YORK, PA - When the next Pennsylvania Golf Association event is scheduled at the Country Club of York, you can bet that Paul Schlachter will be there. Thirteen years after winning the Pennsylvania Middle-Amateur Championship, Schlachter returned to the site of his triumph and shot back to back rounds of 71 (2-under par) to win the Super-Senior division of the 78th Dressler Memorial Championship, presented by LECOM and hosted by UPMC Pinnacle.
"This is a terrific golf course and it was great to be back here and win again," Schlachter said. "I was fortunate because I actually hit the ball pretty good, but I didn't putt that well."
Schlachter entered today's second round with a one-shot lead over the reigning Pennsylvania Super-Senior Player of the Year, Don Donatoni. The lead was up to two strokes after Donatoni bogeyed the opening hole. Both players birdied the par-5 second hole before Donatoni added another birdie at the 156-yard par 3 third. After the duo each made birdie on 6 and parred the seventh, Schlachter restored his two-stroke edge with a nice birdie on the 442-yard par-5 ninth.
"Don is such a good player," Schlachter said. "He's great to play against but I knew had to play well to keep up with him."
Donatoni, of White Manor Country Club, double-bogeyed the 10th hole but quickly bounced back with birdies on No. 11 and No. 13. Schlachter, meanwhile, parred the first five holes on the back side despite makeable birdie tries on No. 13 and No. 14.
"My putting got a little shaky coming in," Shlachter said, noting the four-foot putt on the 13th that could have given him some breathing room.
But the short stick worked when he needed it most, as Schlachter saved bogey on 16 and had a nice putt for par on No. 17. He headed to the 18th with a two-stroke advantage and got in with a par 4 there to clinch the victory.
The win was Schlachter's first in any of the divisions in the Dressler, and with it being the first event of the year, that made it even more special for the Club at Nevillewood member.
"When it's early in the year, you just try to hang in there," Schlachter said. "Especially with the wind the way it was today, it was tough to control where the ball was going to end up on the green. I'm thrilled to win this tournament."
Donatoni followed up his opening round of 72 with a second round 73 to finish at 1-over par for the championship. In third place was Briarwood Golf Club's Bill Brenner, who shot two consecutive rounds of 74 to card a score of +4. Saucon Valley's Robin McCool finished fourth at 150 (+6), while Thomas Mallouk of Lookaway Golf Club and defending champion Lee Lykens of Indiana Country Club each shot 152 (+8).
The Pennsylvania Golf Association would like to thank the staff and membership of the Country Club of York for their hospitality during the championship.