For the second year in a row, Siena College golfers teamed up to win the annual Haggerty Two-Man Championship Sunday at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course.
Jim Gifford of The Edison Club and Don Denyse of Capital Hills combined to shoot a final round of five-under-par 67 and captured the championship flight by two shots with a two-day total of 14-under-par 130.
Jim Welch and Dave Pallas shot a 64 in the final round to finish second in the championship flight with a 132, while Bob Stranahan and Jim Geoghegan took the senior flight with a 68-138.
Last year, Siena graduates Robby Bigley Jr. and Bryan Bigley cruised to the Haggerty title, but Bryan Bigley became a professional on the Tarheel Tour over the winter, leaving his brother to find another partner.
Gifford, a former Saratoga County Amateur titlist who recently won the Tri-County Match Play crown, helped celebrate Denyse’s 19th birthday with birdies on the second, seventh and 14th holes.
Denyse, who posted five birdies and an eagle during Saturday’s opening round, added birdies on the first and second holes.
“On Saturday, I shot even-par on my own ball, but I felt like I wasn’t even out there playing because Don played so well. He must have shot a 67 or a 68 on his own ball,” said Gifford. “Today, Don got off to a slow start, and I felt like I had to step it up. The good thing was that we didn’t both have a bad hole at the same time today.”
Gifford and Denyse jumped out to a quick start with birdies on the first two holes. They opened up some breathing room over the rest of the teams in the championship flight until they heard that Stan Moore and Robby Bigley Jr. had pulled to within a stroke of them on the back nine. The Moore-Bigley tandem double-bogeyed the par-5 14th hole, however, and then dropped out of contention.
“When we heard about their double-bogey on 14, that was huge,” said Gifford. “When we heard about their run on the back side, they still had two par-5s left so that they could make up even more ground. We thought we had to make more birdies to stay in front.”
But it turned out that Gifford and Denyse simply had to par their
final three holes to hold on for the victory.
“I didn’t putt very well today, but I started playing a little better on the back side,” said Denyse, the 2006 New York State Junior Amateur champion. “My plans for the rest of the summer include the New York State Amateur qualifier at Ballston Spa Country Club and the Albany County Amateur.”
Gifford and Denyse split $600. Chris Braman and Ken Bessette carded a 67-137 to win the first flight and a combined $400, while Fernando Mele and Andy Weise posted a 70-143 to share $300 in the second flight. Dick Field and Rob Bigley Sr. shot a 73-149 and shared $300 as winners of the third flight.
The Haggerty Two-Man Championship is named after the late Bob Haggerty Jr., who served as the head pro at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course for almost 30 years.
Championship flight — Gifford-Denyse 67-130, Welch-Pallas 64-132, Stoffer-McCarroll 68-133, Bigley-Moore 67-134, Wasserbach-Gangami 68-135, Bruda-Jones 72-140.
First flight — Braman-Bessette 67-137, Stopera-Lundberg 71-141, Roe-Grignon
73-144, Steinhardt-Bucci 73-144, Ferrara-Singh 76-145, Cohen-Drake 76-145, Barringer-Barringer 77-147.
Second flight — Mele-Weise 70-143, Gilbert-Gilbert 73-146, Mueller-Mueller 74-148, Petraccione-Rousseau 74-149.
Third flight — Field-Bigley Sr. 73-149,
Deblase-Koen 76-152, Cimmino-Cimmino 76-152 Fuller-Corrington 77-153, Fatone-Peterson 76-153, McConkey-McConkey
Senior flight — Stranahan-Geoghegan 68-138, Frutchy-Bernardi 73-139, Morgan-Ravella 73-139, Marsh-Andrikopoulos
72-143, Staub-Staff 73-145.