|* Event Photos |
Shaffer, Fairlie top Caddie Tournament at LedgeRock GC
MOHNTON, Pa. – Jamie Shaffer, a 10-year caddie at Green Valley CC, and T. Jay Fairlie, an eight-year caddie at Aronimink GC, each carded a field-low 2-over-par 74 to top the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s 63rd Caddie Tournament at LedgeRock GC (par 72, 6,378 yards).
In a match of cards, Shaffer, of Conshohocken, Pa., edged Fairlie, of Broomall, Pa., to win the 22-26 year-old division. The 24 year-old felt that he “putted well.” He registered birdies on Nos. 8 (par 5, 513 yards), 12 (par 4, 292 yards), 13 (par 5, 520 yards) and 18 (par 5, 550 yards).
On No. 8, he struck his 8-iron from 176 yards out two-putted for birdie. Shaffer struck his tee shot – a driver – to the middle of the green on No. 12 and again two-putted for birdie. The very next hole, he admits that he “got lucky” after his rescue off the tee landed about a foot short of hazard. With 210 yards left to the flagstick, Shaffer went back to the rescue and struck it short of the green. He chipped up to about 10-feet and converted the birdie putt.
Shaffer ended his day by two-putting for birdie on No. 18 after his rescue from 235 yards out found the green.
“I’m very competitive. I just came to play,” Shaffer said.
Fairlie, 26, also notched four birdies on the day (Nos. 7,8,11 and 18).
“I hit a couple of good drives and put myself in good positions to score,” he said. “I missed a couple of putts out there, but other than that, I was pretty solid.”
With 155 yards left on No. 7, Fairlie knocked his 8-iron to about two feet and converted the ensuing birdie putt. He cleaned up a 6-footer after his GAP wedge traveled 109 yards on No. 8. He drilled his 7-iron 195 yards onto the green on No. 18 and two-putted for birdie.
This was the first year Fairlie played in the Caddie Tournament.
“I actually had never been asked,” he said. “This is great. I expected to just put up a good round.”
Five players carded a 5-over-par 77. Derek Glaser, a three-year caddie at Applebrook GC, to finished first in the 18-21 year-old division in a match of cards.
Glaser, a senior at West Chester University, felt that he excelled at putting as he registered birdies on Nos. 3 (par 4, 350 yards), 11 (par 4, 380 yards) and 14 (par 3, 143 yards). Glaser drained a 15-footer on No. 11 after striking his 9-iron about 145 yards.
“That one felt good,” the West Chester, Pa. resident said.
Glaser, 21, punched his 8-iron to about 15 feet on No. 14. He again converted the birdie putt. Glaser also made a critical save on No. 12 (par 4, 292 yards) after his drive found the fairway bunker. He then knocked his approach – a 54-degree - 75 yards into the woods, but Glaser chipped out of a troublesome spot and two-putted for bogey.
“That was a key save,” he said. “I didn’t blow up any holes on the back nine.”
Cris Simanca, a six-year caddie at Commonwealth National GC, finished second in the 18-21 division with a score of 77. Like Glaser, Simanca, of Horsham, Pa., credited his putting. He fired birdies on Nos. 2 (par 3, 136 yards) and 8 (par 5, 513 yards).
Simanca drained a 5-footer on No. 3 after sticking his 9-iron close to the flagstick. The 20 year-old saw his 7-iron travel about 125 yards on No. 8, and Simanca two-putted for birdie.
“I never played in the Caddie Tournament because I was always a member at a club (Talamore CC),” he said. “Since I’m no longer a member, I wanted to play. I used to play on the golf team at school (Southeastern University in Florida). I stopped after the first semester of last year, so I haven’t been playing that much.”
Frank Hosack, a seven-year caddie out of Torresdale-Frankford CC, finished tied for third place in the 22-26 year-old division. The Northeast Philadelphia, Pa. resident fired two birdies on his last five holes.
Hosack, 23, rebounded from a tough start. He was 3-over through three holes after double-bogeying No. 3 (par 4, 350 yards), where he punched his pitching wedge over 50 yards into the backside bunker.
“I hit the ball really well, actually,” he said. “I hit a lot of greens. I wasn’t used to the speed of the greens at first. The course played really firm and fast. The greens were rock-hard.”
Hosack soon became accustomed to the greens. On No. 14 (par 3, 143 yards), he stuck his 8-iron to about two feet and converted the birdie putt. He knocked his approach – a 56-degree sand wedge - on No. 16 (par 4, 300 yards) to about 15 feet and again drained the ensuing birdie putt.
“One of the few putts that I actually made,” Hosack said.
Hosack, a senior at Florida Atlantic University, spends his summers caddying at Torresdale-Frankford CC and plays golf about twice a week. The venue of this year’s Caddie Tournament appealed to Hosack.
“I knew it was at a nice place, and I wanted to play a competitive round. I haven’t really played competitively in awhile,” he said.
Marc Grabuski, an eight-year caddie at St. Davids GC, also finished tied for third place in the 22-26 year-old division.
“I was pretty happy with what I ended up with. I started off with a triple-bogey,” the Collegeville, Pa. resident said. “I could’ve just blown up, but I was pretty happy.”
Grabuski, 22, notched an even-par 36 on his final nine holes. Overall, he fired birdies on Nos. 8 (par 5, 513 yards), 11 (par 4, 380 yards), 14 (par 3, 143 yards) and 16 (par 4, 300 yards). After his drive found the bunker on No. 8, Grabuski drilled his 3-wood over 250 yards and landed in front of the green. He then chipped up to two feet and drained the birdie putt.
Grabuski struck a 56-degree wedge to seven feet on No. 11 and converted the ensuing putt. He sunk a 5-footer on No. 14 after his 8-iron tee shot found the green.
Robert Clark, Jr., a 28-year caddie at Saucon Valley CC, won the over 46 year-old division with his round of 5-over-par 77. Clark, of Salsbury Township, Pa., fired birdies on Nos. 3 (par 4, 350 yards) and 13 (par 5, 520 yards). On No. 3, with about 100 yards left to the flagstick, Clark, 55, knocked his sand wedge to about two feet and converted the birdie putt. He put himself in a great spot for birdie on No. 13 after his approach hybrid traveled about 230 yards.
“It was just a lay-up shot to keep it up in the fairway,” Clark said. “I chipped up to the upper deck of the green to about two feet.”
This marks Clark’s eighth appearance in the Caddie Tournament, which he won in 2002.
Originating in 1928, the first Caddie tournament was held at Whitemarsh Valley CC. This year’s Tournament presented a field of 106 players.
17 & Under
18 to 21 years
22 to 26 years
27 to 45 years
46 & Over