On the fairway: Gifford ranks third in NYS Men’s Mid-Amateur

On the fairway: Gifford ranks third in NYS Men's Mid-Amateur

Jim Gifford was on a hot streak and he wanted another birdie in the worst possible way into the final hole of the second round of the 37th annual NYS Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship Saturday at Shaker Ridge Country Club.

Unfortunately for the Shenendehowa High School and Siena College graduate, he suffered a triple bogey instead of a birdie and found himself tied in third place, five strokes behind leader Carl Schimenti of Cornell University Golf Course. Schimenti scored 140 under par 70 for two days for the second time in a row. Jimmy Pizzutelli from Park Country Club is second with a 74-143, followed by Gifford (745) and Chris Blyth (74-145) from Locust Hill Country Club .

Gifford, 34, of Mohawk Golf Club finished fourth in NYS Men’s Mid-Amateur 2019 and seventh in this year’s NYS Men’s Amateur at Schuyler Meadows Club.

Gifford’s triple bogey occurred as he flipped the final green and left himself near bushes with a difficult pitch shot. His first chip fell short and then his second sailed long, leaving him with a difficult bogey putt coming up the hill. He landed with a three-putt.

“I felt pretty good on the second nine,” said Gifford, who rolled five birdies on the second nine. “From the seventh hole on, I didn’t have more than 20 feet for birdie on any hole. I was between clubs so I lost a bit of weight with more club. We all in my group thought it was going to be a tight spot, but it was too long and it bounced off the hill and near the bushes. I got my second chip a little too greedy and I should have left it upstairs.

“I’m thinking of another birdie when I was 18 and I could have taken the lead or been very close. A large number on the last hole never crossed my mind. But I made a bad decision difficult, and it is what it is. I hope for another birdie festival [today]. I’m still there, but I wanted to avoid this hole. “

Gifford said he was dying to win an NYS title. In his last seven tries, he was in the top 10-15.

Schimenti, meanwhile, put in another strong lap on a difficult layout.

“It all starts with the fact that the greens are so fast here,” said Schimenti. “You have to stay under the hole. Getting over the hole is difficult, and you need to be very careful about retracing the putt. Aside from the tee, I just tried to bring it into play and leave good meters behind. There are many wrong fronts here, ”he said. “That is a well thought out feature of the greens here, in my opinion. I have the spin of my approach shots and my speed on the greens well controlled. “

Schimenti, 29, said he had back problems early in the season but he now feels healthy and ready to challenge for some big-name tournaments outside of his own region.

The cut for the final round on Sunday was 10 over par 152. Capital region players who made the cut for the lowest 30 and tie included Joe Quijano of the Country Club of Troy (74-148), Louis Walsh of Ballston Spa CC (74th). -149), Corey Purcell from Shaker Ridge CC (75-149), first-round co-leader Ryan Foster from Schuyler Meadows (80-149), Aaron Simone from Pinehaven CC (73-150), Tom McGinn from Wolferts Roost CC ( 74-150), Joe Fitzsimmons from Shaker Ridge CC (76-150), Jason Urschel from Shaker Ridge CC (75-150), Dave Pallas from Saratoga Spa GC (77-151), Benjamin Rublee from CC of Troy (75- 152), Jeff Lewanowski from the CC of Troy (75-152) and Chad Stoffer from the Town of Colonie GC (78-152).


(from 71-142)

Executives – Carl Schimenti (Cornell University GC) 79-140, Jimmy Pizzutelli (Park CC) 74-143, Jim Gifford (Mohawkl GC) 72-145, Chris Blyth (Locust Hill CC) 74-145, Michael Auberbach (Bellport GC) 71-147, Bobby McCartney (RDGA eClub) 77-147, Billy Hanes (Crag Burn GC) 72-148, Joe Quijano (CC of Troy {) 74-148, Brad Monroe (Onondaga G&CC) 75-148, Darin Goldstein ( Deepdale GC) 76-148, Bill Moore (Bellevue CC) 73-149, Daniel Gabel (Mahopac G&B Club) 74-149, Louis Walsh (Ballston Spa CC) 74-149, Corey Purcell ({Shaker Ridge CC) 75-149 , Ryan Foster (Schuyler Meadows) 80-149.

Other local players who made the cut – Aaron Simone (Pinehaven CC) 73-150, Tom McGinn (Wolferts Roost CC) 74-150, Joe Fitzsimmons (Shaker Ridge CC) 76-150, Jason Urschel (Shaker Ridge CC) 75 -151, Dave Pallas (Saratoga Spa GC) 77-151, Benjamin Rublee (CC of Troy) 75-152, Jeff Lewandowski (CC of Troy) 75-152, Chad Stoffer (City of Colonie GC) 78-152.


Woodstock Golf Club chief pro Chris Sanger, 35, won his third Northeastern New York PGA Major tournament of his career when he won his second NENY PGA Match Play Championship on Wednesday afternoon at Normanside Country Club.

Sanger secured victory when he and Cain took par-3 pars on the 17th hole after Sanger had both finished 13th.

“People say I have a pretty boring game,” said Sanger, who previously served as an assistant pro in that section at Red Hook Golf Club. “I tend to keep it in play and usually hit the ball either on or around the green so I can go up and down for pars most of the time. I only had two bogeys all day today [including the semifinal round in the morning]. “

Both Sanger and Cain said they liked the matchplay format.

