Oppedisano’s bid ends with loss to Berliner

Tom Oppedisano was playing some of his best golf of the season, but unfortunately for the McGregor L

Tom Oppedisano was playing some of his best golf of the season, but unfortunately for the McGregor Links Country Club head pro, he ran into a buzzsaw.

Oppedisano, who reached last year’s finals, put up a good fight, but couldn’t slow down the hottest local club professional in the Capital Reg­ion as Normanside Country Club assistant pro Scott Berliner posted a 3-and-2 victory in the quarterfinals of the Northeastern New York PGA Match Play Championship Tuesday at The Sagamore Resort.

Berliner, who earned his Class A card this spring, which allowed him to play in the section’s majors for the first time, will meet Greenock Country Club head pro Bob Mucha in the second semifinal at 8:09 this morning. Mucha rolled over Berkshire Hills County Club head pro Josh Hillman, a former Match Play and Stroke Play champ, 6-and-5.

In the other semi at 8 a.m., former Match Play titlist Ian Breen, an assistant at Colonie Golf & Country Club, squares off against Alb­any Country Club assistant pro Matt Felber. Breen stopped Ballston Spa Country Club head pro Todd Manderson, 3-and-2, while Felber edged Wolferts Roost Country Club assistant David Lis, 1-up.

“I think I would have beaten anybody else today except Scott,” said Oppedisano, who was one-under-par through 16 holes. “Scott is just too tough.’

Oppedisano was three-down coming into the 219-yard par-3 14th hole. His approach shot landed on a hill to the left of the green, while Berliner’s tee shot landed just short of the green in the right rough. Berliner actually had the easier chip, but he barely managed to get the ball on the green. Oppedisano pitched to within six feet and made the par to cut his deficit to two-down.

The next hole, which normally is one of the toughest holes on the back side at 435 yards, usually plays as a dogleg left, but because of the extremely wet conditions, tourn­ament officials moved the tee up to make the hole a very short 255-yard par-4.

Both players hit their tee shots into the bunker on the left, and each blasted out to about six feet. They each made their birdies.

The match ended on the next hole, a 366-yard par-4, with the green set off to the left. Optimum strategy called for each player to lay up toward the end of the fairway, setting up a short pitch to an elevated green. Oppedisano’s pitch landed above the green, leaving a short-sided pitch to the flag. His shot landed about 10 feet away from the cup. Berliner just missed his 15-foot birdie putt and was conceded a par. When Oppedisano missed his par putt, it was all over.

“I missed two putts early on that really hurt,” said Oppedisano. “I had a power lip-out from eight feet on the first hole, and I missed a birdie putt on the fourth hole when the ball did a 360 around the cup. I couldn’t play much better than I did, but Scott is playing very well right now. He didn’t let me breathe.”

Oppedisano collected two birdies during the quarterfinals, while Berliner, who is No. 1 on the NENYPGA point list, birdied the first, second, sixth, 11th and 15th holes.

“I’ve been on a good run,” said Berliner, a Lake Luzerne native who has been playing The Sagamore Resort since he was a youngster. “I don’t practice much, but I’ve been playing more. My putter’s been working well for me.”

Felber, who will leave the section at the end of the season to work in West Virginia, lost the first three holes against Lis, but fought back with three birdies.

“My putter worked well, and that saved me,” Felber said.

The winner of the finals earns $1,000 and 500 player of the year points.


Round of 16 — 16-Todd Manderson (Ballston Spa CC) def. 1-Kevin Hughes (Saratoga G&P), 4-and-2; 8-Ian Breen (Colonie G&CC) def. 9-Frank Mellet (Colonie G&CC), 2-and-1; 4-Matt Felber (Albany CC) def. 13-Kevin Cain (Colonie G&CC), conceded; 12-David Lis (Wolferts Roost CC) def. 5-Paul Jaycox (Cobleskill G&CC), 5-and-3;

2-Scott Berliner (Normanside CC) def. 15-Nathan Kain (The Edison Club), 6-and-5; 7-Tom Oppedisano (McGregor Links) def. 10-Glenn Davis (Albany CC), WD; 14-Josh Hillman (Berkshire Hills CC) def. 3-Rick Pohle (Taconic GC), WD; 6-Bob Mucha (Green­ock CC) df. 11-Kevin Bennison (Tac­onic GC), 6-and-5.

Quarterfinals — Breen def. Manderson, 3-and-2; Felber def. Lis, 1-up; Berliner def. Oppedisano, 3-and-2; Mucha def. Hillman, 5-and-3.


Semifinals — Breen vs. Felber, 8 a.m.; Berliner vs. Mucha, 8:09.

Finals —– Semifinal winners at 11 a.m.

Categories: Sports

Leave a Reply