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Brookside's Custer, Lookaway's Majczan take Senior 27-Hole Challenge

  WAYNE, Pa. — The team of Richard Custer of Brookside CC and Bob Majczan of Lookaway GC upended defending champions Francis McFadden of Overbrook GC and Terrence Sawyer of Mercer Oaks GC in a playoff to take Monday’s Senior 27-Hole Challenge at St. Davids GC (par 70, 6,290 yards).

Richard Custer drains this birdie putt
on No. 1 (par 4, 383 yards), the first playoff hole.
  “It’s a great win,” Custer, 57, of Royersford, Pa., said. “Anytime you beat two guys like that who have a great record in the Golf Association of Philadelphia is sweet.”

  “It feels great,” Majczan, 59, of Furlong, Pa., said. “It’s my first opportunity to win a GAP event. Take a look at the [U.S.] Senior Amateur and look at all the success that the GAP guys are having. It’s tough competition here, so it feels great to win.”

  Both squads endured the 27-hole test with 2-over-par 142s to the vest, prompting a sudden-death scenario featuring a select drive/alternate shot format. Custer and McFadden both launched their drives into the center of the No. 1 (par 4, 383 yards) fairway. Majczan played his shot first and drilled a 6-iron 155 yards to nine feet flagstick-high right. Sawyer chopped an 8-iron from 143 yards into a row of shrubs bordering a boundary fence. McFadden returned to the original location following a short search for Sawyer’s golf ball, which was determined to be lost. McFadden’s approach caught the left greenside bunker. Sawyer splashed out to 12 feet. Custer then made it official by draining a right-to-left curler for birdie.

  “I’m sorry they had the pitfalls they did on the first hole,” Custer said. “I would have rather won outright.”

  In regulation, the Custer and Majczan team crafted a comfortable cushion early and exerted damage control late to post a contending number.

  “We play a lot of golf together, and we’ve played in this kind of format together before,” Custer said. “I hit it short but I hit it in the fairway. He’s a bomber. I let him go for it.”

  “We don’t let too many things bother us,” Majczan said. “I had a bad patch on the last nine holes, but I got back on the horse.”

  The team opened with two birdies and a bogey in the better-ball portion of the event. On No. 4 (par 4, 355 yards), Custer canned a 15-footer for birdie following a smooth 150-yard 7-iron shot. The duo weathered a slight stumble on No. 7 (par 4, 417 yards). Custer couldn’t muster his approach onto the green while Majczan flew the putting surface with a 6-iron from 155 yards. On the uphill No. 8 (par 5, 490 yards), Custer drilled a gap wedge 85 yards to six feet below the hole and rolled in the birdie putt.

  With a 1 under on the scorecard thru nine, the Custer and Majczan team turned up the volume in the select drive/alternate shot format. Custer drilled a 7-iron 150 yards to four feet on No. 13 (par 4, 384 yards), and Majczan cleaned up the birdie putt. Majczan returned the red figure favor by sticking a 6-iron to four feet on No. 17 (par 3, 154 yards).

Bob Majczan
  Fueled by adrenaline and encouraged by its ongoing rhythm, the Custer and Majczan team forewent lunch and attacked the event’s final portion. The decision didn’t seem fortuitous at first. Custer steered his drive into the right rough on No. 1 (par 4, 383 yards) He failed to reach the green in regulation and three-putted to card a double bogey. Majczan, too, faced adversity on the final stretch. He bogeyed No. 3 (par 4, 343 yards) after snapping his drive behind a tree. A poor drive on No. 4 (par 4, 355 yards) left Majczan in the left bunker. He blasted out to 40 feet and three-putted for double bogey. A three-putt on No. 5 (par 4, 386 yards) from Custer and a shaky 9-iron on No. 6 (par 3, 147 yards) from Majczan dashed the duo’s championship hopes. Custer, though, didn’t think twice as he fired back-to-back birdies on Nos. 8 (par 5, 490 yards) and 9 (par 3, 218 yards). On the first, he televised a replay from the better-ball portion by again hitting a gap wedge 85 yards, this time to four feet above the hole.

  Custer’s 9-wood tee shot on No. 9 settled 20 yards shy of the green. His ensuing chip made impact just past the fringe and tracked into the jar for a jovial 2.

  “I was just trying to get it close,” Custer said. “I chipped great all day. It was dead center. It never left the flag.”

  Custer and Majczan have known each other for five years. The last time the two paired up to compete in a tournament was 2008. Custer and Majczan joined forces to tackle a Winter Series event at Jericho National. They won.

  “So we said let’s get it together again and give it a shot,” Majczan said.

  A slow start in regulation threatened the McFadden and Sawyer squad’s repeat dreams. McFadden dumped his approach into the right bunker on No. 2 (par 4, 436 yards) and failed to get up-and-down. A Sawyer three-putt thrust the duo into a 2 over setting after two holes. Bunker and tree trouble on No. 7 (par 4, 417 yards) resulted in a bogey and complicated the quest.

  At the snap of a finger, the defending champions showed their championship grit.

  McFadden, 61, of Newtown Square, Pa., whacked a wedge to eight feet on the downhill par 5, 526-yard 11th hole, and Sawyer executed the birdie putt. McFadden again left Sawyer with a shiny eight-footer on No. 16 (par 5, 492 yards) after a fantastic 40-yard approach. Sawyer, 63, of Yardley, Pa., stuffed a sand wedge 73 yards to three feet on No. 18 (par 4, 382 yards). McFadden converted the kick-in birdie.

