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Central Stroke Play Championship

Andrejko, Habeeb prevail in scorecard playoffs

After 18 holes of play in the inaugural GAP Central Stroke Play Championship on July 23 at Bucknell Golf Club (par 70, 6,224 yards), both the Amateur and Senior divisions revealed ties atop the scoreboard.

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Former NFL head coach Jim Mora would jump out of his seat if you suggested a playoff to follow. Instead, GAP used the USGA-recommended scoreboard tiebreaker to crown a pair of champions.

The USGA suggests scores from the back nine to be used first to break ties. Country Club of Scranton’s Jack Habeeb (2-over-par 72 overall) played his last nine holes in 2 under to capture the Amateur Division crown in a field of 17 competitors. Bob Andrejko of Wemberly Hills Golf Club also fired a 2 under (1-over-par 71 overall) on Bucknell’s back nine to capture the Senior Division, which featured six competitors.

Habeeb, a rising junior at Hamilton College, experienced a scorching hot fall season, pacing the Continentals in four events. He earned a spot on the Division III PING All-Region Team (Northeast) and a Division III PING All-America Honorable Mention. Unfortunately, Habeeb’s start at Bucknell was not as hot; he opened with an 8 on No. 1 (par 4, 326 yards).

“The holes felt a little tight to me, and it just felt weird to get off to a rough start,” said the 20-year-old Scranton, Pa. native. “I know I had to stay calm, however. My approach shifted to making sure I was hitting every fairway, instead of trying to hit bombs off the tee.”

The new approach led to immediate improvement. He rattled off four pars in a row, a streak that was critical to gain momentum. He notched his first red figure on No. 8 (par 4, 430 yards) off of a blind tee shot.

“I found myself shying away from my driver during this stretch,” Habeeb said. “It was a long and tight hole, so I started off hitting 3-wood into the rough. I followed it up with a pitching wedge to about 15 feet, and sunk a putt from above the hole. It felt great to turn things around.”

After another par streak, this time lasting five holes, Habeeb returned to red figures on No. 14 (par 4, 401 yards). With 92 yards into the green, he executed arguably his best shot of the day.

“I initially thought I had to be on the fairway if I wanted a good look for birdie,” said Habeeb. “I used my 62-degree-wedge to fly it over some trees and set myself up for an easy straight putt from six feet away.”

Three pars, as well as his final birdie of the day on No. 17 (par 4, 337 yards), put Habeeb in a four-way tie for first place.

In his first-ever trip to Bucknell, five-time AGA/GAP Senior Player of the year Bob Andrejko left with some hardware. Andrejko battled 2019 AGA/GAP Super-Senior Player of the Year Vince Scarpetta, Jr. in a dogfight that came down to the 18th hole.

On Bucknell’s closer, Andrejko two putted for par while Scarpetta, doomed by an inaccurate tee shot, carded a double bogey. Both players, therefore, finished regulation tied at 71.

“This was my first time playing the course, so I was fine with sitting at 2 over after the front,” Andrejko, 60, of Jessup, Pa., said. “I had a few looks for birdie, but they weren’t easy putts, so overall, I was happy with where I was at.”

Andrejko carded his first birdie of the day with the help of his 7-iron on No. 10 (par 3, 180 yards). He fired a missile to the right of the hole location. Three bounces set up a 12-footer.

After a bogey on No. 11 (par 4, 355 yards), five pars and a birdie on the next six holes left Andrejko two shots behind Scarpetta. The aforementioned 18th hole ultimately settled the dogfight.

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
*Jack Habeeb, Country Club of Scranton72
Luke Fayocavitz, Glen Oak Country Club72
Justin Masters, Country Club of Scranton72
Devin McLaughlin, Frosty Valley72
Josh Anderson, Philadelphia Publinks GA74
Kevin Rossi, Green Pond Country Club74
Christopher Haggerty, Philadelphia Publinks GA75
Troy Kelleher, Country Club of Scranton75
Pete Moran, Whitford Country Club75
Devin Peart, Quail Valley Golf Club76
Brent Schoeller, Huntingdon Valley Country Club76
A.J. Montalbo, Dauphin Highlands Golf Club77
Jason Wilson, Olde Homestead Golf Club77
Stephon Draper, Country Club of Scranton78
Doug Nardella, Elmhurst Country Club78
Karl Straw, Fairview Golf Course78
Michael Coleman, Bucknell Golf Club89
Senior Division
Name, clubScore
*Bob Andrejko, Wemberly Hills Golf Club71
Vince Scarpetta, Jr., Nittany Country Club71
Ken Bolcavage, Elkview Country Club72
Don Uhrig, LedgeRock Golf Club73
Mark Bartkowski, Wemberly Hills Golf Club76
Andrew Sterge, Applebrook Golf Club78
* — won in scorecard playoff