It had been 20 years since Seymour’s Tony Pancake had won a PGA event.
This past week, Pancake found himself in a dogfight against one of the greatest senior players in Indiana as he looked to finish back on top.
Pancake, a 1981 Seymour High School graduate based out of Crooked Stick Golf Club, won his first ever Indiana PGA event Tuesday, the Senior Open at Tippecanoe Country Club.
“I haven’t won a golf tournament for over 20 years, the last one I won was in Kentucky,” Pancake said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to win two-man and team events, but it’s been a long time.
“I was certainly an underdog. I’ve been thinking of things to compare it to, it was like the Milan basketball team or the ‘Miracle on Ice.’ It was a tremendous upset for sure. I just don’t play as much competitive golf as a lot of guys do.”
Following a 71 on Monday, Pancake shot a 69 on Tuesday for a 36-hole total of -4.
Pancake defeated reigning Indiana PGA Senior Player of the Year winner John Dalcorobbo, of Brickyard Crossing Golf Course, by two strokes. Dalcorobbo has one the Player of the Year title multiple times in his career.
“John is probably the best player in the state,” Pancake, Vice President of the Indiana Section PGA, said. “I had a one-stroke lead on him going into the second round. We pretty much played the same up to that point. We weren’t matching scores on every hole but he birdied on 13 (on day two) to tie it.
“On the 15th tee, we realized we were tied for the lead from a scorer. I ended up bogeying 15 and he bogeyed 16 so we were tied.”
On the 18th hole both Pancake and Dalcorobbo were tied at three under.
Both players hit good approach shots, Pancake just slightly outside of Dalcorobbo. Pancake putted first and converted his birdie, and Dalcorobbo went on to three-putt, finishing the tournament at 2-under-par, according to indianagolf.org.
Over the span of the two days, Pancake finished with nine birdies.
“There had been a tremendous amount of rain for the day before,” Pancake said. “The course played pretty long compared to what it normally would but the greens were soft. We were able to play pretty aggressive. I think that was one of the keys for me, making those birdies.”
For Pancake, hitting the ball well off the tees on the second day made all the difference.
“Normally, my wedge play and putting are what I have a lot of confidence in,” Pancake said. “The part of the game that gives me the most trouble off the tee. I would say that was the key to me doing well. The second day I drove the ball really well which gave me a chance with the wedges.”
Currently, Pancake acts as the Director of Golf at Crooked Stick, located in Carmel.