Hanefeld Hangs On
Tight Finish in the Final Round at Okemo
What a start to the week for our NEPGA Senior Professionals who competed at the 2018 Senior Championship here in Ludlow, VT. The stunning Okemo Valley Golf Club was once again host to this great event.
With round one in the books, the Senior Professionals took to the course today for the final round. The final grouping consisted of Rick Karbowski, PGA (Auburn Driving Range), Kirk Hanefeld, PGA (Salem CC) and Tom Tobey, PGA (Sandwich Hollows GC). Hanefeld and Karbowski were the round one leaders after posting a 65 (-5) on Monday.
As the final round progressed it became evident that a competitor in the final grouping was going to be crowned 2018 NEPGA Senior Champion. Tobey smashed a perfect fairway wood on the par-5 11th hole to card a miraculous double eagle. Hanefeld hung tough throughout the final round and was all square with Tobey until the par-4 15th.
Karbowski, who has been playing exceptionally well as of late, struggled in today’s final round and found himself out of contention. Karbowski finished -2 (138) and T3 with Jeff Seavey, PGA (Samoset Resort) for the Championship.
Hanefeld and Tobey were feeling the pressure coming down to the last four holes of the Championship. Hanefeld clutched a birdie 3 on the 15th and parred out the remaining three holes to card a -2 (68) on the day and a -7 (133) for the Championship.
Tobey bogeyed the 15th but recovered immediately with a birdie on the par-4 16th, the 17th challenged Tobey and he took a bogey heading to the 18th tee. Hanefeld’s near perfect play the entire tournament was enough to give him the victory at this year’s NEPGA Senior Championship.
Leaders in Ludlow
Hanefeld, Karbowski lead the way at Seniors Champ.
Rick Karbowski, PGA(Auburn Driving Range) and Kirk Hanefeld, PGA (Salem CC) both shot scores of 65 (-5) on Monday to finish as co-leaders in the first round of the NEPGA Senior Championship at the Okemo Valley Golf Club. Tom Tobey, PGA (Sandwich Hollows GC) will round out the threesome in the final group on Tuesday’s Championship round.
The top of the leaderboard in Ludlow is a tight one following the opening round of play. Karbowski was first to make a deep strike to the field with his five-under-par performance. He made a birdie on the second hole, and followed it up with a birdie on 6 and an eagle on 7. Even with his only bogey of the day on the 9th, he was able to keep his streak of great play going, adding two birdies on the back.
“The course is in fantastic shape, especially given how much it’s rained in the last few days. I really hit the ball well today and was able to recover after I hit a terrible shot on the ninth hole but saved my round with a 7 foot bogey putt,” said Karbowski.
Hanefeld had an equally successful day. Starting with the second hole, he made birdies on every other hole, until he too had a slip on the ninth with a bogey. Making the turn at three-under, he was really looking to build a strong lead heading into Tuesday. On the back, Hanefeld had another misstep on the 14th hole, but made three consecutive birdies on the way back to the clubhouse on 16, 17, and 18 to finish at five under.