Wyoming Valley Country Club’s Thomas Biscotti and Eric Plisko edged Honesdale Golf Club’s Wayne Stephens and Eric Williams in a scorecard playoff to win the AGA/GAP Modified Stableford Tournament April 18 at Huntsville Golf Club.
Both teams posted 43 points to finish tied atop the event’s Open Division. In the tiebreaker, Biscotti of Plisko accrued 21 points on the back nine to the Honesdale duo’s 19.
“We knew it was going to be a tough day. Everybody is playing in the same conditions,” Biscotti, 40, of Mountain Top, Pa., said. “We were excited to play. It was the first tournament of the year for us.”
“It was my first round of the year,” Plisko, 31, of Sugar Notch, Pa., added. “Being an accountant, I just got done with tax season so I didn’t care if it was snowing or sleeting out there. I was going to be able to play.”
It didn’t snow or sleet, but the Biscotti and Plisko team did overcome chilly temperatures and petulant winds en route to victory. A Biscotti birdie on the par 3, 159-yard 17th hole proved critical. He knocked a 9-iron to 10 feet below the flagstick.
“It was especially important to me because I had just three-putted No. 16 for bogey. I knew we were playing very well so I knew we were going to be close,” Biscotti, a dentist, said. “I really wanted to make the putt. It was nice to keep the momentum going with that birdie.”
Plisko added three birdies of his own on the decisive back nine. He went back-to-back on Nos. 13 (par 4, 335 yards) and 14 (par 5, 502 yards), draining a 15-footer on the first and two-putting on the latter after reaching the green in two with a 6-iron. Plisko knocked a pitching wedge 125 yards to 15 feet on No. 10 (par 4, 379 yards). That birdie succeeded an eagle on No. 9 (par 5, 520 yards), where Plisko pummeled a downwind 3-wood 265 yards to six feet.
“The putter felt well. It kind of just felt like I was going to make everything I looked at,” Plisko said. “Hats off to Huntsville. The greens for this time of year were phenomenal.”
The Biscotti and Plisko team finished second in the Anthracite’s Sam Spencer Four-Ball a year ago. Consider Wednesday a one-up.
“Tom and I play well together. Once I joined Wyoming Valley, he and I became good friends,” Plisko said. “We get along very well and kind of feed off each other on the golf course.”
“He’s as good a partner as I could ask for,” Biscotti said. “We practice and play a lot of golf together. Eric is the two-time defending club champion. That’s a tournament that I haven’t won. I certainly want to win, but Eric’s a tough player. There’s a lot of competition at our club.”
Biscotti and Plisko will next represent Wyoming Valley in the BMW GAP Team Matches, which begins Sunday, April 22.
As a year-round golfer, Mark Czerniakowski is generally prepared for cold conditions. He only brought one winter hat to Huntsville, however, leaving his better-ball partner, Christopher Clauson, scrambling for gear prior to a noon tee time.
“I put the winter stuff away and forgot about it,” Clauson, 61, said. “I wasn’t equipped, and [the Huntsville pro shop] already ran out of hand warmers and hats. I had to buy a 1960s headband. It saved the day.”
“He’s a pretty demanding partner,” Czerniakowski, 50, added.
The headband — and proficient, complimentary putting — won the day for the Lu Lu Country Club members. Clauson and Czerniakowski posted 42 points to take the Senior Division title.
Czerniakowski’s pitching wedge produced birdies on Nos. 3 (par 3, 113 yards) and 4 (par 4, 320 yards). A putting adjustment on the back nine allowed Clauson to add three birdies — Nos. 14 (par 5, 485 yards), 15 (par 3, 161 yards) and 17 (par 3, 150 yards) to the team’s scorecard.
“All of a sudden, I started putting. Thank goodness or Mark would’ve disowned me,” Clauson said jokingly.
The venue prompted the Philadelphia, Pa. residents to take advantage of a new tournament opportunity, courtesy of Anthracite’s merger with the Golf Association of Philadelphia.
“We like the course,” Clauson said. “The weather’s been so horrible lately. We needed to get those competitive juices flowing again. We suffered through the cold and got a win. It was nice.”
Anthracite Golf Association
The Anthracite Golf Association merged with the Golf Association of Philadelphia in 2018. Anthracite, an organization founded in 1951, promotes golf in the Northeastern Pennsylvania region. At the height of its growth, Anthracite included 46 Member Clubs in 18 counties.
Golf Association of Philadelphia
Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) 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 200 Full Member Clubs and 70,000 individual members are spread across Eastern Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey and Delaware. As Philadelphia’s Most Trusted Source of Golf Information, the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.