Biscotti, Brunn team up to take Over/Under 50 at Elmhurst
MOSCOW, Pa. – The first AGA/GAP event of the 2020 season brought a sense of normalcy back to the region. In a time when just seeing friends is difficult, players at the AGA/GAP Over/Under 50 tournament were excited to have a teammate.
Art Brunn picked up two titles Wednesday at Elmhurst Country Club (par 72, 6,659 yards), winning the event`s team portion alongside fellow Wyoming Valley Country Club member Tom Biscotti. He also captured individual honors in the Over 50 Division. Brunn and Biscotti finished 8-under-par 64 in the better-ball competition; Brunn carded a 2-under-par 70 on his own ball. In the Under 50 portion of the event, Eric Williams of Honesdale Golf Club captured first-place honors with a score of even.
Brunn, 53, a frequent player at Elmhurst, knew a fast start was important. Birdies on Nos. 2 (par 5, 440 yards) and 3 (par 4, 387 yards) was exactly what the Hanover Township, Pa. native had in mind.
“It’s so important to get off to a good start,” Brunn said. “Those two birdies, as well as Toms eagle, set our tone for the day.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 competitions are off to a late start. For many of the players, this was the first competitive event of the season.
“I`ve been playing a bit, but tournaments are just now becoming available,” Biscotti said. “This was an awesome opportunity to get into the swing of things, and it feels great to capture a trophy on my first event back.”
Consistency was key for the pair of Brunn and Biscotti. Registering birdie or par was a big goal for the duo; they achieved that feat 16 times (seven birdies, nine pars). The duo registered a bogey on No. 18 (par 4, 360/411 yards) but wasn’t too stressed about it due to the eagle that Biscotti carded on No. 2 (par 5, 502 yards).
“If you fail to make at least a birdie on No. 2, I think you really lose a lot of ground,” Biscotti said. “Art gave me a great read on my putt, and I think that kick started our round.”
The duo made pars on Nos. 4 and 5, until Biscotti fired a birdie on No. 6 (par 5, 550 yards).
“I was in a tough patch there for a little bit, but I knew Art was playing well, and I wanted to contribute,” Biscotti, 42, of Mountain Top, Pa., said. “I hit an 8-iron in and set myself up for a birdie.”
Brunn and Biscotti did not find themselves in any real trouble until the 18th hole, where Brunn made a bogey and Biscotti a double bogey.
“We were fighting hard to hit par there, but overall it was a good day for us, even though we finished with a bogey,” Brunn said. “It was a good partnership, and whenever one of us needed each other, we really responded well.”
In the Under 50 Division, Williams was the only competitor in the to finish level par or better. Competing in the event helped Williams get his mind off the nationwide pandemic.
“I feel as if a bit of normalcy is back,” the 47-year-old from Honesdale, Pa. said. “Wherever you go it seems as if everyone is talking about the pandemic, so it was great to hit the course and tune everything out for a few hours.”
Williams was especially glad to spend some time with his father, who served as his better-ball partner. As a team, the father-son duo finished at 1 under, which was good for a share of 18th place.
“We didn’t really care about what place we came in; we were just excited to be on the course with each other,” Williams said. “He was making great reads for me all day, so it was great to have him out there with me.”
On a windy day in which the greens were rolling lightning quick, Williams knew he had to be consistent. He finished the day with 16 pars, one bogey and one birdie.
“The golf course was in fantastic shape, but I played it rough,” Williams said. “I used a 6-iron on that birdie at No. 9 and I was able to make my lone putt of the day from 15-feet out.”
No. 15 (par 3, 201 yards) was the only green that Williams missed all day. He eventually saved par to remain and later finish at even.
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.