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Loch Nairn GC's Walker grabs Marston Cup in playoff

  CONCORDVILLE, Pa. - Loch Nairn GC's Michael Walker knocked off Byron Whitman of Golden Oaks GC to capture the Marston Cup Monday at Concord CC (par 71, 6,611 yards).

MICHAEL WALKER
  Walker earned his second piece of GAP hardware by prevailing on the first playoff hole. He drilled his 8-iron 156 yards to 15-feet on No. 1 (par 4, 393 yards) and two-putted for par. Whitman, meanwhile, steered his approach to the left of the green, watched his delicate chip burn the right edge of the cup and missed a five-footer to save par.

  "It feels great," Walker said. "I didn't expect it. There are a bunch of good players in this field. I'm real excited. To have my name on this cup with all of the players that have won this is a special feeling and something I'll always remember."

  Walker isn't a stranger to sudden-death scenarios. He triumphed in the 2007 Tournament of Champions by edging Mike Owsik of Plymouth CC, Rich Pruchnik of West Chester G&CC and P. Chet Walsh of Philadelphia CC in a playoff at Coatesville CC.

  Playing in the same group, both Walker and Whitman carded respective 1-under-par 70s in regulation. Walker, of Oxford, Pa., gave himself opportunities to score, but he couldn’t find the right formula with the flatstick.

  “I hit the ball pretty good all day,” he said. “My irons were pretty solid. I just couldn’t make many putts today. I kept putting the ball in the wrong positions on the green. I didn’t capitalize on my better iron shots.”

  Walker didn’t get off to the start he anticipated. He pierced his pitching wedge to 15-feet above the No. 2 (par 4, 312 yards) flagstick, rolled his birdie effort four feet by and missed the comebacker to save par. Walker, 42, responded by striking his pitching wedge 130 yards and by sinking a downhill 18-footer for birdie on No. 3 (par 4, 334 yards). A second blemish occurred on No. 5 (par 4, 370 yards) as Walker three-putted from 15-feet. Once again, however, he redeemed himself by posting an eight-footer for birdie on No. 6 (par 5, 560 yards) thanks to a gentle 30-yard sand wedge shot. Walker carded another red figure on No. 11 (par 3, 187 yards) after lacing his 5-iron to 10-feet. He just missed an uphill 12-footer for birdie on No. 12 (par 4, 442 yards).

  “I’m proud of the way I played,” Walker said. “I hit the ball real solid. If I putted better, it could’ve been a real good round, but overall, I’m happy with the way I competed today.”

BYRON WHITMAN
  Whitman, of Reading, Pa., carried a sizzling golf game into Concord Monday. He won the Berks County Golf Association's 78th Amateur Championship by a sensational five-stroke margin at Berkleigh GC Aug. 1.

  “I’ve been riding kind of a hot streak,” he said. “I was hoping that would carry over. This was a shot-maker’s course where you needed to control your tee shots, and I felt like I did that fairly well today. I made some opportune putts down the stretch to overcome some bad swings.”

  A “bad bogey” on the par 4, 312-yard No. 2 temporarily cooled Whitman off. His approach sand wedge flew the green and he couldn’t get up-and-down. Whitman went on to card three birdies on his outward tour. His smooth 4-iron settled 15-feet from the No. 4 (par 3, 178 yards) flagstick, and converted a left-to-right breaker.

  “That got me pumped up,” Whitman, 51, said.

  Whitman stuck his wedge 30 yards to three feet on No. 6 (par 5, 560 yards). Another solid tee shot on a par 3 (No. 8, 170 yards) set Whitman up for his third red figure of the day. His full 7-iron stopped three feet from the hole location. Facing a tricky lie on No. 9 (par 4, 409 yards), Whitman pushed his 5-iron into the greenside bunker, blasted out to within 12 feet and missed the ensuing par putt. A three-putt bogey on No. 13 (par 4, 430 yards) brought Whitman’s scorecard back to the blue. His approach landed close to the left fringe. Whitman ran his birdie putt four feet by and failed to convert the comebacker.

  “I misjudged it there, and didn’t hit the second putt as firm as I would’ve liked to. It broke a little right on me,” he said.

  Whitman blocked his 5-iron right on No. 15 (par) directly into a tree. He pitched up to 15-feet and couldn’t save par. Sensing that he needed a strong finish, Whitman registered back-to-back red figures on Nos. 17 (par 4, 333 yards) and 18 (par 5, 508 yards). He nearly drove the No. 17 green. With a comfortable yardage into the hole location, Whitman knocked his sand wedge to 10-feet. Knowing where Walker stood on the leaderboard, Whitman fired his 5-iron just short of the putting surface. His chip halted 10-feet from the cup, and Whitman executed the under-par chance.

  “It felt good to make a putt like that,” he said. "Today was great. This was my best finish in a GAP event."

Byron Whitman and Michael Walker shake hands
following Walker's win on the
first playoff hole.
  The Marston Cup honors Max Marston. For four months in the summer of 1923, Marston was America’s best amateur golfer. Between mid-May and mid-September, Marston was virtually unstoppable through a series of club, state, national and international events.

  It began with the Walker Cup Matches where Marston won two matches as the Americans successfully retained the Cup. Marston returned home to capture the Patterson Cup and Amateur Championship in successive weeks and, in doing so, earned the Silver Cross Award. In July, he took the Pennsylvania Amateur title and finished as the low amateur in the Philadelphia Open.

