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.
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.
|*Jack Habeeb, Country Club of Scranton||72|
|Luke Fayocavitz, Glen Oak Country Club||72|
|Justin Masters, Country Club of Scranton||72|
|Devin McLaughlin, Frosty Valley||72|
|Josh Anderson, Philadelphia Publinks GA||74|
|Kevin Rossi, Green Pond Country Club||74|
|Christopher Haggerty, Philadelphia Publinks GA||75|
|Troy Kelleher, Country Club of Scranton||75|
|Pete Moran, Whitford Country Club||75|
|Devin Peart, Quail Valley Golf Club||76|
|Brent Schoeller, Huntingdon Valley Country Club||76|
|A.J. Montalbo, Dauphin Highlands Golf Club||77|
|Jason Wilson, Olde Homestead Golf Club||77|
|Stephon Draper, Country Club of Scranton||78|
|Doug Nardella, Elmhurst Country Club||78|
|Karl Straw, Fairview Golf Course||78|
|Michael Coleman, Bucknell Golf Club||89|
|*Bob Andrejko, Wemberly Hills Golf Club||71|
|Vince Scarpetta, Jr., Nittany Country Club||71|
|Ken Bolcavage, Elkview Country Club||72|
|Don Uhrig, LedgeRock Golf Club||73|
|Mark Bartkowski, Wemberly Hills Golf Club||76|
|Andrew Sterge, Applebrook Golf Club||78|
|* — won in scorecard playoff|