Adam Bunkoff and Matt Cole aren’t necessarily household names among the area’s elite players, but they played like champions when the heat was on.
Bunkoff, a 38-year-old Watervliet native, and Cole, a 38-year-old Colonie resident, combined for a nine-under-par 62 to capture the annual Stadium Classic by three shots Sunday at Stadium Golf Club.
The Town of Colonie Golf Club tandem of Doug Kilmer and Dave Pallas finished second with a
65-130, followed by three teams tied for third at 131: New York State Recreation Department director of golf Kevin Cassidy with Justin McCarthy of Shaker Ridge Country Club, Joe and Mike Quijano and two-time Gazette County Amateur champ Robby Bigley Jr. (Pinehaven CC) with Todd Czepiel, the assistant greens superintendent at Shaker Ridge CC.
Also cashing at 132 were Hiland Golf Club’s Chuck Connolly with John Vaccaro of Wolferts Roost Country Club and Kyle Armstrong with Chris Haggerty of Glens Falls Country Club. Rounding out the top 10 at 133 were The Edison Club tandem of Andy Bennett and Chris Comi, the Shaker Ridge CC duo of Jim Cocca and Gary Grimaldi and Chris Braman of Town of Colonie with Chad Stoffer of The Edison Club.
Co-leaders Ken Bessette of Van Schaick Island Country Club with Steve Owens of Normanside CC and Jim Mueller of Orchard Creek with Mike Gifford of The Edison Club also shot 133, but didn’t cash because of a matching of cards.
The Bunkoff-Cole team, which posted a 65 scramble score in Saturday’s opening round, took control of the tournament by posting a six-under-par 29 on the front nine. The duo combined for 10 birdies and made just one bogey, a three-putt on the 15th hole.
Bunkoff, who was seven-
under-par on his own ball, said he was “pleasantly surprised” that his tandem ended up winning so comfortably.
“I’ve played with all these guys before,” he said. “And Matt and I have been playing golf together for 20 years. The front nine was solid.”
“We got hot, and stayed that way,” said Cole, the older brother of former RPI quarterback Dan Cole. “Adam’s putter was on fire today.”
Neither Bunkoff nor Cole are members of a local club. They prefer to play different courses every weekend. Bunkoff’s father was a member of Shaker Ridge Country Club, and as a junior member, he won the club championship in 1995. But after starting a family and his own construction business, he didn’t have the time or the extra money to belong to a club.
“We play all over the area,” said Bunkoff, who is a SUNY-Plattsburgh graduate.
There were three skins in the tournament. The Quijano brothers eagled the 18th hole. Owens sank a birdie on the par-3 12th hole and the Bob Gennarelli and Bob Stranahan team eagled the second hole.
Cashers: Adam Bunkoff-Matt Cole
62-127, $300 each; Doug Kilmer-Dave Pallas 65-130, $240 each; Kevin Cassidy-Justin McCarthy 67-131, $175 each; Joe Quijano-Mike Quijano 67-131, $175 each; Robby Bigley Jr.-Todd Czepiel 66-131, $175 each; Chuck Connolly-John Vaccaro 68-132, $100 each; Kyle Armstrong-Chris Haggerty
67-132, $100 each; Andy Bennett-Chris Comi
67-133, $66.33 each; Jim Cocca-Gary Grimaldi 65-133, $63.33 each; Chris Braman-Chad Stoffer 65-133, $63.33 each.
Other top scores: Ken Bessette-Steve Owens 70-133, Mike Gifford-Jim Mueller 70-133, Keith Gillespie-Mike Trunzo 134, Kip Kirby-Josh Kirby 134, Matt Clarke-Tim Flanigan 69-135, Bob Gennarelli-Bob Stranahan 69-135, Fred Guzielek-Casey Russom 69-135, Bob Bruda-Skip Carrk 68-135, Mike Courtney-Mike McCarroll 68-135, Glenn Cunningham-Bryan Riche 67-136, Kirk Emmons-David Nawrot 65-135, Bill Assman-Chris Gambacurta 70-137, Jeff Cornell-Chris Rickdtts 71-138, Art Manso-Matt Salvadore 71-138, Rick Matteson-Tim Zilka 69-138, Jerry Wander-Earl Winchester 68-138, Jerry Brescia-Lee Reeves 70-139, Mark Barton-Scott Hoerning 74-141, John Eaton-George Roe 71-141, Stan Moore-Mike Soccocio
73-141, Gregg Russ-Mark Russ 73-141, Chris Doring-Dan Gignon 71-142, Dan Russo-Bill Sullivan 71-142, Mike Java-Charlie Valentine 73-143, Alex Olbrych-Josh Powers
75-144, Cody Bielawa-Dave Degenero
74-144, Noah Lamore-Frank Tracey 73-144, Joe Cimmino-Rit Cimmino 72-144, Al Massaroni-Kirk Panneton 75-145, Mike Fountain-Bill Hogan 79-148, Ross Lackey-Mike Martin 75-149, Marty Reed-Mike Smith
77-150, Ken Bikowicz-Terry Bikowicz 81-157, Frank Degraw-Don LaRocque 85-165.
GAZETTE COVERAGEEnsure access to everything we do, today and every day, check out our subscribe page at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe
More from The Daily Gazette: