Down the Fairway: Match play a change of pace for local pros

Match play is a different way of playing golf than some elite players are used to. Most would rather

Match play is a different way of playing golf than some elite players are used to. Most would rather count every stroke.

But you don’t necessarily have to play well on every hole to be successful in match play, and you can even shoot well over par in some cases and still win your match.

That’s what the local pros will be up against Tuesday and Wednesday when they compete in the annual Northeastern New York Golf Assoc­iation’s Match Play Championship at The Sagamore Resort.

Up for grabs will be $1,000 to the winner, plus 500 player of the year points.

Defending champion Kevin Hughes of Saratoga Golf & Polo Club is the top seed, and Normanside Country Club assistant pro Scott Berliner, the dominant player on the player of the year point list, is seeded No. 2.

Hughes takes on 16th-seeded Todd Manderson of Ballston Spa Country Club in the opening round Tuesday. Other first-round matchups in the upper bracket include

No. 8 Ian Breen, an assistant at Colonie Golf & Country Club, against his boss, No. 9 Frank Mellet, the head pro at Colonie G&CC, who also happens to be the defending player of the year; No. 4 Matt Felber, an assistant at Albany Country Club, against 13th-seeded Kevin Cain, another assistant at Colonie G&CC and No. 5 Paul Jaycox, the head pro at Cobleskill Golf & Country Club, against No. 12 David Lis, an assistant pro at Wolferts Roost Country Club.

In the other bracket, Berliner meets 15th-seeded Nathan Kain, an assistant at The Edison Club, while seventh-seeded McGregor Links Country Club head pro Tom Opped­isano takes on 10th-seeded Albany Country Club head pro Glenn Davis. Rick Pohle, the head pro at Taconic Golf Club and the third seed, plays 14th-seeded Josh Hillman, the head pro at Berkshire Hills Country Club, while sixth-seeded Bob Mucha, the head pro at Greenock Country Club, plays 11th-seeded Kevin Bennison, the assistant at Taconic Golf Club.

It’s no surprise that all 10 of the top 10 players on the NENYPGA player of the year point list are playing: 1-Berliner, 2-Pohle, 3-Felber, 4-Jaycox, 5-Mucha, 6-Opped­isano, 7-Breen, 8-Mellet, 9-Davis and



Justin Deitz of The Edison Club, a member of the Siena College golf team, is trying to break through to win the Capital Region Amateur Golf Association’s player of the year award.

That honor has been dominated by veteran players over the years like Dan Russo of Rolling Hills Country Club, currently No. 2 on the list, Jim Welch of Winding Brook Country Club, who is No. 3 on the list, and John Vaccaro, a multiple player of the year champion who has since moved out of the area. Vaccaro is still 10th on the list.

Others in the top 10 include Wolferts Roost Country Club left-hander Jeb Buchanan (fourth), Dave Hayes of Schuyler Meadows (fifth), Don DeNyse III of Capital Hills at Albany (sixth), three-time Gazette County Amateur titlist Robby Bigley Jr. of Pinehaven Country Club (seventh), Dave Mooradian of Country Club of Troy (eighth) and Brandon Haase of Mohawk Golf Club (ninth).


Donna Heskett of Burden Lake Country Club is leading the Northeastern Women’s Golf Association’s player of the year standings with 49 points.

Betty Cushing, also of Burden Lake, is next with 39 points, followed by Pat Mayne of Western Turnpike (35), Sandra Weckter of Pinehaven Country Club (31) and Suzie Mansfield of Ballston Spa Country Club (30).


u Jeff Barringer, Corey Barringer, Scott Brennan and Chris Caruso fired a 14-under-par 58 to win the Peter Famiano Memorial tourn­ament for the second straight year at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course. The team of Ron Gabriel, Ernie Marotta, Carm Ronca and Frank Falvo won the net title with a 52. There were 112 golfers competing in 28 foursomes in the scramble event.

u The Adirondack Phantoms of the American Hockey League will hold a scramble golf tournament Oct. 10 at Hiland Golf Club. One Phantom player or staff member will be assigned to each threesome. The tournament begins at 12:30 p.m. Entry fee is $400 per threesome and includes golf, cart, hors d’oeuvres and prizes. Call 480-3355 for more information.

