Joe Macaluso knows it’s not enough to hit big tee shots at The Edison Club. You also must keep your ball in the fairway if you hope to score.
Macaluso, a 20-year-old former Edison member who now belongs to Saratoga National Golf Club, did both en route to a one-under-par 71 to win the Edison Invitational Monday.
Macaluso topped five players with 73 to win his second major Capital Region title. He also captured the 2008 Saratoga County Amateur.
Gary Grimaldi, 58, a Wynantskill resident who is taking a leave of absence this season from Shaker Ridge Country Club, shot a 73 and won a three-man playoff on the second extra hole to win the senior division. Former Edison Invitational champion Brad Griffin, 62, and 57-year-old Herb Stevens, the “skiing weatherman,” also shot 73.
Macaluso said the key to his round was his driver.
“My best club was my tee shot,” said Macaluso, who plays golf for Fairfield University, where he majors in business finance. “I was booming it today. When your driver works here, all you’ve got left to a lot of the greens is a wedge. If you can crank it and keep it in the fairway, you can really score well,” Macaluso added.
“I really thought the scores would be a lot lower. I thought at least a 69 would win it. That’s why I wasn’t thinking about what I needed to shoot to win. You can’t do that, or you get into trouble.”
As it turned out, Macaluso was on pace to shoot a lower number, but his putter failed him on the final few holes.
“I was three-under-par until the 15th hole,” he said. “I bogeyed two out of the last three holes. They were three-putts. I hit some good putts, but they just didn’t go in.”
Carding 73s were Chris Gilbert, three-time Mohawk Member-Guest champion Tim Hamm, Steve Owens of Normanside Country Club, Justin Deitz of the host club and Chris Barach of Mohawk Golf Club.
Brandon Haase, who teamed with Hamm for the last three Mohawk M-G titles, former champion Dan Russo of Rolling Hills at Antlers and Jim Welch of Winding Brook shot 74.
Don DeNyse III of Capital Hills at Albany, this year’s Eagle Crest Shootout champion and a two-time Albany County Amateur tit-list, holed out with a 6-iron on the 181-yard seventh hole for his fifth career hole-in-one.
Meanwhile, the senior division playoff was an exciting one. On the first extra hole, the long-hitting Stevens boomed his tee shot 40 yards past both Grimaldi and Griffin, but all three players reached the par-4 18th hole in regulation. Stevens had a speedy 15-footer downhill, and nestled his shot just past the cup before tapping in for par. Griffin had a routine two-putt for par, but Grimaldi, who was also above the hole, had a tricky breaker that he hit much too hard.
“I had a seven-footer for birdie, and then I had a six-footer for par coming back,” said Grimaldi, who made the clutch putt coming back to send the playoff to another hole.
Stevens wound up for another big tee shot on the 10th hole, but he shanked his drive into the trees, less than 50 yards away. On his second shot, he hit another tree, and the ball dropped straight down. He clipped that same tree on his third shot, but nearly pitched in with a wedge on his fourth shot. He ended up three-putting for a triple-bogey.
Meanwhile, Griffin hit his second shot into a bunker. He blasted out, but the ball failed to reach the green. He chipped onto the green, but he three-putted for double-bogey.
Grimaldi’s approach shot rolled to the back of the green. He lagged his first putt about four feet past the cup and missed his par, but the tap-in for bogey proved to be good enough to win.
“I really wanted to win with a par,” he said. “But a win is a win. I played very good all today. I hit it good, and I putted good. That three-putt on the second playoff hole was my first three-putt all day.”
Grimaldi, who also won the senior division in the Tri-County Golf Association Match Play Championship at Colonie Golf & Country Club this spring, had three birdies and four bogeys in regulation.
Open Division — Joe Macaluso 71, Chris Gilbert 73, Tim Hamm 73, Justin Deitz 73, Steve Owens 73, Chris Barach 73, Brandon Haase 74, Dan Russo 74, Jim Welch 74, John Vaccaro 75, Todd Czepiel 75, Riley McGraw 75, Don DeNyse III 76, Seth Adams 76, Ryan Prinzo 77, David Pallas 77, Jim Cocca 77, Andrew Pertroff 77, Chris Haggerty 77, Jim Gifford 77, Mike Wheeler 78, Vincent Floravanti 78, Matt Panneton 79, Eduardo Torres 79, Kevin Cassidy 79, Todd Duval 80, James Belogna 80, Jay Gargiulo 80, John Young 80, Mike McCarroll 82, Tim Zilka 82, Tom Salmon 82, Bill Sulivan 82, Brandon Jeffes 83, Scott Brayden 83, Chris Comi 83, Matt McCaffrey 84, Fred Guzielek 84, Kip Kirby 87, Paul Greene 87, Bryan Barach 88, David Arakelian 90, Emilio Torres DNS, Matt Horton DNS, Justin McCarthy DNS, John Mendrysa DNS.
Senior Division — x-Gary Grimaldi 73, Brad Griffin 73, Herb Stevens 73, Al Nebolini 74, Bill Paulsen 74, Steve Menhennitt 75, Peter Andrikopoulos 76, Dan Seiter 76, Robert Cowser 77, Bill Moll 78, Chuck Connolly 78, Ray Darnstadt 79, Ralph Maru 79, Don Maki 79, Richard Myers 79, Vincent Adimando 80, David LaFleche 80, Ken Brown 81, John Kellogg 82, Jim Mannix 82, Fred Marsh 82, Steve Hutchins 83, Sal Romano 83, Mario Marino 83, Stan Babieracki 83, Matt Burke 83, Tom Patterson 84, Bill Seward 84, Nick Lambros 84, Joseph Sciotino 84, John Ciancetta 84, Rick Pellegrini 85, Angelo Menagias 85, Doug Roche 86, Mark Riley 87, Pete Connell 87, Mark Suprunowicz 88, Jerry DeAngelus 88, Bruce Oswald 89, Dave Vanderzee 90, Larry Zaccherio 91, Peter Davis DNS, Neil Golub DNS, Toby Harding WD.