Siena College standout Justin Deitz of The Edison Club ( CRAGA ), Donna Heskett of Burden Lake Country Club (NEWGA) and Chuck Connolly of Hiland Golf Club
(ENYGA) are the reigning players of the year on the adult amateur golf circuit and will attempt to defend their titles during a busy 2012 schedule.
Deitz compiled 588.42 points during Capital Region Amateur Golf Association events to edge CRAGA Stroke Play champion Dan Russo of Rolling Hills at Antlers Country Club (466.50) and Eagle Crest Shootout winner Jim Welch of Winding Brook Country Club (410.50).
Jim Mueller won his unprecedented sixth Gazette County Amateur title for another major amateur highlight.
The steady Heskett picked up points in numerous team events and net competitions during Northeastern Women's Golf Association play and produced 51 points to squeeze by clubmates Elizabeth Cushing (47) and Leona DeLong (42).
MaryEllen Burt, formerly of Pinehaven Country Club and now out of Mohawk Golf Club, where she coaches the Union College women's golf team, won both the NEWGA Championship at McGregor Links Country Club and the Capital District Women's Open, with partner Mary Jo Kelly of Wolferts Roost Country Club.
Connolly, a two-time New York State senior champion, once again dominated the Eastern New York Golf Association by winning more than a third of that group's tournaments.
In Northeastern New York PGA Junior Tour competition, Louis Walsh, now playing for Siena, was the player of the year in the boys' 16-18 age division, while Glenmont's Jeff Palmerino won the boys' 13-15 age division.
Bailey Cocca, a two-time New York State Junior Girls champion out of Shaker Ridge Country Club, took the girls' 16-18 age division, while Kayla Szekely was the girls' 13-15 champion.
CRAGA events are the mainstay of the men's amateur schedule and will culminate with the Stroke Play Championship Aug. 3-4 at Schuyler Meadows.
Other major individual men's amateur events include the Tri-County Match Play Championship May 11-13 at Colonie Golf & Country Club, the Gazette Cup, which pits the top 12 players on the CRAGA point list against the top 12 players on the Northeastern New York PGA point list May 9 at Mohawk Golf Club, the Gazette County Amateur, set for June 15-17 at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course, the Troy Invitational June 22-24 at the Country Club of Troy, the Eagle Crest Shootout in July, the Edison Club Invitational in August and the New York State Senior & Super Senior Championship Sept. 19-21 at Wolferts Roost Country Club.
There are also numerous team titles up for grabs, including the Stadium Classic
May 5-6 at Stadium Golf Club, the Shaker Ridge Invitational June 1-3, the Haggerty Two-Man
Championship at Schenectady Municipal in June, the Mohawk Member-Guest in July, the Wolferts Roost Invitational Sept. 7-9 and the Tri-County Partners Championship in
October at Olde Kinderhook.
Major events for the local women include the Gazette Women's Best Ball Championship June 2 at Briar Creek and the Capital District Women's Open July 23-24 at Ballston Spa Country Club, as well as the major NEWGA events, the Gaily Sykes Better Ball Championship July 2 at Saratoga National and the NEWGA Championship Aug. 12-13 at Western Turnpike.
On the women's professional side, the Symetra Futures Tour's Empire Classic will be held Aug. 3-5 at Capital Hills at Albany.
ENYGA events begin April 23 at McGregor Links Country Club.
April 25 -- CRAGA Amateur Tour, TBA; 30 -- CRAGA Classic No. 1 (Gross Division) at CC of Troy.
May 5-6 -- Stadium Classic at Stadium GC; May 9 -- Gazette Cup at Mohawk GC; May 11-13 -- Tri-County Match Play at Colonie G&CC; May 14 -- U.S. Open Local Qualifier at McGregor LinksCC; May 21 -- CRAGA Classic No. 2 at Wahconah CC; May 23 -- CRAGA Amateur Tour (Gross and Net) at Saratoga National GC.
June -- Haggerty Two-Man at Schenectady Municipal GC; June 1-3 -- Shaker Invitational at Shaker Ridge CC; June 4 -- CRAGA Classic No. 3 at McGregor Links CC; June 5 -- CRAGA Amateur (Gross and Het) at CC of Troy; June 8 -- New York State Open Qualifier at Colonie G&CC; June 9-10 -- Albany County Amateur Championship at Normanside CC; June 15-16 -- Saratoga County Amateur at Eagle Crest GC and Ballston Spa CC; June 15-17 -- Gazette County Amateur at Schenectady Municipal GC; June 20 -- CRAGA Amateur Tour Gross and Net, TBA; June 22-24 -- Troy Invitational at CC of Troy.
July -- Catskill GC Invitational; July 2 -- New York State Men's Amateur Local Qualifier at Colonie G&CC; July 12 -- Eagle Crest Shootout; July 13 -- Stockbridge Classic; July 14-15 -- Whiteface Open; July 20-22 -- Mohawk Member-Guest.
Aug. 3-4 -- CRAGA Stroke Play Championship at Schuyler Meadows Club; Aug. 6 -- Edison Invitational at The Edison Club; Aug. 16-17 -- Gazette Senior County Amateur at Schenectady Municipal GC; Aug. 17 -- CRAGA Amateur Tour Gross and Net, TBA; Aug. 27 -- New York State Mid-Amateur Local Qualifier at McGregor Links CC.
