The golf was the easiest part of the day Tuesday for Chris Wisler. The most difficult part for him was wondering if his 3-under-par 69 would hold up for the next nine hours and earn him a cool $42,500 payday as the champion of the Haverford Trust Classic.
"It was a long day waiting, for sure," said Wisler, a teaching pro at Tee It Up Golf Center in West Chester. "I went back to work for a little while, but I didn't do much work. I kind of kept my eye on the computer [scoreboard] and then came back here a little early."
It was worth the wait. Wisler withstood efforts from the best players in the Philadelphia Section PGA to collect the championship - and one of the largest checks for a one-day club professional event in the country - at Sunnybrook Golf Club in Plymouth Meeting.
"Obviously, when I finished, I thought about how nice it would be to have it," said the 30-year-old Wisler, of Smyrna, Del., who lost in a three-way playoff in the 2008 tournament. "It was so tough because I teed off at 7, I was done at 11, and there were guys who weren't going to tee off for another three hours after I finished."
Wisler ended up 1 stroke ahead of defending champion Travis Deibert of Commonwealth National and 2 shots ahead of Scott Hunter of Overbrook, Ryan Gray of Honeybrook, and John Pillar of Woodloch Springs.
The long day was made even longer by two lightning delays totaling about 1 hour, 25 minutes. The last threesome didn't tee off until 4:05 p.m. and finished in near darkness about 8:25. Wisler was not involved in either delay, and liked the conditions he experienced.
"It was a little breezy this morning, but it wasn't that bad," he said. "When we finished it was still breezy, so I felt good about [my score]. This is the third time I've played here, and 2 under or 3 under is usually the number."
Wisler carded six birdies, including a 40-footer at the ninth, and three bogeys. He said that being in the second group, "the greens were perfect, and that definitely was a plus."
Of all the late finishers, Deibert appeared to have the best chance to catch Wisler. He went 2 under after a birdie at the seventh hole but couldn't get any closer, finishing with pars on his last 11 holes.
Deibert, who lost and won in playoffs the previous two years, said his best birdie chance came at No. 15, but he missed a six-foot putt.
"I just didn't make the putts when I needed to," he said.
Wisler, who has played the Canadian Tour and the Hooters Tour in addition to working in the section, picked up his first victory, and couldn't have picked a better one.
"It's nice," he said. "Obviously this is the biggest one we play for. This actually is my first time winning on the Philly tour, so it feels good just to win. It's a one-day shoot-out and it's a little different than a three- or four-day tournament, but it's fun."
Chris Wisler, Tee-Up Golf 35-34-69
Travis Deibert, Commonwealth Natl. 34-36-70
Scott Hunter, Overbrook 34-37-71
Ryan Gray, Honeybrook 36-35--71
John Pillar, Woodloch Springs 36-35-71
John Cooper, Green Valley 35-37-72
John DiMarco, Laurel Creek 38-34-72
Jeff Haas, French Creek 37-35-72
Richie Krebs, Hanover 35-37-72
Rob Agresti, Aronimink 34-38-72
George Forster, Radnor Valley 37-36-73
Mike Ladden, Whitford 37-37-74
Joey Pohle, Phila. Cricket 37-37-74
Brian Kelly, Bucknell 33-41-74
Mike Mack, Burlington 38-36-74
Dave Quinn, Links 35-39-74
Chris Krueger, Kings Creek 37-37-74
Anthony Malizia, Gulph Mills 38-37-75
John Tyrell, Thor Guard Inc. 36-39-75
Dave Roberts, Cedarbrook 37-38-75
Mark Sheftic, Merion 38-37-75
Alex Knoll, Bethlehem 40-35-75
Jake Gerney, DuPont 38-37-75
Neil Maurer, Peninsula 35-40-75