Jay Singh and Adam Boghosian weren’t the biggest names in a strong field by any means, but they made some of the best shots when they had to.
Singh, a former Schenectady Municipal regular now playing out of Van Patten Golf Club, and Boghosian, who plays out of Shaker Ridge Country Club, edged area standouts Steve Quillinan Jr. and his uncle, Joe, in a chipoff on the final hole to capture the 21st annual Eagle Crest Shootout Friday at Eagle Crest Golf Club.
Both tandems settled for pars on the par-5 18th hole, forcing the traditional chipoff that breaks all ties.
Boghosian, hitting first from 90 yards away, flew his sand-wedge shot directly over the flag and about 15 feet past the cup, near the back of the two-tiered green. It spun back to just 18 inches from the hole, taking all the pressure off his partner.
“I almost didn’t have to hit a shot after watching Adam, but it would have been rude not to take my turn,” said Singh, who went through the motions on his own pitch toward the green.
The Quillinans would have had to practically hole out to win, and although Joe’s aggressive wedge shot landed a few feet past the cup, it rolled to the back of the green.
Singh, 44, and Boghosian, 29, earned a gift certificate for $225 apiece, while the Quillinans earned gift certificates for $175 each.
Boghosian said he didn’t feel any pressure on the winning shot.
“I just choked up a little on my sand wedge. All I wanted to do was to get my shot to the back of the green,” he said. “We could only see the top of the flag from where we were. I knew it was a pretty good shot only after I heard everyone yelling and clapping.”
Singh, suffering from a back injury, rode his partner’s strong play whenever possible.
“When Adam is playing like that, all I had to do was drive the cart,” he said with a smile.
“We flew under the radar today. We knew there were a lot of big-name teams out there who probably didn’t know who we were.”
Although eight of the 26 teams in the field broke par in the 18-hole qualifying round, most of the “name” teams dropped out of the shootout portion of the event extremely early, including qualifying medalists Dan Russo and Dave Hayes of Schuyler Meadows, who shot a six-under-par 66, but were eliminated in a chipoff on the very first hole.
Singh and Boghosian carded an even-par 72, and it looked for a while that they weren’t going to qualify, but Singh told his partner to hang in there.
“We just had to stay positive,” said Singh. “I had to make a key par on the final
hole of qualifying, and I thought that might get us in, and it did. Once we were in the shootout, we were starting all over again. Our goal was to make pars.”
Twelve teams made the shootout, and they were broken up into two divisions, with one group starting on the 11th hole and the other starting on the 12th. Two teams were eliminated on the first hole in each group, and then one team was ousted on each subsequent hole. Teams with the highest score on each hole were eliminated, and ties were broken by chipoffs. The divisional champions squared off for the title on the 18th hole.
Boghosian was the hero for his team during the shootout. Not only did he make the winning shot, but he also collected birdies on the par-4 12th hole and par-5 13th hole.
The Quillinans, former Country Club of Troy members now playing at Burden Lake Country Club, had the far more impressive resume than their opponents. Joe has won nearly every major tournament in the area, while Steve is a former Troy Invitational and Tri-County Match Play champion.
The shootout was the first major title for either Singh or Boghosian.
Qualifiers — Dan Russo-Dave Hayes 66, Bill Paulsen Jr.-Spencer Sautin 67, Nick Martini-Greg Bennett 67, Rob Bigley Jr.-Brad Myatt 68; Jim Welch-Dave Pallas 68; Josh Hilderbrand-Josh Wilson 71, Mike Wheeler-Tom Salmon 71, Joe Quillinan-Steve Quillinan Jr. 71, Chris Gilbert-Mike McCarroll 72, Paul Pratico-Glen Brown 72, Jay Singh-Adam Boghosian 72, John Vaccaro-Chuck Connolly 72.
Order of finish — Singh-Boghosian, 1st; Quillinan-Quillinan, 2nd; Wheeler-Salmon, 3rd; Hilderbrand-Wilson, 3rd, Gilbert-McCarroll, 5th, Pratoco-Brown, 5th, Bennett-Marini, 7th, Connolly-Vaccaro, 7th; Hayes-Russo, 9th, Paulsen-Spencer 9th, Bigley-Myatt, 11th; Welch-Peters, 11th.
Other scores — Cassidy-McGraw 74, Hart-Broderick 74, Hillanbrandt-DeMarco 74, Kelly-Kelly 75; Prinzo-Prinzo 76; Chylinski-Stopera 76; Hall-Case 77; Hier-Quinn 77; Reeves-Robillard 78; Pettraccione-Alois 79; Keegan-Mele 79; Moore-Sacoccia 81; Riccio-Lefsyk 81; Whicker-Whicker 82.