“You don’t have to play great every round – or even every hole – in this format,” said Sanger. “He [Cain] did a couple of birdies early to take the lead, but then I took advantage of a couple of bogeys he had on the track. This is basically my second straight match play championship. I won it in 2019, but I couldn’t play last year because of the birth of my daughter. “

In addition to his two NENY PGA Match Play crowns, Sanger also won the 2015 Donald Ross Classic at The Sagamore Resort and Glens Falls Country Club.

Cain, a graduate of Central Catholic High School and the College of Saint Rose, also had a great week of matchmaking.

“I really like match play,” said Cain. “I can be a little unpredictable at times, but I can also put together some good streaks. I played well, but Chris played a little better. I made enough birdies and got an early lead, but he only got one bogey against me today. It’s different here. As far as we’ve met him we’ve had a lot of wedges on the greens, but there is now a lot of fescue here where it wasn’t before and if you hit the ball there you can get in trouble. These consecutive par 3s on the second nine [the 12th and 13th holes] are tough. I said no to both today, and that was probably the difference in our match. “

Justin Hearly, Assistant Pro at Normanside CC, and Scott Battiste, Head Pro at Eagle Crest Golf Club, were the other semi-finalists.

Senior Club Professionals and Assistant Pros will compete in their respective match play tournaments on Wednesday and Thursday at Wyantenuck CC in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. The Tour Championship takes place October 5-6 at the Country Club of Pittsfield.


Hales Mills CC is hosting the Spackler’s Impossible Pin Tournament on October 10th at 10am. Entry fee is $ 55 for non-members and $ 45 for members. The total team handicap for the four-way scramble must be at least 40. The entry fee includes hot dogs on the turn and chilli and hamburgers after golf. Call the Pro Shop at 518-733-4622 for more information.

The Bill Moll Triple Play Championship 2021 will take place on Monday at the Eagle Crest Golf Club. Two-person teams will compete against each other in nine holes in scramble, Chapman alternative shot and best ball format. The entry fee is $ 240 per team. The team can consist of two amateurs or one amateur with a professional.

Also at Eagle Crest GC, the 31st annual Scramblemania takes place on October 8th at 12 noon. The cost is $ 95 per player and includes golf, cart, beer, soda, pie, and chilli all day during the game, appetizers, dinner, and post-tournament dessert. There will be team gross and net prices as well as a skins game. The team handicap is based on 10 percent of the total team handicap. All players must have a verifiable handicap in order to qualify for net prizes. Registration closes on Saturday.

The Briar Creek Golf Course hosts its October Festival on October 8th. The cost of the four-person scramble is $ 75 and includes golf, carting, lunch, and a post-tournament dinner buffet. Beer and soda will also be included. Continental breakfast is served at 9am, followed by a 10am shotgun launch. Call 518-355-6145 to reserve your spot.

Not only did the Country Club of Troy standout Sam Schuffenecker recently set a course record of 66 in the women’s race, but she’s also competing in the US Women’s Mid-Amateur this weekend. She is a former hockey player who played one season for the University of Albany women’s golf team.

The League of Champions tournament takes place on the Schenectady Municipal Golf Course from Friday to Sunday with individual eliminations. In addition, the Bob Haggerty Two-Man Championship is for the 9-10. Scheduled for October with an entry fee of $ 150 per person. The entrance fee includes a cart, lunch on the first day and dinner on the second day. Call Schenectady Municipal at 518-381-3155 for more information.

Oops. This is followed by a correction to last week’s column. Jim Brodie and his son James achieved a rare father-son triple crown, so to speak, when they won the Wolferts Roost CC Member-Guest this year. Before that, they won the Schuyler Meadows Club Member-Guest in 2002 and the Mohawk Golf Club Member-Guest 2013. I wrongly spelled the family name as Bowie, as in the border crosser and pioneer who is famous for his special knife and was one of the legendary men who were killed at the Battle of the Alamo during the Texas Revolution. Since I only recently researched Bowie, I guess I subconsciously added the wrong name. I’m a huge fan of American history, especially the Wild West.

The Normanside 2-Man Invitational takes place Saturday and Sunday at the Normanside Country Club. The entry fee is $ 300 per team and includes golf and cart. There are two divisions: Open and Senior (from 55 years). The format will be better ball of partners. Contact Normanside CC (518-439-6204) for more information.

The Airway Meadows Golf Club’s 23rd annual Oktoberfest tournament takes place on October 10th. The four-person scramble entry fee is US $ 120 for non-members. A minimum of 72 players and a maximum of 144 players will take part, with the competition being divided into three or four flights depending on the number of registrations. The entrance fee includes golf, carts, lunch on the turn, beer, wine and lemonade from noon and a steak & chicken dinner afterwards. Call 518-792-4144 for more information.


Edson Lindsey cracked the eighth hole with a pitching wedge from 100 yards at Cobleskill Golf & Country Club.

On the Briar Creek Golf Course, Steve Fountain used a 7-wood for a hole-in-one on the 150 meter 11th hole.

At Mill Road Acres, Lori Valentini of the Happy Hookers League collected her first ace with a 3-stick on the 125-yard 12th hole.


Jim Bordis hit the 10th hole at Saratoga Lake Golf Club from 150 yards with a 9 iron.

Reach Bob Weiner at below [email protected]

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