MacDonalds Win TKI Crown Again

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Hanover — By Scott Peters’ way of thinking, he and teammate Andy Hydorn played some really good golf in the championship match of the Tommy Keane Invitational on Sunday afternoon.

Peters was right.

Unfortunately for the defending champions, the son-father team of Nick and Shane MacDonald did them one better. They played some really great golf.

With Nick hammering the ball down the middle and Shane playing his usual steady game, the MacDonalds registered an eagle and five birdies without a bogey to post a 2-up victory in the 43rd annual TKI at Hanover Country Club.

The Keane title was the fourth for the MacDonalds in five years, fifth overall as a team and seventh for Shane, who won also won twice teamed with Hydorn.

Coming off a disappointing state amateur, Nick MacDonald said he “kind of found my swing a little bit last weekend.”

He’ll get no argument on that count from his opponents.

“Nick played as good a round of golf as I have seen in a long time,” said Hydorn. “He struck the ball wonderfully today. I don’t think I looked up one time and saw his ball going off-line. It was a terrific round of golf.”

Added Peters: “We had three or four birdies and an eagle, but Nick played the way Nick can play. That’s really the story.”

Just ask Shane MacDonald, who had a front-row seat to the show his son put on.

“Nick didn’t have to putt on 18, but he probably would have made birdie,” the dad said. “So he was 6 under without putting out on 18. He would’ve shot a 64 or 65 on his own ball.”

In front of an appreciative gallery that grew with each hole, the MacDonalds had little margin for error because the Peters-Hydorn team refused to go away.

Down two holes after Nick chipped in for eagle on 15, Hydorn and Peters both missed makeable birdie putts on 16, sending them to 17 needing to win the hole or go home. That didn’t figure to be easy because, given Nick MacDonald’s length and the way he was playing, he was almost certain to birdie the 517-yard par-5.

On a day of good golf, it was time for the best shot of the match.

Needing a little magic to prolong the match, Hydorn hit a low gap wedge on 17 from 94 yards out that he knew was on line. But because he could see only the top third of the pin, he wasn’t sure how close the shot really was.

His first hint that something special might be happening was the noise coming from the gallery assembled on the bank overlooking the green. It started as a polite cheer and morphed into a roar heard all the way back at the clubhouse as the ball dropped into the cup for the eagle that extended the match.

“I could hear them start to get loud,” Hydorn said, “and then I heard them get really loud, which is the coolest feeling.”

Given a life, Peters and Hydorn now needed to win the 18th hole to square the match. They would catch a break when long-hitting Nick’s second shot came up short, but when his subsequent pitch left him just 5 feet for birdie the match was over.

Shane MacDonald gave credit where credit was due.

“Nick didn’t miss a shot,” he said. “He did everything he wanted to do. It was great to see him play as good as I know he can play after the Am.

“I told him, ‘Just keep it fun.’ It was a good ride and a lot of good golf. You don’t want to win a hole by mistake, and I think there was only one mistake all day, on their seventh hole. Other than that, there weren’t any holes that were giveaways. It was just good golf.”

By both teams.

“I was actually very happy for Nick because he had a tough state am,” said Peters of the younger MacDonald, who missed the match-play cut. “I was his opponent, and you don’t necessarily love seeing it, but that was really impressive. The only bad shots he hit were when he spun it too much, which isn’t bad.

“I was fighting my swing and had some bad holes, but when I had a bad hole, Andy was there. We did a good job of ham-and-egging it as teammates, working every shot and putt. We knew we had to because of the way they were playing. There was no expectation of winning a hole with a par because we both knew we had to make birdies to win.

“Nobody likes losing, but we lost to two great guys in a great match.”

Divots: Peters and Shane MacDonald are now tied for the all-time lead with seven Keane titles each. Nick MacDonald has six. … Shane Wolter and Travis Mulvihill took the first flight with a 3-and-2 win over Doug Daniels and Mike Pollard. Joe Yukica Jr. and son Mike put together a 6-and-5 win over Mike Kelly and Don Weisburger. in the second flight, and Dave and Ron Cioffi claimed the third flight with a 2-and-1 win over Mark McCaddin and Rick Wetmore.