May 3, 2018

Glenn Smeraglio studies the No. 16 (par 4, 435 yards) green.

Warner (Gross): Lu Lu’s Smeraglio claims Senior crown in playoff

  WEST CHESTER, Pa. — Lu Lu Country Club’s Glenn Smeraglio defeated Five Ponds Golf Club’s Brian Rothaus in a sudden-death playoff to capture the Senior crown in the 84th Francis B. Warner Cup (Gross) at Concord Country Club (par 71, 6,488 yards).

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  Playing in the same group during the afternoon wave, Smeraglio and Rothaus finished regulation tied atop the leaderboard alongside Running Deer Golf Club’s Joseph Russo at 1-over-par 72. Russo, who played in the morning, was unable to return for the playoff.

  “It’s a good start to the year,” Smeraglio, 58, of Newtown, Pa., said. “I felt OK coming in. I think I started to hit it pretty good, but I wasn’t putting that well. I made a few early birdies here and got it under par.”

  In overtime, Rothaus, with tee honors, seemed to seal his fate by tugging a drive into the water hazard on No. 1 (par 4, 378 yards), the first playoff hole. Smeraglio didn’t alter strategy and proceeded to rip a drive into the center of the fairway. A green in regulation and a two-putt is the combination he unlocked to secure his second Warner (Gross) trophy in the last three years (2016).

  “I try to trust myself that I’m going to hit the shot that I’m trying to hit. I’m sure he trusted himself. It just didn’t work out for him this time,” Smeraglio, the reigning GAP Senior Amateur Champion, said.

  Smeraglio and Rothaus traded blows throughout the afternoon, with both emerging as leaders at 2 under through four holes. A gap wedge from 80 yards set up birdies of 18-inches and 10 feet, respectively, on Nos. 2 (par 4, 307 yards) and 3 (par 4, 335 yards). Rothaus birdied No. 1 (par 4, 378 yards) after knocking a sand wedge 105 yards to 15 feet. He drained an improbable 70-footer from the front fringe on the next hole.

  “Brian probably made 300 feet of putts today,” Smeraglio said. “He putted tremendously. I swear I thought he had 25 putts today. He was a couple under most of the day as well, so we were kind of battling it out. It was good fun.”

  Smeraglio inched ahead thanks to a birdie on No. 7 (par 4, 425 yards), where he hit that trusty gap wedge 94 yards to five feet. The next hole (par 3, 157 yards) drastically switched the circumstances. Rothaus, showing a true kinship with Concord’s highway greens, rolled in a right-to-left breaking 40-footer for birdie to move to 3 under. Smeraglio, meanwhile, logged a rare four-putt for a 5.

  “These greens are fast enough that you can do it,” Smeraglio said. “I hit an 8-iron that I thought was OK. The wind was supposed to be in my face. The ball ended up going all the way back to the left corner of the green. I had about 70 feet [for birdie] and ran it six feet by. I hit a great putt and lipped out. Hit another great putt and lipped out. So be it.”

  Smeraglio, who registered 14 greens in regulation on the day, tied Rothaus at 2 under following a birdie on the par 4, 351-yard 10th hole. He bumped a wedge 40 yards to three feet. Smeraglio and Rothaus continued to exchange jabs throughout the back nine. On No. 14 (par 5, 565 yards), facing another favorable 80-yard approach, Smeraglio lifted a wedge to 30 feet and deposited the ensuing downhiller for birdie.

  “I knew it was a super-fast putt,” he said. “You had to keep it under the hole if you could. It was hard to control your ball today because of the wind. It was 100 percent a factor on every shot. Downwind to the front pins was almost impossible. Into the wind with a short iron was tough. Everything seemed to be against each other.”

  Smeraglio held a one-stroke advantage over Rothaus entering the par 5, 525-yard 18th hole. He watched a 15-footer from above a front-right hole location drift to the low side. Rothaus reached the green in two and two-putted from the back of the green to join Smeraglio and Russo atop the leaderboard.

  "I was thinking that if I hit a rescue and it ends up 30 or 40 yards short in the fairway, then it would be an impossible third shot," Rothaus, 62, of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., said. "So I thought, 'Maybe if I hit 3-wood and hit it in the front bunker, maybe I can make a birdie. I knew I needed to make birdie."   Smeraglio’s victory Thursday afforded the longtime GAP contender his fifth piece of Senior hardware. He is also the two-time reigning Senior Silver Cross Award winner.

  Francis B. Warner of Philadelphia Cricket Club served as the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s secretary-treasurer for 18 years. After his death in 1933, the Association started the Francis B. Warner Cup as an ongoing tribute in his memory. It is the first Senior Major of the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s tournament season.

