Laneski, Plisko capture Amateur Division title
The 21st AGA/GAP Sam Spencer Four-Ball took place July 14 at Glen Oak Country Club (par 72, 6,608 yards). Three teams came out victorious in the event amidst the wet course conditions.
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In the Amateur Division, Eric Plisko of Wyoming Valley Country Club and Rick Laneski of Emanon Country Club captured the title by carding a score of 8-under-par 64. This made it their first win in an AGA/GAP event as a duo. Plisko, the reigning AGA/GAP Men’s Player of the Year, defeated the team of Eric Williams and Benjamin Williams of Honesdale Golf Club by four strokes.
Plisko and Laneski started off hot after carding back-to-back birdies on Nos. 2 (par 4, 308 yards) and 3 (par 4, 330 yards).
“It’s always important to get off to a good start, especially in a tournament like this one,” Laneski, 59, of West Wyoming, Pa., said. “I believe that using my 56-degree wedge on both of those holes allowed us to get rolling early.”
Plisko continued the duo’s momentum by reeling off four straight birdies on Nos. 11 (par 5, 515 yards), 12 (par 4, 370 yards), 13 (par 4, 326 yards), and 14 (par 4, 411 yards). He shot 5 under on his own ball.
“Eric pulling off that birdie streak on the back nine was one of the greatest rounds I’ve ever seen him play,” Laneski said. “That accomplishment solidified our lead and confidence for the rest of the tournament.”
Plisko and Laneski spend a lot of time together, both on and off the course. That chemistry helped translate into a significant victory for the duo.
“We have a tremendous relationship, and whenever I’m not playing, I’m usually on the bag for Eric,” Laneski said. “This felt like a family victory, and there’s nobody else I would rather compete with.”
Senior & Super-Senior
In the Senior Division (par 72, 6,203 yards), Bob Andrejko of StoneHedge Golf Course and Mark Bartkowski of Pocono Farms Country Club pulled off the victory with a score of 4-under-par 68. The duo defeated Matt Cuddy and Jim Hoover of Huntsville Golf Club by two strokes.
The Andrejko and Bartkowski team parred its first six holes, but things started to change quickly on No. 7 (par 5, 453 yards). Bartkowski used his 4-hybrid from 186 yards to set up an eagle putt. He drained it.
“Normally, from that distance, I would’ve used my 6-iron, but since I’ve been nursing a sore back, I decided to go with my 4-hybrid, and it ended up giving us the boost we needed,” Bartkowski, 57, of Roaring Brook Township, Pa., said.
The strong play from the duo continued as they carded birdies on Nos. 8 (par 4, 365 yards, 11 (par 5, 495 yards), and 15 (par 4, 378 yards). However, the most crucial birdie of the day came on No. 18 (par 5, 498 yards) after Bartkowski cashed in a 15-foot putt to close it out.
“Nos. 16, 17, and 18 are some of the most difficult holes on the course but we were able to have a strong finish and get the job done,” Bartkowski said.
In the Super-Senior Division (par 72, 5,636 yards), James Baker of the host club and John Voigt of Country Club of Scranton prevailed in a scorecard playoff. The team tied Robin Bonda of StoneHedge and Tom Miller of Wemberly Hills Golf Club at 1-under-par 71.
Baker and Voight posted an even-par 36 on Glen Oak’s back nine, Bonda and Miller a 1-over-par 37. The AGA/GAP uses the USGA-recommended scorecard tiebreaking method, which begins with back-nine scores.
“We stayed in contention and out of trouble for most of the day,” Baker, 65, of Dalton, Pa., said. “It always feels good to compete at your home course, and that gave me a great advantage while playing.”
The Baker and Voigt team carded birdies on Nos. 13 (par 4, 308 yards) and 17 (par 3, 194 yards).
“Sinking that two-foot birdie putt on No. 17 was so crucial for us,” Voigt, 68, of Clarks Summit, Pa., said. “We knew that it was going down to the wire at the end, and making that putt gave us the necessary momentum to come out with a win.”
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 300 Member Clubs and 80,000 individual members are spread across the Eastern half of Pennsylvania and parts of Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.