CLICK HERE for the full LEADERBOARD from the 2017 RDGA Mid Amateur Championship
CLICK HERE for a PHOTO GALLERY from the 2017 RDGA Mid Amateur Championship
CLICK HERE for a post-tournament INTERVIEW with 2017 Champion Tim Saur
CLICK HERE for a feature article on tournament host COBBLESTONE CREEK CC
For the second consecutive year, the final round of the RDGA Mid Amateur Championship was interrupted by weather, as second round action was postponed for nearly an hour and a half on Saturday, August 12, due to lightning strikes in the area.
The postponement led to a quick re-alignment of final round tee times, as the field was shifted to tee off on holes No. 1 and 10 so that play could conclude before darkness fell on Victor's stunning Cobblestone Creek Country Club.
All of that mattered little to Oak Hill's Tim Saur, who capitalized on a first round score of 4-under-par 68 to hold on for a four-shot victory as daylight gave way to dusk, winning the 2017 RDGA Mid Amateur Championship title over co-runners-up Ken Starkweather of Ridgemont and Jon Pecor of Locust Hill.
"I kind of lost my swing today - yesterday I didn't miss too many shots," said Saur, who captured one of his biggest titles as an amateur. "On the back nine, I switched to the three wood late in the round, played the (par) 5s as three-shotters, just trying to hang on."
As much of the starting field attempted to navigate Cobblestone Creek's undulating green in Round 1, Saur was able to build his lead due to some "home knowledge."
"I was a member here for three years, so I understood where to hit the ball," Saur noted. "I was able to hit it in those spots and make some putts when I needed them and was able to get it to the house at the end."
Saur's opening round 68 gave him a 3-shot advantage over Chris Sorci's first round 71 going into the final round - but when Sorci was forced to withdraw due to injury halfway through Round 2, Saur's lead became a little more comfortable.
Still, as the sun was setting on the field in Round 2, several players were making a run as Saur tried to hold onto his lead.
Starkweather, the defending Mid Am champion, was 3-under through 13 holes in the final round before falling victim to three bogies over the last five holes. Still, he managed to finish with a 1-under-par 71 for a 1-over, 145 total for the Championship.
Finishing tied for second place in the 2017 RDGA Mid Am were defending champion
Ken Starkweather (left, along with son and caddie, Jason, front) and Jon Pecor, right.
Also coming on strong late in the tournament was Pecor, who birdied the par-5 16th hole and eagled the par-5 18th to close in a tie with Starkweather at 145.
Saur began his final round strong, posting three birdies on the front nine - although those were undone by three bogies early on the back nine. After one more birdie on No.15 though, Saur could afford to play conservatively over the last three holes to maintain his lead - and bring home the trophy.
"I was able to hit it below the hole on a lot of the approaches, which is very good here," he noted. "The iron play was good all weekend - but, you putt good and it works out."
Ultimately, it was a perfect homecoming for Saur, who used his course knowledge to help land his first major title.
"Probably the biggest event I've won," Saur added. "I've had the lead in the State Mid Am before, but never won that. Won a few club championships along the way - but as for District events, this is my first win."
The RDGA wishes to thank Cobblestone Creek Country Club, its members, General Manager Mike Surtel, Superintendent Rusty Madden and PGA Head Professional Neil Reidy - and the entire staff - for their hospitality and assistance in hosting this RDGA major championship.