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The Springhaven Club's Thon triumphs in Tournament of Champions

  CAPE MAY CT. HOUSE, N.J. - Rich Thon of The Springhaven Club will now enter the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Senior Division with a 2009 trophy on his mantle.

  The Swarthmore, Pa. resident won the 52nd edition of the Association’s Tournament of Champions at a cool and windy Stone Harbor GC (par 72, 6,638 yards) Friday with a 2-over-par 74. Thon, 54, kept his ball in play and maintained pace with appealing putting surfaces.

  “I’ve got to say that the greens here are beautiful,” he said. “I had no anxiety today. You knew that if you hit a putt online, it would go in.”

  After carding a bogey on the strenuous, par 5, 532-yard No. 3, Thon recovered with a birdie on the next par 5 (No. 5, 506 yards). His tee shot found the right-side rough, but Thon later drilled a 52-degree wedge 100 yards and converted an uphill 15-footer.

Thomas DiCinti of Links GC
won the Senior flight.
  On No. 11, yet another monstrous par 5, Thon hammered his 3-wood 238 yards to 25-feet below the flagstick and two-putted for birdie. He played the rest of his round with one goal in mind.

  “Just hang on from there,” Thon said. “I thought I would have a chance if I came in at even-par.”

  Thon did hang on, as evident by a “miraculous” par on No. 15 (par 4, 386 yards). His approach 8-iron left him with a tricky lie in the left greenside bunker. With one leg in and one leg out, Thon chipped up to a few feet and saved par.

  Thon registered back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 16 (par 5, 500 yards) and 17 (par 3, 155 yards). On the latter, he hooked his 6-iron tee shot into the rough and failed to save par. In the end, though, both hiccups didn’t prove costly.

  Ultimately, Thon felt humbled by his achievement Friday.

  “This is a highlight for me,” he said.

  Thomas DiCinti of Links GC topped the Senior flight with a 2-over-par 74. The Voorhees, N.J. resident carded five birdies and seven bogeys.

  “It was an up-and-down round,” he said. “I hit the ball pretty well, for the most part. My tee shots were in good shape. My approaches to the green were great.”

  From 115 yards out on No. 2 (par 4, 364 yards), DiCinti, 60, stuck a GAP wedge to three feet. On the next hole, the par 5, 500-yard No.3, he three-putted from 20 feet above the flagstick for a bogey.

  On the next par 5 (No. 5, 480 yards), though, DiCinti reached the green in two strokes thanks to a 225-yard 3-wood that pushed through the wind. He then two-putted for birdie. DiCinti fired another birdie on No. 6 (par 4, 369 yards) after knocking his 8-iron 150 yards into the wind from a signature island fairway to five feet below the flagstick.

  On No. 11 (par 5, 470 yards), DiCinti smashed a 5-iron from 170 yards out to 40 feet and two-putted for birdie. He encountered trouble on the following hole, the par 3, 154-yard No. 13. DiCinti’s 8-iron landed in the water and he went on to double bogey. But DiCinti hopped back aboard the birdie train on No. 14 (par 4, 420 yards) after drilling a 56-degree wedge 80 yards into the wind to a few feet.

  DiCinti, who captured this year’s Senior Four-Ball Stroke Play alongside partner Robert Lodovici of Little Mill CC, considered the wind to be his toughest challenge throughout the day.

  “That’s the hardest thing mentally,” he said. “You always think that you have to hit it hard.”

  Open to current Member Club amateur champions, senior amateur champions and previous winners, the Tournament of Champions was initiated in 1962 in memory of Larry Malmed. The Association then accepted the event in 1984 after Al Porter, the tournament’s coordinator, was forced to retire due to illness. The Association also added a senior division in 1992.

Name

Club

Scores

Amateur Flight

Rich Thon

The Springhaven Club

74

Peter Barron, III

Stone Harbor Golf Club

75

Brian Rothaus

Philmont Country Club

76

Rich Pruchnik

West Chester Golf & Country Club

76

Ryan Jordan

Medford Lakes Country Club

76

Michael Walker

Wyncote Golf Club

77

Matt Bellah

Radnor Valley Country Club

78

Vinny Alessi

Penn Oaks Golf Club

78

Archie Struthers

Greate Bay Country Club

79

Brian Herman

Merchantville Country Club

79

Gary Daniels

Applebrook Golf Club

79

Robert Bechtold

Wyncote Golf Club

79

Jame Gillespie

Wedgwood Country Club

80

Michael Carr

Philadelphia Publinks GA

80

Joseph Roeder

Links Golf Club

82

Richard Blash, Jr.

Riverton Country Club

82

Andrew Blumberg

Fieldstone Golf Club

83

Brian Skrip

Cedarbrook Country Club

83

Christopher Thude

Torresdale-Frankford Country Club

83

John Simone

Philmont Country Club

83

Keith Cope

Wildwood Golf & Country Club

83

Douglas Gregor

Huntingdon Valley Country Club

84

Jeff Klagholz

Applebrook Golf Club

85

Mark Coassolo

Brookside C.C. of Allentown

86

Stephen McIntyre

Honeybrook Golf Club

86

Tom Mastroni

Sandy Run Country Club

86

Thomas O'Rourke

Chester Valley Golf Club

88

Cameron Campbell

McCall Golf & Country Club

89

Buddy Reed

DuPont Country Club

WD

Louis Giovi

Mercer Oaks Golf Course

NS

Thomas Gramigna

Tavistock Country Club

WD

Senior Flight

Thomas DiCinti

Links Golf Club

74

Alan Van Horn

Lu Lu Country Club

77

Bob Majczan

Lookaway Golf Club

77

Michael Quinn

Edgmont Country Club

77

William Lawler

Fox Hill Country Club

78

Martin Klagholz

Rolling Green Golf Club

79

Jon Mabry

Moorestown Field Club

81

Michael Dougherty

Huntingdon Valley Country Club

81

Alan Over

Bent Creek Country Club

82

Dennis Fellona

Merchantville Country Club

83

John Turner

The Springhaven Club

83

Frank Polizzi

Whitemarsh Valley Country Club

85

Robert Ockenfuss

Indian Valley Country Club

85

Michael Harms

Philadelphia Publinks GA

86

Neil McDermott

Llanerch Country Club

86

Michael Sofranko

Wyncote Golf Club

87

Edward Pappas, Sr.

Rolling Green Golf Club

88

Ed Chylinski

Chester Valley Golf Club

89

Richard Bourassa

McCall Golf & Country Club

89

Robert Brooker

Blue Bell Country Club

89

Joseph Martella

Sandy Run Country Club

91

Rick Uetz

Deerwood Country Club

92

Edward Purdy

Wildwood Golf & Country Club

94

Joe Roynan

North Hills Country Club

94

Glenn Davis

Sand Barrens Golf Club

96

Richard Myslinski

Mercer Oaks Golf Course

96

Tom Zeranski

Burlington Country Club

98

Jerry Booz

Honeybrook Golf Club

99

Jeffrey Brown

West Chester Golf & Country Club

WD

John Owens

Tavistock Country Club

WD

WD - withdrawal; NS - no show

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