u The Northeastern Golf Course Superintendents Association’s Poa annual golf tournament, postponed by severe weather conditions earlier in the season, will be held Sept. 28 at Normanside Country Club. Call 783-1322 for more information.

u The LPGA Futures Tour, which finished off its season with the Price Chopper Tour Championship last weekend at Capital Hills at Albany, will return to the area next season but most likely in the month of July and definitely not as the season-ending championship it has been for the last six seasons.

u Country Club of Troy’s Dave Mooradian won his second Rensselaer County Amateur last weekend at Frear Park in Troy. Mooradian shot a one-under-par 69-72-141 to win by seven shots over Tim Flan­igan (74-73-148), Devin McLoughlin (74-74-148) and Pat Ryan (73-75-148).

u Schenectady Municipal Golf Course will host the rescheduled Haggerty Two-Man Oct. 1-2.

u The Eastern New York Golf Association’s next event will be Wednesday at Eagle Crest Golf Club.

u The Northeastern Women’s Golf Association’s Gail Sykes Better Ball of Partners Championship has been rescheduled for Sept. 26 at Columbia Golf & Country Club.

u Airway Meadows Golf Club’s 13th annual Oktoberfest tournament will be held Oct. 9. There will be a 9 a.m. registration and continental breakfast, followed by the tourn­ament. Entry fee is $93 for non-members and includes golf, cart, lunch at the turn, kegs of beer, wind and soda from noon on and a steak, chicken and pork dinner. There will be two gold memberships for the 2012 season given away. Call Airway Meadows at 792-4144 for more information.

u The fifth annual Union College Women’s Basketball golf tourn­ament is scheduled for Sept. 26 at Pinehaven Country Club. The entry fee is $500 per foursome, and a full foursome is not needed to enter. Tournament organizers will find you partners. Each golfer receives practice range privileges and lunch (at 11:00 a.m.), cart, greens fees (12 p.m. shotgun start), appetizers and prizes in the scramble format. Register online at: or call Mary Ellen Burt at 388-6546 for more information.

u The YWCA NorthEastern New York’s first golf tournament will be held Sept. 30 at Mohawk Golf Club. Proceeds benefit the YWCA’s Breast Cancer Education/Prevention programs and Domestic Violence Shelter & Supportive Services programs. The shotgun event begins at 8:30 a.m. Cost is $150 per person and includes golf, cart, goodie bag, breakfast, snacks, liquid refreshments, beer tasting and lunch. Long drive champion Eric Lastowka will host a demonstration. Call 374-3394 for more information or to register.

u Fox Run will host the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Friday at 12:30 p.m. The tournament will be a four-person scramble. Visit for more information.

u Fox Run will also hold an impossible pin three-man scramble in October. Visit the website for more info.


Ed Ellison posted his first-ever hole-in-one with a pitching wedge on the 155-yaurd 17th hole at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course during an Eastern New York Golf Association event this week. Ellis is a member of Battenkill Country Club.

Jack Falvo recorded his first hole-in-one on the 13th hole at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course with a 7-iron. He was competing in the Mayor’s Tournament.

Allan Sagendorf, competing in a league outing at Rome Country Club, aced the 125-yard 14th hole with a 7-iron.

Todd Winsman aced the 218-yard eighth hole with a driver at Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course.


Tim Czeski (No. 3), Glenn Stopera (No. 3) and Dan DiBlasi (No. 10) registered eagles during the Russo Memorial Member-Guest at Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course.

Dan Feulner eagled the par-5 502-yard eighth hole at Airway Meadows.

Warren Camp eagled the par-5 ninth hole at Schenectady Munic­ipal Golf Course while playing in the Van Vranken league.

Bob Piche eagled the par-5 15th hole at Briar Creek while playing in the Footwedge league.

Craig Stalker, a senior on the Schoharie High School team, eagled the first hole en route to a 33 to lead his team to a win over Middleburgh at Cobleskill Golf & Country Club.

Categories: -Sports

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