HUNTLEY — Someone yelled to Dave Schwartz as he approached the steps leading up to the pro shop at Pinecrest Golf Club asking if he had won.
Schwartz had just finished his round, the second and final, in the two-day McHenry County Senior Amateur tournament. Schwartz glanced up from looking over his card and said, “I think I did it.”
Schwartz won the Championship Flight with a two-day score of 153. He was playing in the final group after carding a 4-over-par 76 during Saturday’s round, which was good enough for a two-stroke lead heading into Sunday’s final round. He knew he couldn’t let up Sunday because of the quality of players in his group, and his 77 was good enough for the win.
“I didn’t even know what my score was during the round,” Schwartz said. “I just kind of kept a running tally in my head of how close the other guys were.
“To sum it up and to put a word on it, I would just have to say that I’m elated.”
It was the Marengo resident’s first victory in the Senior Amateur tournaments, after a previous best second-place finish a few years ago.
Schwartz had to fend off playing-group member Dave Schacherer, who shot a 79 on Saturday and a 78 on Sunday to finish second with a 157 total. Schacherer said he felt good during the day but wasn’t consistent enough. He didn’t record a par on the final nine holes but settled for a couple birdies and several bogeys.
Tony Miranda also gave Schwartz a scare. Miranda was accurate off the tee and his approach shots put him in position to make a run at the championship, but his putting failed him. Four different times during the final nine holes his putts lipped out of the cup. He said he was a bit disappointed afterward.
But Schawrtz was able to keep the lead with the help of two outstanding holes. On the 14th hole, his first shot hit a tree, but he pitched it on the uneven green and sank a 25-foot putt to save par. On No. 17, he birdied after another skilled putt found the cup.
“I was just trying to avoid the big disaster hole,” Schwartz said. “I don’t think I hit a 6 on either day.”
Redemption: Chuck Waller shot a 93 during Saturday’s first round and vowed to have a much better day Sunday, and did just that. He fired a 76, which was tied for the best round of the day. He finished with a 169.
Tom Miller hung on after entering Sunday with a three-stroke lead and was the Flight A champion, shooting a 154 over the two days. Dave Olsen was the Flight B winner with a 165. Tom Leonard (171) held off Mike Browning (177) for the Flight C title.
“I shot a 91 today and still got second,” Browning said with a laugh. “But I had a really good time. This tournament was a lot of fun.”