Falcone Claims Senior Championship at Home Club
PORTLAND – Daniel Falcone has been playing at Riverside GC since he was 11 years old, getting onto the course every chance he could as a kid. He grew up in Portland and caddied at the city’s municipal course to earn money as a youngster. Fast forward fifty years, and the lifelong Riverside player captured a state title at his home club, claiming the Maine Senior Championship on the first playoff hole against Mike O’Brien.
On a whirlwind day at Riverside, the tournament was never a forgone conclusion, and at one point on the back nine there were ten players tied or within one shot of the lead, including four former champions of the event. Playing in the second-to-last group of the day, Biddeford-Saco member O’Brien was the first in the clubhouse to post a red number, shooting a second-round 72 after an opening 71 for a one-under 143.
Playing in the last group of the day, Falcone came to the last tied for the lead. After missing the green long on 18, he was faced with a difficult up-and-down to force a playoff with O’Brien. He hit a delicate chip in front of an appreciative gallery looking on, and was able to make the three-footer to force extra holes.
Falcone and O’Brien went to Riverside’s 8th hole in the extra frame, and Falcone hit his tee ball into the left rough. O’Brien went with driver to challenge the reachable par-4, but blocked his drive a little right. The ball bounded forward into an area of tall grass and the ball was never found. Falcone hit his pitch onto the green and comfortably two-putted for par to claim the title in front of a small crowd of Riverside members following the action.
Former champions Len Cole and Gary Manoogian finished one shot back at even-par 144 to finish in a tie for third. Rocky Myers and James O’Sullivan rounded out the top five with a tie at 145 after 36 holes. Those players all earn a berth into the inaugural Senior Match Play Invitational next month at Cape Arundel GC by virtue of their top six finish in this event. The remainder of that 16-player field will be determined by the Senior Player of the Year points table when the season-long points race ends on August 31.
In addition to crowning an overall champion, prizes will also be awarded in different age flights with gross and net prizes. Click on the scoring link below to see scores from the entire field.
The MSGA would like to thank everyone at Riverside for being wonderful hosts for this year’s event. Players were treated to fantastic course conditions from tee to green in this year’s annual Senior Championship.