Aug. 9, 2018
Glenmaura National Golf Club
Home-club hopefuls Stephen Hudacek, III and Nick Paone defeated Elmhurst Country Club’s Michael Bonavoglia and Chris Hoban in a scorecard playoff to capture the 12th AGA/GAP Founders Four-Ball Aug. 9 at Glenmaura National Golf Club (par 71, 6,365 yards).
Both teams carded matching 6-under-par 65s. The USGA-recommended tiebreaking method starts with back-nine scores. The Hudacek and Paone team played that side in 4 under.
Their last Anthracite victory together came in the 2017 Sam Spencer Four-Ball.
“We grew up playing against each other in high school, and then later in life, we both joined Glenmaura and have become very good friends since then,” Hudacek, 30, of Harveys Lake, Pa., said. “We get to play a lot of four-ball golf together. We both play a similar style game. We’re not very long, but relatively accurate. Given the tee set and the need to be accurate at Glenmaura, I think that’s always helpful.”
“Both of our clubs are about the same, so it kind of helps us out,” Paone, 31, of Jessup, Pa., added. “I really rode his coattails. He was hot with the putter and made a bunch of birdies. I was there pop in some pars when needed.”
Hudacek, the 2011 BMW Philadelphia Amateur runner-up, turned up the heat with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 9 (par 3, 167 yards) and 10 (par 5, 514 yards). He hit a 7-iron to five feet on the first, a wedge 80 yards to four feet on the latter. Hudacek also deposited a 15-footer on the par 4, 355-yard 13th hole following an 85-yard wedge shot. His teammate’s lone conversion came at a critical time. On the par 4, 412-yard 16th hole, Hudacek found trouble in the form of a bogey. Paone’s gap wedge from 115 yards sailed past a front-right hole location, stopping 35 feet above.
“I told Steve I was due [for a birdie]. I wanted to will that one in for him,” Paone said. “I’ve seen that putt obviously playing the course hundreds of times. I knew it was going to feed off the hill there. I got it on the right line and it rode right in the middle.”
“That was probably the biggest putt of the day,” Hudacek added. “Once he made that, I knew we had a good opportunity to win outright or at least tie at 6 under.”
The Glenmaura team did tie — and ultimately prevail — thanks to a Hudacek birdie on No. 17 (par 4, 337 yards), where he knocked a wedge 100 yards to three feet.
Despite past four-ball success and home-course advantage, the Hudacek and Paone didn’t necessarily expect victory Thursday. Busy family and work schedules limit practice and playing time nowadays.
Both, however, are expecting new additions soon: an Aug. 26 due date for the Hudacek family, Sept. 27 for the Paones.
Different Anthracite partners, same 2018 success for Kenneth Bolcavage and Art Brunn.
The two carded a 5-under-par 66 to claim the Senior Division title at Glenmaura National (par 71, 6,059 yards). Brunn teamed with Wyoming Valley Country Club mate Eric Plisko to take the Spring Stroke Play in June. Two weeks later, Bolcavage and Christopher Cerminaro captured the Mid-Am Senior Tournament two weeks later.
“Art’s been a great player for many, many years,” Bolcavage, 54, of Carbondale, Pa., said. “We’ve played in a few tournaments every now and then. He’s a good friend of mine. We play well together. We have confidence in each other’s game.”
A slip-up at the day’s outset tested that confidence.
“We started off a little shaky. I three-putted No. 1 (par 5, 530 yards),” Bolcavage said. “After that, we didn’t scare a bogey.”
“We played really well on the back nine,” Brunn, 51, of Hanover Township, Pa., added. “We both played great in and out. That was the key, making some putts to finish up.”
Five birdie putts, to be exact. It started with a pair of 15-footers on Nos. 10 (par 5, 499 yards) and 11 (par 3, 128 yards) by Brunn and Bolcavage, respectively. A five-footer by Bolcavage on No. 14 (par 5, 533 yards) preceded a 7-iron to three feet for birdie on the par 3, 180-yard 15th hole. Brunn smacked a sand wedge 65 yards to seven feet to close on No. 18 (par 4, 318 yards).
“We enjoyed the day,” Brunn said. “It’s nice to see that some of the Philly guys are starting to migrate up and play some of the tournaments up our way. [The Anthracite/Golf Association of Philadelphia merger] has worked out well for everybody.”
Complete results: http://www.golfgenius.com/pages/1583550
Anthracite Golf Association
The Anthracite Golf Association merged with the Golf Association of Philadelphia in 2018. Anthracite, an organization founded in 1951, promotes golf in the Northeastern Pennsylvania region. At the height of its growth, Anthracite included 46 Member Clubs in 18 counties.
Golf Association of Philadelphia
Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) 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 260 Full Member Clubs and 75,000 individual members are spread across Eastern Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey and Delaware. As Philadelphia’s Most Trusted Source of Golf Information, the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.