Hillman, Philo will vie for Turning Stone spots

Two players with local ties will have an opportunity to play in the PGA Fall Tour’s Turning Stone Re

Two players with local ties will have an opportunity to play in the PGA Fall Tour’s Turning Stone

Resort Championship this week at the Atunyote Golf Club — if they can earn one of four qualifying berths in Monday’s pre-tourn­ament qualifier at the Kaluhyat Golf Club.

Josh Hillman, the first-year head pro at Berkshire Hills who has won three of the last four majors on the Northeastern New York PGA Tour, and Scotia native Ron Philo Jr., who runs his own golf school at several locations, including Sugarbush in Warren, Vt., and at Leatherstocking Golf Club in Cooperstown, will be in the 81-player field on Monday.

Hillman won the last two

NENYPGA Stroke Play Championships, and he also won last year’s NENYPGA Match Play Champ­ionship. He is currently leading the Player of the Year standings.

Philo has made eight PGA tournament appearances. He won the 2006 PGA Professional National Championship at Turning Stone, and is a five-time PGA Section Player of the Year winner. He won the 1994 North Florida PGA Player of the Year title and was the 2003, 2004 and 2005 New England PGA Player of the Year. He also was the 2006 Metropolitan PGA Player of the Year.

Among his major wins was the 2006 Metropolitan PGA Section Championship, the 2006 Rhode Island Open, the 2006 Westchester Open, the 2006 Metropolitan PGA Professional Championship, the 2005 Soverign Bank New England Open and the 2004 New England PGA Section Championship.

The brother of current LPGA star Laura Diaz runs the Ron Philo Golf Schools with his father, Ron Philo Sr., and Kevin Diaz, the husband of Laura.

Also in the qualifying field is two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen.

The Turning Stone Resort Championship will feature a field of 132 players competing for $6 million. The winner gets $1.08 million.

Charley Hoffman, J.B. Holmes, Matt Kuchar, D.J. Trahan and Charlie Wi have withdrawn from the tournament, but among those scheduled to appear are four-time winner Robert Allenby, two-time winner Tommy Armour III, three-time winner Woody Austin, three-time winner Rich Beam, four-time winner Notah Begay III, two-time champ Michael Bradley, three-time champion Olin Browne, 13-time winner Mark Calcavecchia, three-time winner Chris DiMarco, four-time winner Joe Durant, 13-time titlist David Duval, 10-time winner Steve Elkington, eight-time winner Brad Faxon, four-time titlist Tim Herron and 19-time winner Davis Love III.

Left-hander Steve Flesch is the defending champion.

There are 14 players in the top 50 on the money list and six major winners in the field.


It’s been quite a year in Capital Region golf.

Two major statewide tourn­aments were held here, the New York State Amateur at Pinehaven Country Club and the New York State Senior and Super Senior Amateur at Normanside Country Club.

Although locals didn’t advance beyond the quarterfinals at Pinehaven CC, we had a local champion in the state seniors, as Chuck Connolly of Hiland Golf Club won his second state senior title.

The focus was on the women at the annual Ellis Hospital Skins Game, with Laura Diaz and Morgan Pressel earning top billing.

Paul Pratico joined an exclusive club by winning his fifth Gazette County Amateur crown at Schen­ectady Municipal. Pat Mayne and Karen Feldman won the Gazette Women’s Best Ball title, while Tony Cristello took the Gazette Senior Amateur crown.

Dan Russo of Rolling Hills, who qualified for U.S. Open sectional play but couldn’t compete because of an injury, bounced back from that injury to win the Capital Stroke Play at Mohawk Golf Club. Jim Gifford of The Edison Club was both the Tri-County Match Play champion and the Edison Invitational titlist, while Brandon Haase and Tim Hamm repeated as Mohawk Member-Guest winners.

The area hosted the Duramed Futures Tour once again, and 10 players earned at least their conditional cards for the LPGA Tour next year.


u The second annual Gino Turchi & Family Golf Classic will be held Oct. 13 at Mohawk Golf Club. All proceeds will be added to the Turchi Family Athletic Fund at

Siena College. Entry fee is $300 per person, and can be reserved by contacting the Siena College athletics office at 783-2530. There will be a noon shotgun start. Participants will play their own ball using a best two-of-four format. Entry fee includes golf, cart, on-course beverages, lunch, a memento, hor d’oeuvres and dinner with open bar. Dinner only is priced at $75. Prizes will be awarded to the top foursomes. Last year’s prizes included four New York Jets tickets, four Boston Celtics tickets, four Preakness Stakes tickets, four travel bags with Siena logos and foursomes to several top area courses. Turchi, 92, is known for his philanthropic commitment to several area organizations. He is the former owner of Eagle Crest Golf Club.

u Airway Meadows will host its 10th annual Oktoberfest Tourn­ament Oct. 12 at 10 a.m. Entry fee is $89 for non-members, $69 for gold members, $59 for platinum members and $46 for diamond members. Format will be scramble. There will be a 72-player min­imum and a 144-player maximum field. Entry fee includes golf, cart, lunch at the turn, kegs of beer, wine and soda from noon on, and dinner that includes steak, German dishes, salads, dessert and coffee. Skins are optional, and there are

other contests and prizes. For more information, call Airway Meadows at 792-4144.

u High school sectionals begin Wednesday with the Class C-D tournament at Schenectady Mun­icipal Golf Course. Class B will be held at Saratoga Spa State Park on Thursday, and Class A is scheduled for Van Patten Golf Course, also on Thursday. The two-day Class

A-B-C-D State Tournament Qual­ifier will be held Oct. 7 and 9 at Orchard Creek.

u Country Club of Troy will host the Northeastern New York PGA Points Challenge Oct. 14.

u Bill Cassidy of Colonie, 77, shot a 74 at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course.

u The Eastern New York Golf Assocation will play at Stadium Golf Club on Wednesday.


Les Dobbs aced the 168-yard 17th hole with a 6-iron at Eagle Crest Golf Club.

Also at Eagle Crest, 66-year-old Dick Syrett holed out with a 7-iron on the 156-yard sixth hole for his first hole-in-one in 50 years of playing golf.

Jack Paradise picked up his first career ace on the ninth hole at Pinehaven Country Club.

Daniel Balascio aced the 145-yard 16th hole with a 7-wood at Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course.


While competing in the Building 16 league at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course, Tom Higgins eagled the second hole.

Also at Schenectady Municipal, Robert Flynt eagled the ninth hole and Mike McConkey chipped in for eagle on the 14th hole.

Lynn Hilpertshauser eagled the 262-yard, par-4 fourth hole at Airway Meadows.

Rich Duda eagled the par-5 fourth hole with a driver, 2-hybrid and wedge at Mechanicville Golf Club.

Todd Winsman eagled the sixth hole at Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course.

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