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CLARKS SUMMIT, Pa. – The AGA/GAP circuit featured another day of four-ball action as the Sam Spencer Four-Ball was held at Glen Oak Country Club (par 72, 6523 yards) on Wednesday.
In the Open Flight, a pair of 22-year-olds, David Haudenschield of the Country Club of Scranton, and Brendan Scanland, a member at the host club, defeated Wyoming Valley Country Club’s Art Brunn and Peter Blasi Jr. on a scorecard playoff.
Both teams carded 6-under rounds of 66 to lead the way in the 31-team flight. A 2-under-par 34 on the back nine by the former Scranton Preparatory School classmates was one better than the inward score of Brunn and Blasi, a circumstance which ultimately decided the result.
“I think we just worked well as a team,” Haudenschield, of Waverly, Pa., said. “We had our ham and eggs for breakfast that morning. On a hole where I hit a bad tee shot, he hit a good one and on a hole where I hit a good one, he didn’t have the best one. It just worked out like that.”
Indeed, Haudenschield and Scanland blended their success to perfection. Each player recorded four birdies on the round – and not a single one came on the same hole. The teammates bounced back from consecutive bogeys on Nos. 10 (par 3, 182 yards) and 11 (par 5, 515 yards) with a trio of birdies on the next three holes.
“I was kind of down in the dumps,” Haudenschield, who only took up golf seriously a year ago, said of his feelings after the back-to back bogeys. “He [Scanland] made birdie [on No. 12] and that got me all fired up and excited. Then I rattled off two [birdies] in a row.”
Although the 3-under stretch on Nos. 12-14 proved crucial, ultimately no birdie was more decisive than Scanland’s on No. 18 (par 5, 498 yards). Entering the tournament’s final hole, the duo stood tied with their playing partners, Brunn and Blasi Jr.
After missing the green left with his second shot, Scanland hit his 30-yard pitch to two feet. Haudenschield missed a birdie putt of his own, but his partner calmly brushed his in for a 4 that would prove to be the difference.
Brunn, who was unable to jar his 15-foot birdie attempt on No. 18, enjoyed a spectacular day individually nonetheless. The 52-year-old Hanover Township, Pa. resident fired a bogey-free 66 on his own ball.
Brunn’s round included a 31 on his opening side and a near ace on No. 9 (par 3, 141 yards), where his tee shot finished just four inches left of the cup.
“He was dialed in all day and his putter was red hot,” Blasi Jr., a 40-year-old of Nanticoke Pa., said of his partner.
The Senior Flight, also played at Glen Oaks (par 72, 5933 yards), saw the long-time tandem of Robert Andrejko and Mark Bartkowski add another four-ball win to their resumes.
Already winners of multiple AGA/GAP events, the duo notched their first victory at the Sam Spencer with a 6-under round of 66. The win comes a year after a runner-up finish in the tournament a year ago.
Representing Scranton Municipal Golf Course, Andrejko, 59, and Bartkowski, 55, topped a list of 17 teams competing in the Senior Flight. Powered by five birdies on the back nine, Andrejko and Bartkowski rose to the top despite a disappointing bogey on their final hole (No. 18, par 5, 435 yards).
“We both missed our tee shots left and we ended up making bogey,” Andrejko, a Jessup, Pa. resident, said. “Fortunately it didn’t hurt us.”
Both players cited a Andrejko birdie on No. 16 (par 4, 341 yards) as a necessary boost following their bogey on No. 15 (par 4, 378 yards). Andrejko’s pitching wedge from 90 yards left him a 20-foot twisting putt down the hill. He made no mistake, burying it in the center of the cup.
With rejuvenated championship prospects, Bartkowski would compound the momentum with a 6-iron to six-feet on No. 17 (par 3, 190 yards) for a birdie of his own.
This two-hole sequence reflected the balanced effort displayed throughout the round.
“Bob [Andrejko] has great short game,” Bartkowski, of Roaring Brook, Pa., said. “He carried us through the front nine with that and then I was able to contribute on the back. We’ve played in a lot of tournaments together and we really enjoy each other’s company.”
Next on the schedule for the distinguished duo is the AGA/GAP Founders Four-Ball on Aug. 8. at Glenmaura National Golf Club. There, the teammates will be looking to replicate their victory in 2017.