Ed Chylinski hasn’t been a Schenectady County resident for more than 30 years, but as a former champion, he retains his exempt playing privileges and continues to make the long drive to compete in the Gazette County Amateur whenever possible.
The 59-year-old Chylilnski now lives in Gulph Mills, Pa. When he originally moved away from the area, he lived in Connecticut for about eight years. The software developer for SAP says coming back to Schenectady to play in the County Am is one of his favorite golf experiences. He’ll get reacquainted with plenty of old friends when he returns to play in this year’s event, scheduled for Friday through Sunday at Schenectady Municipal.
“I’ve come back home a lot recently, maybe six years in a row,” said Chylinski. “I get to stay with my sister and see some old friends who I used to play against. I think one of the biggest reasons I keep coming back is that it’s a good tournament on a great course. It was probably the first major tournament I ever played in. The first time I played in the County Am, I was 14 years old, and I missed the cut. The next year, I made both cuts at age 15. I’ll never forget it. I’ve made a lot of cuts since then.”
Chylinski said he still loves the Schenectady Muny layout, and he can’t wait to tee it up.
“I’m playing pretty good this year,” he said. “I recently won the Pennsylvania Better Ball with a partner. It’s a state-wide tournament with a pretty good field. I would say my game is in pretty good shape. I bought a new Scotty Cameron Newport Studio putter over the winer, and I think it’s helped my putting quite a bit so far. Last year, I bought some new irons, Titlelist AP2s, and it took quite a while for me to get used to them, because they have rifle shafts, and it’s quite a difference.”
Chylinski said he still uses a PING G5 driver, but he recently purchased a TaylorMade R9. “I don’t know if I’m going to use it or not. It’s still on trial,” he said with a laugh.
Although he puts his three County Am titles right on top of his career achievements, Chylinski said qualifying for the U.S. Senior Amateur and making the match play in 2005 was his most memorable. He finished fourth in the Pennsylvania Seniors a couple of years ago and was also 10th in the Sunnehanna Seniors.
Other former champions in the field include defending titlist Paul Pratico, one of three five-time winners along with Jim Mueller and Rob Bigley; three-time champs Bill Frutchy, Mike Bayus and Bill Moll, and two-time winners Rob Bigley Jr. and Bob Cooper. Five-time Senior County Am titlist Neil Golub, defending Senior County Am champ Tony Cristello and three-time Senior County winner Al Nebolini are also in the field, along with a handful of young scratch players who could break into the winner’s circle.
Only the top 40 and ties advance to the second round, and just 20 and ties will play in the final round.
u The annual Gazette Women’s Best Ball Championship will be held July 11 at Schenectady Municipal. Pat Mayne and Karen Feldman are the defending champions. Watch for entry blanks in the sports section.
u The Hoags Corners Fire Department is hosting a golf tournament at Burden Lake Country Club June 28. Entry fee is $100 and includes golf, cart, shirt, gifts, refreshments, lunch and dinner. Special hole-in-one prizes include a new set of Pulsar irons, two round trip airline tickets, a five-day, four-night cruise for two, and $10,000. The field will be limited to the first 128 layers. Call Ken Bornhorst at 331-1294 for more information. There is also a raffle for a golf membership to Burden Lake Country Club.
u Two Siena College golfers were in the spotlight recently. Don DeNyse III won his second consecutive Albany County Amateur by seven shots. He was the first back-to-back winner of the event and shot rounds of three-under-par 68 on the first day and a 73 on the second. Meanwhile, Dan Abbondandolo was selected to the PING All-Region team. The senior co-captain picked up his second PING Division I All-Region award. He finished fourth in the Navy Invitational and third at the MAAC Championships, where Siena was second in the team standings.
u John Vaccaro and Chuck Connolly, a pair of seniors, won the recent Normanside Invitational.
