CARTERSVILLE, Ga. – Defending champion Spencer Sappington of Milton sank a five-foot birdie putt on the third playoff hole, outlasting Matt O’Brien of Decatur and Don Marsh of Johns Creek to win his third Georgia Super Senior Championship title in four years. The fourth annual competition took place April 12-13 at Cartersville Country Club.
Marsh, O’Brien and Sappington all finished at 4-over-par 148. O’Brien was a co-leader after the first round with an opening 72, while Marsh sat one stroke back at 73. Sappington, who opened with a 77, made his charge with a 1-under 71 in the final round, one of just two sub-par scores in the competition.
Sappington and O’Brien matched each other with pars on the first playoff hole (No. 10), and Marsh was eliminated with a bogey following an errant tee shot. On the second playoff hole, the par-5 11th, O’Brien’s long birdie putt just lipped around the hole and the two remained deadlocked. The third playoff hole was No. 9, also a par 5. Sappington hit his approach to five feet and made the birdie putt for the win.
Sappington and O’Brien are the only previous winners of this event, which began in 2008 with a Sappington victory at Cherokee Town and Country Club in Atlanta. O’Brien won the following year at Ansley Golf Club’s Settindown Creek in Roswell, while Sappington reclaimed the title last year at Polo Golf and Country Club in Cumming.
Frank Costanzo of Savannah finished fourth overall, one shot out of the playoff at 149. Five players tied for fifth at 150, including Bill Ploeger of Columbus and Boyd Johnson of Statesboro, both of whom shared the opening-round lead with O’Brien. Also at 150 were Ken Benson of Alpharetta, Marvin Davenport of Hiawassee and Ken Sisk of Canton. Richard Van Leuvan of Roswell matched Sappington’s 71 to move into 10th place overall at 151.
O’Brien took top honors in the first flight. Other flight winners were: Ron Savastano of Roswell in the second (154), Bud Lucas of Carrollton in the third (152), Tom Toombs of Perry in the fourth (157), Virgil Waters of Calhoun in the fifth (166), Syd Welch of LaGrange in the sixth (159) and Jack Sullivan of Marietta in the seventh (168).
Entries were open to male amateur golfers who are GSGA members and age 65 or older as of the first day of the tournament. The field of 78 players was divided into eight flights by handicap index (Championship, Flights 1-7) and played 18 holes of stroke play each day (36 holes total).