LUDLOW, Vermont – Kirk Hanefeld closed with a 2-under 68 and finished at 7-under for a one-shot victory over Tom Tobey in the 36-hole stroke play format final round of the 2018 New England PGA Senior Championship on July 31.
Eighty of the New England PGA chapter’s best-and-brightest, all aged 50 or more, showed up at the magnificently groomed 6,586-yard, par 70 Okemo Valley Golf Course in Ludlow, Vermont and the contest turned into a two-man shootout between Kirk Hanefeld, of Salem Country Club, and a former winner in 2015, and Tom Tobey, of Sandwich Hollows Golf Course, a first-timer.
The tournament had a few lead changes on the final nine holes after both Hanefeld and Tobey posted front nine scores of even-par 35s. First-day co-leader Rick Karbowski scrambled around the front side with two bogeys and one birdie for a one-over 36.
As the final round progressed it became evident that one of these three was going to be crowned 2018 New England PGA Senior Champion. Who would it be?
The par-5 eleventh hole proved pivotal and memorable for Tom Tobey. He smashed a big drive down the left side and then hit a perfect fairway wood into the cup from about 235-yards to card a miraculous double eagle.
The pressure didn’t seem to faze Hanefeld, who hung tough, making birdie on No. 11 and he was all square with Tobey until the par-4 15th. Two bogies down the stretch on No. 15 and No. 17 turned the table for Tobey, while Hanefeld nailed a birdie on No. 15. Meanwhile Karbowski, of Auburn Driving Range, flamed out with a 2-over 37 back side to finish T-3, picking up a check for $817, along with Jeff Seavey, of Samoset Resort.
“This was an exciting final round” said Hanefeld, 62, after his round who enjoyed a few lucrative years playing on the Champions Tour. “Tom played great today and I had just enough game to win by one. It’s always an honor to repeat as champion.”
Steady ball-striking in almost near-perfect conditions and patience paid off handsomely for Hanefeld as he pocketed the winner’s check of $1,200, silver-plated trophy and coveted title of 2018 New England PGA Senior Champion. Tobey banked $1,060.
“Hat’s off and congratulations to Kirk for a final round well played,” added Tobey, 50, who has multiple wins on his resume and usually a 6-under par total is good enough to take the walk down victory lane. “Kirk’s been there before and his experience paid off.”
Okemo Valley Golf Course proved to be playing tougher for the final round as the round one low of 65 could not be topped. Daniel Wilkins, of Laconia CC carded the round two low score of 67 (-3).
Four players finished T-5 with 2-under par totals including Wilkens, Robert Tramont (Triggs Memorial), Bill Andrews (Portsmouth CC) and Rick Durocher (Cyprian Keyes GC).
Other notable highlights came from Chris Bohac, PGA (Kirkbrae CC) and John Paesani, PGA (Bay Club at Mattapoisett) who both carded hole in ones during round one July 30. Bohac aced the par-3 8th and Paesani carded his on the par-3 4 th.
Kirk Hanefeld, Tom Tobey, Jeff Seavey, Rick Karbowski, Dan Wilkins, Bob Traminit, Rick Durocher all advance to the Senior PGA Professional National Championship at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, FL on October 25th-28th.
For more information visit: www.nepga.com
2018 New England PGA Senior Championship
Okemo Valley Golf Club
*1 Kirk Hanefeld, Salem CC: 65-68–133 -7 $1,200.00
*2 Thomas Tobey, Sandwich Hollows GC: 66-68–134 -6 $1,060.00
*T3 Jeff Seavey, Samoset Resort: 69-69–138 -2 $817.50
*T3 Rick Karbowski, Auburn Driving Range: 65-73–138 -2 $817.50
*T5 Daniel Wilkins, Laconia: 72-67–139 -1 $482.50
*T5 Robert Tramonti, Triggs Memorial GC: 70-69–139 -1
T5 Bill Andrews, Portsmouth: 70-69–139 -1
*T5 Rick Durocher, Cyprian Keyes GC: 70-69–139 -1 $482.50
T9 Frank Dully, Kernwood CC: 72-68–140 E
T9 Greg Farland, Marlborough CC: 70-70–140 E
T9 David Dionne, Beverly Golf & Tennis: 69-71–140 E
T12 John Paesani, Bay Club at Mattapoisett: 70-71–141 +1
T12 David Grygiel, Tee N’ Tee Golfland: 69-72–141 +1
T12 David Lane, Hopkinton: 69-72–141 +1
T15 John Hickson, Bath CC: 73-69–142 +2 $321.67
T15 Michael Baker, Walpole: 73-69–142 + $321.67
T15 Jim Sheerin, Abenaqui: 70-72–142 +2
18 Dan Gillis, Nabnasset Lake CC: 70-73–143 +3 $321.67
*Denotes Senior PNC Qualifier
50 – 54 Age Group
1 Robert Tramonti, Triggs Memorial GC: 70-69–139 -1 $635.00
T2 Frank Dully, Kernwood CC: 72-68–140 E $495.00
T2 Greg Farland, Marlborough CC: 70-70–140 E $495.00
T2 David Dionne, Beverly Golf & Tennis: 69-71–140 E $495.00
5 John Hickson, Bath CC: 73-69–142 +2 $245.00
55 – 59 Age Group
1 John Paesani, Bay Club at Mattapoisett: 70-71–141 +1 $420.00
2 Michael Baker, Walpole: 73-69–142 +2 $375.00
T3 Mike Slayton, Saint Johnsbury: 78-71–149 +9 $156.25
T3 Webb Heintzelman, Turner Hill Golf: 72-77–149 +9 $156.25
T3 Al Vallante, Harbor Lights G&CC: 72-77–149 +9 $156.25
T3 Chip Johnson, Hatherly: 68-81–149 +9 $156.25
60 – 69 Age Group
1 Bill Andrews, Portsmouth: 70-69–139 -1 $690.00
T2 David Grygiel, Tee N’ Tee Golfland: 69-72–141 +1 $575.00
T2 David Lane, Hopkinton: 69-72–141 +1 $575.00
4 Jim Sheerin, Abenaqui: 70-72–142 +2 $450.00
5 Dan Gillis, Nabnasset Lake: 70-73–143 +3 $265.00
70 – Over Age Group
T1 Peter Matthews, Western View Golf Club: 77-80–157 +17 $342.50
T1 Robert Mathews, PGA Life Member: 86-71–157 +17 $342.50
3 Jay Dolan, PGA Life Member: 81-80–161 +21 $240.00