Downpour Washes Out Cleveland Am Third Round; Skirpstas Wins Playoff


Cleveland Metroparks Golf
Sleepy Hollow's 9th Green on Sunday
Water covers the entire 9th green and a river runs down the fairway at Sleepy Hollow on Sunday

Cleveland Amateur Golf ChampionshipsAs the leaders made the turn on Sunday, it started to sprinkle again.

As the players reached the 10th green, some lightning flashed. Then came the rain. Lots of rain.

After nearly two hours of a strong, steady downpour, tournament directors Mike Raby and John Fiander determined that too much of the golf course would remain under water for the remainder of the day, so third round play was wiped out and the results after 36 holes would stand.

That meant a playoff between round one leader Andrew Bailey of Rocky River and Sleepy Hollow’s newly crowned course champion Pete Skirpstas of Medina would decide the 2011 Cleveland Am.

The rain ended the chances of the playoff roster being even larger — or perhaps crowning a different champion all together — as the top of the leaderboard was tightly packed with just eight holes to go. Skirpstas turned at 1-under par 34 and led Bailey and 3-time Cleveland Am champion Brad Steven going into the back nine by just two shots.

But Steven had birdied the ninth hole by nearly holing his second and followed that up with a birdie at 10 to create some momentum, while Skirpstas made bogey at the 10th for a two shot swing.

Unfortunately, that’s when the skies opened so the finish could not be completed.

Raby and Fiander made the call to revert to the 36-hole scores at 3 p.m.

At 3:20 p.m., the water had receded just enough on the 18th green that a playoff could be started. Skirpstas hit his tee shot into the right rough, while Bailey found the fairway.

Skirpstas cut a gap wedge around the huge tree in the right rough to a spot on the green below and left of the hole, leaving about 18 feet up the hill with a big left-to-right sweep.

So Bailey had an opening, and he took advantage. He hit his own wedge shot to about 12 feet dead above the hole; with the green being wet, he was in great position for his birdie run.

Skirpstas Taps In For Par in the PlayoffSkirpstas hit a solid putt that cruised just past the low side of the hole, leaving himself an 18-inch tap-in which he finished up.

That set the stage for Bailey to win the playoff.

Bailey Birdie Effort in Cleveland Am PlayoffBailey read the putt carefully with his caddie, stroked the downhill putt — and it simply stopped. Some excess water between his ball and the hole left him halfway home. Earlier in the day, that same putt would have been dangerously fast.

Bailey was now faced with a downhill six footer just to tie, which he failed to convert by sending it just right of the hole. It was an extremely disappointing ending to the day for the 2011 Big Met course champion.

Andrew Bailey and Pete Skirpstas with their 2011 Cleveland Am Trophies
Andrew Bailey and Pete Skirpstas with their 2011 Cleveland Am Trophies

With the playoff victory, Skirpstas becomes the first Cleveland Amateur champion who is also the reigning course champion from the same site, as he won the qualifier at Sleepy Hollow two weeks previous.

A big thank you to Cleveland Metroparks golf professionals Mike Raby and John Fiander for their fantastic work throughout the tournament, and a big congratulations to Sleepy Hollow course superintendent Chad Lewanski who has done a fantastic job in bringing this challenging golf course back to tournament quality.
 

FINAL RESULTS: 2011 Greater Cleveland Amateur Golf Championship
Sleepy Hollow Golf Course, Brecksville, Ohio – Par 71
Friday, August 12 – Sunday, August 14, 2011
[Final round cancelled due to rain; *won on first playoff hole]
 

PLAYER RD 1 RD 2 TOTAL
Pete Skirpstas* 73 69 142
Andrew Bailey 68 74 142
Brad Steven 74 69 143
Zach Glassman 72 71 143
Matt Heestand 70 73 143
Norton Brick 72 72 144
Jonathan Riemer 72 73 145
Michael Klaric 74 72 146
Phil Bojc 73 73 146
William Schaefer 79 68 147
Robert Schustrich Jr. 76 71 147
Matt Marino 72 75 147
Kevin Hamori 69 78 147
Brian VanDeMotter 75 73 148
John Furlong 74 74 148
Frank Whites III 74 74 148
David Sotka 74 74 148
David Griffith 75 74 149
Mike Guarino 74 75 149
Mark Borlin 79 71 150
Kevin Pikus 78 72 150
Phil Latsko 75 75 150
Dan Predovic 80 71 151
Anthony Yacovazzi 80 71 151
Bryan Yeo 76 76 152
Steve Blackburn Jr. 79 74 153
Matt Kanegkasikorn 76 77 153
Jesse Fox 76 77 153
Dan Metzendorf 83 73 156
Pat Elber 80 75 155
Chris Okeson 73 81 154
Ross Beal 74 83 157
Louis Durban 80 74 154
Alex Brinkman 79 77 156
Scott Saari 80 76 156
Joe Zucker 77 79 156
Fred Colli 75 78 153
Scott Heran 76 78 154
Charles Milo 80 76 156
Matthew Kreider 75 79 154
Alex Dipalma 77 78 155
Tony Briggs 76 79 155
Bill Speirs 74 82 156
Jim Schaefer 79 76 155
Jake Wetzel 82 74 156
Paul Krueger 79 77 156
Bob Crouch 78 79 157
— MISSED CUT —
Doug Barber 84 74 158
Mark Foss 82 76 158
Joe Zabukovec 82 76 158
Ray Prokop 81 77 158
Kevin Hagen 81 77 158
Billy Barbour 77 81 158
Colin Holmes 76 82 158
Matt Timmons 76 82 158
Jerry Miller 81 78 159
David Stover 79 80 159
Michael Mintz 81 79 160
Thomas Gill 81 79 160
Allen Freeman 77 83 160
Jack Elber 82 79 161
Lorenzo Lanier 82 79 161
Mark Ciccarello 84 78 162
John Martis 86 79 165
Ryan Andrews 82 83 165
Bob Coy 78 87 165
Brian Miller 86 81 167
Michael Opsitnick 87 81 168
David Winchell 79 89 168
Craig Stewart 91 78 169
Michael Scherer 87 82 169
Greg Manuel 86 84 170
Jeff Deal 83 87 170
Chinnawatt Scott 81 90 171
Carl Quercioli 87 92 179
 
John Neidzalek 77 WD WD
Brian Smith 80 WD WD
Ryan Augustitus 84 WD WD
Cary Slabaugh WD WD
Previous FINAL RESULTS: 2011 Senior Summit County Amateur Golf Championship
Next Chippewa Scratch League Is A Go