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23rd AGA/GAP Over/Under 50 Tournament

Bartkowski, Kacvinsky take Over/Under 50

Mark Bartkowski picked up two titles Monday in the 23rd AGA/GAP Over/Under 50 Tournament at Elmhurst Country Club (par 72, 6,233 yards). 

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The Pocono Farms Country Club member joined forces with Elmhurst’s own Frank Kacvinsky to capture the team title. The duo carded a 6-under-par 66, two shots clear of Ryan Knolles of Towanda Country Club and Sam Lewis of Country Club of Scranton. 

Bartkowski also captured individual honors in the Over 50 Division. He carded a 3-over-par 75. In the Under 50 portion of the event, Eric Plisko of Wyoming Valley Country Club filed an even-par 72 to prevail. 

The Over/Under 50 Tournament, as its title suggests, pairs an individual over the age of 50 with one under the age of 50 in a better-ball-of-partners format.

“Frank setting the tone early on in the day helped us,” Bartkowski, 57, of Roaring Brook Township, Pa., said. “We just kept plugging along the entire day and ended up victorious in the end.”

Kacvinsky, an Elmhurst regular, knew a fast start was important. Birdies on Nos. 2 (par 5, 440 yards) and 3 (par 4, 387 yards) were precisely what the Dickson City, Pa. native had in mind.

“We never lost momentum because of those two early birdies,” Kacvinsky, 29, said. “We didn’t feel any stress throughout the day, and our play was nice and steady.”

After falling short in last year’s Over/Under 50, redemption was on the minds of both Bartkowski and Kacvinsky. The duo carded a 2-under-par 70 to finish in the Top 15.

“Frank and I were off to a good start last year, but had a couple of blunders and walked away with a sour taste in our mouth,” Bartkowski said. “I know Frank has been practicing endlessly on his game, and we were more strategic with our shots this time around.” 

“A big reason why we fell short last year is that we lost our focus,” Kacvinsky said. “Today, we made sure that we were consistent and took care of business.”

Consistency was essential for the Bartkowski and Kacvinsky team. Ten pars, seven birdies achieved. The team recorded a bogey on No. 17 (par 4, 349 yards), but wasn’t too stressed about it due to the birdie Bartkowski carded on No. 18 (par 4, 360 yards). 

“It was our only bogey of the day and was by far the toughest hole on the course,” Bartkowski said. “But capitalizing with a birdie on the next hole with a putt from three feet allowed us to stay in front and win the event.”

This marks the second AGA/GAP victory for Kacvinsky this season. He paired with Fox Hill Country Club’s John Mikiewicz to take the Modified Stableford Tournament in May. 

Plisko, the reigning AGA/GAP Men’s Player of the Year, was the only competitor to finish level par or better. 

“Coming into today, I was a little tired after playing a lot over the weekend,” Plisko, 34, of Hanover Township, Pa., said. “However, I was excited to play today because my game has started to elevate as I have been getting more confident in my swing.”

Another reason why Plisko is still a little tired is fatherhood. His son will turn two months old this Saturday.

“My wife and I have been extremely busy these past two months,” Plisko said. “That’s why I can play in almost all of the AGA/GAP events because they’re close to home and a lot more convenient for traveling. Elmhurst is a great course, and I always enjoy playing up here,” Plisko said. “I felt that I had more confidence today than in previous tournaments, and hopefully, I can carry that forward for the rest of the summer.” 

GAP
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.