Local club professionals seem to have the amateurs’ number lately, but the Capital Region Amateur Golf Association all-stars are primed for an upset when the 12th annual Gazette Cup is played Wednesday at Colonie Golf & Country Club.
A switch in sites was necessitated by the extremely wet weather and some problems on six greens at Mohawk Golf Club, which was the original site.
The Gazette Cup is a match-play competition between the club professionals from the Northeastern New York PGA, who dominated in last year’s event, 42-12, and the CRAGA squad, captained by Dan Russo, who recently joined Schuyler Meadows after a long run at Rolling Hills Country Club.
Each team is comprised of 12 players, who square off in both individual and team matches.
There are three matches going on simultaneously in each foursome. One point is awarded for winning the front side, another point is gained for winning the back and a third point is given for winning the whole match. With six foursomes competing, there are 54 points up for grabs. To retain the cup, the pros need 27 points. The amateurs need 271⁄2 to win it back.
The pros lead the all-time series, 7-4.
Each squad makes up its team from its respective player of the year point lists.
Former player of the year Frank Mellet of Colonie Golf & Country Club is the captain of the NENYPGA team. Other likely competitors, based on last year’s points list, include three-time defending player of the year Scott Berliner of McGregor Links, Mellet assistant Ian Breen, Tom Sullivan of Wyantenuck Country Club, Bob Mucha of Greenock Country Club, Glenn Davis of Albany Country Club, former player of the year Peter Gerard of Mill Road Acres, Paul Jaycox of Cobleskill Golf & Country Club, former stroke play titlist Anders Mattson of Saratoga National, Tom Oppedisano of McGregor Links and Kevin Hughes of Saratoga Golf & Polo Club.
The CRAGA team is set. and includes defending player of the year Jim Welch of Olde Kinderhook, Chad Stoffer of Town of Colonie, Mike Wheeler of Shaker Ridge CC, Louis Walsh of Ballston Spa CC, Russo, Kevin Cassidy of Albany National, Dave Pallas of Saratoga Spa, Steve Quillinan Jr. of the host club, Mike McCarroll of Saratoga National, Dave Hayes of Schuyler Meadows, Justin McCarthy of Wolferts Roost Country Club and Brandon Haase of Mohawk Golf Club.
Welch is a former state Mid-Amateur champion who also has several Troy Invitational titles to his credit. Russo has won every major event in the area, and has been on the CRAGA team all 11 previous competitions. Stoffer and Quillinan are former Tri-County Match play champions. Quillinan has also won the Troy Invitational.
Each team’s lineup could change depending on the availability of the players off the point list.
Spectators are welcome. There is no charge.
u Colonie Golf & Country Club will host the annual Tri-County Match Play Championship Friday through Sunday.
u The Stadium Classic, originally scheduled for this weekend, was canceled because of problems with the greens.
u Leatherstocking Golf Course in Cooperstown will be the site for the state Men’s Four-Ball Championship May 18-19. To be eligible, two male amateur golfers must be members of the New York State Golf Association and have an up-to-date handicap index. Entry fee is $300 per team, and includes golf and cart fees, driving range, a personalized tee gift and dinner at the Otesaga Resort Hotel. Contact the NYSGA at www.nysga.org/fourball for more information.
u The Capital Region will host the 59th annual state Junior Elks Tournament for the third time on Aug. 4 at Orchard Creek Golf Course. The local qualifier for the event will be held July 15 at 8:45 a.m. at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course. Age divisions will be 12-14 boys and girls, 15-16 boys and girls and 17-18 boys and girls. Entry fee is $20, and includes golf, lunch and prizes for the top two players in each group. Checks should be made out to Rotterdam Elks Lodge #2157. For more information, contact local tournament director Paul Ungerland (384-0221) or Schenectady Muny head pro Matt Daley (382-5155).
u SUNY-Cobleskill dominated the individual honors on the North Eastern Athletic Conference all-conference golf team. Head coach Joe McCarthy was named coach of the year after leading the Fighting Tigers to a second-place finish at the NEAC Golf Championships, hosted by Keuka College at the Lakeside Country Club in Penn Yan. Travis Deuel was named the NEAC player of the year, and Ian Wilson was selected the rookie of the year. Deuel became only the second player in school history to win an individual championship with a two-day total of 79-72-151 to tie for first place. He then won with a birdie on the first extra hole over Penn State Berks’ Tyler Massar. Wilson shot a two-day total of 154, and was twice named NEAC golfer of the week during the regular season.
u The Eastern New York Golf Association will play its next event Wednesday at Van Patten.
u Airway Meadows’ Swing into Spring tournament for Stillwater Community Center and Glen Hollow Park, originally scheduled for this weekend, has been rescheduled for July 19.
u The Airway Meadows Early Spring 2-Player modified scramble, called the bad plaid shamble, will be held Saturday. Entry fee is $63 per player (non-member).
Bill Kalsuga of Penfield aced the 123-yard 17th hole at Ballston Spa Country Club with an 8-iron.
Jim Geiger eagled the third hole, and Bob Roulston eagled the 10th hole at Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course.