Stein short game delivers Seniors title

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Craig Stein used a strong game around the greens to seal his first-ever Pine to Palm Seniors championship Sunday afternoon defeating Kent Spriggs 4&3 at Detroit Country Club.

“It’s awesome; it really is,” said Stein.

The match was back-and-forth on the front nine, but Stein began a takeover as the duo neared the turn.

“We were giving each other holes here and there, but I played good 12, 13, 14, 15 and closed it out,” he said.

Stein held a one-hole lead after five and again after eight holes, a lead he would hold the rest of the way.

The Stein putter was key to victory in not allowing Spriggs a lot of room to get back in the match.

“I hit my lag putts up close; that was very big,” said Stein.

However, it was the pitching wedge that delivered the knockout blow.

Stein was left edge on the par-3, 14th hole, with nearly the entire green to work, while Spriggs was sitting on a 15-foot birdie attempt.

“I chipped it in for a deuce and that was really key,” Stein said.

Stein and Spriggs walked to the 14th with Stein holding a two-hole advantage and the chip-in put Stein a hole away from dormie, which came a hole later.

Stein made his second appearance in the Seniors finals winning for the first time. He was the runner-up in 2013 to Tim Rubis.