Gardas, Williams take John Moore (again)
Glenmaura National Golf Club’s James Gardas and Honesdale Golf Club’s Eric Williams secured their 12th victory as a duo in the John Moore Memorial Tournament May 15 at Elkview Country Club (par 72, 6,546 yards) and May 16 at StoneHedge Golf Course (par 71, 6,644 yards).
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Gardas and Williams opened with a 7-under-par 65 at Elkview, good enough for a two-stroke over Glen Oak Country Club’s James Egan and Wemberly Hills Golf Club’s Mike Manci.
The team replicated that performance at StoneHedge. Gardas and Williams posted a 7-under-par 64 on Day Two to prevail by eight strokes over Towanda Country Club’s Eric Aeppli and Ryan Knolles.
In addition to the 12 victories, Gardas himself also won twice alongside his late Honesdale High School golf coach, Walter Marowski.
“Walter was a big influence for me in golf and was a big part of my life,” Gardas, 44, of Hawley, Pa., said. “He was an accomplished golfer and took me under his wing and got me playing not only in the individual events, but also the team events.”
Marowski’s confidence in Gardas impacted his golf path. Gardas and Williams, friends of 25 years, continue to impact the John Moore Memorial Tournament.
The team stated its intentions immediately. Both Gardas and Williams birdied No. 1 (par 5, 489 yards) at Elkview.
“We just really wanted to get off to a good start,” Williams, 48, of Honesdale, Pa., said. “I figured if we could shoot a good number on the front, then we would be tough to beat because we’ve been playing together for 25 years.”
An eagle on No. 8 at Elkview (par 5, 512 yards) ignited the Gardas and Williams team. The latter launched a hybrid to two feet.
“After that hole, we were off and running, which allowed us to finish well,” Williams said. “We know each other’s games very well. He’s going to make pars somehow, which frees me a little bit and allows me to get more aggressive with my puts and shots.”
On Day Two at StoneHedge, the Gardas and Williams team took care of business. Williams, a nine-time AGA/GAP Men’s Player of the Year, birdied Nos. 3 (par 5, 601 yards), 5 (par 4, 382 yards), 9 (par 5, 596 yards), 14 (par 3, 129 yards) and 17 (par 5, 533 yards).
“Eric and I play so much together we are obviously very comfortable with each other’s game, and he’s been playing very well right now,” Gardas added. “Both courses were in great shape, and I’m glad they were able to host us.”
As a team, Gardas and Williams competed in the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship (2016-17). The pair also won the Pennsylvania Golf Association’s Four-Ball Championship in 2008 at Country Club at Woodloch Springs.
Glenmaura National’s Kevin Mitchell aced No. 14 (par 3, 129 yards) with a sand wedge. It was his fourth career hole-in-one. This event was the 37th John Moore Memorial Tournament.
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.