Fore the Good of the Game 07/03/19

THREE RIVERS — Many golfers are also interested in other sports; bowling, basketball, football, tennis, cycling, hiking, and baseball. "The only summer sport", according to editor and publisher of the Three Rivers Commercial News, Dirk Milliman, is baseball. It's a great article.

In Thursdays paper, June 27th, he tells us, "It's time for a baseball column." If you missed it, I suggest you  read his words of wisdom and humor. He brings memories of yesteryear to present day and into the future. I like his observations on sandlot experience, to learning regulated league play on all levels, including fundamentals (or lack thereof) into the big leagues. His story is wrapped between getting dirty, winning or losing, and shaking hands and going for ice cream. No matter the's for the good of the game...of baseball/softball. 

Getting down to the serious business of playing 'scratch' golf, the Monday night Scratch League has only two weeks left to complete the first half of the 2019 season. It appears that Kim Hubbard and Matt Hillman are clinging to the lead by the skin of their teeth over Denny Goodpaster and Rick Laux. That has nothing to do with the skin game that challenges the individual players every Monday during league play  Well, maybe; I have to re-think that.

On Monday, June 26th, Lance Myles snuck in a birdie 2 on the second hole that held up for a skin. Two holes following, Mitch Wolf (playing from his substitute position) scored a birdie on #4. There were only two more birdie skins on the day. Kim Hubbard took his on the 395 yard, par 4 seventh hole. Teammate, Matt Hillman, closed out the nine with a birdie skin on Hole 9. That gave the league-leading duo of Hubbard and Hillman a three under par, 33, to capture the winning best-ball; and remain in first place!

I mentioned a couple weeks ago, the difference between 'scratch' play and 'handicap' play in golf. Players who have no handicap, because, basically, they play 'par' golf, have established the distinction as 'scratch' golfers. On the other hand, 'handicap' golfers turn in their scorecards with each round of golf they play. Every time they shoot an 18 hole or 9 hole round of golf, they turn their scorecard in to the pro shop and a complicated formula figures their handicap. That handicap number is deducted from their total score every time they play 9, 18, or more holes of golf.

Currently, Sauganash Country Club is holding their 2019 match-play championship tournament. Two players are pitted against each other in a hole-by-hole encounter. The low handicap player of the two has to give the difference of strokes to the higher handicap player on the designated holes in match play.

In medal play tournaments, that means the total score (strokes) of their 9 or 18 hole rounds have their total handicap number deducted from their scores. The player with the lowest total wins that medal play tournament.

So, match play is by the hole; medal play is your total score, less handicap, against the entire field of players.

A huge field of a 'could-be' match play champion is underway. Early results are as follows: Jim Drake moves on after winning 1-up over David Booko. It took 1 extra hole (19) to determine the winner of this competitive pairing.

Another close match was won by Kim Hubbard over Mike Charvot;.Tom Pearson knocked Matt Kennedy out of the contest, 3 up and 2 holes to play. Alan McEnroe won his match over John Heskett, who was 3 holes down with 3 holes to play (dormied). Heskett lost the #16 hole and the match, 4 down and 2 to play.

Four other early matches resulted in closely contested battles: Steve Davis over Shane Swinehart, 2 & 1; Norbert Drust over Ross Daniels; Scott Hicks, 1-up over Rodney Wagner; and Dave Barton, 2 up, eliminating a past champion, Eddie Culp.

The golfers swarmed Sauganash on Wednesday, trying to catch-up after last week's rain-out. Hohner Funeral Home sponsored the events of the day. Dan Ruggles ran in at least a 40' putt to win that prize on Hole #4; Matt Krawczak inched out Matt Hillman to win closest to the pin in regulation on #9. Hillman was 18" close. Krawczak was 15". I understand both of them made their birdie putts; obviously, no skin on that hole.

Hillman went on to win closest to the pin in regulation (3rd shot on the par 5, 11th). His Monday night partner, Kim Hubbard, won the long drive on #17; it was H..U..G..E! Last week Kim won the same prize on #7. (Who said you lose distance as you mature?).