Sept. --Woodstock Open; Sept. -- Rensselaer County Amateur at Frear Park; Sept. 7-9 -- Wolferts Roost Invitational at Wolferts Roost CC; Sept. 12 -- CRAGA Amateur Tour Gross and Net, TBA; Sept. 19-21 -- New York State Senior & Super Senior Men's Championship at Wolferts Roost CC; Sept.30 -- Schuyler Meadows High School Invitational.
October. -- Tri-County Partners at Olde Kinderhook GC.
April 23 -- at McGregor Links CC; April 30 -- at Ballston Spa CC.
May 9 -- at Van Patten G.C.; May 16 -- at Queensbury CC; May 23 -- at Burden Lake GC; May 30 -- at Mt. Anthony CC.
June 6 -- at Fox Run GC; June 11 -- Lou Torre Two-Man at Sycamore CC; June 20 -- at Cobleskill G&CC; June 27 -- at Brookhaven GC.
July 5 -- at Town of Colonie G.C.; July 10 -- at Winding Brook CC; July 18 -- Harry & Bonnie Clark ABCD Championship at Orchard Creek GC; July 25 -- at Rolling Hills at Antlers CC.
Aug. 1 -- at Pioneer Hills GC; Aug. 8 -- at Town of Colonie GC; Aug. 15 -- at Kingswood Links GC; Aug. 20 -- Four-Man Scramble at Mohawk River CC; Aug. 29 -- at Hiland GC.
Sept. 5 -- at Frear Park; Sept. 12 -- at Fairways of Halfmoon; Sept. 18 -- at Schenectady Municipal GC; Sept. 26 -- at Eagle Crest GC.
Oct. 10 -- at Normanside CC.
May 31 -- NEWGA Two-Person Scramble at Winding Brook CC.
June 2 -- Gazette Women's Best Ball Championship at Briar Creek; June 5 -- Schuyler Meadows Invitational; June 13 -- NEWGA Individual Quota, TBD; June 16 -- NEWGA Best Two Balls of Four at Olde Kinderhook; June 19-20 -- Pittsfield Invitational; June 26-27 -- Wolferts Roost Invitational; June 29 -- Columbia Invitational.
July -- Mohawk GC event; Windham Invitational; July 2 -- NEWGA Gail Sykes Better Ball at Saratoga National; July 9-10 --Troy Invitational; July 11 -- Wiltwyck Invitational; July 13 -- Burden Lake Invitational; July 17-18 --Stockbridge Invitational; July 23-24 -- Capital District Women's Open at Ballston Spa CC.
Aug. 1 -- NEWGA Two-Person Stableford at Wiltwyck GC; Aug. 6-8 -- Taconic Invitational; Aug. 10 -- Cobleskill Invitational; Aug. 12-13 -- NEWGA Championship at Western Turnpike; Aug. 21 -- NEWGA Team Match Play at CC of Troy; Aug. 22 -- Pro-Lady at Wolferts Roost CC; Aug. 28 -- NEWGA Mixed Invitatonal at Hiland GC.
Sept. 10-11 -- NEWGA Senior Championship at Cobleskill G&CC.
May 12-13 -- New York State PGA Junior Championship at Leatherstocking GC; May 26 -- NENYGA Open Junior Golf Event at Craig Wood.
June 25 -- NENYPGA Pro-Junior at Pinehaven Country Club; June 26 -- USGA Junior Boys Qualifier at Olde Kinderhook GC; June 28 --NENYPGA Junior Golf Tour No. 1 at Hiland GC; June 29-30 -- NENYPGA Junior Championship at Town of Colonie GC.
July 6 -- NENYPGA Junior Golf Tour No. 2 at Mohawk GC; July 9 -- New York State Junior Boys Qualifier at Town of Colonie; July 11 -- NENYPGA Junior Golf Tour No. 3 at Ballston Spa CC; July 16 -- NENYPGA Mini-Division at Van Schaick Island CC; July 17 -- NENYPGA Junior Golf Tour No. 4 at Fox Run GC; July 19 -- NENYPGA Junior Golf Tour No. 5 at Stadium GC; July 20 -- Jack Maxwell Invitational at Wolferts Roost CC; July 22 -- NENYPGA Junior Tour Parent-Child Championship at Van Patten GC; July 25 -- NENYPGA Junior Golf Tour
No. 6 at Cobleskill G&CC; July 26 -- NENYPGA Junior Golf Tour No. 7 at Skyline CC; July 31-Aug. 3 -- PGA Junior Championship at Sycamore Hills GC, Fort Wayne, Ind.
Aug. 1 -- NENYPGA Junior Golf Tour
No. 8 at Albany CC; Aug. 2 -- NENYPGA Junior Golf Tour No. 9 at Fairways of Halfmoon; Aug. 3 -- Gazette N.I.E. Junior Championship at Schenectady Municipal; Aug. 7-8 -- New York State Boys and Girls Championship at Mark Twain Golf Course in Elmira; Aug. 8 -- Junior DeBerry Invitational Team Event at Normanside CC; Aug. 11 -- New York PGA Junior Tour Championship at Glens Falls CC.
Sept. 30 -- Schuyler Meadows Club High School Invitational at Schuyler Meadows.
Reach Gazette Sportswriter Bob Weiner at 395-3147 or email@example.com. Read his take on local golf anytime by checking out his blog, "On the Ball," at www.dailygazette.com/weblogs/weiner.