Dalton-Rose hold on to win fourth TCC Invitational title
TOWANDA - Mike Dalton and Tim Rose made history once again at the 2013 Towanda Country Club Invitational Sunday.
They were the first pair to be four time champions as they were able to grind out the final round score of 67 for a 194 on the weekend.
"It's awesome," Dalton remarked. They three-peated from 2007-2009.
Coming into the weekend Dalton and Rose knew it was going to be a tough field.
"The teams were stronger a little bit this year than what I've seen before," Rose remarked. "Not taking anything away from anything, but it was a good grind."
The 2011 champions Bucky Aeppli and Scott McNeil, along with 2012 champions Tom Hackett and Andrew Hill, hung tough the entire day but couldn't get the birdies they needed to overtook Dalton and Rose.
Aeppli and McNeil along with Hill and Hackett tied for second overall with scores of 197.
Hill and Hackett had the best final round of the three with a 66 while Aeppli and McNeil shot 57.
Matt Bedosky and Keith Chesk (200) took fourth, shooting the lowest round of the day, a 63, while the four teams of Dan Kaminsky and Aaron Welles, Tim Lake and Jerry Smith, Craig Mabee and Jason Sladish and Tom Abell and Jordan Wollenberg tied for fifth at 205.
Dalton and Rose took turns all weekend when they needed strong play.
"I know it's cliched to say but we really played well as a team this week," Dalton said. "Rosie kind of went nuts and made a bunch of birdies and an eagle on Friday and I was just kind of solid there for him when he needed me. We flipped the role Saturday, I kind of went nuts and he was right there. And today we were just kind of both solid, kind of just did what we had to do."
Coming into today they were shooting for another round in the low to mid 60s.
"We went into the round today going 65, 64," Rose explained. "We were kind of thinking the record but not really."
They had a strong start, teeing off of 10 and eagling the 11th hole.
"We were kind of hoping to be a little lower after the start," Dalton said.
Despite the strong start Aeppli and McNeil closed it to 1-stroke after the 16th hole but Rose and Dalton didn't panic.
"When we got up to 16 I said 'Rosie, we've got a two shot lead, just keep making putts,'" Dalton said. "Even when it was one it didn't matter, we had a lot of golf to play."
With things running behind they started their round later and for the final four or five holes light faded quickly. By the final hole it was difficult for them to watch their ball off the club.
"We kind of knew that with the pace of play and getting off late," Dalton said. "I reminded Rosie that in '09 we kind of finished up it was pretty dark. Not a lot of time left, we had a feeling we might play the last couple it might be a little bit dark."
On the last hole they lost sight of Rose's fairway shot.
"I should have been right behind him spotting him," Dalton said.
They were up by two going into the final hole but they knew they had to finish strong.
"A bad shot by me and he's in the hazard," Rose remarked. "A birdie-bogey flip, who knows what happens."
Despite not birdieing the last eight holes they were pleased with their play down the stretch.
"The great part of this round, and I will remember this for a long time," Rose said. "It was how we finished. It became really hard the last five holes and I kept telling myself and Dutch, 'it's almost becoming a U.S. style Major for pros.' We were hitting into the middle of the greens because it was so hard to make a birdie, the wind picked up a little bit and the greens got further. You weren't going to stuff it and get close and that's kind of what we did in the latter holes. I think that helped out a little bit, I was as aggressive, he wasn't as aggressive, we just hit safer shots. If they made birdie they had to come to you."
The two enjoy coming down to play in the tournament thanks in large part to the gallery that follows them on their final round.
"This was the first year that I can remember since we won it earlier, in '07, '08, that there was that many people watching the last 10-12 holes," Rose said. "How many tournaments do you get this many people hanging out the backside, watchinig you playing golf. That's what it's all about, nobody understands it until you get there. You've got 100 people watching you, it's so awesome."
"That's because we were playing with the hometown boys," added Dalton.
Playing with Aeppli and McNeil, both local players, Dalton and Rose felt that they were a put into the role of villains a little bit.
"We were playing the enemy, which was kind of cool," Rose remarked.
It was a unique feeling for them since they play several tournaments at their home course, the Links at Hiawatha.
"We played a lot of tournaments in our neck of the woods at the Links," Dalton said. "Rosie and I team up at the Links, it's the same thing as guys come from out of town, but these are all good guys. They want to see their hometown boys win it but there is no malintent from anybody."
This was their first pairing with Aeppli and McNeil and believe they have a bright future.
"They will win it again and again," Rose remarked.
In fact, Dalton was impressed with Aeppli's birdie putt on 11 right after he holed out.
"The best shot I've seen was Bucky's putt," Dalton said. "Were now essentially up five but he makes his putt."
The two plan on coming back for their fifth title next year.
"It's one of the tournaments we look forward to every year," Dalton said.
"We love coming down here," Rose added.