At the top of the leaderboard, the first round of the 70th Lanco Amateur, presented by Trout CPA, was a cruise.
The second round was a golf wrestling match.
Craig Hornberger won both, making a par putt on the 18th hole to win his second Lanco in a row.
He shot 73 on Sunday at Crossgates Golf Club to go with Saturday’s 65 for a seven-under 137, two better than first-round leader Connor Sheehan (64-75-139).
Hornberger, 27, played at Manheim Township and Campbell (NC) University before turning pro. He was a member of the PGA Tour LatinAmerica in 2018, before regaining his amateur status.
The local golf fraternity may want to challenge that decision.
A year ago, Hornberger won the Lanco Amateur, Open and Better-Ball and Lancaster Country Club championships, which was all he ever played.
So when was the last time you played in a tournament that you didn’t win?
“2020?” he offered.
“It’s amazing to win this,” he said. “Now that I’m established, I have a full-time job that I enjoy, the Lanco stuff means a lot. There are a lot of great players on the pitch.”
70th Lanco Amateur Golf Tournament, Day 2 [photos]
Hornberger fits the modern prototype, hitting it high and long with a full overall game.
When first-round leader Connor Sheehan played the first nine on Sunday at 39, including an out-of-bounds tee shot in the second par 4, Hornberger’s lead was three shots. He grew to four when he drove the green at the par 4 11th hole for a two-putt birdie.
However, golf began to put up a fight.
Hornberger hit three woods on the 12th green, another short and eccentric par 4. He then made four putts.
“Seve Ballesteros made a four-put one time and somebody asked him how he did it,” Hornberger said. “He said, I miss, I miss, I miss and I do.
“It’s golf. Sometimes you do stupid things.”
Hornberger had another short game lapse on the par 3 17th, missing the green to the left and turning it into a double bogey. It meant that Sheehan, despite fighting by his standards, went to the par 5 18 with a return shot.
Both men hit irons off the tee on the risk-reward par-5, hitting their second shots. Sheehan’s third wedge landed near the hole but had a vicious first bounce 30 feet beyond.
Hornberger also had a fairly long birdie putt, having to stand on a four-footer to protect the last shot of the lead he had built. Similarly, two holes after the four putt, he stood on one foot downhill five feet to birdie the 14th, and Sheehan had already birdied.
“It was a little bit windier today, but really, it’s golf,” he said. “Different every day. It was a little bit of pressure here and there, but if you do something stupid, move on. There is nothing else you can do.”
The best rounds of the day were made by two guys, Aaron Fricke and Rick Wise, who quietly made big enough moves on Sunday to regret what happened on Saturday.
Fricke shot 68 to finish third on just 140. He double-bogieed two par 5s on Saturday.
“And one of them was left without a penalty kick,” he said. “Just stupid mistakes.”
Wise, 59, who plays Crossgates as often and as well as anyone, noticed some oddities in his driving on Saturday.
“Pop-up giveaway,” he said. “I never do that.”
On the seventh hole, Wise’s son and caddy Tyler noticed that the driver’s face was cracked. Wise was able to call a friend who had the same driver, switch heads on the same axis, and play a three-under 69.
He tied for fifth place, with 143, with Shaun Fedor, a golfer from Manheim Township/IUP who always competes, and three-time champion Jarred Texter, whose move on Sunday (three under after 10) was slowed by a hit against the trees and a triple bogey. at 11
The Lanco gang will reconvene for the Better-Ball on July 15-16 in Meadia Heights.