Down the fairway: Berliner wins NENY PGA Professional Championship

by | Sep 4, 2021 | PGA

According to Scott Berliner’s extremely high standards, the 2021 golf season was figuratively below average. But this week his performance was literally subpar by an impressive margin.

The 46 year old Assistant Pro at Saratoga Spa Golf Course did a great job during the NENY PGA’s annual Professional Championship held Tuesday and Wednesday at Hiland Park Country Club. He carded 5 under par 67 in the first lap and then turned up in the last lap with 8 under par 64 to win with eight strokes. Those efforts made up his trip to the National PGA Professional Championship in April.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Berliner, a 10-time NENY PGA Player of the Year, who won his 10-year stroke play championship this spring from CC of Pittsfield Head Pro Eric Mabee in Country. caught the Club of Troy. “It was just one of those things. I wish I could plan when to play well. I haven’t done much in the past month because of my family stuff. I hit balls maybe twice and I didn’t play at all. I didn’t care if I played well at all. My attitude was that I was just happy to be able to play at all. “

The Berliners recorded 14 birdies during the two-day event, eight of them in the final round. He has now won an impressive 56 NENY PGA events, including 10 Stroke Play Championships, nine Donald Ross Classics, including three in a row, and three Match Play triumphs in addition to his six Professional Championship wins. He has won more than $ 90,300 in his career. This season, although not as dominant as usual, he has nonetheless won seven events, including two majors.

“I’ve been playing Hiland Park CC for about 25 years and know the course pretty much better than anyone,” said the Saratoga Springs resident, who is also the assistant coach of the Skidmore College golf team. “But I had no expectations. I just hit the ball pretty well. I was shocked because I had no idea what to do. “

Berliner said the 64 he carded in the last lap was one of his best laps ever. He scored a 61 twice in tournament play, once as a pro member at Saratoga Golf & Polo Club and again in the opening round of the Tupper Lake Open.

Berliner is fighting for another Player of the Year title – he has won 10 – but is in quite a tussle with Normanside CC assistant professional Justin Hearley.

“If I play well, everything will take care of itself,” said the Berliner. “I like a little pressure on myself. It gives me new energy. I know Justin wants to hit me. We have been friends for a long time and worked together at Normanside for a while. He contacts me when he has swing problems. But I know he wants to win. Dal Daily played great and Eric Mabee is always tough. Fortunately, he’s very busy in his club and can’t leave that often. “

Berliner has done pretty much everything he can at the local level, but he says he wants to improve at the regional and national levels.

“I’m getting better in many aspects of my game,” he said. “For me it was always a mental battle. It’s not about my ability, it’s about how I treat myself and how I approach things. With my family situation, golf has not been the be-all and end-all lately. Now I want to play well on a national level. I want to make the cut in the National Professional Championship, get a spot in the PGA Championship, and then make the cut. That is my next focus. “

Although he had some knee and back problems, Berliner said his health was in pretty good shape. He’s still an important factor among the club pros and most of his peers still know that beating him will be quite exhausting when he’s in his game.

Incidentally, the five-time NENY PGA Player of the Year Dal Daily was runner-up by Premier Golf Fitness in Clifton Park and has also secured a place in the National PGA Professional Championship. Mabee was the first alternative. Kyle Kressler from Cedarview CC and Scott Battiste from Eagle Crest Golf Club were the other two deputies.

Hagaman’s Dan Russo was a last minute substitute for the US Senior Amateur this week at the Detroit Country Club in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan. After learning that he was in the field, he took off immediately without much preparation. He then made the 64-player cut for match play and won his first two matches. It was quite an accomplishment for the 63-year-old member of the Schuyler Meadows Club, which also won his second NYS Senior Amateur title that season. He has participated in 12 USGA events and is the capital region’s all-time leader in major tournament wins, including nine CRAGA Stroke Play crowns.

Justin Vonk and Greg Hayes defeated Alex Kelley and Nolan Crowley on the second playoff hole to secure the Shaker Ridge Invitational title. Other division winners were Lance Hope with Chad Stoffer in the first flight, Chris Comi with Doug Kilmer in the senior flight and Gary Grimaldi with Al Stranahan in the super senior flight.

