MARCH 26, 2012
On Eagle Course
In Spring Classic
NAPLES, FLORIDA | Super Senior Fred
Silver had an albatross the first day of
competition, hitting a 3-iron into the
hole at the 505-yard, par- 5 fifth on the
Eagle course at TwinEagles Golf Club.
“It was my first double-eagle,” says
the 66-year-old resident of Lewiston,
N. Y. “And I didn’t even see it go in. We
were all looking for my ball behind the
green and in the greenside bunkers, but
we couldn’t find it. So, I decided to take a
peak in the cup, and there it was.”
vamped by SOS member and noted golf
course architect Steve Smyers.
NAPLES, FLORIDA | Steve Smyers
seemed to have the edge going
into the final round of the 2012
Society of Seniors Spring Clas-
sic at the TwinEagles Golf Club in
Naples, last week.
Society of Seniors Tournament Direc-
tor Jim Popa spoke glowingly of the
pace of play at the Spring Classic, and
also the Ed Tutwiler Memorial Four-Ball
played at the Ironhorse Country Club
in West Palm Beach, Fla., at the end of
February, saying that rounds in both
competitions were generally played in
four hours or less.
After all, the noted golf
course architect and former
member of the USGA’s
Executive Committee was
atop the leaderboard of the
Seniors division with a pair of
strong opening rounds of 70 and
71. Even better was his intimate
knowledge of the Eagle course he
was playing this day, for Smyers
had recently led a redesign of that
former Gary Player track, which
meant no one understood its quirks
and characteristics better.
But whatever advantage he ap-
peared to have disappeared during
his final round on a hot, humid and
somewhat windswept afternoon.
Smyers, who has competed in 17
USGA championships over six de-
cades, ended up posting an 82.
That opened the door for former
PGA Tour player and one-time PGA
Tour executive Mike Bodney. His
final-round 74 gave him the title. It
came a year after the Jacksonville,
Fla., resident, who now competes
regularly in senior amateur events,
finished second in the 2011 SOS
Spring Classic. Bodney’s three-
day total was 216, two better than
Michael Occi, of Clarksville, Md.,
while Smyers, who played in a
final-day threesome with Bodney
and Occi, came in sixth, seven
There was also a pair of aces in the
Jim Cecchini, of East Amherst, N. Y.,
2012 Society of Seniors Spring Classic,
both coming on the final day of play.
aced the 17th on the Eagle course, jok-
ing afterwards that it was the only green
he didn’t three-putt that round. And Bill
Barnes, of Carmel, Ind., had a hole-in-
one on No. 4 on that same track.
For the first time in Society history,
there will be Player of the Year awards,
handed out at the end of the year for golf-
ers in all three divisions – Seniors, Super
Seniors and Grand Masters – based on
a points system for all eight SOC events
in 2012. Winners will be announced and
honored at the season-ending Ralph
Bogart Tournament in early December.
The TwinEagles Golf Club is the site of
And TwinEagles will host the LPGA’s
the Champions Tour’s Ace Group Classic,
which is played each winter on the Jack
Nicklaus-designed Talon course.
CME Group Titleholders tournament in
November on its Eagle course, an old
Gary Player layout that was recently re-
Next up on the Society of Seniors
schedule is the Senior Masters, a new ad-
dition to the organization’s schedule and
its first permanent West Coast event, to be
held this year at the Indian Wells Golf Re-
sort in Palm Springs, Calif., April 16-19. l
shots back, at 223.
As for the Super Seniors, Ted
Smith, of Wilkinson, Ind., prevailed
with a 54-hole total of 213, which
included back-to-back 70s on days
two and three. That gave him a
seven-stroke win over Fred Silver,
whose opening-round 69 was bol-
stered by an albatross on the Eagle
course’s par- 5 fifth. Bill Dorece, of
Cincinnati, was third, at 221.
And in the Grand Masters, Claud
Johnston, of Ann Arbor, Mich., shot a
final-round 71 for a three-day total of
222, to best Bill Stallings, of McLean,
Va., with whom he was tied coming
into the last day, by five strokes.