The final day of the 11th Annual Boar’s Head Jefferson Cup came down to a battle between the guys who led all weekend. David Passerell and Philip Mahone were separated by three strokes when the day began, but it was Passerell who came away with the title.
The Meadowcreek member turned in the lowest score of the field for the second straight day, and this time it earned him his third career Jefferson Cup victory – his first local tournament victory since winning the same title eight years ago.
Passerell’s 1-under-par 70 was the only score in the red numbers on the most important day of the three-day event. He finished with a total of 204, a convincing seven strokes ahead of Mahone, who posted a 3-over 74 on Sunday. University of Virginia golfer Nick Tremps finished third with a cumulative score of 215.
Mahone may not have finished on top in the tournament, but he was awarded with an even bigger trophy at the end of his round – the Bill Battle Trophy, which is awarded to the area’s top golfer of the year. It was the second time Mahone won the Battle trophy.
“Sometimes you never know if you’re going to get back to holding this thing, so it’s pretty special,” Passerell said after being presented with the tournament trophy. “Winning never gets old, and I’m going to keep on trying to play, but I really want to congratulate Philip on [winning] the Battle Trophy – I think that’s one of the best accomplishments of the summer to be able to win that trophy.”
Mahone made up some ground quickly on Sunday, as the three-shot deficit was cut to a single stroke after he birdied the par-5 2nd hole, while Passerell recorded a bogey. The two competitors went shot-for-shot over the next three holes, and Mahone gave a stroke back with a bogey on No. 6. He followed it up with a birdie on No. 7 to remain a shot back with 11 holes to play.
“I was at a point where I knew it was going to get close eventually,” said Passerell. “I was convinced that it was going to come down to a putt on 18… you just never know.”
Mahone added: “I was right there on [Passerell’s] heels on No. 8 and I knew I had to keep playing well, and he’s so good. I was disappointed in my back nine. To get within one [shot] of David on the ninth tee… for me to shoot five-over on the back nine was disappointing.”
Mahone suffered another bogey to start the back nine, which was sandwiched by Passerell birdies on the ninth (from the bunker) and 11th holes, pushing the advantage to four shots. Mahone bogeyed the par-3 12th to drop a little further behind, and Passerell was surprised to have that kind of lead as the round came to a close. A triple-bogey by Mahone on No. 15 essentially sealed the deal for Passerell.
“Winning convincingly – I would’ve never thought it in a thousand years,” admitted Passerell. “I actually still didn’t believe it when I was standing on the 18th tee.”
Mahone explained afterwards how much winning his second Battle trophy meant to him, despite coming up short in the final tournament of the season.
“I feel like I can play with anybody around, anybody in the state, really,” Mahone said of his name being engraved on the Battle trophy for a second time – something not too many golfers have done.
“There are some great names on there,” he said, referring to local legends such as Nick Little, Tim Pemberton and Paul Kane. “It’s the best of the best, so I feel like it’s an honor to be on that list, and you really have to play some good golf to get there. I’m very proud of winning that.”
Tremps, a redshirt freshman for the Cavaliers golf team, was pleased with his top-three finish in his first-ever Jefferson Cup, and says that the experience will help propel him into the Cavaliers’ season, which begins in less than a month.
“I was moving in this week, and I saw that this tournament was here,” said Tremps. “I love Birdwood and the staff and they do such a great job, so it was nice playing in it. I’ll play in it in the next few years for sure.”
Jeff Dillman and Ty Grove each shot a 72 on Sunday, and the two finished tied for fourth place with a score of 218. Bob Rotella and Rupe Taylor tied for sixth overall with a total of 221.
Steve Cox came away with the Senior Division crown, just a few weeks after claiming the same title at the Reines Jewelers Senior City tournament. He finished with a three-day total of 225 after carding a 76 on Sunday. Jeffery Nemoytin came in second with a 230, and Donald Robertson and Jimmy Casella tied for third with a 233.