Luedtke Wins Senior Match Play
Riverside, Iowa – Bryan Luedtke of the Bunker Links Golf Course in Galesburg, Illinois won the season long Senior Match Play Championship after defeating John Bermel of the Pheasant Ridge Golf Course in the final match.
The season long Senior Match Play was a single elimination match play Championship. Players were seeded upon last year’s Player of the Year points list. The Championship was broken into an East and West bracket with the winner from each region facing off in the Championship.
After advancing out of their respective brackets Luedtke and Bermel squared off in the Championship match at Blue Top Ridge in Riverside, Iowa.
Luedtke earned a first-round bye in the East bracket of the 2019 Senior Match Play due his Player of the Year Points in 2018. He faced Todd Fowler in the second round defeating him 2 up. He then went on to knock off the 2016 and 2017 Senior Match Play Champion, Steve Hutton of Geneva Golf & Country I up in a match that lasted 19 holes in the third round. Luedtke faced Paul Del Vecchio of Augustana College in the East Bracket Championship. Luedtke was victorious again with a 2&1 victory over Del Vecchio.
Here is a recap of the Match, written by the Champion…
It was a warm and windy day at Blue Top Ridge for the Senior Match Play Final. Bermel came out on fire on the front nine winning the first hole with a par and the second hole with a birdie to take a quick 2up lead. They both parred #3, #4 and #5. Luedtke won the 6th hole with a par to go 1 down. Bermel birdied the 7th hole to take back the 2up lead. They both parred #8 and Luedtke made a tough par save on #9 to win the hole as they headed to the back nine with Bermel 1up.
Here is where the excitement started. After taking a drop from the fringe due to a sprinkler head, Luedtke chipped it in for birdie on #10 to get the match back to even. They both parred #11 and both birdied #12.
Bermel almost drove the green on #13 and made birdie to take back a 1up lead. Luedtke came right back on #14 with a 15- footer for birdie to get the match back to even. Bermel made a great 2-putt for par on #15 and Luedtke 3-putted #15 for Bermel to take back a 1up lead with 3 holes to go.
On the par 5 16th hole, Bermel’s second shot caught the wind and was lost in the fescue grass to the right of the fairway. Luedtke won the hole with a par and the match was even. On the 17th tee box, the hole was playing downwind and right to left. Luedtke chose 3-wood and split the fairway. Bermel chose driver and pushed it slight right where it hit the cart path and bounced into the fescue grass. He hit a provisional ball and drove the green to 15 feet. We searched for his first drive and couldn’t find it. Luedtke made par and Bermel had a 15-footer to tie and it slid by to the right.
Luedtke was now 1up for the first time in the match. On the 18th tee, Luedtke again hit 3-wood in the middle of the fairway and Bermel hit driver which caught the bunker on the right. Luedtke hit his second shot right over the pin to 20 feet. Bermel hit an 8-iron from the bunker, right at the pin, that looked like it might go in the hole, and rolled to 10 feet past the cup. Luedtke 2-putted for par and Bermel had a 10-foot putt for birdie to tie the match, which slid by on the left. Luedtke won the match 1up.
Earlier this summer Luedtke had two runners-up and eleven Top Ten finishes on the Iowa PGA Senior Division Tournament schedule.