Scranton Municipal snags first Senior Coal Scuttle
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Scranton Municipal Golf Course captured its first AGA/GAP Senior Coal Scuttle Championship title Aug. 27 at Huntsville Golf Club (par 72, 6,273 yards).
It filed a 16-over-par 304 to edge Fox Hill Country Club, which earned the Super-Senior Coal Scuttle crown a week ago, by two strokes. The top four of five scores count toward the team total.
“It’s great. We’re kind of a working-class club, so it means a lot to our guys,” Robert Andrejko, a longtime Scranton Municipal member, said. “We have a lot of good players. It’s a really big win for our club.”
Andrejko carded an even-par 72 to lead the Scranton Municipal team.
“I made every par putt I looked at. I putted very well,” Andrejko, 60, of Jessup, Pa., said. “I thought the course was very difficult; it played long and there were some tough pins. But I made a lot of par saves, which was really big.”
A handful of those saves came from a distance of 10 feet on Huntsville’s back nine. Andrejko inked a inward 2 under to help boost Scranton Municipal atop the leaderboard. A pine tree foiled his attempt to reach the par 5, 464-yard 14th hole in two. A solid sand wedge to three feet for birdie, however, nullified the bark interference. On No. 16 (par 4, 366 yards), Andrejko hit a smooth 9-iron 135 to two feet above the flagstick for another birdie. The four-time AGA/GAP Senior Player of the Year, fresh off first-place performances in the Spring Stroke Play Championship and Stroke Play Championship, respectively, continues to excel in 2019.
“I’ve been hitting it well. If I get the driver going, then I usually have a decent round,” Andrejko said.
Scranton Municipal won the Men’s Coal Scuttle Championship in 2003. Carryovers from that team include Andrejko and Mark Bartkowski, who carded a 4-over-par 76 at Huntsville. Robin Bonda and Vince Scarpetta rounded out the Scranton Municipal scoring contingent with respective 78s.
Elkview Country Club’s Michael Heck carded a 4-under-par 68 to claim the Senior Coal Scuttle’s individual title.
“It was one of those days,” Heck, 63, of Jermyn, Pa., said. “First of all, I hit my driver in the middle of every fairway. And I got a couple of tips for putting. It made a big difference.”
Heck enacted a few pointers from Bill Studsman, an assistant professional at Elkview. He also took to heart words of wisdom from his daughter Laura.
“I wasn’t putting very well, and she told me, ‘Remember one thing. Never look back at the bad shot you hit. Just move on to produce a good one,” Michael said.
Plenty of good ones at Huntsville. A pair of back-to-back birdies stand out on Heck’s scorecard: a chip-in on No. 5 (par 3, 153 yards) and a 9-iron 116 yards to four feet on No. 6 (par 4, 338 yards).
The Senior Coal Scuttle Championship, now in its 37th year, is an offshoot of the AGA’s most distinguished event: the Men’s Coal Scuttle Championship, which will take place Sept. 28-29 at Glenmaura National Golf Club and Wyoming Valley Country Club.
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.