Peter Harrison captured the Vesper CC men’s championship in a playoff. SUN/JULIA MALAKIE
Peter Harrison captured the Vesper CC men's championship in a playoff. SUN/JULIA MALAKIE

TYNGSBORO -- Fireworks at the Vesper CC club championships over the extended holiday weekend?

You betcha.

It's hard to say which was more impressive -- 63-year-old Peter Harrison's sudden-death playoff victory over Dan White in the men's championship, or 14-year-old Morgan Smith's 28-shot triumph in the women's division.

Both were notable for the quality of golf.

Let's take Morgan's win first, it will take less time.

She shot 79 and 72 in the 36-hole event for a 149 total. The even-par round on Sunday included three birdies. Cheryl Popp and Liz O'Brien, no slouches, finished tied for second, 28 shots behind. Ouch.

Morgan, the daughter of eight-time City champ Phil Smith, won a big U.S. Junior Golf event in Rhode Island last week and will tee it up in the Women's Cities later this month. Her younger sister Molly, the defending Cities champ, is in San Diego playing in a national junior event this week.

At the other end of the age spectrum is Harrison, who won the club championship at VCC in 1981 and 1987. He has finished second 10 times.

In high heat and heavy humidity, Harrison went out on Saturday and birdied the first three holes of the tournament and shot 4-under 32 on the front nine. He finished with a 5-under 67 and, just like in this year's City Tournament, led after the first round.

In Sunday's 36-hole session, Harrison shot 73 and 75 (he actually got to 7-under at one point), but White, the club champ in 2005, '12 and '15, made a tremendous move with Sunday rounds of 70 and 72.


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Playing in the same group in the afternoon, White birdied 16 and 17 to tie Harrison at 1-under par. They both just missed birdie putts on 18 and went to the first hole to start the playoff.

That's when it got really interesting.

On No. 1 both players recorded birdie 3's. Ho-hum.

On No. 2 Harrison left a chip on the lip and White just missed his birdie putt.

On the third playoff hole, the par-3 17th on the card, Harrison hit his tee shot to 30 feet and White was just inside him.

Morgan Smith, shown caddying for her father, Phil, at the 2017 City Golf Tournament, won the Vesper CC women’s championship by 28 shots. SUN/JULIA
Morgan Smith, shown caddying for her father, Phil, at the 2017 City Golf Tournament, won the Vesper CC women's championship by 28 shots. SUN/JULIA MALAKIE
Harrison proceeded to drain his putt for a 2 and when White's putt wouldn't drop Peter became a three-time champion, finishing 57 holes at 3-under par to White's 2-under.

And they dusted a great field.

The aforementioned Phil Smith was third at 3-over par for 54 holes, ex-City champ George Popp was fourth at 7-over and Andrew Luther took fifth at 11-over. Two-time reigning Cities champ Rich Campiola and defending VCC club champ Cam Sheedy both missed the cut for Sunday afternoon play.

Harrison now receives a free pass into the 2019 Cities, where he's likely to be a contender at age 64.