It was an unexpected result.
With just a few holes to play, it looked like Malone player Jon Clark from Clinton (shown at right) would cruise to his first Chippewa Championship victory in a walk.
Playing in the penultimate group, Clark was three under par for the day through 12 holes, including eagle-birdie on 10 and 11.
The players in the final few groups knew what Clark was doing, they knew that he has been playing incredibly solid golf all season long, and they had resigned themselves to playing for second place.
But that’s why The Chippewa Championship has earned the reputation that it holds. Because while every hole holds a chance at birdie (or eagle or albatross, which is another story for later!), each hole is also a disaster-in-wait.
And unfortunately for Clark, those disasters took place right at the very end.
After playing spectacularly for 12 holes on Sunday, Clark finished the final six holes bogey-bogey-par-bogey-bogey-triple. Of course the triple at the end was most unexpected of all, and it totaled to a final round 75 that put him at 8-over par 150 for the tournament.
So which players were suddenly back in the hunt after Clark’s missteps?
Oh, how about a defending champion who shot 79 in the first round, and a 48-year-old guy using a long putter against the college kids.
Playing in the group ahead of Clark, 2012 champion Nathan Tarter of Mogadore and another Malone player posted a Sunday round of 2-under par 69 — the best score of the day by five shots! — to finish at 6-over par 148.
Then in the day’s final group, Rob Schustrich from Windham cruised home with a respectable 75, nothing spectacular but solid given the situation. Paired with a first round 73, he also finish at the 148 mark.
It took everyone in attendance a few minutes to figure it out, but yes, those two 148s were the low 36-hole scores, and the two unlikely beneficiaries of Clark’s tough finish were headed to a playoff on the lengthened par-4 18th hole.
Neither tee shot in the playoff was spectacular: Schustrich went way right into the 10th fairway, Tarter hit a tree and dropped straight down in the right rough. Tarter advanced his second shot only 140 yards from a cabbage lie, and Schustrich whacked a long iron to short-left of the green. Then Tarter hit his third shot from 140 yards out to the front edge of the green.
From there, the video tells the story:
Schustrich holed the putts that needed to be holed, played steady golf in an event that requires steady golf, and ended up the 2013 Chippewa Champion.
The shot of the tournament came from Jon Jadgchew, who made an albatross-2 on the 508-yard par-5 third hole. Jadgchew hit three wood off the tee (he hit a poor driver in the first round so he revised his strategy for round two), then he holed that same 3-wood from 245 yards on the second shote! None of his fellow players saw it go in for sure, but they all knew it was dead on line. Only when they reached the green and couldn’t find the ball did they check the cup and confirm the double-eagle. Oddly, while Jadgchew has never made a hole-in-one, this was his second albatross!
Complete list of final results and skin winners below. Also check out the Round 2 Photo Gallery.
As always, the players greatly thank tournament director and Chippewa Golf Club owner Kevin Larizza for the spectacular event that he puts on year-after-year. In this his 25th Anniversary event, Kevin and his staff combined a well-conditioned golf course, a challenging but fair test of tournament golf, and an incredible food and beverage spread on both days. Amateur players in Northeast Ohio who miss this event miss out on a lot. Thank you Kevin, Jim, Don, Sean and Brad!
2013 Chippewa Championship
Chippewa Golf Club, Doylestown, Ohio
August 24-25, 2013
$50 36-Hole Big Skins Game: $363 ea
Rob Schustrich #5 ““ Birdie
Nate Petry #13 ““ Birdie
Dan Marr #15 ““ Birdie
Mike Hamilton – #17 ““ Birdie
Nate Petry – #18 ““ Birdie
Jason Chadima – #21 ““ Eagle
Ron McCoy – #27 ““ Birdie
Jon Clark – #28 ““ Eagle
Chris Slates – #29 ““ Eagle
Brian Smith – #31 ““ Birdie
Rob Schustrich – #34 ““ Birdie
$20 18-Hole Double-Play Skins Game: $370 ea.
John Jadchew #3 ““ Albatross
Rob Shustrich – #5 ““Birdie
Jon Clark #10 – Eagle
Mike Hamilton – #17 ““ Birdie