u Former Siena College and Pinehaven Country Club standout Bryan Bigley missed by five shots of qualifying for the U.S. Open. Bigley shot a 73-70-143 at the Purchase sectional qualifier on Old Oakes Country Club and Century Country Club. Skidmore’s Chris DeJohn, a Rocky Hill, Conn., native who also advanced from the local U.S. Open qualifier at Albany Country Club, shot a 72-73-145.
u The first major event on the Northeastern Women’s Golf Association schedule will be the Team Challenge Tuesday at Shaker Ridge Country Club.
u Local pros will play their first two-day major event of the season with the Donald Ross Classic today. Usually, they play the first round at The Sagamore Resort and the second round at Glens Falls Country Club, but some problems with the greens at The Sagamore Resort forced the NENYPGA to switch opening round to Mohawk Golf Club. Bob Mucha, from Greenock Country Club, won last year’s tournament, which is one of the most popular on the Northeastern New York PGA schedule.
u Dan Russo of Rolling Hills at Antlers Country Club and Dave Hayes of Schuyler Meadows combined to win the prestigious Olympia Fields National Four-Ball Championship at Olympia Fields Country Club last weekend. They shot a seven-under-par 63 in the first round and a 68 in the second round. They had no bogeys over the weekend.
u Mike Arminio fired a five-under-par 66 at Amsterdam Municipal this week to match his career best and shoot the course’s low score this season.
u The ALS Memorial Open’s noon shotgun division is closed, but there are still a few openings in the 7 a.m. shotgun start division. The tournament will be played June 24 at Van Patten Golf Club. Also available are raffle tickets for the Lexus Champions for Charity tournament. The winner receives two entries into the two-man best-ball event played at Pebble Beach, Spyglass and Spanish Bay Links. Hotel and airfare are included. For more information, call Scott Daly at 355-4210 or 377-2236.
Mike Van Buren posted his first career hole-in-one by sinking an 8-iron shot on the ninth hole at Pinehaven Country Club.
At Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course, Kevin Thomas found the cup on the 150-yard 16th hole with a 9-iron.
Competing in the KAPL league at Mohawk River Country Club & Chateau, Matt Dunn holed out with a 4-iron on the 198-yard 15th hole.
Also at Amsterdam Municipal, Cy Bintz posted an ace with a 5-wood on the tough 213-yard eighth hole.
At Mill Road Acres, Grace Sebasta used a 4-hybrid to ace the 12th hole while competing in the Chip & Gals league.
Kyle Moise aced the 135-yard 15th hole with an 8-iron at Van Patten Golf Club.
The rarest shot in golf is the double eagle, or albatross, yet two area people accomplished the feat in the same week.
At Mechanicville Golf Club, George Harbeson holed out with a 5-wood on his second shot at the par-5 fourth hole for a double eagle. It’s the second double eagle on that hole this year.
Meanwhile, while competing in the Sandbaggers league at Schenectady Municipal, John May’s second shot from 207 yards with a 5-wood found the cup for a double on the par-5 16th hole.
Posting eagles at Amsterdam Municipal were Michael John Eckert (third hole), Dave Thelin (third and fifth holes), Dave Welch (sixth hole), TJ Sumigray (10th), Pete Zabo (10th) and Donna Nevulis (10th).
Kevin Cummings eagled the 12th hole at The Edison Club.
Marc Bosy chipped in for eagle on the 12th hole while competing in the Tony Renna league at Schenectady Municipal.
Jack Scheffer eagled the ninth hole while competing in the City Hall league at Schenectady Municipal.
Nick Brooks of the Chippers league eagled the 280-yard par-4 24th hole with a wedge from 90 yards on the East Course at Apple Greens in Highland.
Chuck Wagner holed out with a 7-iron for an eagle on the par-5 14th hole at Schenectady Municipal.
Jay Taub eagled the second hole with a driver, 7-wood and eight-foot putt while competing in the C.W. Players league at Schenectady Municipal.
Lou Semione eagled the 12th hole with a driver, 3-iron and 15-foot putt while playing in the Van Vranken league at Schenectady Municipal.
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