Yarmouth Port, MA — The old saying, “save the best for last” might be a little cliché, but it is simply the only way to describe the final round of the 3rd Massachusetts Super Senior Amateur Championship, which wrapped up on Thursday at Cummaquid Golf Club.
Dick King (Hyannis GC) defeated David Pomarico (Poquoy Brook GC) on the first sudden-death playoff hole to capture the Super Senior Amateur Trophy at what was the 12th and final MGA Championship of the 2016 season.
“It’s my first MGA tournament that I have ever won, so that was huge,” said King, who defeated his longtime friend Pomarico, who he says “always beats him.”
The two grew up playing together at South Shore Country Club and have found themselves in familiar territory before, fighting for the Championship trophy.
This time, it was King’s turn.
After both finished with a combined 7-over par 149 in two days of play, the two went back out onto the course for a sudden-death playoff, where King, a resident of nearby Cotuit, only needed one hole to seal the victory.
On that first playoff hole – Cummaquid GC’s 375-yard, par 4 15th hole – both players found the fairway with their drives. It was King who sent his approach to four feet, while Pomarico’s second shot sailed over the green. Pomarico was unable to hole out from behind the green, and then he watched as King put an exclamation point on his victory by draining that four-foot birdie putt.
Earlier in the day, King finished off the 36 holes of regulation with a second-round score of 6-over par 77. Although he was disappointed with his score, he was relieved to learn that his two-day score was good enough to earn him a spot in the playoff. Making it even more exciting was the fact that the playoff was to start on the 15th hole, which he had made birdie on during both competitive rounds.
Leading up to the exciting finish, King had found himself in sole possession of fourth place on the leaderboard after finishing Wednesday’s first round of play at 1-over par 72.
He got off to a fast start on Thursday by making par on each of his first three holes. After making bogey on the 361-yard, par 4 4th hole, he registered a key birdie on the 5th hole. He would make one more bogey to make the turn at 1-over par 37.
Despite his fears of losing steam, King had enough left in the tank to fend off his competitors when the last few holes were upon him. To wit, after making three bogeys during his next six holes, King made a critical birdie on the 15th hole.
“I actually came back to life from being dead on 15,” said King. “On 15, I had just snapped a drive that didn’t even go 140 yards and I was looking at 195 yards to the pin, with trees that were 40 feet high in front of me. I had to cut a hybrid and I was able to get it up into the wind, over the trees and knocked it on the back of the green. I had a 90-foot putt that rolled in.”
It was an especially monumental feat for King, who suffered a major heart attack in February [click here to learn more about his battle back to the links].
His journey back – both in health and golf – came to a satisfying end in Yarmouth Port when he sent his 85-yard approach to within four feet on that 15th green to set the stage for his first MGA Championship victory.
King, indeed, saved his best for last. WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?