Sep 16, 2020

20th AGA/GAP George Montgomery Fall Four-Ball

Wyoming Valley duo wins Montgomery Four-Ball

An opening double bogey didn’t daunt Tom Biscotti and Eric Plisko. The Wyoming Valley Country Club members, given their history together, know they’re capable of makeup birdies.

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And they grabbed them. Seven to be exact — plus an eagle to finish with a 6-under-par 65 in the 20th AGA/GAP George Montgomery Fall Four-Ball at Valley Country Club (par 71, 6,128 yards). Biscotti and Plisko, as a result, captured the event’s Amateur Division by two strokes.

“It’s a tough first hole,” Plisko, 34, of Hanover Township, Pa., said. “I usually wear spikeless golf shoes. The tee-box was kind of in the shade, and it was still a little dewy, even at 11:45 in the morning. My back foot slipped a little bit, and I pulled my drive left. It hit the tree, and we just never found my ball. I should’ve gone back to the tee and hit another one. Not an ideal start.”

I wasn’t comfortable hitting driver, so I hit a 4-iron and I pulled it. I was up against the fence and I had to take an unplayable lie. I just kind of made a mess of the hole from there,” Biscotti, 42, of Mountain Top, Pa., added. “Eric was very positive afterward. He said, ‘Don’t worry buddy. We’ll get it back. No big deal.’ And we did.”

The Biscotti and Plisko team started its turnaround on No. 3 (par 4, 314) when the former drove the green and two putted from 20 feet for birdie. On No. 4 (par 4, 343 yards), Biscotti knocked a lob wedge 75 yards to six feet for another 3.

“I thought at that point, we had some good momentum going forward. It kept us going in the right direction,” he said. “We’re very capable of making a lot of birdies, especially on that golf course. We just had to stay patient.”

Three consecutive Plisko birdies exemplified the team’s mettle. On No. 6 (par 4, 369 yards), he faced a lie in heavy crabgrass on the upslope of the left fairway bunker. A flawless extraction — an 8-iron from 150 yards — set up a two-footer. Both he and Biscotti experienced manageable pitches into No. 7 (par 4, 308 yards) green. The latter left his four feet from the jar. Plisko’s checked accordingly and stopped on the lip. On No. 8 (par 5, 552 yards), Plisko hit a 4-iron 224 yards to 20 feet and logged two putts for birdie.

His penchant for red continued on No. 10 (par 4, 390 yards), where Plisko smacked a wedge 90 yards to four feet. Another birdie on No. 14 (par 5, 522 yards) — credit a pitch to five feet — put he and Biscotti tied atop the leaderboard. The team separated thanks to a Plisko eagle on No. 17 (par 5, 456 yards); a 7-iron 180 yards to 15 feet.  

“He just poured it right in the middle. It was just what we needed,” Biscotti said.

“There are moguls in the middle of the fairway. Usually you can clear them,” Plisko said. “I guess I caught the last one and my ball bounced right. It almost trickled out of bounds. You need some luck on your side, too.”

Luck, a reliable teammate and a hot hand help, too. Plisko won the previous two AGA/GAP events: the Founders Four-Ball alongside Joseph Weiscarger and the John Moore Memorial alongside Frank Schiel, Jr. He also won his third men’s championship at Wyoming Valley as well as the club’s Member-Guest alongside Drew Mamary.

“We’ve been playing in it for 16 years. We finished second in 2016, 2018 and 2019. We finally got over the hump,” Plisko said.

Biscotti, too, finally cleared a personal huddle by capturing his first club championship: the men’s title at Fox Hill Country Club. He and Plisko, coincidentally, will join forces to compete in the club’s Fall Classic this weekend.

“We kind of looked at this as a tune-up. It’s going to be a fun couple of days,” Biscotti said. “Eric’s playing as well as I’ve ever seen him play.”

“I just got to keep it going,” Plisko added. “Tommy’s not only a great person, but a great golfer. Hopefully we can get it done again.”

Senior & Super-Senior
Like Biscotti and Plisko, Ken Bolcavage and Michael Heck shook off a double bogey en route to the winner’s circle. The Elkview Country Club members carded an even-par 71 to tie atop the Senior Division (par 71, 5,954 yards).

In a scorecard playoff, they prevailed over Wemberly Hills Golf Club’s Bob Andrejko and Steve Mazur as well as Country Club of Scranton’s Walter Mikucki and Elkview’s Kenneth Nestor, Sr. The Bolcavage and Heck team posted a 34 (2 under) on Valley’s back nine compared to their counterparts even-par products.

“No. 5 (par 3, 127 yards) put us on the wrong track,” Bolcavage, 57, of Carbondale, Pa., said. “We walked off the green there and he said, ‘I can’t believe we made 5 there.’ I said, ‘What are you going to do, Mike?’ I’m glad we could laugh about it. We never get mad at each other.”

Let double bogey bygones be bygones. Heck four putted No. 5. Bolcavage pulled a wedge left and eventually missed a 10-footer to save bogey.

“I knew I had to be right of the pin. If you’re anywhere left, you’re not two putting,” Bolcavage said. “I tried to be cute with the chip shot and left it short. And you’re not two putting from there. It’s all downhill.”

Things continued to go downhill after a team bogey on No. 8 (par 5, 552 yards). Bolcavage lost his tee ball. Heck sent his drive into a penalty area.  

“We just hung in there. We knew we could come back,” Bolcavage said. “We put it together on the back nine.”

Indeed. Heck buried a 10-footer for birdie on No. 13 (par 4, 350 yards). Bolcavage nearly reached No. 14 (par 5, 522 yards) green in two strokes with a 3-iron from 240 yards. A chip from greenside left stopped in tap-in birdie territory.

Frosty Valley’s Carl Benjamin and Michael Duffy took the Super-Senior Division (par 71, 5,432 yards) with a 1-under-par 70. They defeated three teams for the title.

Celebrating Amateur Golf since 1897, GAP, also known as the Golf Association of Philadelphia, is the oldest regional or state golf association in the United States. It serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. The Association’s 288 Member Clubs and 75,000 individual members are spread across the Eastern half of Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey and Delaware. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

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