Not very many skins were won in either Scratch or Handicap divisions on Wednesday. So much competition narrowed the odds of winning a hole against a big field of players. There were only 4 winners in the Scratch division: Tony Crespo (#7), Adam Schroer (#2), Jim Drake (#13), and Denny Goodpaster (#15).

A record was set in the Handicap Division!  There was only 1 skin out of the entire field of 19 players. The keeper of the stats, Dave Brott, said, "I've never seen one man win over the entire field in all the years I've been keeping stats."

It was on the 15th Hole. Scott Crose knocked in a natural par 5, giving him the only net birdie for the record win. WOW!

Congratulations, Scott!

Pine View Golf Club has had a successful week in spite of the unseasonal rain, followed by the seasonally expected heat.

Let's look back to Thursday, June 27th when the Hemlock Course was golfers! The 30th Annual Area 18 Special Olympics were happy for the 18 special Olympians who were the fifth player in each of the foursomes. The event is held specifically for raising funds for the Special Olympic causes while mixing with the students and enjoying a day of golf, followed by a party while dining and awarding a plethora of prizes.

Each foursome was generously sponsored by area businesses. There were trophies awarded to the Special Olympians, including team prizes in each of three divisions. The Men's Division winners were sponsored by Abbott Labs. The Ladies Championship team was sponsored by Friends of Special Olympics. Swiderski and Ward Attorneys at Law sponsored the Mixed Division winning team.

I played in this event for several years running when I was in my prime. Everyone is a winner in this heart-warming experience. It's not too early to look ahead to next year. There are several ways you can participate, starting with information from Pine View Golf Club at 279-5131.

They also have other events you may want to look into. You can get the results of the 31st Annual Wildcat Open Golf Outing next week that was played Saturday, June 29th.

This week, you can get caught up with Pine View League action. I'll start with the 24, two person teams playing in the Thursday night Marcellus League. They have two divisions: Hemlock and Spruce.  Leading the Hemlock Division after 9 weeks of play, Tyler Kiewiet and Mike Karle have 243 points. Tyge Romig and Keith Dutoi are second with 211 points. In a close third is the team of Dylan Dodge and Jacob Boyer with 210.

Spruce Division leaders are Dane Terrill and Denny Small with 219 points. Within close striking distance are Milford Keen and Ron Welburn at 211 points. There are 4 other teams within 20 points of the league leaders.

The Pine View Thursday Night Couples League has 5 couples within 6 points of taking the lead. In the past 3 weeks, a new leading couple moved into the number one spot. After the June 27 outing, Steve and Joyce Gyllstrom, after scoring a 39/52 for 16 points, are tied for first place with 158 points. Doug and Mary Lemmer, scoring 47/46 scores, mustering up 28 points, are the couple that tied them.

Two teams tied with 154 point totals are Scott and Nancy Dolfman and Steve and Michelle Crouch, good for second place.

Mike and Sue Kaiser are ever so close to first with a 152 total.

Winning the event last week were Don and Sandy Weiss with a combined high net score of 75.5.

The closely contested St. Catherine Men's League had two event winners on Wednesday, June 26th. Drew Hakala hit the longest drive in the #17 fairway and Dave Bourbeau made the longest putt on Hole #15. They represent teams in the 7th and 9th position with 196 and 189 points.

The leading team, by 1 point, consists of Gary Hunt and Chuck Styrlund with a total of 220 points. At 219 are Bill Leach and Gary Brown.

Tim Shaver and Paul Vellom are in third with 212 points. In fourth place is Mark Bielecki and Rob Lobretto with 208 points.

All area courses move into the month of July with high hopes of weather patterns more conducive to golfing than were experienced in May and June.

The week of July 4th will be filled with fireworks off the courses. The month holds many things in store for the readers, golfers and golfing fans. Such as wedding events, dancing, dining and golf, inter-club golfing challenges, more outings, more fundraisers, and more open play.

For Dirk Milliman, I hope his baseball world continues to bring him as much entertainment and enjoyment as golf does for me. A common bond, here, is what follows the games: Ice cream! I'm looking forward to the new Lil’ Chick Ice Cream shop downtown, Three Rivers.

Whatever turns you on, or floats your boat, keep reading the Three Rivers
Commercial News FORE! The Good of the Game.

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