Aaron Simone of Pinehaven Country Club doesn’t know if he will be able to defend his overall boys’ title in Friday’s 16th annual Gazette Capital Region Newspaper in Education Junior Championship at Schenectady Municipal.
But he has a very good reason for remaining in the dark.
Simone, who also has two boys’ 12-14 age division titles to his credit, will be competing in the 38th annual Junior PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Club in Washington D.C. this week. If he makes the cut there, he won’t be back in Schenectady in time to attempt a repeat.
That would leave Bobby McCarthy of Van Patten and Alex Bond of Amsterdam Municipal as the players with the lowest handicaps (4) in the boys’ division.
Other top threats include Cody Husek (5) of Fox Run, Derrick Brown (6) of Schenectady Municipal, David Renko (7) of Ballston Spa CC, Mike Zhao (7) of Shaker Ridge Country Club, Kevin Johnston (7) of Nick Stoner, Michael Dwyer (9) of Amsterdam Municipal and Dennis Ziamandanis (9) of Albany Country Club.
Grace Ziamandanis (4) of Albany CC is the heavy favorite in the girls’ division.
Entry deadline is Monday. As of Friday there were close to 50 entries. Entry fee is $35 and includes golf, lunch and prizes, including some great door prizes.
Trophies and gift certificates will be awarded in both gross and net to the top three in the boys’ 12-14, boys’ 15-18 and girls’ 12-18 age divisions. Longest drive and closest to the pin contests are also included.
Drop off entry blanks to The Gazette at 2345 Maxon Road. Checks should be made payable to The Gazette. We will accept entries without entry blanks as long as they include the name, address, age, handicap, telephone number and entry fee.
All proceeds benefit The Gazette’s NIE program.
STATE AM RECAP
Schuyler Meadows Club did a phenomenal job in hosting the 91st annual New York State Amateur Golf Championship this past week.
Club members and staff helped make more than 140 players and guests feel comfortable, and the competitors faced an extremely tough and demanding layout all three days.
Although the New York State Golf Association was hoping to feature hard and fast conditions throughout the tournament, heavy rain the first day softened up the course. Gusting winds on the second day helped dry out the greens, however, and by the 36-hole final day on Thursday, the course was playing about as difficult as it could.
Matt Stasiak from Buffalo, who plans on turning professional in the next month or so, ended up winning the tournament by one shot over local favorite Victor Fox of Normanside Country Club. The 18-year-old Fox lost a two-shot lead on the final hole, but he played brilliantly all week and was the tournament leader through the first three rounds.
Despite the fact that Capital Region golfers still haven’t won a State Amateur since Jay Gunning triumphed in 1986, this year’s event was one of the best-run and most exciting that I’ve been involved with in my 25 years of covering the sport.
SOLID LOCAL SHOWING
Local players competing in the New York State Open this week at Bethpage State Park’s Black Course had strong performances.
Chris DeForest, son of Rondout Country Club head pro John DeForest, tied for seventh with a three-day total of two-over-par 216 and earned $2,210. Tied for 11th were Cobleskill Golf & Country Club assistant pro Scott Berliner (71-74-72 — 217), the defending Northeastern New York PGA Player of the Year, and Schalmont High School/Siena College graduate Bryan Bigley (70-70-77 — 217), who is now competing on the mini tours in North Carolina. Both earned $1,760.
Also competing but missing the cut were Colonie Golf & Country Club assistant pro Ian Breen (78-74 — 152), former Wolferts Roost Country Club standout Jeb Buchanan (78-77 — 155), who is now a professional, Colonie G&CC head pro Frank Mellet (78-81 — 159) and McGregor Links Country Club head pro Tom Oppedisano (92-77 — 169).
EDISON INVY NEARS
The 37th annual Edison Invitational — the Capital Region’s top one-day stroke play tournament for local scratch players — will be held Aug. 5 with a 12:45 p.m. shotgun start.
There will be three divisions this year: Open, Senior (50 and over) and Super Senior (65 and over). A skins game will be available in each division.
Entry fee is $100 and includes a practice session made with prior arrangements from head pro Craig McLean. Carts are available at an extra cost of $18. Courtesy range balls will also be available.
Included in the entry fee will be hors d’oeuvres and an outdoor cookout.
