Merion’s Sheftic Returns to Winner’s Circle at Burlington Classic
Westampton, N.J. – The 34th Burlington County Classic and Pro-Am presented by WSFS Bank was played on Sunday, June 2 – Monday, June 3 at Burlington Country Club. The tournament features a day one Pro-Am followed by an individual stroke play event on day two. The field of Professionals on day two are joined by a select group of amateurs who qualified by virtue of their opening round to complete the 36-hole event.
“The Burlington Classic is a great celebration of the club, its membership and the PGA Professionals of the Philadelphia Section”, said John Hanuscin, Burlington Classic Tournament Chairman.
The tournament’s second round got underway at 10:00 am after late day storms forced the opening round to be completed on Monday. With nearly 90 people playing the second round the tournament leaders did not get on the course until almost 3:00 pm. In the final pairing was overnight leader Mark Sheftic (Merion Golf Club), Michael Little (Lookaway Golf Club) and Jakob Gerney (Trump National Philadelphia).
As the second round progressed windy conditions made scoring difficult throughout the day. In fact, tournament leader Sheftic’s only blemish came on the first hole in round two after he posted a double bogey.
“I didn’t think I hit that bad of a shot”, said Sheftic of his approach into the first green. “I guess I overestimated the wind and I put myself into a bad position, but it was definitely a wakeup call.”
Sheftic was able to recover those early lost shots with birdies on both eight and nine to make the turn at even par as his lead increased to three shots. As Sheftic made his way back to the clubhouse, he was able to add two additional birdies on the par4 11th hole as well as the par5 14th hole. With no other player able to make a significant move up the leaderboard, Sheftic’s lead increased again as he played his final four holes.
When all the scores were final, Sheftic 36-hole total of 11-under (61-68-129) was good enough for a five-shot lead over the field giving him his third Burlington County Classic and Pro-Am presented by WSFS Bank crown. Sheftic previously took home the top spot in 2013 and 2016. Sheftic joins Gene Feiger (1991-92, 1998) and Rob Shuey (1994, 1996-97, 2002, 2007-08) as the only three-time champions of the event.
Rounding out the podium were Brian Bergstol (Shawnee Inn & Resort) and Michael Little (Lookaway Golf Club) who both finished with a two-day total of 5-under. Like Sheftic, Bergstol posted two rounds in the 60s (66-69-135) while Little got to the 5-under number after carding rounds of (63-72-135).
“To be honest I hadn’t been playing my best coming into this tournament”, said Sheftic. “I had been struggling with my putting while I was at the PGA Professional National Championship and decided to go with a new putter this week. At the last minute I grabbed my old long putter and it worked great and I felt very comfortable with it the last two days. I think that was the difference for me, the confidence it gave me on the greens.”
“I also need to thank Mike Mack, John Hanuscin and the entire membership and staff of Burlington Country Club for their support of this event”, commented Sheftic. “I enjoy playing in this event and everyone does a great job making us feel welcome each year.”
In the tournament’s senior division, John Pillar (Country Club of Woodloch Springs) edged the field after posting a 36-hole total of 2-under (70-68-138). After trading birdies and bogeys in the early part of his round, Pillar managed to right the ship and posted birdies on the difficult par4 8th and another on the par4 13th helping him to his one-shot victory. Finishing one shot behind with a 36-hole total of 1-under was a pair of familiar names in Stu Ingraham (M Golf Range) and Dave McNabb (Applebrook Golf Club).
In the tournament’s Super Senior division, Don DeAngelis (Spring Ford Country Club) cruised to a victory after posting a two-day total of 1-under (68-71-139). Special congratulations also go to DeAngelis after he carded a hole-in-one on the 140-yard par-3 10th.
Congratulations to amateur Scott Magee who was awarded the Marotto Medal as the tournament’s low amateur after a posting a Championship total of 7-over (69-78-147). The Marotto Medal is named in memory of longtime Burlington Country Club member Ron Marotto, who was an integral part of the Pro-Am committee for many years.
The Section thanks the membership and staff of Burlington Country Club as well as tournament sponsor Adidas golf, Jani-King, Evolve Golf and WSFS Bank. The next event on the Philadelphia PGA tournament calendar is the Connelly Cup / Head Professional Championship at Trump National Golf Club Philadelphia on Monday, June 10.