On August 10th, the 223rd day of the year 2020, the Vermont Senior Games Association was finally able to stage its first event of the year, the annual golf tournament at the Neshobe Club in Brandon.
With the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak forcing most Senior Games events across the country to be cancelled, the VSGA was excited to finally be back in action. Indeed, with 33 states (including Canada) now offering no games whatsoever in 2020, Vermont Senior Games is proud to be offering the three sports (golf, tennis, and pickleball) that we are confident can be staged safely and competitively.
August 10 was a hot day, but the course was in fine shape for the event. As 2020 is a qualifying year for the National Senior Games’ 2021 National Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, all the age-group winners at Neshobe are now eligible to compete in November of next year.
When the scorecards were collected, it was clear that the husband-and-wife duo of Greg and Kate Mitchell, out of Essex Junction, Vermont, had dominated the brackets. Greg was overall medalist for the day and took the gold in the competitive 65-69-year-old age group, carding an outstanding score of 83 over 18 holes. Not to be outdone, Kate fired a strong 91 for the round, besting the closest female competitor by more than ten shots. Terrific performance by these first-time Vermont Senior Games athletes!
In other results worth mentioning, the men’s 50-54-year-old age group was tightly contested, with just four strokes separating the medalists. Rick Gates made the long trip down from Westford, Vermont worthwhile by shooting a 90 to win by two shots. Steve Offernhartz from Burlington earned the silver, and Phil Stolz captured the bronze medal.
Hardwick, Vermont multi-athlete Tim Hogenboom joined Greg Mitchell in notching the only other sub-90 performance, with his round of 89 good enough for the silver medal in that packed men’s 65-69-year-old age group. Vermont Senior Games’ golf coordinator Kevin Plette missed breaking 90 by a single stroke in winning the bronze.
Finally, the oldest athlete in the field by 19 years, Dudley Bell drove all the way down from East Burke, Vermont to compete at the age of 88. Moreover, Dudley played a super-solid round in carding a 97, which would have been much lower save for some putting woes on Neshobe’s unfamiliar greens.
A complete list of medal winners can be found here. Thanks to Neshobe for hosting this event for the third time, and the Vermont Senior Games Association certainly hopes we can find a spot on the course’s busy schedule for next year.