Luke Morgenstein (Flight 1), John Simmons (Flight 2) and Sally Gray (Women) are the division winners of the Cobleskill Golf & Country Club Presidents Cup. Morgenstein and Simmons fight for the overall title of the Presidents Cup.

Evan Drew has been named the new Chief Golf Coach at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, replacing Jamie Jackson.

The Van Patten Golf Club’s 36-hole club championship takes place on Saturday and Sunday. Tee times start at 8.30 a.m. There are gross and net ratings in the men’s and senior divisions (from 50 years of age). There is also an optional skins game. The entry fee is 150 per player or $ 50 for members. Cart and a small bucket of range balls are included in the price. The entire game is played from the white tees. Call 518-877-5400 for more information or to register.

Normanside CC will host a qualifier for the NYS Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship on Tuesday. NYS Men’s Mid-Amateur takes place September 24-26 at Shaker Ridge CC.

Two-time NEWGA Champion Sue Kahler of Ballston Spa CC scored an overall rating of 154 at the Country Club of Troy this week to win the Overall Gross Title in the NEWGA Seniors Championship. Linda Kolnick from Canajoharie CC shot a 161 and won the Super Senior crown. Jennifer DiIorio of Burden Lake (156) won the first flight, Heidi Harkins of Ballston Spa CC (162) won the second flight, Anne Van Buren of Pinehaven CC (166) won the third flight, Kathy Harkins of Ballston Spa CC (175) won the third flight. )) made the fourth flight, Anne Poulin from Mohawk Golf Club (165) was first in the fifth flight and Kate Oppedisano from Ballston Spa CC (180) won the sixth flight.

Local assistance club professionals will compete in the National Car Rental Assistants Championship at the Schenectady Municipal Golf Course on Tuesday.
The St. Jude tournament will take place on the Briar Creek Golf Course on Sunday at 1 p.m. The four-person scramble costs $ 100 and includes a cart, lunch, and a roast pork. Beer and soda will also be included. $ 25 of each entry goes direct to St. Jude. Call 518-355-6145 to sign up.

Brad Gardner, Head Pro of the Edison Club, will be competing in his annual Patriot Golf Day marathon for the Folds of Honor on Wednesday. Anyone who donates at least $ 250 or makes a commitment per hole will be entered into a prize draw to win five hours of golf with Brad. There will be lunch on Wednesday to cheer Brad on. Lunch is served between 11:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. The cost of lunch is $ 40, with half of the fee going straight to the Folds of Honor. Gardner hopes to raise at least $ 50,000 this year. The Folds of Honor helps raise scholarship funds for the children of fallen soldiers.

The Fox Run Golf Club is holding a Long Drive Contest on Saturday. The entry fee is $ 25 and the proceeds will benefit the NENY PGA HOPE Chapter (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere). The price includes live music, raffles and a barbecue. Contact Fox Run (518-762-3717) for more information.

A charity golf excursion for the City Mission of Schenectady will be held at the Mohawk River Country Club & Chateau on September 25th. Green fees are US $ 50 and a minimum tax-deductible donation of US $ 40 to the City Mission of Schenectady is requested. Contact for more information [email protected]
Rotary clubs from across the capital region are sponsoring the 23rd annual Gift of Life International Golf Tournament on September 20th at Pinehaven Country Club. The proceeds help bring children from around the world to Albany Medical Center for necessary pediatric heart surgeries that cannot be performed in their home countries. To register to play or sponsor the event, visit or call Richard Suker at 518-858-8839.

During the Shaker Ridge Invitational, Joe Marro Jr. hit the 143 yard fourth hole with a 51 degree wedge.

At Stadium Golf Club, Allen Brozowski hit a 6-iron for his hole-in-one on the 180 yard 12th hole.

John Evertsen hit an 8 iron on the 17th hole of the Schenectady Municipal Golf Course for his second hole-in-one career.

Amanda Fifield, senior softball coach at Ballston Spa High School, scored her first hole-in-one on the 185-yard seventh hole at Mechanicville Golf Club. She used a 3 hybrid. Club manager Rich Duda said it was the toughest hole on the course. Fifield said it was only her fourth time playing golf this season. She has been playing golf for eight years.

Laurie Phelps scored on the sixth par-4 hole at Mechanicville Golf Club with a 4-hybrid and a 6-iron for her Eagle-2.

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