Golf Association of Philadelphia
Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) is the oldest regional or state golf association in the United States. It serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. The Association’s 200 Full Member Clubs and 70,000 individual members are spread across Eastern Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey and Delaware. As Philadelphia’s Most Trusted Source of Golf Information, the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

Results

Name, club

Score

*Glenn Smeraglio, Lu Lu Country Club

72

Brian Rothaus, Five Ponds Golf Club

72

Joseph Russo, Running Deer Golf Club

72

Brian Corbett, Country Club of Scranton

73

Doug Fedoryshyn, Applebrook Golf Club

73

William McGuinness, Tavistock Country Club

73

Thomas Hyland, Little Mill Country Club

74

Raymond Thompson, Overbrook Golf Club

74

Charles Bernard, Aronimink Golf Club

75

Gary Daniels, Applebrook Golf Club

75

Greg Guyer, Philadelphia Cricket Club

75

John Nottage, Commonwealth National Golf Club

75

Carlos Ochoa, Little Mill Country Club

75

Richard Atcavage, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club

76

Kenneth Phillips, Lancaster Country Club

76

John Robinson, Lu Lu Country Club

76

Bob Taylor, Middletown Country Club

76

Robert Dietrich, Loch Nairn Golf Club

77

Scott Mayne, LedgeRock Golf Club

77

David West, Philadelphia Publinks GA

77

Michael Anderson, Philadelphia Cricket Club

78

Norman Charlesworth, Running Deer Golf Club

78

Charles Dowds, III, Applebrook Golf Club

78

Joseph Lewis, Aronimink Golf Club

78

Michael Moser, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club

78

Gary Smith, Pine Valley Golf Club

78

Michael Tash, Tavistock Country Club

78

Rich Thon, The Springhaven Club

78

Steven Walczak, Wilmington Country Club

78

Ron Weaver, Bent Creek Country Club

78

Joseph Weiscarger, Wyoming Valley Country Club

78

Bob Beck, Lehigh Country Club

79

Gregory Day, Old York Road Country Club

79

Steven Lucas, Wilmington Country Club

79

Rand Mendez, Fieldstone Golf Club

79

Drew Panebianco, Five Ponds Golf Club

79

Byron Whitman, Berkshire Country Club

79

Paul Berg, The Springhaven Club

80

John Gosselin, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club

80

Craig Kliewer, Honeybrook Golf Club

80

James Muller, Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club

80

Mike Owsik, Cobbs Creek Golf Club

80

Jeff Poet, Country Club of York

80

Joseph Roeder, Little Mill Country Club

80

William Thornton, Jr., LedgeRock Golf Club

80

Michael Vassil, Country Club of Scranton

80

Jeffrey Allen, Wild Quail Golf & Country Club

81

Cameron Campbell, McCall Golf & Country Club

81

Elias Chua, Fieldstone Golf Club

81

Dan Dreisbach, Wilmington Country Club

81

Tim Sindorf, Laurel Creek Country Club

81

Pete Widdoes, White Clay Creek Country Club

81

Barry Cahill, Radley Run Country Club

82

Scott Carney, Commonwealth National Golf Club

82

Marlin Detweiler, Lancaster Country Club

82

Steve Dionisio, Jericho National Golf Club

82

Alan Lazzarino, DuPont Country Club

82

Oscar Mestre, Overbrook Golf Club

82

Jim Simmons, Stonewall

82

Thomas Soares, Lehigh Country Club

82

George Steinmetz, Spring Ford Country Club

82

Alan Wagenschnur, Loch Nairn Golf Club

82

Gregory Buliga, Yardley Country Club

83

Christopher Clauson, Lu Lu Country Club

83

Matt Mingione, The 1912 Club

83

Buddy Reed, Loch Nairn Golf Club

83

John Alterman, Commonwealth National Golf Club

84

Doug Cornforth, Loch Nairn Golf Club

84

Frank Corrado, Jr., Lu Lu Country Club

84

Robert Frankil, Bellewood Country Club

84

Jim Macallister, Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club

84

Trey Watts, Jericho National Golf Club

84

Andrew Abrams, Rolling Green Golf Club

85

Bill Dwyer, Concord Country Club

85

Brian Fiala, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club

85

Thomas Finn, Loch Nairn Golf Club

85

Jim Gavaghan, Jericho National Golf Club

85

Bryan McClaskey, Merchantville Country Club

85

Patrick O'Brien, North Hills Country Club

85

Michael Quinn, Philadelphia Publinks GA

85

Michael Berger, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club

86

Patrick Cahill, III, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club

86

Mark Cubberley, Mercer Oaks Golf Course

86

Michael Fagan, Philadelphia Publinks GA

86

Andrew Fireman, Philadelphia Cricket Club

86

Ed Kahn, Little Mill Country Club

86

Elliot Sheftel, Lehigh Country Club

86

Michael Shoup, Sandy Run Country Club

86

Steve Meyer, Rolling Green Golf Club

87

Chris Smedley, Hartefeld National

87

George Connell, Jr., Gulph Mills Golf Club

89

John Donnelly, Concord Country Club

89

Jon Stein, McCall Golf & Country Club

91

Andrew Sterge, Applebrook Golf Club

92

Brian Trymbiski, Doylestown Country Club

92

Gary Shearman, Philadelphia Cricket Club

93

Jim Yenser, Raven's Claw Golf Club

DQ

Matt Brady, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club

NC

J. Kirk Luntey, Merion Golf Club

WD

Robert Wurtz, Jr., Philadelphia Cricket Club

WD

 

* — won in playoff

DQ — disqualification; NC — no card; WD — withdrawal

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