Golf: Decker Earns Medalist Honors

From the VSGA:ARLINGTON -- Defending champion Keith Decker, 54, of Martinsville, shot a qualifying-best 3-under-par 68 to earn medalist honors at the 67th Virginia State Golf Association Senior Amateur Championship being conducted at Army Navy Country Club's Arlington Course. Decker finished qualifying with a 3-under 139 total and was the only competitor to conclude 36-hole qualifying with a subpar aggregate. Local Pete DeTemple, 52, of Old Hickory Golf Club and Callaway, Md., shot a day two 73 and was the second low qualifier for match play (1-over 143). Stan Britton, 54, of Cypress Cove Country Club in Franklin, Va., who lives in Conway, N.C., had a second round 1-under 70 and is the third low qualifier for match play (3-over 145). Northern Virginians John Steele, 58, of McLean (72, 4-over 146) and Larry Spielberg, 57, of Warrenton (74, 5-over 147) complete the top five seeds for match play, which begins on Wednesday morning.The day belonged to Decker who logged four birdies against one bogey. He turned in two under following a birdie from 4 feet at the par-4 fifth hole and rolled in a 12-footer two holes later. Decker made birdie from 15 feet at the par-4 10th and, despite a bogey at No. 14, he made birdie from close range at the par-5 16th hole."I played pretty well today," Decker said. "The key to this golf course is hitting it well off the tee. If you hit it well off the tee and put it in position, it makes life a lot easier. It's fairly tight, so it's not easy."Decker has collected five VSGA senior titles, including the most significant senior events the association conducts, since turning 50 in April 2010. In addition to triumphing at last year's Senior Amateur, he posted a repeat victory at the VSGA Senior Stroke Play this spring. Decker claimed the VSGA Senior Four-Ball Championship (with Vienna's Pat Tallent) in May. He also won the 2010 Senior Open of Virginia. Decker has played a ton of match play throughout his distinguished VSGA career and knows the uncertainties inherent in that type of format."Anybody can win it starting (Wednesday)," said Decker who is trying to become the event's first repeat champion since Jamie Gough won consecutive titles in 2005-06. "You want to play the golf course, but you wind up playing your opponent. If you're steady, normally good things happen."DeTemple, who finished his round with seven straight pars, will only face Decker if they win four matches and meet in Friday's scheduled 18-hole final. "I really enjoy match play," DeTemple said. "(Decker) and I are on opposite sides of the bracket, so hopefully we'll see one another in the final. That would be a match to see." Decker was one of three former VSGA Senior Amateur champions to advance to match play. The group also includes Charles E. Green III of Tazewell (2008) and Richmond's John Cuomo (2004). Central Virginian David Partridge (Manakin), the 2012 winner, returned a first day 73, but unfortunately had to withdraw due to injury.At the conclusion of stroke play qualifying, three competitors at 14-over 156 vied for one spot in the match play field, with Joe Johnson of Falls Church earning the last spot with a birdie on the sixth extra hole.The first and second rounds of match play are set for Wednesday, Aug. 27, followed by the quarterfinals and semifinals on Thursday, Aug. 28 and the deciding encounter on Friday Aug. 29.ARLINGTON -- Results from the second round of stroke play qualifying at the 67th VSGA Senior Amateur Championship at Army Navy Country Club's Arlington Course (6,366 yards, par 35-3671) on Tuesday, Aug. 26.Keith Decker (Martinsville), 71-68139Pete DeTemple (Callaway, Md.), 70-73143Stan Britton (Conway, N.C.), 75-70145John Steele (McLean), 74-72146Larry Spielberg (Warrenton), 73-74147Allen Barber (Yorktown), 74-74148Peter Jacobi (Arlington), 75-73148Charles E. Green III (Tazewell), 74-75149Jim Nirich (Catlett), 78-71149Jack Allara II (Salem), 77-72149Dave Pulk (Williamsburg), 74-75149John Cuomo (Richmond), 73-77150Danny Hopkins (Roanoke), 77-73150Walt Martin (Oakton), 75-76151Martin