  The McFadden and Sawyer squad maintained its torrid pace in the aggregate leg of the event. Consecutive birdies on Nos. 1 (par 4, 383 yards) and 2 (par 4, 436 yards) moved the duo into red figures. McFadden sent a wedge 115 yards to 12 feet on the first, and a 9-iron 142 yards to 20 feet on the latter. Sawyer drilled a 9-iron 137 yards to 20 feet on No. 4 (par 4, 355 yards) for birdie. Both McFadden and Sawyer bogeyed No. 5 (par 4, 386 yards), but McFadden recovered that stroke by sinking an eight-footer for birdie on No. 6 (par 3, 147 yards). A collective slip-up on No. 7 put the McFadden and Sawyer squad at 1 over with two holes to play. Sawyer missed a 10-footer to save par on No. 9 (par 3, 218 yards) after coming up short of the green.

  Super-Senior

  Pine Valley GC’s O. Gordon Brewer, Jr. and Robert Housen successfully defended their Super Senior Division title. The team carded a 2-over-par 142 to post a six-stroke victory.

Robert Housen & O. Gordon Brewer, Jr.
  “I enjoy playing golf with him tremendously,” Brewer, 74, of Pine Valley, N.J. said. “He is a great player.”

  “He played the last nine holes wonderfully,” Housen, 73, of Brielle, N.J., added. “He shot a 34 on the last nine. That’s incredible.”

  The Brewer and Housen team posted three birdies against a bogey in the better-ball portion. The duo's highlight of the day came in the select drive/alternate shot format. Brewer nearly aced the par 3, 153-yard 14th hole with a 7-iron. Housen handled the four-footer for birdie.

  “It was interesting because I made my first hole-in-one there in the mid 1960s,” Brewer said.

  “The first hole-in-one he ever made and he goes up there and hits the flag,” Housen added.

  The Senior 27-Hole Challenge replaced the Senior Net Championship on the tournament schedule in 2008. An event for players 55 years of age and older, the Senior 27-Hole Challenge is a gross event consisting of three nine-hole stipulated rounds in three different formats: better-ball of partners, selective drive — alternate shot and aggregate. The tournament is open to seniors with a USGA Handicap Index of 7.0 or lower. Super-Seniors must have a USGA Handicap Index of 12.0 or less.

Senior Division results

Name

Club

Rd. 1

Rd. 2

Rd. 3

Total

*Majczan, Bob / Custer, Richard

Lookaway GC/Brookside CC

34

37

75

142

McFadden, Francis / Sawyer, Terrence

Overbrook GC/Mercer Oaks GC

38

33

71

142

Jones, Charles / Nilon, Michael

Blue Bell CC/Philadelphia CC

34

37

74

145

Roatche, Alan / Smith, David

Doylestown Country Club

34

36

76

146

Scott, Craig / Rose, Michael

Huntingdon Valley CC/Meadowlands CC

34

37

76

147

Donatoni, Don / Everett, Carl

White Manor CC/Merion GC

36

36

75

147

Jones, Fred / Charpak, Bill

Merion Golf Club

34

36

78

148

Prendergast, James / Major, Joseph

Philadelphia Publinks GA/Brookside CC

35

39

75

149

Daniels, Gary / Dowds, III, Charles

Aronimink GC/Applebrook GC

35

36

79

150

Metaxas, Mark / Speranza, Richard

Jericho National Golf Club

37

38

77

152

Simmons, Tim / Gonsior, John

Limekiln Golf Club

38

38

79

155

Emmel, Jr., John / DiCinti, Tom

Back Creek GC/Links GC

38

39

78

155

Ashley, Donald / Smith, Richard

Philadelphia Country Club

38

37

80

155

Roberts, Edward / Yost, Vince

Manufacturers G&CC/Cedarbrook CC

36

40

80

156

Rooney, Jerry / Miklinevich, Mike

Greate Bay Country Club

38

41

85

164

Super-Senior Division results

Name

Club

Rd. 1

Rd. 2

Rd. 3

Total

Brewer, Jr., O. Gordon / Housen, Robert

Pine Valley Golf Club

33

33

76

142

Gaskill, Ken / Gealt, Malcolm

Rancocas GC/Philadelphia Publinks GA

35

39

74

148

Knox, King / Sherratt, James

Lancaster CC/Philadelphia Publinks GA

35

33

85

153

Foore, John / Maguire, Sr., Alexander

Brookside Country Club

37

41

76

154

Sivak, Andrew / Gordon, Herbert

Doylestown Country Club

39

37

78

154

McClaskey, Charles / Howson, Jr., Jay

Back Creek GC/St. Davids GC

34

38

84

156

Milutis, Joseph / Bennett, Gordon

Northampton Country Club

35

38

83

156

Ayres, John / Jordan, David

Woodcrest CC/Sakima CC

32

39

86

157

Fromal, Curt / Maxwell, Joseph

The Spinghaven Club/Hartefeld National

37

40

82

159

Torras, Peter / Marts, Rick

Kennett Square Golf & Country Club

38

37

84

159

O'Rourke, Thomas / Gaul, Gregory

Chester Valley GC/Merion GC

40

41

79

160

Croney, J. Kenneth / Carter, Charles

Sunnybrook Golf Club

40

42

86

168

Stanley, Peter / von Seldeneck, Clay

Sunnybrook Golf Club

42

42

85

169

Paul, John / Goldberg, David

Philadelphia Publinks GA

37

45

89

171

Huder, Thomas / Deacon, II, Robert

Merchantville Country Club

39

43

94

176

* - won in playoff

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