MOHNTON, Pa. - The reigning Pennsylvania Golf Association Super-Senior Player of the Year, Don Donatoni added another honor to his illustrious career of golf in the commonwealth, winning the Super-Senior division of the Senior Match Play Championship at LedgeRock Golf Club, which was presented by LECOM. With the win, Donatoni became the first golfer in Association history to have won both the Senior and Super-Senior division of the Match Play, as he was Senior division champion in 2010. Donatoni topped Hannastown Golf Club's Vincent Zachetti, 2 and 1, in Thursday's championship match.
"It was a war of attrition for Vince and I on the back nine," Donatoni said. "We were both tired and we'd played a lot of golf this week. I did just enough to beat him."
The day started for Donatoni with a semifinal match against Don Erickson of Indiana Country Club. Donatoni took an early 3-up lead before Erickson battled back to square up the match with a birdie at No. 10. Erickson then took a lead of his own with a birdie on the 16th before Donatoni evened things again with a par on 17. The match ended up all square and went to extras. On the first playoff hole, both players struggled, but Donatoni was able to salvage a bogey to advance to the final.
"I had to fight back there and was really proud of myself," said Donatoni, a member of White Manor Country Club. "It was a bittersweet ending to win that way but I was glad to advance."
On the other side of the bracket, Zachetti took on Saucon Valley Country Club's Thomas Bartolacci, Jr. in a tight match that saw neither golfer lead by more than 2 holes. The match was all square going into the 15th hole, but Zachetti won the next two holes, including a birdie on the 16th, to take a 2-up lead. Despite making bogey to drop one on the 17th, he held on with a par-5 on the closing 18th hole, giving him the 1-up win and a spot in the championship match.
In the afternoon duel, Donatoni jumped ahead by winning three of the first five holes. But Zachetti's putter got hot, as he made five birdies in an eight hole stretch, and after the golfers had finished the 13th hole, Donatoni's lead was just one. A birdie on the 14th stretched the lead back to two holes, and after a pair of pars, Donatoni was able to halve the 17th hole, giving him the 2 and 1 win and his first Super-Senior Match Play crown.
"I was mentally tired on the back nine against Vince," Donatoni said. "I started making some bad swings. I don't know how I was able to recover from some of the bad tee shots, but I did just enough to beat him."
The Pennsylvania Golf Association would like to thank the staff and membership of LedgeRock Golf Club for the hospitality shown in hosting the championship.