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 BY JEFF FALK

  NORTH LEBANON – Like a fine vintage. Bill Massar, Jr. gets better with age. OK, that might be a little bit of a stretch.

 But Massar does continue to age gracefully.

 On a warm Friday, at Pine Meadows Golf Course’s 5,734-yard, par-72 layout, Massar added another notch to his stellar career accomplishments by winning the 32nd Annual Lebanon County Senior Amateur Championship. After he and Randy Kohr had finished their rounds in a dead heat with matching one-under par 71s, Massar emerged victorious with a par on the third playoff hole.

 In overtime, Massasr and Kohr each bogeyed the par-four first hole and parred the par-four second hole. But it was Massar who was able to convert his five-foot par putt at the 388-yard, par-four third hole to win it.

  Tim Leeper fired a one-over par score of 73 to finish third, while 2017 champ Jeff True came in fourth with a 74. A group of five players – Chuck Schwab, Bill Beasley, Tony Deraco, Logan Sheetz and Jeff Hoke – finished in a tie for fifth place with matching 76s.

  Last year’s champion, Eric Boltz, decided not to defend his title

 For the 56-year-old Massar, it was his second county senior amateur championship and first on his home course. Massar is also a two-time Lebanon County Amateur champion.

 “Right now, my game is almost as good as it ever was,” said Massar. “I think I hit my driver now better than I ever have. I’m suprised at how far I can still hit it.

 “I was a really good scrambler back then,” continued Massar. “When I started, I hit irons and greens, but I forgot how to chip. Now I’m playing with the young guys and I’m keeping up with them. I don’t feel like I’m 56. I try to stay in shape.”

  “Bill has a lot of firepower,” said Kohr. “It’s hard to beat him. I knew the playoff was going to be tough. Bill’s usually a really good putter. I think I sort of lost it (the playoff). I missed two shorter par putts. That’s basically what it was.”

 Both Massar and Kohr missed on opportunities to win the golf tournament in regulation.

 Massar took a bogey at the par-five closing hole, after experiencing a similar fate at the par-four 15th. Massar had gotten his round to three-under par with short birdies at the par-four 11th and the par-four 12th.

 “Coming in, I thought I was going to win. I really did,” said Massar. “After the county amateur, I was practicing, I found something and it clicked. I feel like my game is really close to being really good, except for my putting. I feel my game’s there, but I have to practice my putting. From six feet in, I’m having issues. But I’ll get it.

 “I played really solid, except for my putting,” added Massar. “My putting was very shaky. It’s been like that for a while.”

  Massar birdied three of his first five holes – the 247-yard, par-four second, the 301-yard, par-four fouth and the 471-yard, par-five fifth – from short distance to get to three-under par early in his round. But he gave two of them back, with bogeys at Numbers Seven and Nine.

 “Oh, it’s ugly. I’m very competitive,” said Massar. “I’m sort of a perfectionist. I’m always working on my golf game. It just seems every time I get one part of my game going, another one goes. It’s hard to keep them all consistent.

 “As I’m getting older, it feels pretty good,” Massar continued. “I just wish we had more guys (in the field). But we had very good players. On this course, if you mess up, it can mess you up big time.”

  For Kohr, the county senior amateur was a bit of an after-thought, sort of a favor to playing partner Schwab. But he certainly made the best of his opportunity.

 Following a slow start, Kohr got things going with birdies at the par-five fifth, the par-five sixth, the par-four eighth and the par-four 11th. He also birdied the 340-yard, par-four 15th hole to get his round to two-under par, but a bogey at the par-four 16th cost him the title outright.

 “I only played today because Chuck Schwab needed a partner,” said Kohr, 64. “He asked and I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll go with it.’ If it wouldn’t have been for Chuck, I wouldn’t have played. This is where we play, and that’s another reason I played today.

 “I played good. I actually had an under-par round earlier in the year,” continued Kohr. “This was my second. The putter was working good. I made a lot of par-savers. It kept me in the hunt. I made five birdies and I made a bunch of good pars.”

 Leeper was nearly as steady. Thanks to a lone birdie at the par-five sixth, he was one-under par heading to the par-four 16th, where he suffered a double bogey.

 True rattled off three straight birdies, at Numbers Two, Three and Four, to reach three-under par. But they would prove to be the last birdies of his day.

  With identical 73s from the gold tees, John Hacunda and Bob Zechman finished in a first-place tie in the super senior portion of the tournament.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lebanon County Senior Amateur Golf Tournament
Past Champions

2019 – Bill Massar, Jr.
 2018 – Eric Boltz
2017 – Jeff True
2016 – Tommy Kintzer
2015 – Dave Brown
2014 – Kerry Wentling
2013 – Bill Massar, Jr.
2012 – Tim Leeper
2011 – Tom Sherk
2009 — Rick Troutman
2008 — Rick Troutman
2007 — Tony Deraco
2006 — Tony Deraco
2005 — Joe Faller
2004 — Joe Faller
2003 — Rich Webber
2002 — John Hacunda
2001 — Dave Suereth
2000 — Dave Suereth
1999 — John Shutter
1998 — Dennis Schaeffer
1997 — Dick Lash
1996 — Bill Massar
1995 — Bill Massar
1994 — Pat Petruska
1993 — Marlin Spangler
1992 — Bob Page
1991 — Bob Page
1990 — Bob Page
1989 — Bob Page
1988 — Bob Donnachie
1987 — Craig Charles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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