Howe Wins Inaugural MGA Masters at CC of Fairfield
FAIRFIELD, CONN. (September 20, 2012) - Popular MGA competitor Robert Howe of Winged Foot put together a tremendous round of 1-over 71, including a front-nine 1-under 35, to capture the first-ever MGA Masters Tournament at the Country Club of Fairfield in Fairfield, Connecticut. Howe finished four strokes clear of his nearest competitors.
“I’m very honored to have won this,” said Howe. “It’s very important to me, and I’m actually thrilled to win the inaugural event. It makes it even more meaningful.”
Howe had never seen the course before today and came away impressed with the layout, which plays to a par of 70 and was set up at 6,172 yards for today’s tournament.
“It’s an outstanding golf course, extremely fair, and it was very challenging and enjoyable to play,” he said. Howe’s round included back-to-back birdies on No. 5 and 6, and he managed to card only three bogeys in breezy conditions at the stunning waterfront property.
“I really putted well today. I started hitting the ball better on my back nine, and the couple errant shots that I hit I was able to play, so I got a bit lucky too.
The victory put a successful cap on the season for Howe, 67, who tied for 21st back in May at the MGA Senior Amateur at Metedeconk National.
Howe distanced himself from the field with his steady play. Tying for second with 5-over 75s were Bill Sherry of Dutchess, Gerald Garber of Lake Success, and David Seidenberg of Edgewood. Garber was named the official runner-up and Seidenberg third based on a match of cards, and Sherry took home second low net honors.
MGA Executive Committee member and 2000 MGA Senior Amateur winner Ned Steiner of Mountain Ridge, William Dober of H. Smith Richardson, and Larry Rafferty of Garden City Golf Club tied for fifth after shooting 76.
The starting field of 73 amateur golfers aged 65 and older experienced a day of wonderful camaraderie and competition. The MGA Masters, the first new MGA tournament since 2007, was originally scheduled for September 2011, but was postponed due to the storm damage that the Country Club of Fairfield experienced during Tropical Storm Irene. As MGA Executive Director Jay Mottola said during the awards presentation, “I think all of you who played the course today realize now why we decided to wait a year rather than holding the inaugural Masters at a different venue.”
The Country Club of Fairfield, founded in 1914, is one of the jewels of the Met Area, as it boasts breathtaking scenery with Long Island Sound visible from nearly every hole of the charming, challenging Seth Raynor-designed course. The club hosted the Met Open in 2008 and also the 1994 MGA Father & Son Championship, and will host the Met PGA Section Championship next week.
Finishing in a tie for eighth after shooting 77s were Jim Byer of Springdale, Mike Carubia of Baiting Hollow (also took home low net with a 70), Alan Finkelstein of Fresh Meadow, Donald Hendler of Meadow Brook, and the Country Club of Fairfield’s own Tom Graham.
Other notable finishers include three-time MGA Senior Amateur champion Steve Rose, who tied for 15th after a 79; talk show hostMaury Povich of Century, a frequent MGA senior amateur competitor, also shot a 79; 75-year- Dick Siderowf of Century, one of the most accomplished amateurs in American golf, shot an 88; MGA President Gene Bernstein of Sebonack came in with an 87; longtime MGA Director of Rules and Competitions Gene Westmoreland of Winged Foot shot an 89.