Wyoming Valley duo repeats in Modified Stableford
| Results |
DALLAS, Pa. — Same team. Same venue. Same result.
Thomas Biscotti and Eric Plisko successfully defended their title in the AGA/GAP Modified Stableford Tournament April 17 at Huntsville Golf Club (par 72, 6,391 yards). The Wyoming Valley duo posted 43 points — one clear of Lancaster Country Club’s Donald Burgess and Glenmaura National Golf Club’s Stephen Hudacek, III.
Biscotti and Plisko prevailed in a scorecard playoff a year ago at Huntsville, with 43 being the magic number.
“We put together a nice round of golf. It was nice to win it again,” Biscotti, 41, of Mountain Top, Pa., said. “Since we won last year, we decided to team up again and defend. The course was set up really well. Eric played fantastic. He made a lot of birdies. I hung in there and played pretty solidly all day.”
“It was a good way to start the year,” Plisko, 32, of Hanover Township, Pa., said. “Tom and I love playing golf together. We feed off of each other. We play Huntsville a couple of times a year, so we’re familiar with the golf course. It was nice to get another victory up there.”
A 10-foot par save on No. 2 (par 4, 329 yards) courtesy of Biscotti allowed the team to build off an opening Plisko birdie. The Wyoming Valley team turned with 24 points in the coffers thanks to a birdie-eagle finish. On No. 8 (par 4, 408 yards), Plisko sent a 54-degree wedge 120 yards to 10 feet. He powered a 3-iron 247 yards to 25 feet above a back-right hole location on No. 9 (par 5, 520 yards). Plisko executed the eagle try. Biscotti followed his teammate’s 3 with a 3 on No. 10 (par 4, 379 yards), where he knocked a sand wedge 90 yards to 10 feet.
The 18th hole (par 4, 404 yards) nearly facilitated another scorecard playoff. Both Biscotti and Plisko sent their respective tee shots into parts unknown on the left.
“I was fortunate enough to find my ball. Eric couldn’t find his ball,” Biscotti said. “I chipped out, hit a wedge to approximately 10 feet and I just missed the par putt, which was a disappointing way to finish the round. But we obviously did enough work to get the job done.”
Biscotti and Plisko will next join forces to compete in the Pennsylvania Golf Association’s Four-Ball Championship, set for May 15-16 at Philadelphia Cricket Club (Militia Hill). A return for a Modified Stableford trifecta next year is a given.
Same Open Flight champions, new Flight altogether. The AGA/GAP created a Super-Senior Flight for players 65 years of age or older. Longtime friends and Scranton Municipal Golf Course members Walter Bobola and John Peck claimed the title with 36 points.
“Playing in the AGA/GAP previously, there never was a Super-Senior Division. There were a number of people who suggested it,” Bobola, 68, of South Abington Township, Pa., said. “Finally, we were able to compete as opposed to being just fillers. At our age, we don’t hit the ball as far as the younger guys do, whether it’s younger seniors or regular amateurs. It was exciting for us.”
“We played in some [AGA/GAP] events, and we had no chance. We played only because of the venues. We don’t get a chance to play private clubs often,” Peck, 72, of Clarks Summit, Pa., added. “We played, but we were not competitive at all. When [AGA/GAP] established a Super-Senior Division for this year, we jumped on it. We can compete now. We were pleased with the tees and the course conditions.”
The Scranton Municipal team certainly capitalized on its first crack at Super-Senior competition. Back-to-back birdies by Bobola set the tone early. On No. 2 (par 4, 301 yards), he hit a “one hop and stop” wedge 75 yards to 15 feet. Peck, teeing off first on the next hole (par 3, 113 yards), came up 10 feet short of the putting surface. He, as a result, suggested that his teammate change club selection. Bobola then grabbed an 8-iron, stopping it eight inches from the cup.
“That was a pleasant surprise,” he said. “On the front nine yesterday, we made about four putts for par that were 10 feet long, which is unusual. The ball fell in the cup yesterday, for no rhyme or reason. Maybe next time we won’t be so lucky.”
“He played out of his mind yesterday. He was making putts like crazy,” Peck added. “I saved him with a par here and there, but that was pretty much it.”
New Super-Senior Flight, new Senior Flight winners. Irem Country Club’s Charles Brand and James Breck edged two teams — Scranton Municipal’s Mark Bartkowski and Elkview Country Club’s Kenneth Bolcavage; Elmhurst Country Club’s Edward Knight and Country Club of Scranton’s Mark Occhipinti — in a scorecard playoff for their first AGA/GAP title. All posted 38 points on the day.
“We were excited about it. We’re glad that we held up in the match of scorecards,” Brand, 61, of Forty Foot, Pa., said.
A birdie on the par 3, 150-yard 17th hole proved to be the decisive back-nine stroke. Brand knocked an 8-iron to 10 feet below the hole location. He and Breck, friends and clubmates of 20 years, also executed sand saves to stay atop the leaderboard.
“We both made a bunch of up-and-downs from bunkers. That kept our round going and kept our momentum going,” Brand said.
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.