Their flat sticks did the talking.
Local club professionals from the Northeastern New York PGA made more than their share of putts — including a 50-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole by Tom Sullivan of Wyantenuck Country Club, setting the tone in the very first match — to crush the Capital Region Amateur Golf Association team, 42-12, in the 11th annual Gazette Cup Wednesday at Mohawk Golf Club.
The pros now lead the series, 7-4.
Each team of 12 was chosen off their respective player of the year points list for the match-play format. There were nine points available in each four-ball match, including three for each individual match and three more for each team match. Points were awarded for winning the front side, the back side and total. There were 54 total points available.
The pros won four of the six team matches and 10 of the 12 individual matches to avenge last year’s one-sided victory by the amateurs.
Although two storm delays hindered play on the front nine, the weather conditions improved on the back nine, when most of the fireworks took place. The pros already had a 14-4 lead after the front nine, and kept piling up the points on the back.
“We always ham-and-egg it pretty well,” said host pro Jeremy Kerr, who teamed with McGregor Links Country Club head pro Tom Oppedisano to sweep amateur opponents Mike Wheeler of Shaker Ridge Country Club and Dave Pallas of Saratoga Spa State Park in all three matches.
Kerr birdied the third hole and then added a birdie on the ninth hole to clinch the front side for the team match. He added birdies on the 13th and 14th holes.
“During the breaks, I was just anxious to get out and play,” said Kerr. “We’re used to having delays like that, but I was concerned that my son had a doctor’s appointment to get to, but luckily, my wife took him.
“It all comes down to putting in matches like this. You can make up for a lot of bad shots with some good putts.”
Kerr’s partner agreed.
“Jeremy and I have been friends for a long time. We are a traditional pairing,” said Oppedisano. “We relax each other and feed off each other.
“The weather on the front nine was difficult, but it was a lot better on the back nine. “The scoring is deceiving in this format, because you can win by seven shots or one. It all depends on when you win the holes.”
Albany Country Club head pro Glenn Davis and partner Noel Gebauer of Town of Colonie Golf Course won 61⁄2 of their possible nine points from amateurs Justin Deitz of The Edison Club and Victor Fox of Normanside Country Club, but it wasn’t easy, as Deitz chipped in for birdie on the 11th hole and then chipped in for eagle on the par-5 13th hole.
“It was tough to keep track of everything that was going on in all three matches,” said Davis with a grin. “Whenever one team went 1-up, the other team came back to win a hole.
“They hit it a long way,” Davis said of his young amateur opponents. “They’re both very talented. I hit it longer than I used to with today’s modern equipment, but I’m not sure I ever hit it as long as those guys. But the key was to make your putts and keep the ball in the fairway.”
“I haven’t played much golf yet,” said Deitz, a Siena College graduate. “I didn’t hit the ball very well today, but I did chip well.”
Sullivan and Steve Mazzariello of Stockbridge Golf Club won seven of their possible nine points against CRAGA captain Dan Russo of Rolling Hills Country Club and Dave Hayes of Schuyler Meadows, while Ian Breen of Colonie Golf & Country Club and John Durcan of Alapaha Golf Course won eight of nine points from honorary amateur captain Chuck Connolly of Kingswood and Doug Hart of Rolling Hills Country Club.
The best showing from the amateur team was by Chad Stoffer of Town of Colonie and Mike McCarroll of Saratoga National, who won 31⁄2 points, despite losing their individual matches to John Souza of Stadium and Scott Berliner of Cobleskill Golf & Country Club.
“Chad played well on the front side, and I played a lot better on the back,” said McCarroll. “I’m not really sure how we won 21⁄2 team
points and didn’t win our individual matches, but we made the putts we needed to, and we had no bogeys on the back.
“This was a lot of fun,” said McCarroll. “I enjoyed being considered for the team, and it was a fun day. It was quite a challenge.”
“On the front side, it was so cold, that it was hard to get the right feel,” said Stoffer. “We played better on the back, when the weather warmed up considerably. It was a lot of fun.”
Al Stein, the former head pro at Glens Falls Country Club and section president from 1972-1974,
was the honorary captain for the pros.
NENYPGA 42, CRAGA 12
Team matches — P-Tom Sullivan (Wyantanuck CC)-Steve Mazzariello (Stockbridge GC) def. David Hayes (Schuyler Meadows)-Dan Russo (Rolling Hills at Antlers), 2-1; P-Tom Oppedisano (McGregor Links CC)-Jeremy Kerr (Mohawk GC) def. Dave Pallas (Saratoga Spa GC)-Mike Wheeler (Shaker Ridge CC), 3-0; P-Keith Sprenger (Pioneer Hills GC)-Bob Mucha (Greenock CC) tied Steve Quillinan Jr. (CC of Troy)-Dave Mooradian (CC of Troy), 11⁄2-11⁄2; A-Chad Stoffer (Town of Colonie) def. Mike McCarroll (Saratoga National GC), 21⁄2-1⁄2 ; P-Ian Breen (Colonie G&CC)-John Durcan (Alapaha GC) def. Chuck Connolly (Kingswood GC)-Doug Hart (Rolling Hills at Antlers), 21⁄2-1⁄2; P-Glenn Davis (Albany CC)-Noel Gebauer (Town of Colonie) def. Justin Deitz (The
Edison Club)-Victor Fox (Normanside CC), 21⁄2-1⁄2.
Individual matches — Sulllivan def. Hayes, 3-0; Mazzariello def. Russo, 2-1; Oppedisano def. Pallas, 3-0; Kerr def. Wheeler, 3-0; Sprenger tied Quillinan, 11⁄2-1⁄2;
Mucha def Mooradian, 3-0; Souza def. Stoffer, 21⁄2-1⁄2; Berliner def. McCarroll, 21⁄2-1⁄2; Breen def. Connolly, 3-0; Durcan def. Hart, 21⁄2-1⁄2 ; David def. Deitz, 3-0; Fox def. Gebauer, 2-1.