  In September, Marston traveled to Floosmoor Country Club outside Chicago, Ill. for the U.S. Amateur. He rallied in the second round to defeat tournament favorite Bob Jones, 2&1, before knocking off Francis Ouimet in the semifinals. He stopped defending champion Jess Sweetser in the final on the 38th hole. In that four month span, he also captured the Merion Cricket Club championship and Pine Valley GC’s Crump Cup.

  The tournament is limited to players 40 to 54 years of age with a 10.0 handicap index or lower.

Results

Name

Club

Scores

*Michael Walker

Loch Nairn Golf Club

70

Byron Whitman

Golden Oaks Golf Club

70

Santo Lafoca

Huntsville Golf Club

72

Ron Weaver

Meadia Heights Golf Club

72

David Liotta

Whitemarsh Valley Country Club

72

Marlin Detweiler

Lancaster Country Club

73

Doug Fedoryshyn

Concord Country Club

73

Oscar Mestre

Overbrook Golf Club

73

Mark Czerniakowski

Blue Bell Country Club

73

Scott Klee

Bellewood Golf Club

74

James Bell, III

Makefield Highlands Golf Club

74

John LeBoeuf

Philadelphia Country Club

74

Dave O'Brien

Cedarbrook Country Club

74

Blake Slawecki

Philadelphia Publinks GA

74

Mark Wachter

DuPont Country Club

74

Thomas Finn

Cavaliers Country Club

74

David Dorey

Tavistock Country Club

74

Andrew Dietz

Laurel Creek Country Club

75

Joseph Roeder

Links Golf Club

76

John Stepanik

Blue Bell Country Club

76

Brian Dobisch

Talamore Country Club

76

Gerry Baldachino

Old York CC at Chesterfield

76

Robert Loftus

Overbrook Golf Club

76

Rocky Dare

Running Deer Golf Club

77

Joseph Kinsman

Downingtown Country Club

77

Andrew Abrams

Rolling Green Golf Club

77

P. Chet Walsh

Philadelphia Country Club

77

Douglas Gregor

Huntingdon Valley Country Club

77

John Donnelly

Concord Country Club

78

Chris Hunger

Wedgwood Country Club

78

Edward Erickson

Mercer Oaks Golf Course

78

Ralph Gariano

Commonwealth National Golf Club

79

Jack O'Hara

Cedarbrook Country Club

79

Buddy Reed

Back Creek Golf Club

79

Scott Barth

Wyoming Valley Country Club

79

Cameron Campbell

McCall Golf & Country Club

79

James Blickle

LedgeRock Golf Club

80

Todd Vonderheid

Huntsville Golf Club

80

Joe Granahan

Concord Country Club

80

John Brown

Rolling Green Golf Club

80

Andrew Lombard

The Springhaven Club

81

Patrick Cahill, III

Whitemarsh Valley Country Club

81

Peter Moran

Edgmont Country Club

81

Ed Kahn

Little Mill Country Club

81

Patrick O'Brien

North Hills Country Club

82

Brett Vivian

Lu Lu Country Club

82

Jim Muehlbronner

Sandy Run Country Club

82

Brian Powell

Burlington Country Club

82

Greg Blackburn

Honeybrook Golf Club

82

Michael Shoup

Sandy Run Country Club

82

Graham Desmond

Golf Course at Glen Mills

82

John Gosselin

Kennett Square Golf & Country Club

82

Walt Neumann

McCall Golf & Country Club

83

Joe Wintsch

Bellewood Golf Club

83

J. Kirk Luntey

Merion Golf Club

83

Chuck Kraatz

Talamore Country Club

84

Robert Parsons, Jr.

Huntingdon Valley Country Club

84

Brian Kreamer

Bala Golf Club

84

Bryan McClaskey

Merchantville Country Club

84

Kenneth Zimmer

Laurel Creek Country Club

84

Lee Johnson, Jr.

Downingtown Country Club

84

John Willadsen

Sakima Country Club

85

William Dalton

Overbrook Golf Club

86

Robert Tredinnick

Commonwealth National Golf Club

86

Brett Coddington

Brookside Country Club

87

Kevin Marcus

Loch Nairn Golf Club

88

Jeffrey Prickitt

Manufacturers Golf & Country Club

88

Peter Zukowski

Makefield Highlands Golf Club

89

Skip Hoerz

RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve

89

Joseph Greenwald

RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve

90

Edward Attarian

Commonwealth National Golf Club

90

David Maslanka

Seaview Resort & Spa

90

William Hagel

McCall Golf & Country Club

91

Daniel Crowley

McCall Golf & Country Club

92

Joseph Templin

LedgeRock Golf Club

97

George Steinmetz

Spring Ford Country Club

WD

Antonio Leta

Doylestown Country Club

WD

Steve Anuszewski

Trump National Golf Club - Philadelphia

WD

Mark Walkush

Manufacturers Golf & Country Club

WD

John Mullins

Five Ponds Golf Club

WD

Domenic Castagna

Bensalem Township Country Club

WD

Matthew Welsh

St. Davids Golf Club

WD

Mark Kosko

Mercer Oaks Golf Course

WD

* - won in playoff

WD - withdrawal

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