Troy Jesko has had plenty of rounds of golf in his life where he's gone low on his opening nine holes, but it hasn't always translated into a similar back nine.
He's also had rounds in his life where he's played consistently solid golf for all 18 holes, but it didn't include going particularly low on either side.
Sunday, however, he put it all together in time for the Briarwood East Senior Club Championship. Jesko won the event by shooting a sizzling 9-under-par 63 gross score, five shots better than his nearest competitors, Sam Berryman and Bruce Smith, who both tied for second with 68s.
"I hit the driver really good that day," Jesko said. "And my wedges were pretty good, so that kind of helped out a lot. It's still one of the top-five rounds I ever had."
At just 50 years old, Jesko just recently became old enough to start playing from the senior tees. On a typical day, he'll play from either the whites or the blues, so the fact that he could play from gold tees shortened the course for him and played to his strengths.
A 4-handicap player, Jesko posted a 31 on the front nine that consisted of six birdies and a bogey. Even with his fast start, however, he couldn't gain any separation from Berryman, who happened to be one of his playing partners on the day.
"Sam, he had five birdies on the front nine, so we were battling pretty good," Jesko said. "We had a really fun time at it."
The fact that he wasn't running away with the tournament helped keep Jesko focused going into the back nine, where his strong play continued.
Jesko shot a 4-under 32 on the back nine to grab firm control of the competition and leave Berryman and the rest of the field in a battle for second.
"With Sammy playing as good as he was, it helped me play better," Jesko said. "I knew he was going to shoot low. The way he played the front nine, he had a 32 on the front nine, I knew I couldn't screw up because Sammy doesn't screw up too often."
Whether or not Jesko's 63 was a course record couldn't be confirmed by anyone at Briarwood. General manager Rick Saxon, however, did say that, since the new senior tees were installed five or six years ago, Jesko's round is one of the lowest he can remember.
Age division winners: In the 50-54 age division, Chris Grove and Mike Mikita tied for first with net scores of 62.
In the 57-65 division, Bob Filler ran away with his age group thanks to a net score of 60. He was six strokes better than Marty Trimmer and Lee Emenheiser, who both tied for second with 66 net scores.
In the 67-75 age division, Al Hufnagel held off Tom Lackey for the victory. Hufnagel shot a net score 64, while Lackey finished with a 66 net score.
Kohler has fourth career ace: Don Kohler had a hole-in-one on Wednesday at Briarwood East Golf Club.
He used a 9-iron to ace the 134-yard third hole. It was his fourth career hole-in-one.
It was witnessed by Tom Lackey, Don Crone and Jim Eisenhart.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at firstname.lastname@example.org