Golfers have last opportunity for state title glory

Relatively short drive has drawn roughly 20 local players
Two-time Schenectady Classic runner-up Lance Hope will play in the New York State Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship next week.
Two-time Schenectady Classic runner-up Lance Hope will play in the New York State Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship next week.

Capital Region golf standouts looking for a state championship trophy will have one more chance next weekend when the 34th annual New York State Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship tees off at Yahnundasis Golf Club in New Hartford.

The relatively short drive to Yahnundasis GC has drawn roughly 20 local players with title aspirations. Only men age 25 and older are eligible, meaning the young bucks currently enrolled in or just out of college won’t be able to play in this 54-hole event, set for Friday through next Sunday. There will be a cut to the low 60 and ties for the final round.

Local players have earned their share of titles at this championship since 1984, when Charlie Murphy, then representing Wolferts Roost CC, won the inaugural event at Glens Falls Country Club. Other area winners include Cliff Earle of McGregor CC at his home club in 1993, former CC of Troy star Matt Clarke in 2005, Albany’s John Vaccaro in 2007 and Jim Welch of Olde Kinderhook GC in 2011.

Among the top local prospects for a championship next weekend are Connor Delaney of Schuyler Meadows, who won the recent regional qualifier at Pinehaven CC, Justin Deitz of The Edison Club, two-time Schenectady Classic runner-up Lance Hope of Schenectady Municipal, former Schenectady Classic champions Bob Cooper of Schenectady Muni and Mike Wheeler of Shaker Ridge CC; former Tri-County Match Play titlist Steve Owens and Eagle Crest owner/general manager Bill Paulsen Jr.


Dan Russo of Hagaman and Dave Hayes of Loudonville, both playing out of Schuyler Meadows, combined to win last weekend’s 46th annual Wolferts Roost Invitational with a two-day total of 64-68-132, five shots ahead of Joe Fitzsimmons with Lance Hope (68-71-137).

The University at Albany women’s golf team hosts Siena in the “Crosstown Challenge” Sunday at Albany Country Club at 1 p.m. All matches begin on the 10th hole. This is the only home match of the season for the Great Danes.

Local club pros from the Northeastern New PGA will compete in their Match Play Championship Tuesday and Wednesday at Normanside Country Club.

Anne Van Buren of Pinehaven Country Club capped off a dominating season by capturing the Northeastern Women’s Golf Association Senior Championship at Windham Country Club this week.

The annual Haggerty Two-Man Classic is set for Sept. 30-Oct. 1 at Schenectady Municipal. Call the Muni pro shop at 382-3155 for details.

Defending champion Paul Pratico of Schenectady, the reigning and four-time Schenectady Senior Classic champion as well as a six-time open Schenectady Classic champ, finished third at last week’s New York State Senior Amateur Championship at Crag Burn Golf Club near Buffalo. Pratico shot a three-day total of 10-over-par 226. Glenn Stopera, the first-round leader from Scotia, tied for fifth with a 229 total.

Colonie G&CC hosts the fifth annual Capital Region Golf Championships Sept. 30. There will be shotgun starts at 8:15 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Tournament divisions include individual gross, two-man team gross, individual net and two-man team net. Contact Colonie G&CC at 765-4100, ext. 13, to enter.

The Normanside Two-Man Invitational is returning after a multiple-season hiatus. The two-day event is set for Sept. 23-24. The opening round will be a scramble, and the final round will be best ball. Entry fee is $175 per team and includes a cart both days. First place, based on 25 teams, will be $1,000. Call 439-4505, ext. 40, for more information.

Columbia Golf & Country Club hosts the next Eastern New York Golf Association event Wednesday.


Jim Pennie used a pitching wedge for his hole-in-one on the 126-yard fourth hole at Pioneer Hills Golf Club.

At Amsterdam Municipal, Nick Meola holed out with a 3-hybrid on the eighth hole for his ace.

Paul Marotta found the cup with a 3-wood on the 170-yard 11th hole at Briar Creek.

Joel Rouillard, who joined the club earlier that day, hit a pitching wedge for a hole-in-one on the 115-yard 11th hole at Mechanicville Golf Club.

At Western Turnpike Golf Club, JP Maloney posted a hole-in-one with a 6-iron on the 176-yard fifth hole on the blue nine.

At Cobleskill G&CC, Chris Hammond used a pitching wedge for his ace on the 100-yard eighth hole.


At Leatherstocking Golf Club, Ann Capobianco eagled the 16th hole with a driver and a wedge.

Brandon Wolf eagled the 15th hole at Briar Creek, while Steve Founten got one on the par-5 sixth hole.

Clyde Driggers eagled the par-4, 260-yard 16th hole at Mechanicville Golf Club with a driver and an 8-iron. Frank Coreno eagled that same hole with a driver and a wedge.

Gerry Murphy eagled the 12th hole while playing in the Sky Aerial Services league at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course.

Tim O’Brien eagled the third hole and both Bob Vainaskaus and Ben Alexander eagled the 12th hole at Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course.

Reach Bob Weiner at [email protected] or @BobWeiner58 on Twitter.

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