The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

September 11, 2013

Lewis captures Sunnehanna Senior title

By Eric Millinder

ARLINGTON, Texas — Sam Lewis of Montrose made up five strokes on his final nine holes Wednesday to post a 1-under 69 and win the 2013 Sunnehanna Senior Invitational by a four-shot margin.

Lewis’ 54-hole total was 1-over 211.

Leading by two shots going into the final round, Lewis shot 36 on his opening nine but trailed by one stroke at the turn after a hard-charging John Rodney scorched Sunnehanna’s front-nine in 2-under 33.

Lewis responded to the challenge and ripped through his back-nine with a bogey-free 2-under 33 to earn the victory.

Rodney, of Pittsburgh,  still held a piece of the lead through 12 holes but fell two strokes back after consecutive bogeys at Nos. 13 and 14.

Lewis closed the door on his competition for good with a two-shot swing on the par-5 15th, as the attorney rolled in a birdie against a bogey by Rodney.

Paul Schlacter, the nation’s third-ranked senior, shot a 1-over 71 to match his opening round score and finish third with a 216 total.

Johnstown’s David Lucks carded a 75 to lead all local senior division players with a 225 total that tied him for 14th.

Westmont Hilltop graduate Dennis Brady matched his second round 78 to finish tied for 25th at 228, while Dr. Dennis McKolosky posted a 74 to finish 36th at 238.

In the super-senior competition, top-ranked Ted Smith of Wilkinson, Ind. shot an even-par 70 to coast to a comfortable seven shot win at 4-over 214.

The win was Smith’s sixth in-a-row and ninth for the season.  Smith, who just recently received notice from the USGA that he made the U.S. Senior Amateur field as an alternate, had high praise for the course and conditions at Sunnehanna.

“The golf course was hard but it was fabulous,” Smith said. “I play in a lot of tournaments all over the country and these greens are the best and fastest that I have played. Conditions weren’t quite as hard today with the wind being down but the greens were so quick; I played nearly flawless to shoot even-par 70 with two three-putts greens.”

Johnny Blank, of Frostburg, Md., used three front-nine birdies to offset three bogeys and a double-bogey to post a 72 and earn runner-up honors at 221.

Greg Mokler, of La Quinta, Calif., and Oakton, Va., golfer Walt Martin shot 72 and 69 respectively to tie for third at 222.

Johnstown’s Ross VanWagenen posted a final round 3-over 75 for a tied-fifth finish at 224.

Johnstown attorney Phil Saylor finished tied-16th with a 234 total.