Taplett (Culpeper), 75-76151Richard Lion (Springfield), 75-76151Lynn Wessman (Arlington), 74-78152Mark Boedicker (Great Falls), 83-69152Bill Engel (Alexandria), 77-75152Michael Caprio (Arlington), 77-75152Steve Castro (Chantilly), 78-75153Eddie Walker (Springfield), 72-81153George Riefler (Suffolk), 79-75154Steve Thomas (Alexandria), 78-76154Bill Nunnenkamp (Blue Ridge), 79-75154Phil McQuitty (South Riding), 76-78154Greg Bales (Glen Allen), 78-76154David Brogan (Lexington), 77-78155George Kapetanakis (McLean), 77-78155Bob Bailey (Yorktown), 76-79155Keith Myers (Roanoke), 76-79155* - Joe Johnson (Falls Church), 75-81156-DID NOT QUALIFY FOR MATCH PLAY-James Gallagher (Yorktown), 84-72156Michael Keating (Fairfax), 77-79156Michael Ancel (Newport News), 78-79157Jeff Fleishman (Williamsburg), 76-81157Leon Roday (Henrico), 78-79157Mark Funderburke (Roanoke), 80-77157John Hoffman (Fairfax), 80-77157Steve Nolin (Herndon), 80-77157Al Bello (Stafford), 78-79157Dayton Slater (Winchester), 77-81158Roger Pitkin (Springfield), 82-76158David Price (Purcellville), 80-78158Tom Grady (Marshall), 81-77158Jack Catlett (Richmond), 82-76158David Tolley (Roanoke), 84-74158Greg Morrison (Front Royal), 77-81158John Caulfield (Fairfax Station), 81-78159Don Jeanes (Fairfax), 82-77159Billy Jahn (Virginia Beach), 77-82159Marc Hogan (Woodberry Forest), 83-76159Mike McLister (Leesburg), 88-72160Kurt Swenson (Lexington), 79-81160Drew Smith (Alexandria), 81-79160Dan DeRisio (Springfield), 85-76161Kevin Seekford (Potomac Falls), 76-85161Jim Heidel (Charlottesville), 80-81161Kalani Cotner (Vienna), 81-81162Greg Marbold (Richmond), 82-80162David Henshaw (Virginia Beach), 85-77162Mike McDonald (Williamsburg), 83-80163Buddy Patch (Fairfax Station), 84-79163Tim Kelley (Ashland), 82-82164Bob Harwick (Oak Hill), 81-83164Donald Ragley (Leesburg), 81-84165Darrell Carlisle (McLean), 88-78166Mark Baldwin (Mechanicsville), 86-80166Bill Bailey (Glen Allen), 85-81166Samuel Bailey (Gainesville), 82-86168Mike Byrum (Suffolk), 88-81169Randall Jones (Warrenton), 90-80170Scott Shortnacy (Fairfax), 86-84170Skip Zobel (Virginia Beach), 88-82170Shawn Henry (Virginia Beach), 87-84171Edward Shine (Chesapeake), 93-83176Jeff South (Powhatan), 89-90179David Partridge (Manakin), 73-WD (injury)J.W. Entsminger (Lexington), 80-WDGary Cicatiello (Providence Forge), 80-WDChuck Taylor (Atlee), 85-WDMike Nicewarner (Middletown), 80-WD* - denotes qualified for match play in a playoff, three players for one spotARLINTON -- Pairings and starting times for the first round of match play at the 67th VSGA Senior Amateur Championship at Army Navy Country Club's Arlington Course (6,366 yards, par 35-3671) on Wednesday, Aug. 27 (stroke play qualifying score indicated).Wednesday (Aug. 27), Hole No. 18 a.m.: (1) Keith Decker (Martinsville), 139 vs. (32) Joe Johnson (Falls Church), 1568:08 a.m.: (16) Martin Taplett (Culpeper), 151 vs. (17) Bill Engel (Alexandria), 1528:16 a.m.: (8) Jack Allara (Salem), 149 vs. (25) Greg Bales (Glen Allen), 1548:24 a.m.: (9) Jim Nirich (Catlett), 149 vs. (24) Phil McQuitty (South Riding), 1548:32 a.m.: (4) John Steele (McLean), 146 vs. (29) David Brogan (Lexington), 1558:40 a.m.: (13) Danny Hopkins (Roanoke), 150 vs. (20) Mark Boedicker (Great Falls), 1528:48 a.m.: (5) Larry Spielberg (Warrenton), 147 vs. (28) Keith Myers (Roanoke), 1558:56 a.m.: (12) John Cuomo (Richmond), 150 vs. (21) Steve Castro (Chantilly), 1539:04 a.m.: (2) Pete DeTemple (Callaway,Md.), 143 vs. (31) George Kapetanakis (McLean), 1559:12 a.m.: (15) Walt Martin (Oakton), 151 vs. (18) Lynn Wessman (Arlington), 1529:20 a.m.: (7) Peter Jacobi (Arlington), 148 vs. (26) George Riefler (Suffolk), 1549:28 a.m.: (10) Charles Green (Tazewell), 149 vs. (23) Steve Thomas (Alexandria), 1549:36 a.m.: (3) Stan Britton (Conway, N.C.), 145 vs. (30) Bob Bailey (Yorktown), 1559:44 a.m.: (14) Richard Lion (Springfield), 151 vs. (19) Michael Caprio (Arlington), 1529:52 a.m.: (6) Allen Barber (Yorktown), 148 vs. (27) Bill Nunnenkamp (Blue Ridge), 15410 a.m.: (11) Dave Pulk (Williamsburg), 149 vs. (22) Eddie Walker (Springfield), 153