The final day of the 49th Senior Portage County Amateur Championship saw another perfect day for golf welcome the record-sized field to Windmill Lakes Golf Club in Ravenna.
Spectators and tournament directors were expecting great competition and the players did not disappoint.
In the Senior Division (ages 50-59) only two strokes separated the top four golfers with Geoffrey Burge hanging on to the lead he established in round one at Sugar Bush Golf Club.
Randy Crider came from behind with a sizzling 66, four-under-par at Windmill Lakes, to take over the lead from Jeff Dean of Copley by one stroke in the Senior Gold (ages 60-69) age division.
But as the saying goes, the best was saved for last, as Gerald Musiel of Chagrin Falls and Ed Taber of Aurora tied after the 36 holes of regular play in the Senior Platinum Division (ages 70+). Both players carded a two-round total of 146, with Musiel winning a one-hole, sudden-death playoff.
SENIOR GOLD (Ages 60-69)
Randy Crider was on fire.
While other golfers struggled with the winds that occasionally gusted at Windmill Lakes and the fast greens, Crider fired the low round of the day, a 66, four-under-par to move to the top of the leaderboard.
Crider of Brunswick waited for the final pairing that included Jeff Dean of Copley (right) who had his own under-par round on day one of the tournament.
Both golfers finished under-par for 36-holes, as Crider earned the championship by one stroke over Dean, 4-under par to 3-under par.
Jeff Luken of Middleburg Heights, Robert Gintert of Newton Falls and Jim Herchek of Chagrin Falls rounded out the top five.
SENIOR PLATINUM (Ages 70-plus)
As Gerald Musiel and Ed Taber walked out to the tenth hole for their playoff, it was already 7 p.m. A long day of golf had preceded the final pairing that included Mike Lingo of Lady Lake, FL.
Taber (right) had a one-stroke lead over Musiel going into the final day of competition but the two fought their way to a 74 for Musiel and a 75 for Taber to put them in the tie at the top.
Taber’s round had included three birdies on his way to the 75 but Musiel had a sizzling front nine, a 34 that set him on the path for the tie.
On the first playoff hole, both golfers hit beautiful drives into the fairway. It was back-and-forth, just as it was all day as Musiel put his ball into the hole for a par, besting Taber by one-stroke on the first play-off hole.
It was a fitting end to the tournament as Musiel had the best round in the age division at Windmill.
Ken Krupa of North Royalton and Tom Ludlam of Atwater finished in fourth and fifth place respectively for the age division’s top players.
SENIOR (Ages 50-59)
Geoffrey Burge of Aurora was the only golfer to lead wire-to-wire adding a 78 to his first round 78 that earned him the championship by one stroke in the age division.
So close were the top four golfers (Ray McNiece of Cleveland; Jeff Campbell of Canton and Dave Peck of Macedonia) that only two-strokes separated them from Burge.
Randy Wilburn of Deerfield grabbed fifth place, holding on with an 81 at Windmill to add to his first day score of 77.
SAVE THE DATE
The Senior Portage County Amateur Championship will celebrate its 50th edition in 2020 as it again tees off the final, full weekend of August.
49th SENIOR PORTAGE COUNTY AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP
Sat, Aug 24: Sugar Bush Golf Club, Garrettsville | Par 72
Sun, Aug 25: Windmill Lakes Golf Club, Ravenna | Par 70
Age 50-59 Division (SENIOR)
Geoffrey Burge, Aurora 73-78 151
Ray McNiece, Cleveland 74-78 152
Jeff Campbell, Canton 78-75 153
Dave Peck, Macedonia 74-79 153
Randy Wilburn, Deerfield 77-81 158
Ed Marsinek, Streetsboro 84-75 159
Dave Cutlip, Brimfield 80-79 159
Dennis Lawler, Hudson 77-83 160
Bill Jenkins, Canton 81-80 161
Rich Lloyd, Warren 79-82 161
Bill Mooney, Brecksville 78-85 163
Rodney Staats, Stow 80-84 164
Troy Luckenbaugh, Uniontown 83-86 169
John Sales, Akron 90-94 184
Brad Pees, Alexandria, VA 100-95 195
Bill Furey Twinsburg 99-97 196
Age 60-69 Division (GOLD)
Randy Crider, Brunswick 72-66 138
Jeff Dean, Copley 68-71 139
Jeff Luken, Middleburg Hts. 73-73 146
Robert Gintert, Newton Falls 76-71 147
Jim Herchek, Chagrin Falls 70-78 148
Gary Congin, Chesterland 75-73 148
John Sloe, Aurora 70-80 150
Randy Steele, Hudson 74-77 151
Lou Boarman, Mogadore 79-73 152
Jack Pico, Niles 79-76 155
Dan Patrick, Aurora 77-78 155
Sam Corabi, Painesville 79-80 159
Ron Rositani, Willowick 80-79 159
Frank Livak, Brimfield 76-84 160
Don Labaj, Berea 81-79 160
Earl Miller, Champion 80-82 162
Bob Goulish, Tallmadge 82-84 166
James Franks, Ravenna 84-84 168
Jack Cox, Parma 82-87 169
Kevin Breen, Fairlawn 92-79 171
Dave Moser, Streetsboro 85-86 171
Matt Habbyshaw, Aurora 87-93 180
Ron Benco, Strongsville 90-90 180
Age 70+ Division (Platinum)
Gerald Musiel, Chagrin Falls 72-74 146 (play-off)
Ed Taber, Aurora 71-75 146
Mike Lingo, Lady Lake, Fl. 71-79 150
Ken Krupa, North Royalton 74-81 155
Tom Ludlam, Atwater 79-79 158
Joseph Weidner, Thompson 75-84 159
David Pifer, Garrettsville 77-84 161
Jerry Bobbs, Ravenna 79-82 161
Robert Hall, Ravenna 78-84 162
R.E. Duff Long, Mantua 78-85 163
Jim Crowe, Berlin Center 78-92 170
Eli Maravich, Mogadore 83-96 179
Bernie Shell, Solon 84-82 166
Bob Mishler, Garrettsville 93-97 190