By Mike Dougherty
MAMARONECK – Jim Graham and Joe Sommers have one thing in common, golf.
And lots of it.
The steadfast Winged Foot members play so much golf that neither of them is able to come up with more than a rough estimate of rounds played on a yearly basis. It’s a healthy obsession. They love to compete and have spent decades on various leaderboards in the Met area.
“I’ve always said if you play enough, something good might happen,” said Graham, 63, who is retired from advertising sales.
They were a natural pairing for the club’s Anderson Memorial Four-Ball Invitational, and have partnered in the Senior Division since 2010. Graham and Sommers lost in the final that first time out. They opened Thursday with a 2-over 70 on the East Course and came back Friday with a 3-over 73 on the West, missing the cut by three.
“I first played in the Anderson Memorial in 1990 and I’ll never forget sitting on the patio with my wife saying, ‘Can you imagine being a member at a place like this?’” said Sommers, 61, who was a Mount Kisco Country Club member at that time. “And many years later, I was fortunate enough to become a member. I pinch myself each time I come out here to play.”
These guys would be killer in a scramble, but they aren’t fans of the format.
“Joe is probably the best driver of the ball and the best putter of the ball that I’ve ever seen,” Graham said. “And he loves to compete. Joe is fierce. He’s great to play with, but he really wants to win.”
Actually, they both do.
“Jimmy’s a great competitor, too,” Sommers said. “His quiet, casual attitude disguises the competitive streak, though. Jimmy’s got a great attitude and just takes it as it comes. He’s got a really good short game — bunker play, chipping, putting — all of it.”
Graham teamed with former Winged Foot member Andrew Svoboda in the championship division and won the Anderson Memorial in 2003.
“It was a big win,” Graham said. “I won a club championship here, too, and the Anderson win is either right there with that one, or maybe right behind it.”
Sommers and Graham play some 50 rounds together in a normal season and have won a Wilson Cup title or two over at Scarsdale Golf Club.
Both spend at least part of the winter in Florida.
So how many rounds of golf do Graham and Sommers play each year? Approximately? In round numbers?
“Well, people ask me that a lot and I try and make them happy, so I usually claim that I play 300,” Graham. “The number is probably around 260, something like that.”
Sommers continues to work for Miller & Miller Insurance, and has cut back his tournament schedule.
“Gosh, I don’t know, I don’t play as much as Jim,” he said. “I play a reasonable amount. I play enough, enough that I don’t have any excuses when I play badly.”