Call 399-2992 for more information. Entry deadline is Wednesday.
u The Northeastern Women’s Golf Association Championship, the premier individual scratch event for local women, will be held Tuesday and Wednesday at Colonie Golf & Country Club.
u Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course will host the annual Joe Merendo Swing Fore Kids Scramble Aug. 9. Entry fee for the four-person scramble will be $100, and it includes golf, lunch, dinner, Titleist balls, a glove and a hat. Call the Amsterdam Municipal pro shop at 842-4265 for more information.
u The fifth annual Tech Valley Golf tournament at Saratoga National Golf Club raised $150,000 for the Make-A-Wish foundation and other local charities. A total of 248 golfers competed. The winning team shot a 59 and included Tony Plugh, Werner Greyling, Liam McGrath and Andy Giordano. Tim Krohl, Matt Riggins, Tom Shannon and Dan Markowitz finished second with a 60, while Darin Hart, Desiray Elsenbeck, Dave Marshall and Brad Clark were third with a 61.
u Derrick Brown (81) and Ryan Gallagher (87) were first and second in the boys’ 17-18 age division, Emma Ward (102) played unopposed and won the girls’ 17-18 age division, identical twins Kyle (76) and Connor (77) Adams placed first and second in the boys’ 15-16 age division and Christine Guidarelli (104) took the girls’ 15-16 age division in the Rotterdam Elks #2157 New York State Elks Junior Qualifier this week at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course. All qualifiers advance to the 58th annual New York State Elks tournament in Utica Aug. 12. The Adams twins have a schedule conflict and will be replaced by Tyler Popp (78) and Darryn Bradt (83). The boys’ 12-14 age division will be represented by Mike Zhao (79) and Mike Doxie (83).
u Airway Meadows will hold its 10th annual Benefit Tournament Aug. 17. Entry fee for the four-person scramble will be $85 and includes a barbecue picnic. This year’s event will help defray medical costs for Lexi Gurka and Colin Flanders. Call 792-4144 for more information.
u Local club pros from the Northeastern New York PGA will compete in the Professional Championship at Berkshire Hills Country Club Monday and Tuesday.
u Pioneer Hills hosts the next Eastern New York Golf Association event on Wednesday.
u Junior camps for players age 6-15 and golf 101 camps for players of any age are now available at the eduKaytion Golf facility at the Cranwell Resort Spa & Golf Club. LPGA Teaching Pro Kay McMahon is the instructor. Call 669-1551 for more information.
u Carson Thompson, age 92, shot rounds of 78 and 79 this week at Amsterdam Municipal. He has shot or bettered his age more than 25 times.
u Also at Amsterdam Municipal, Bo Karutis posted five birdies in the same round.
Golfers always hope that a great shot is just around the corner. Despite the fact that John Caufman had gone more than 60 years without a hole-in-one, he collected his first ace at Saratoga Lake recently by sinking a 5-iron from 147 yards. Just seven days later, Caufman used his same 5-iron from 150 yards to hole out on the 11th hole at Winding Brook Country Club. That’s two holes-in-one in eight days. It’s never too late.
Ann Gagnon wielded a 3-wood for a hole-in-one on the 145-yard fourth hole at Whispering Pines.
Aces were dropping by the bundle at Van Schaick Island Country Club in the last two weeks. Marie Budd aced the 15th hole with a 7-rescue club for her third hole-in-one on July 11. On the same day, Dave Fruscio recorded his fifth career ace on the sixth hole. Mike Dawkins then collected his first hole-in-one with a 4-hybrid on the 199-yard sixth hole on July 19, while Bob Warren used a 3-wood to also hole out on the sixth hole during the VSI Member-Guest.
Stan Moore posted his eighth career hole-in-one by hitting an 8-iron from 150 yards on the fourth hole while playing in the Dirty Dozen outing at Amsterdam Municipal.
Lonny Warshaw of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., hit a 5-iron from 170 yards for a hole-in-one at Saratoga Lake Golf Club.
Also at Saratoga Lake Golf Club, Steve Ellinger used a pitching wedge to hole out on the 144-yard 17th hole.
At Brookhaven, Vinnie Nichols Jr. had a hole-in-one on the seventh hole with a 7-iron.
Former Gazette Senior County Amateur champion Mike Carroll posted his third hole-in-one this month by acing the 15th hole at Mohawk Golf Club.
Brian Henry, playing with former Edison Club head pro Rick Wright at Mohawk Golf Club, posted a double-eagle on the par-5 13th hole.
Mary Gomolinski eagled the 15th hole while competing in the Briar Creek Ladies league.
Recording eagles at Amsterdam Municipal this week were Alex Bond (No. 3), Lew Quinn (No. 5), Chris Quenelle (No. 10), Jim Russo Jr. (No. 10) and T.J. Sumigray
(Nos. 5 and 10).
Dennis Ahl eagled the 15th hole at Hales Mills Country Club.
John Privitera eagled the 12th hole while competing in the Stator Frame league at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course.
At Ballston Spa Country Club, Ron Deperto eagled the third hole.
Ryan Meikle eagled the 10th hole at Van Schaick Island Country Club.
Junior golfer Nate Shawver recorded his first eagle by reaching the 523-yard par-5 eighth hole with a driver and 4-wood and then sinking the putt at Airway Meadows.