Bob Mucha doesn’t like to gamble on the golf course. He prefers a sure thing, like depending on his short game to score rather than taking too many chances off the tee or on his
The 49-year-old Greenock Country Club head pro’s strategy was perfect for a hard-and-fast
Cobleskill Golf & Country Club layout that featured receptive greens but extremely bouncy fairways during the final round of the Cobleskill Pro-Am Classic Tuesday.
Mucha, who earned $850, carded a five-under-par 65 for a two-day total of three-under-par 137 to win the event by six shots over host pro and first-round co-leader Paul Jaycox (74-143), who took home $690.
Also cashing were Keith Sprenger of Catskill Golf Club (72-144, $600), first-round co-leader Tom Oppedisano of McGregor Links Country Club (76-145, $472.50), Milton Torres of Wahconah Country Club
(74-145, $472.50), Steve Vatter of Capital Hills at Albany (72-146, $172.50) and Justin Hearley of Normanside Country Club (72-146, $172.50).
“It was a very good round today.
It felt great for a change,” said
Mucha, who has been a member of the Northeastern New York PGA section for nine years after spending 15 years at three different clubs in the Connecticut PGA section. “I only hit one marginal shot all day, and I got away with it.”
Mucha, who shot a 72 in the opening round of the tournament, which featured a pro-am format of one pro and one scratch amateur, said Cobleskill G&CC fits his game perfectly.
“The course played firm, but fair. I enjoy firm courses,” he said. “I had to use a lot of hybrids and irons, and if I had to, I’m sure most of the guys had to use even shorter clubs than I do, because I’m not the longest guy out here. The key was that the greens were very receptive. But you had to pay attention on your tee shots and your approach shots. It took the aggressive part of your game away.
“I really liked the way the course played, because I’ve always been a pretty good wedge player, and you had to depend on your wedge play today. Another good thing for me was that you’ve got to know the course. Last year, I lost in a playoff, and even though I made a few bogeys in the first round, I knew that sometimes par is a good score on certain holes around here.”
Mucha birdied the third, fourth, sixth, eighth and ninth holes to make the turn at five-under-par. Although he hit his 6-iron over the green on the par-3 10th hole and failed to get up and down for par, he came back to birdie the 11th. Mucha settled for pars for most of the back nine, except for a 10-foot birdie on the 15th hole. He failed to get up and down for par on the 16th hole, but made a solid bogey on a hole he said he could have made a double bogey or triple bogey on.
“This is a thinking-man’s course, and I like that, because it suits my game,” he said. “I’m going to be 50 in January, and I can’t wait, because I think I can play well in some
senior events. I’ve learned a lot over the last few years, and I enjoy playing on shotmaker’s courses where you don’t have to overpower it like the young guys try to do.”
Jaycox, a Schenectady native and former NENYPGA open division and senior division player of the year, played a solid round, despite a horrible start.
“I got off really slowly with a double bogey on the first hole and bogeys on the second and third holes. I was already four-over-par after just three holes, but I kept it there the rest of the way,” he said.
“Our superintendent got the course in great shape, especially the greens. He’s a golfer himself, and he knows how important it is to have receptive greens.
“I’m playing OK lately. Scott Berliner and I won the Senior-Junior Pro-Pro last week in Utica, and I played pretty well here. It helps to play two days in a row.”
Bob Mucha (Greenock CC) 65-137, $850; Paul Jaycox (Cobleskill G&CC) 74-143, $690; Keith Sprenger (Catskill GC) 72-144, $600; Tom Oppedisano (McGregor Links CC)
76-145, $472.50; Milton Torres (Wahconah CC) 74-145, $472.50; Steve Vatter (Capital Hills at Albany) 72-146, $172.50; Justin Hearley (Normanside CC) 72-146, $172.50; Ian Breen (Colonie G&CC) 71-147; Jeremy Kerr (Mohawk GC) 74-148; Adam Panagopoulos (Wolferts Roost CC) 72-149; Scott Berliner (Normanside CC) 73-150; John Andrews (Burden Lake CC) 77-150; Chris Sanger (Red Hook GC) 71-151; Joe Fitzsimmons (Mill Road Acres) 75-152; John Souza (Stadium GC) 75-156; Trevor Fiedler (Wolferts Roost CC) 76-157; Matt Smith (Canajoharie CC) NC; Brad Stewart (Dick’s Sporting Goods) WD; Sam Cummings (Albany CC) NC.