Chylinski, Pratico take no chances

Former champions Ed Chylinski, Paul Pratico lead the Gazette Men's County amateur after the first ro
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With dif­ficult pin placements at Schen­ectady Municipal Golf Course, it was important for the golfers in Friday’s first round of the Gazette Men’s County Amateur to play conservatively.

Playing aggressively would only serve to penalize the golfers. So, former champions Ed Chylinski and Paul Pratico took the conservative approach, and it paid off.

Chylinski and Pratico each fired two-under par 70s to share the first-round lead of the three-day event.

“You can’t get too aggressive and shoot yourself out of the tourn­ament,” Pratico said. “It’s three days. You take chances on the last day, if you have to. You just want to get in there among the leaders, and set the pace.”

Pratico had three birdies, including two on the front nine, where he shot a 34. One of those birdies came on the 510-yard, par-5 second hole.

“We saw some final-day pin placements out there,” Pratico said. “You might take a chance [on the last day], but you’re not going to go at it the first day, and go short-siding yourself and make a lot of bogeys. I took the pars when they came.

“I knew with the way the pins were set up that the scores were going to be on the higher side. Anything around par was a good score today.”

Chylinski was consistent on both nines, shooting 35 on each side. He had three birdies.

“I had a good round,” Chylinski said. “I played a very conservative round today. I hit a rescue club six times off the tee. My strategy was trying to keep the ball in play and not make bogeys, and make birdies when they come.

“I didn’t shoot at a lot of the pins, especially early on. It seemed like they were tucked in corners.”

Three players are within a stroke of the lead.

Bryan Barach, a 16-year-old Niskayuna native who just completed his junior year at Albany Academy, had five birdies during his round.

Despite his score, he wasn’t particularly impressed with his play.

“I kind of slashed it around,” Barach said. “I just kept it in play, and avoided big numbers. It wasn’t the greatest round, but I held it

together pretty well, and came in with a respectable number.

“My mind-set off every tee box was thinking where I could place it. I wasn’t trying to hit it full or anything. I was mostly hitting punch shots all day, just trying to keep it in play.”

Barach three-putted three times.

“If I had putted a little better, I would have been in the mid-to-high 60s,” Barach said. “You can’t expect to putt well every day.”

Chad Stoffer, another Niskayuna native, also fired a 71. He had three birdies.

Stoffer, who opened his round with birdies on the first two holes, said he struggled with his tee shot.

“I didn’t put myself in a lot of positions to attack pins,” Stoffer said. “But I only made two bogeys, so I controlled the damage. All in all, it wasn’t a bad round. It could have been a lot better. I’m generally pleased for the first day.”

A frustrating hole for Stoffer was the 150-yard par-3 third hole, where he carded a bogey.

“I hit all good shots,” Stoffer said. “I just misjudged the distance [on the tee shot].”

Former champion Jim Mueller had five birdies during his round of 71.

“It’s nice to be in contention,” Mueller said. “The round was weird. I double-bogeyed two. I got some bad bounces. I hit the cart path on 14. I hit a shot that I thought was perfect through the trees. It hit one little tiny leaf, and I have no idea where it goes. I end up finding it.

“I had good birdie chances on a lot of holes. It wasn’t like I putted bad. They just didn’t go in.”

Todd Trepess is in sixth place

after an even-par 72. Two-time winner Robby Bigley Jr., Jerry Brescia, Todd Czepiel and Tom Salmon are tied for seventh after a one-over-par 73.

The top 40, plus ties, advanced to today’s second round, and the top 20 will compete in the final round on Sunday.

SCORES

(Par 72)

