Frosty Valley duo prevails in scorecard playoff
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A two-hour drive didn’t bother Kyle Gordon or Jason Troutman. The prospect of playing a new golf course — in a competitive setting together, mind you — overruled lengthy transit.
Gordon and Troutman turned their first trip to Lords Valley Country Club (par 72, 6,344 yards) on Sept. 18 into a triumphant one. The Frosty Valley members carded a 2-under-par 70 to take the 19th AGA/GAP George Montgomery Fall Four-Ball. Gordon and Troutman edged Glenmaura National Golf Club’s John Barone and Elmhurst Country Club’s Frank Kacvinsky in a scorecard playoff for the Open Division crown.
“[Frosty Valley member] Larry McClure, who is actively involved with GAP, always tips us off to really nice courses to play. He told us Lords Valley was one we didn’t want to miss,” Troutman, 46, said. “It was a really cool, very demanding course. I told Kyle I wouldn’t want to play this course on my own ball. But with it being a better-ball format, you could get a little risky on a few holes.”
“On a couple of the holes, we drove out and checked out the landing area and the green. We wanted to have a plan for our approach shots,” Gordon, 48, added. “We pretty much kept it in play. We tried to have easy pars. We played well in and out.”
Gordon opened with a birdie on No. 1 (par 4, 316 yards), where he hit a wedge 38 yards to eight feet. Troutman also birdied a pair of par 5s in Nos 5 (469 yards) and 7 (516 yards). He added to the team’s momentum by inking a 3 on No. 10 (par 4, 346 yards), knocking a 60-degree wedge 88 yards to 10 feet below the flagstick.
Back-to-back bogeys nearly doomed the Danville, Pa. residents. Neither Gordon or Troutman recovered from poor tee positions on No. 14 (par 5, 477 yards). After sending his “best drive of the day” off the 15th (par 4, 391 yards) tee, Troutman attempted to feed a right-to-left sloping green with a “greedy” approach to a tucked right hole location. Despite then being short-sided, Troutman nearly holed a chip for birdie with a recently purchased 64-degree wedge. He missed a four-footer to save par.
Regardless, Gordon and Troutman, friends of 13 years and counting since meeting through Frosty Valley, stayed afloat to prevail by a stroke over Barone and Kacvinsky on Lords Valley’s back nine. Similar personalities often make for a cohesive Gordon and Troutman pairing.
“We’re both competitive and like to think things through,” Gordon, a contractor/homebuilder, said. “Sometimes I get a little rushed. He slows me down and talks me through it. It sort of eases your mind and gets you fully committed to a shot. He’s easygoing and a great partner to have. We had a great time.”
“We crack each other up. We keep it light and humorous, which helps a lot,” Troutman, who works in electrical sales, added. “Kyle is really funny. It takes the pressure off a little bit.”
Elkview Country Club’s Michael Heck and Paul Pisarcik carded an even-par 72 to capture the event’s Senior Division (par 72, 6,026 yards). Scranton Municipal Golf Course’s Tom Miller and Jerry Tonkin edged two teams en route to the Super-Senior crown.
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 274 Full 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.