It was a hot, steamy day at Windmill Lakes Golf Club in Ravenna for the final round of the 2018 Record-Courier Senior Portage County Amateur Championship.
A downpour the night before had dampened the fairways making it necessary for golfers to play accurate shots to the pins.
However, the champions of the Senior Amateur put on a clinic for others to watch as they navigated their way through tough playing conditions.
Randy Steele of Hudson (pictured above) pulled into the lead the final day of the tourney.
So good was Steele on his way to the championship of the men ages 60-to-69 that his final score was posted in red highlighting the two under-par rounds he fired.
After scoring a one-under-par at Sugar Bush on the first day, Steele added a remarkable 68, two-under-par.
It has been awhile since any of the four Portage County Amateur events have posted two under-par rounds from any of the leaders but Steele put his stamp on the championship, winning by eight strokes over Jeff Dean of Copley and Jim Herchek of Chagrin Falls, the first-day leader.
“It was hard,” said Steele. “I bogeyed one hole but managed to get it back.”
“I worked through the heat all day,” said Steele who usually manages to be near the top of the leaderboard in both the Amateur and the Senior events. This was his first victory.
It was a tough field with Ron Rositani of Willowick firing a two-over-par 72 and Dean firing a 73 on the final day but no one could catch Steele.
“His putting was spot-on all day,” said Herchek.
SENIOR WOMEN’S DIVISION
Missy Gedeon of Hudson led the tournament through all 36-holes, beating former champion Tracy Moore.
Gedeon, the coach of the Hiram varsity women’s team, added an 81 on the second day to her Sugar Bush score of 74.
Wendy Brugman came in third with Moore beating her by only one stroke in the two-day total.
SENIOR MEN’S DIVISION
Dennis Lawler of Hudson played for the first time in the series of Amateurs this season when he competed in the 88th Portage County Amateur.
“I’ll be back,” he said as he left Sugar Bush Golf Club in July with a top 10 finish.
It is a memorable return.
Lawler, the coach of the Hudson varsity girls basketball team, fired a final round of 76 to add to the 75 the first day to overtake Ed Marsinek of Streetsboro, the first day leader.
The division was so tight that only seven strokes separated the top seven golfers.
Lawler had played for golf for Hudson during his high school years and played collegiate golf at Pennsylvania’s Thiel College. He started playing again when he son loved hitting golf balls. Lawler wanted to play with him.
The practice with his 12-year-old son helped as Lawler rose to the top of the youngest men’s division in the Senior Amateur.
Leo Szczepanski of Seven Hills also had an outstanding day, carding a three-over-par 73 to move into second place and bump Marsinek of Streetsboro into second.
“It was neck-and-neck all day until the 16th hole,” said Marsinek.
Lawler’s birdie on the 16th, Par 5 hole sealed his victory.
The men 70-and-older saw a final, even-par round fired by Mike Lingo of Lady Lake, FL, formerly of Northfield.
Lingo won by three strokes over Gerald Musiel of Chagrin Falls and distanced himself from the first-day leader, David Pifer of Mantua who turned in a final 148 with a 79 at Windmill on the second day.
Only five strokes separated the top three golfers in the Platinum Division.
“He couldn’t be beaten today,” said Pifer of Lingo.
THE PORTAGE COUNTY AMATEURS
The four Record-Courier Portage County Amateur tournaments have concluded for this season but will return in 2019 with the 89th Amateur set for the final weekend of July and the 49th Senior Amateur teeing off on the final weekend of August.
48TH RECORD-COURIER SENIOR PORTAGE COUNTY AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP
Rd 1: Sugar Bush Golf Club, Garrettsville – Par 72 Saturday, Aug 25
Rd 2: Windmill Lakes Golf Club, Ravenna – Par 70 Sunday, Aug 26
Dennis Lawler, Hudson 75 -76 151
Leo Szczepanski, Seven Hills 80-73 153
Ed Marsinek, Streetsboro 73-82 155
Dave Peck, Macedonia 79-77 156
George Allen, Champion 79-78 157
Geoffrey Burge, Aurora 77-80 157
Dave Cutlip, Suffield 79-79 158
Hank Morris, Poland 76-85 161
Troy Luckenbaugh, Uniontown 79-84 163
Randy Wilburn, Deerfield 85-79 164
Ray McNiece, Cleveland 85-81 166
Ray Rousseau, Stow 89-91 180
John Sales, Canton 98-95 193
Randy Steele, Hudson 71-68 139
Jeff Dean, Copley 74-73 147
Jim Herchek, Chagrin Falls 70-77 147
Ron Rositani, Willowick 77-72 149
Earl Miller, Warren 73-76 149
Tom Schuster, Southington 75-78 153
Frank Livak, Brimfield 77-76 153
Ray Prokop, Cleveland 76-78 154
Jack Pico, Niles 77-77 154
John Sloe, Aurora 77-79 156
Lou Boarman, Mogadore 79-76 155
Robert Gintert, Newton Falls 79-77 156
Jim Franks, Ravenna 76-82 158
Matt Habbyshaw, Aurora 77-83 160
Tom Reed, Steubenville 77-84 161
Scott Mishler, Mantua 88-85 163
Timothy Ryan, Newton Falls 89-80 169
Don Labaj, Berea 89-91 180
Larry Kerns, Shaker Heights 79 DNF
Mike Lingo, Lady Lake, Fla. 73-70 143
Gerald Musiel, Chagrin Falls 71-75 146
David Pifer, Mantua 69-79 148
R.E. Duff Long, Mantua 74-80 154
Thomas Ludlam, Atwater 76-79 155
Jerry Bobbs, Rootstown 77-80 157
Dan Bania, Delaware 77-77 164
Bob Harwell, Stuart, Fla. 77-86 163
Robert Hall, Ravenna 80-88 168
James Crowe, Berlin Center 80-90 170
Eli Maravich, Mogadore 88-96 184
Missy Gedeon, Hudson 74-81 155
Tracy Moore, Ravenna 89-105 194
Wendy Brugman, Mantua 95-100 195
Kathy Tomaswick, Tallmadge 95-112 207