Ed Chylinski 35-35-70

Paul Pratico 34-36-70

Bryan Barach 35-36-71

Jim Mueller 37-34-71

Chad Stoffer 36-35-71

Todd Trepess 36-36-72

Jerry Brescia 35-38-73

Todd Czepiel 38-35-73

Robby Bigley 38-35-73

Tom Salmon 36-37-73

Peter Davis 34-40-74

Bill Moll 38-36-74

Harry Morgan 35-39-74

Bill Sweet 36-38-74

Mike Trunzo 40-34-74

Mike Pollock 36-38-74

Mike Salvatore 36-38-74

Darren Hart 38-36-74

Chris Barach 34-41-75

Chris Dricoll 37-38-75

Brandon Haase 41-34-75

Chris Cross 39-36-75

Jack Stopera 37-39-76

Ben Bates 36-40-76

Mike Bayus 38-38-76

Tony Cristello 37-39-76

Jim Fazio 38-38-76

Neil Golub 39-37-76

Mario Marino 37-39-76

Joe Cimmino 38-38-76

Rob Bigley Sr. 40-36-76

Jay Taub 40-37-77

Jim Gardy 37-40-77

Nick Longo 40-37-77

Al Nebolini 39-38-77

John Mendrysa 39-38-77

Rit Cimmino 38-39-77

Peter Andrikopoulos 38-39-77

Woody Wilson 37-40-77

Jay Singh 38-39-77

Bob Cooper 38-40-78

Glenn Stopera 37-41-78

Mike Stopera 38-40-78

Mike Pigliavento 39-39-78

Did not qualify

Dan Conway 38-41-79

Bill Frutchy 39-40-79

Mike Mina 39-40-79

Matt Panneton 39-40-79

Dave Sutphen 39-40-79

Larry Pisarski 37-42-79

Chris Gilbert 38-42-80

Greg Stopera 41-39-80

Dave Valentino 42-38-80

Andy Shapiro 39-41-80

Dave DeMarco 39-41-80

Joe Plantz 37-43-80

Tom Gatta 42-38-80

Branden Cristello 41-40-81

Carl Gilbert 40-41-81

Dave Semione 39-42-81

Bob Smith 39-42-81

Joe Romeo 39-42-81

John Cimmino 39-42-81

Jordan Kulbako 41-40-81

Chris Carroll 37-45-82

Alex Olbrych 42-40-82

Frank DeGraw 42-40-82

Don Blaha 40-42-82

Paul Carnevale 41-42-83

Kevin Halburian 42-41-83

Dan Thomson 39-44-83

Don Mennillo Jr. 39-44-83

Jeremy Youngs 42-41-83

Tom Christoffel 40-43-83

Chris Fatone 42-41-83

Andy Bennett 37-47-84

Gary Neal 42-42-84

John Reagan 45-39-84

Walter Sparks 40-44-84

Joe Genovesi 41-43-84

Calvin Kroll 40-44-84

Brendan Jeffes 40-44-84

Fred Mullins 39-45-84

Tim Ferrara 39-45-84

Mike Daley 45-40-85

Angelo Menagias 43-42-85

Brent Livingston 44-41-85

Lance Hope 44-41-85

Hari Kingra 43-42-85

Mike Martin 43-42-85

Dan Giovanngelo 39-46-85

Don Dobbs 42-44-86

Joe Delorenzo 42-44-86

Frank Salamone 39-47-86

Bill Beach 43-43-86

Robert Berrian 43-43-86

Rich Regel 41-46-87

Terry O’Brien 42-45-87

Paul Chamberlain 45-43-88

Gary Galica 44-44-88

Tony Duff 46-42-88

Dave Dussault 43-45-88

Jonathan Lewis 48-41-89

Bill Litz 44-46-90

Dave Gennett 42-48-90

Ed Fowler 41-49-90

Mike Polsinelli 47-44-91

Luke Westfall 42-49-91

Don Gross 46-45-91

Mike DiGiloramo 43-48-91

Peter Korunkiewich 42-50-92

Will Atchinson 42-51-93

Fred Luna 48-47-95

Craig Schoonmaker 47-49-96

Robert Wilson 47-49-96

David Alsdorf WD

Joe Druzba WD

Chris Pierport WD

Derek Demeo WD

Billy Vacca WD

TEE TIMES

6:40 a.m. — Mike Pigliavento, Bob Cooper, Glenn Stopera, Mike Stopera.

6:49 a.m. — John Mendrysa, Jay Singh, Peter Andrikopoulos, Woody Winslow.

6:58 a.m. — Rit Cimmino, Nick Longo, Jim Gardy.

7:07 a.m. — Jay Taub, Al Nebolini, Rob Bigley Sr.

7:16 a.m. — Joe Cimmino, Tony Cristello, Mike Bayus.

7:25 a.m. — Jim Fazio, Neil Golub, Jack Stopera.

7:43 a.m. — Ben Bates, Mario Marino, Chris Cross.

7:52 a.m. — Chris Driscoll, Chris Barach, Brandon Haase.

8:01 a.m. — Darren Hart, Mike Trunzo, Mike Pollock.

8:10 a.m. — Mike Salvatore, Bill Moll, Harry Morgan.

8:19 a.m. — Bill Sweet, Pete Davis, Todd Czepiel.

8:28 a.m. — Robby Bigley Jr., Tom Salmon, Jerry Brescia.

8:37 a.m. — Todd Trepess, Jim Mueller, Chad Stoffer.

8:46 a.m. — Bryan Barach, Ed Chylinski, Paul Pratico.

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