Frank Captures National Title, Brady & Benedetti Are Senior Champions
Posted: 1/24/2008 11:33:31 AM
Dennis Brady, Harris Teeter Senior Champion
After watching a course record on Sunday a year ago push him into second place, Chad Frank was not to be denied an Amateur Golf Tour national championship this year. Below is an exerpt from the AGT news release following the final round.
Nothing, not even a missed one-inch putt, could keep Chad Frank from winning the Amateur Golf Tour's 2007 National Championship.
Frank, last year's runner-up, posted his second straight 73 Sunday for a 146 total and a one-stroke victory in the Championship Flight. The 40-year-old from Orlando experienced an up-and-down final round. On the front nine he made two birdies to rally past the first-round leader. But on the back nine his lead evaporated and turned into a one-shot deficit when Frank barely glanced a tap-in putt on the 13th while trying to avoid stepping in his competitor's line.
"If I had lost, I would have really felt bad about that putt. It was unbelievable," said Frank, winner of nine of his 11 tourneys on the AGT's Orlando Tour this year. "I said, 'I'm not going to let this cost me.' I got a little fired up."
After the putting mishap, Frank drained an 18-footer for birdie at No. 14, then made par the rest of the way to edge Andrew Smith of the Triad (NC) Tour.
"I hit every green coming in and played solid," Frank said. "It feels good to come back and win it and not finish second again. You work all year for this."
Smith shot 73-74--147 to finish second, while defending champ Joe Jaspers of Charlotte placed third at 75-73--148.
The Edwin Watts Amateur Tour fell 14 strokes short in the effort to capture a second straight team title. The Louisiana AGT won the team title with Charlotte finishing third, another 12 strokes behind Orlando. Our team score was better this year than last year, so the effort was outstanding. The competition is stronger every year and so we will need to play better than ever next year to contend.
In addition to Chad, five other tour players won prizes in their flight. Pictured at left are (L-R) Len Benedetti (C-8th), Tom Dillon (B-5th), Subernia Johnson (C-6th), Rob Kempinski (A-10th), and AGT National Champion, Chad Frank (Championship). Not pictured is Rick Whitman (C-4th).
Dan Seidenfaden won a skin in C flight on Saturday and Chad Frank won one in the Championship flight on Sunday.
Dennis Brady and Len Benedetti captured individual national championships at the 2007 Harris Teeter Senior National Finals at Port Royal Plantation on Hilton Head Island. The Harris Teeter Senior Tour is the offshoot of the Amateur Golf Tour. Brady (pictured at left) captured the Championship flight in a two hole playoff over Ken Eichele of Pinehurst, who was trying for his third title. On the second hole, Ken had hit his shot over the green from the middle of the fairway; Dennis then hit a low punch shot around some trees that came up in the long grass in front of the green. He chipped to 12 feet short of the hole while Ken had run his chip shot 9 feet past the hole, on the same line as Dennis. In a classic example of "first one in wins", Dennis drained the putt (pictured) and the title was his when Ken's putt went to the right of the hole.
Brady's win made it a clean sweep of the top national individual honors for the Edwin Watts Amateur Tour this year. Chad Frank captured the Amateur Golf Tour championship in October.
Len Benedetti (pictured at left), the lone Edwin Watts Amateur Tour player in the senior C flight coasted to a seven shot victory by backing up his opening round 87 with 85 on the final day. Six other Edwin Watts Tour players backed up Dennis and Len with top ten finishes. Ed Craig, the first round leader, finished third in Championship flight. He missed the playoff by one shot. Pete McDade placed fifth and Jim Flagg tenth. It was definitely a great showing for our Championship flight players. In the A flight, Ed Paterniti tied for third with four others. The scorecard playoff was not kind to Ed, as he received the 7th place prize.
Arnie Guerra (pictured at left) led our B flight players with a T3, but again the scorecard playoff gave him the fourth place prize. An eagle 2 on the par 4 tenth hole at Planters Row highlighted Arnieâ€™s second round. John Pringle did get the best of a scorecard playoff and took 9th place. In all, eight of the 17 Edwin Watts Amateur Tour seniors who competed came away with prizes. In addition, Robbie Robinson, Tim Sobitz and Dan Gladman picked up skins during the week (as did Brady, Flagg & McDade).
As a result, Orlando came away with the Senior Team Cup that will travel with us to every event in 2008. A second place finish in the team competition at the AGT finals in October left us just short of a clean sweep of team and top individual champions. Three individual champions and a team trophy are a great accomplishment; a perfect end to the 2007 season. We are thrilled that our players received the recognition at the national level that they deserve and work so hard for all season long. The Edwin Watts Amateur Tour has definitely become a tour that everyone keeps an eye on at the national tournaments. The competition on all the AGT and senior tours is terrific. I know it is a challenge for you every year and a thrill for me to watch our Orlando players compete for championships.