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AGA/GAP Spring Stroke Play

Three triumph in AGA/GAP season opener

Bill Ianieri (pictured above, middle) wanted mental revenge. He found it in the form of a trophy.

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The Jack Frost National Golf Club member carded a 1-under-par to take the 12th AGA/GAP Spring Stroke Play Championship June 15 at a gorgeous Glenmaura National Golf Club (par 71, 6,308 yards). It marked the first AGA/GAP event of 2020; the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the start of the season.

In last year’s Spring Stroke Play at Glenmaura National, Ianieri left on a sour note. He carded a triple bogey on the 18th hole. The error lingered; victory vanquished it.

“I was really determined. It was redemption, I guess we could call it,” Ianieri, 51, of Weatherly, Pa., said. “I played Sunday [in a club event], so that got a little bit of the competitive juices flowing. I went out and played nine holes after that for practice. My hands are bleeding right now.”  

Three good breaks outweighed two bad breaks for Ianieri at Glenmaura National.

On No. 2 (par 3, 171 yards), Ianieri hit a heavy 5-iron that landed on the front of the green, rolled over a ridge and stopped 18 inches from the hole location. He cleaned up the birdie putt. Another par 3 on the front nine — the 173-yard No. 7 — nearly cooled a piping round. Ianieri attempted to steer a 5-iron to the back of the green. Fortunately, a wooden bridge mitigated a loose swing.  

“It hit that bridge and stopped right there, right in play. I was able to chip up and two-putt (for bogey),” Ianieri, who works for a recycling plant, said.

A third good break occurred on No. 12 (par 4, 477 yards), where Ianieri’s “bad drive” ricocheted off rocks to the right yet remained in play. He again managed to save bogey.

“It balances out. A bad shot here, and then a, ‘How the heck did that happen?’ there,” Ianieri said.

Competitive golfers can sympathize with Ianieri’s bad break on No. 10 (par 5, 514 yards). After finishing the front nine in 3 under, Ianieri deemed birdie as a “worst case scenario” on the gettable par 5. His second shot, however, took an unfortunate bounce and plummeted into the pond. Ianieri carded a bogey. On No. 16 (par 4, 412 yards), he attempted to execute a flawless flop shot, only to see his golf ball stick to the fringe.

“I didn’t want to fool with the creek on the left, so I tried to fade the ball. It ended up too short. Then I tried to flop it over the bunker,” Ianieri said. “As long as you hit the top of that bunker, the ball was going to automatically going to roll toward the pin. I literally tapped the ball [on the fringe] with my putter, and the ball rolled down there. I had a tap-in bogey.”

With the victory, Ianieri perhaps elevated his AGA/GAP profile.

“I think I did. I got a couple of offers to play in the Over/Under 50 Tournament [scheduled for June 24] as a partner,” he said.

Senior & Super Senior
A pair of AGA/GAP staples with plenty of Glenmaura National experience also earned hardware Monday.

Elkview Country Club’s Ken Bolcavage (pictured above, left) carded a 3-over-par 74 to take the Senior Division (par 71, 6,120 yards). Nittany Country Club’s Vince Scarpetta, Jr. bested three others en route to the event’s Super-Senior (par 71, 5,506 yards) title.

“I’m glad I won. For the most part, I held it together and got it done,” Bolcavage, 56, of Carbondale, Pa., said. “Glenmaura is a gorgeous place. You really have to focus on every shot there. At most courses you play, you hit a bad shot and you may be hitting it from another fairway back into play. At Glenmaura, every hole is a hole in itself. You can miss a little bit, but if you miss badly, then you’re dead. It’s a place where you have to have both hands of the steering wheel at all times.”

Scarpetta, the reigning AGA/GAP Super-Senior Player of the Year, is a former Glenmaura National member. He spent 15 years there.

“I enjoy playing at Glenmaura. The thing about the course is you can ruin your round in one bad swing there,” Scarpetta, 67, of Moosic, Pa., said. “It’s a very difficult course.”

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 288 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.

Results
Amateur Division
Name, clubScore
Bill Ianieri, Jack Frost National Golf Club70
Eric Plisko, Wyoming Valley Country Club71
Stephon Draper, Country Club of Scranton72
Frank Kacvinsky, Elmhurst Country Club72
David Mecca, Wemberly Hills Golf Club73
Tom Biscotti, Wyoming Valley Country Club74
William Pabst, Elmhurst Country Club74
James Gardas, Glenmaura National Golf Club75
Sean Shanley, Glenmaura National Golf Club75
Jonathan Wilson, Irem Country Club75
A.J. Donatoni, Fox Hill Country Club76
Justin Masters, Country Club of Scranton76
Steve Oh, Running Deer Golf Club76
Mark Czerniakowski, LuLu Country Club77
Doug Nardella, Elmhurst Country Club77
Connor Vanin, Philadelphia Publinks GA77
Thomas Dzwonczyk, Country Club of Scranton78
Christopher Haggerty, Philadelphia Publinks GA78
Ryan Orcutt, Green Pond Country Club78
Kyle Williams, Glen Oak Country Club78
Eamon Evans, Glenmaura National Golf Club79
Kevin Rossi, Green Pond Country Club79
Dan Chernosky, Towanda Country Club80
Matthew Vassil, Country Club of Scranton80
Brandon Jackson, Wemberly Hills Golf Club81
Dylan O’Dell, Elkview Country Club81
Michael Lynch, Country Club of Scranton82
Michael Coleman, Elmhurst Country Club83
Mike Haley, Fox Hill Country Club83
Matt Perry, Country Club of Scranton83
Thomas Lynch, Country Club of Scranton84
Kyle Reap, Country Club of Scranton84
Gershom Spengler, Jack Frost National Golf Club84
Michael Turano, Elkview Country Club89
Ivan Rivera, Great Bear Golf Club90
Bradford Rogers, Philmont Country Club92
Scott Siravo, Laurel Creek Country Club107
Mike Lynch, Country Club of ScrantonWD
Senior Division
Name, clubScore
Ken Bolcavage, Elkview Country Club74
Edward Erickson, Yardley Country Club75
Gregory Buliga, Yardley Country Club76
Bob Gill, Fox Hill Country Club76
Bob McCloskey, Elmhurst Country Club76
John Olszewski, Wyoming Valley Country Club76
Ray Pyontek, Yardley Country Club76
Paul Rogowicz, Yardley Country Club76
Mark Bartkowski, Wemberly Hills Golf Club77
Brian Corbett, Country Club of Scranton77
Michael Heck, Elkview Country Club78
Ken Nestor, Country Club of Scranton78
Michael Vassil, Country Club of Scranton78
Stanley Cuneo, Pocono Farms Country Club80
John McNamara, Elkview Country Club83
Bob Andrejko, Wemberly Hills Golf Club84
Mark Cordelli, Scott Greens Golf Club84
Paul Gruzeski, Paupack Hills Country Club84
Barry Westington, Scranton Canoe Club85
Joseph Ozzimo, Mercer Oaks Golf CourseNC
Super-Senior Division
Name, clubScore
Vince Scarpetta, Jr., Nittany Country Club73
Robin Bonda, StoneHedge Golf Course76
Doug Randall, Elkview Country Club82
Tom Miller, Wemberly Hills Golf Club84
Steve Mazur, Wemberly Hills Golf ClubWD
NC — no card; WD — withdrawal