Hamm leads charge in Mohawk Member-Guest

Tim Hamm and Brandon Haase won their second straight Mohawk Member-Guest crown Sunday with a four-un

Tim Hamm blasted his tee shot long, but well right, on the 405-yard, par-4 16th hole. Between his ball, situated in the rough, and the hole were a couple of tall trees. His wedge shot clipped several branches, but nobody was sure where his ball landed.

Eventually, Hamm found his ball — on the green — and quickly marked it before a storm hit

Mohawk Golf Club. The final group of the day ran to their carts, and headed to the clubhouse.

After a short delay, the players returned to finish the 16th hole, and Hamm, already in the middle of a hot streak, rolled in a 15-footer for his fourth consecutive birdie.

That’s the kind of day it was for Hamm and Brandon Haase en route to their second straight Mohawk Member-Guest crown Sunday with a four-under-par 67 in the final round and a 54-hole total of 15-under-par 198.

Hamm, a former member of the club but now a guest, and Haase started the day with a three-shot lead over two-time champions Ben Bates and Tyler Callahan, but they ended up winning by a comfortable six strokes.

“It was a lot of fun out there

today,” said Hamm, a Niskayuna High School and Emory College graduate. “Four birdies in a row is the most I’ve ever had. I’ve had three before, but never four. Brandon gave me some great reads. I wasn’t reading the greens that well.

“Tim played great today,” said the 34-year-old Haase. “We’ve played together four years in a row, and I’ve never seen him play this well. He keeps getting better and better every year.”

Interestingly, it was the Bates-Callahan tandem that looked ready for a shootout early in the round. Starting on the sixth hole, Bates and Callahan birdied the sixth, seventh and eighth holes. Callahan rolled in a four-footer after Bates lost his ball on his tee shot, and then Bates connected on a 60-foot bomb. Callahan nearly drove the 355-yard eighth hole, stuck a lob wedge and nailed a three-foot birdie to complete the string.

Meanwhile, Haase and Hamm were making birdies of their own. Hamm sank a 20-footer on the seventh hole and rolled in a 10-footer on No. 8.

But a great up-and-down par by Haase on the ninth hole might have been the most important hole of the day, as it kept his team’s momentum going, and prevented Bates and Callahan from making a stronger charge.

“When Tim made those two birdies on seven and eight, and I got that up-and-down on nine, we felt pretty good, at that point, especially after the start that Ben and Tyler had,” said Haase.

“This was one of those weeks when not a lot went wrong for us.”

“I thought those early birdies were key for us, and so was that par by Brandon,” said Hamm. “I also thought that Ben and Tyler had a lot of bad luck out there today.”

Both teams made the turn at even-par. Haase nearly eagled the 366-yard 10th hole when his approach shot landed less than a foot to the right of the hole, rolled past the cup and nestled one foot away. He tapped in for birdie.

Meanwhile, Bates’ 12-foot birdie attempt lipped out. It was one of several lip-outs for Bates.

Both teams bogeyed the par-3 12th hole, and each twosome birdied the par-5 13th hole. Both Haase and Callahan reached the 515-yard hole in two. Hamm’s

12-footer lipped out, but he tapped in for his birdie. Callahan was only about eight feet away on his eagle attempt, which slid just to the right as it approached the cup.

But then Hamm continued his birdie streak to help his team pull away. He sank a 35-footer on the 14th hole, and a 12-footer on the 15th before polishing off the string on No. 16.

“It was not our day,” said Bates. “When we had our chances, my putting let us down. It was one of the worst putting rounds I’ve ever had. I putted so well on Thursday [practice round] and Friday. The couple of times Tyler was out of the hole, I let him down with some poor putts.”

Mike Trunzo and Keith Gillespie finished third with a 70-212.


(Par 71-213)

Championship flight — Brandon Haase-Tim Hamm 67-198, Ben Bates-Tyler Callahan 70-204, Mike Trunzo-Keith Gillespie 70-212, Mike Carroll-Les Devitt 72-213, Jim Follain-Tom Follain 71-214, Bill Sweet-Paul Pratico 69-214, Neil Golub-Matt Clarke

71-215, John Nolan-Ben Bernstein 71-218.

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