they didn’t come.” Still, Hill had positioned himself as the leader in the clubhouse, one shot behind Hahn, who still had two holes to play. The first, No. 17, would be a routine par, but Hahn’s tee shot on 18 strayed right, far enough to be troubled by the trees that guard the practice tee. “That was probably the best shot I hit all day,” said Hahn of his second shot on 18. “I just tried to bump it up there and make sure I got it on the green.” It was even better than that. He was inside 20 feet, with an easy approach he knocked up inside a foot below the hole.
Then he marked and waited for DeLong and Rhoades to finish so he could tap in and receive he applause for the champion. “Joe was steady all day and we couldn’t put any pressure on him,” said DeLong. “I just couldn’t get the putter going.” “I tried every setup I knew, but I just couldn’t do anything with my chances. But I still had fun. I’ll keep playing as long as I can.” Hahn said winning was nice but one thing stood out above any plaque or gift certificate. “It thrills me to get my name on Jerry Schreiber’s trophy,” he said, referring to the Senior City’s trophy for the winner, the Jerry Schreiber Cup. “It’s an honor to be associated with such a true icon and gentleman as Jerry Schreiber.” Hahn also collected a $500 gift certificate as the overall champion. Each of the five flight winners received $400 gift certificates in a tournament with an $8,000 payout.