WRIGHTSVILLE -- It had almost gotten to the point where Scott Knouse was wondering if, and not when, he would win another golf championship. Knouse, a three-time York County Amateur Golf Association Amateur and Senior Championship winner, hadn't claimed a title in the YCAGA or at his club course since 2010.
While still competitive during that time, Knouse decided a change was in order. He felt he was over-thinking his shots too much. So the Out Door Country Club golfer switched his focal point prior to Sunday's McClarin Plastics, Inc. Senior Championship at Cool Creek Golf Course. And it worked.
Knouse was the only player in the field of 32 senior golfers to shoot an even par 70, a score good enough to earn him the fourth Senior title of his career. John Lowder, Jr., who finished second to Jeff Poet in last year's event, was once again the runner-up with a 1-over 71.
"I made up my mind today," Knouse said. "All year I've been playing golf swing. Too much technical thoughts about how to swing the club. So today I came out with the commitment that I was going to look at targets. I was going to focus on a specific target and swing the club."
Knouse, who golfed at Cool Creek for over 20 years before switching clubs over the past handful of years, was 1-under through the front nine. That put him a stroke behind his good friend and seven-time Senior Championship winner Bill Brenner at the turn.
Brenner, who finished in a three-way tie for third with Poet and William Lynch at 2-over, and Knouse have historically been paired up in the same foursome on many occasions, but were separated on Sunday. That made it a bit more difficult for the friends to compare and compete against one another directly. "It was kind of a surprise," said Knouse, who shared a hug with Brenner in the clubhouse.
Knouse's experience at the club proved to be mighty valuable when play moved on to what has been dubbed 'Amen corner.' The challenges of playing holes 10, 11 and 12 did a number on a lot of scorecards. But not for Knouse. He finished with two pars and a birdie over those holes which ultimately put him out in front.
"The back (nine) is always tougher here," Knouse said. "Scoring is done on the front. In that back you have to hit a lot of good shots. You have to hit good tee-balls, you have to hit good irons and the greens are more severe." It was that latter part -- putting -- which Knouse felt was right in his wheel-house at his former club. With the exception of No. 18, Knouse was steady and proficient with the putter throughout the day.
"I putted well," he said. "The nice thing down here for me is that I don't even have to look at the putts. I know how it will break and there are others who play here who cannot read these greens. You have to know and learn them."
The only negative part of Knouse's day came after he found the green on No. 18, where he left two putts short. "I three-putted that last hole," said a clearly disappointed Knouse. "I know that hole and I thought I killed it and I left it six feet short. And I left the next one short, too."
Despite that flub, which had him worried he might end up in a playoff, Knouse was able to walk off the course with a big victory, and a boost to his confidence, in tow.
"It's been awhile," he said. "I haven't won a club championship in a while or any big tournament. A couple of years go by and you begin to wonder if it's going to happen again. Then you get to that stage that I am and I'm no young pup anymore. But this is great."
Ron Duff of South Hills captured the Super Senior Division with a 1-over par 71 against a field of 13 golfers. Bob Meckley finished with the same score but was unavailable to compete in a playoff, thereby officially earning Duff the title.
-- Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org
YCAGA ANNOUNCEMENT ON 2013 TOURNAMENT FORMAT CHANGES AND WAR OF THEROSES POINTS.
MATCH PLAY - AMATEUR AND SENIOR DIVISION
Do the limited participation in this event the following format changes begin in 2013. Beginning in 2013 (this year). Each Division will consist of two or more flights - Championship Flight and First Flight (possible more flights depending on the entries). The Championship Flight will be a 32 player flight for the Amateur Division and a 16 player flight for the Senior Division.
Amateur Divison - Championship Flight (32 player) First Flight (minimum 8 players) - The Championship Flight will be determined by a player's handicap. The prior format providing that those individuals who were in the top 12 point total's for the prior year will automatically receive rankings of 1 - 12. (Note - if only 5 players from the prior year top 12 enter, they will be ranked 1 - 5) All other positions will be ranked according to their verified USGA handicap.
First Flight - We will create a first flight for all other players entered in the tournament - where there is at least 8 players.
Senior Divison - Championship Flight (16 players) First Flight (minimum 8 players) - Player rankings will be determined by their verified USGA handicap index. The low 16 will be placed in the Championship Flight, a First Flight will be created for all other entries providing we have at least 8 additional entries. NOTE: If there are a minimum of 30 entries received - we will expand the Championship Flight to a 32 player field.
Additionally you will note that the time frame has been shortened to two weeks (14 days) between matches. This is being done so that the event will conclude in August of each year.
ETZWEILER FAMILY FUNERAL SERVICES CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS
We are returning partially to a past format. Currently the tournament is a Gross and Net tournament with two flights - Championship Flight and Super Senior Flight. Beginning in 2013 the Championship Flight and the Super Senior Flight will also have "AGE" Flights, based on the entries. Example Championship Flight - Age Flights 18 - 49 and 50 and higher Super Senior Flight - Age Flights 60 - 64, 65 - 70 70 and higher. NOTE: THE FLIGHTS WILL BE DETERMINED BASED ON THE ENTRIES RECEIVED.
APPLE AUTOMOTIVE YORK COUNTY JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
This event will now have a Boys Championship and a Girls Championship with each producing a York County Champion. The format for the girls division will be the same as currently used for the boys division. 12 and under will play a 9 hole tournament - 13 - 14 will play an 18 hole tournament, 15 - 17 will play an 18 hole tournament . There will be a cut line determined from the players in the 13 & 14 year old flight as well as the 15 - 17 year old flight. The players above the cut line will then play an additional 9 holes and the score from this additional nine combined with the players first 18 hole score will determine the York County Champion.
NOTE: The girls will play from the gold tees for all 27 holes.
WAR OF THE ROSES POINTS
Beginning in 2013 "Royal Manchester's two day Open Event" will be eligible for War of the Roses points.
2013 will be the last year where the cut off for War of the Roses points is the Quality Digital's Your County Amateur. Beginning in 2014 the cut off will be following the (correction) YCAGA Mid-Amateur Championship. The effect of this change is that the only tournaments where the points will carry over will be the Etzweiler Champion of Champions - Possibly the Match Play (depending on size of brackets) and the Two Man Scramble plus any State, Local or USGA tournaments which are played after the Champion of Champions.
This change has been made as we felt the current schedule placed to much weight on a players play at the end of the prior year as opposed to his play leading up to the War of the Roses.
This change will have no effect on Player of the Year or Senior Player of the Year Points.
Tournament Sponsors: McClarin Plastics, McConkey & Co. Insurance & Benefits, Quality Digital Office Technologies, Etzweiler Family Funeral Services, Apple Automotive Group
Association Sponsors: Don's Kawasaki Yamaha Seadoo, Old Towne Construction, B&W Claims LLC, Traditions Bank, Alex Szeles, Inc. and H&H Castings Inc.
PATRON SPONSORS: Don't forget to either renew your Patron Sponsorship or become a new member before the start of the season. See our Patron Sponsor page to pay on line or to print an application and mail.
Thanks to all of our volunteers that work very hard in making our tournaments a success. Whether it's behind the scenes making up score cards, acquiring new sponsors, or being a spotter at one of our tournaments. Thank you. We are always looking for additional volunteers to help our with registration, spotters at the tournaments and many other functions throughout the golfing season. If you are interested please contact the tournament director or the executive director.
The YCAGA is a member of the United States Golf Association (USGA). For more information about the USGA, click here.