Summit County Amateur Golf ChampionshipOn a rainy, windy Sunday in Akron, Chris Okeson of Lyndhurst turned a disaster of a miss on his final hole in regulation into a playoff victory at the 2020 Summit County Amateur Golf Championship.

With the traditional reversal of the nines on Summit Sunday, Okeson had a putt inside three feet on the long par-3 ninth hole that would have given him the victory in regulation:

Chris Okeson miss at Summit Co Am

The tiniest of tugs and Okeson’s diving right-to-left putt finished just below the hole.

With Okeson playing two groups in front of the first round leaders and sitting at 4-under par heading into the last, it wasn’t certain that his miss cost him a victory. Word was that both first round co-leader Josh Clay of Massillon and past champion Ryan Gutowski of Akron were at 5-under par with a couple holes left. Another of Saturday’s co-leaders, Joe Puch of New Concord, kept hanging around the lead while playing in the final group with Clay.

So while clearly disappointing to Okeson, even with a make of his par putt, it didn’t seem to be enough for the winning score.

But hey, anything can happen at Good Park.

In fact, after the first nine holes on Sunday, the tournament seemed squarely in the grasp of Ryan Gutowski.

Ryan Gutowski
Ryan Gutowski

A reinstated amateur, Gutowski blitzed the backside/first nine in a scorching 33 to sit at 6-under par for the tournament after 27 holes. Then a birdie at the short par-5 second hole turned the total into 7-under par with seven holes left to play. Given Gutowski’s experience in big events, perhaps the rout was on. But three straight bogeys at his next three holes, and Gutowski found himself back in a four-way battle.

Once Gutowski came back to the field, Josh Clay seemed to be the player to beat.

Josh Clay
Josh Clay

Starting the day at 4-under par after a Saturday 67, Clay toured the first nine holes in a solid 1-under par. He also birdied the par-5 second to get to 6-under par for the tournament. But he bogeyed the third to fall back to -5, then ran off four straight pars to steady himself and get back into position for the close.

Meanwhile, Saturday co-leader Joe Puch kept making pars on Sunday to stay right in it.

Joe Puch
Joe Puch

Puch, the head golf coach at Muskingum University, played his first nine holes in level par. He then mirrored Clay at the start of the final nine: birdie at 2, bogey at 3, then three straight pars. But a critical bogey at the 7th put him one shot behind.

That’s when the round turned for Puch and against Clay: on the dogleg par-4 eighth hole, Puch made birdie while Clay made bogey. Playing in front of them, Gutowski had managed par at the eighth.

Suddenly, all three players sat at 4-under par with one hole left to play: the 218-yard ninth, with a back hole location tucked behind a ridge, an uphill shot into a left-hurting wind, with rain splashing down your neck. Peachy.

In the penultimate group, Gutowski missed the green right then missed his par putt from about 12 feet.

In the final group, Clay and Puch both missed the green. Clay pitched on to 10 feet but missed his par attempt. Puch pitched to four feet below the hole and had a great look for the win, but also missed.

So the top four finishers in the Championship all made bogey at their final hole — when each had a chance to win the title outright!

On to a sudden death playoff, exclusively on the hole where all four had just made bogey, until a winner was determined.

FOUR-MAN, FOUR HOLE PLAYOFF

On the first playoff hole, Puch went out, missing a par putt on a similar line as his miss in regulation.

The remaining three players all made par on the second go-around.

Clay went out on the third playoff hole, leaving his par putt short from about six feet.

Then on the fourth playoff hole, Gutowski may have tried to force the action just a bit too much and it cost him.

Okeson hit the center of the green for the third time in the playoff. Gutowski, after being short of the flagstick in his first four tee shot attempts, tried to get his long iron back to the flag. But his extra effort went long-left, leaving him over the green, well above the hole, straight down hill.

From there, Gutowski was too delicate with his flop shot and left it just on the fringe, still straight down the hill.

Okeson rolled his 20-foot birdie effort and nearly made it, finishing about a foot away on the low side, marking.

Gutowski knew that Okeson would not miss, so he gave the par try a valiant effort but missed low right.

Both players tapped in, and Okeson was the 2020 Summit County Amateur champion.

2020 Summit County Am trophy
The Barnes family presents Chris Okeson with the 2020 Summit County Am trophy.

SUNDAY BIG SKINS

After Niko Anagnost swept the pot on Saturday with a drive-the-green eagle at 12, Sunday’s $1,010 big skins pot was split two ways with birdies, by a pair of senior players.

Rick Bryson took his $505 half-share with a birdie on the previously-described bearish par-3 9th hole with a putt from four feet, while Bobby Spino made a birdie into the wind on the tough-driving par-4 10th hole to win his portion of the skins pot.

PHOTO GALLERY: 2020 SUMMIT COUNTY AMATEUR >

 
Chris Okeson

Summit County Amateur Golf ChampionshipFINAL RESULTS:
2020 Summit County Amateur Golf Championship

Good Park Golf Course, Akron | Par 71
Sat / Sun, August 1 – 2, 2020

Gift cards available at either Foxy Golf locations after 8/5

 
Chris Okeson* 69 – 70 = 139 $750.00
Josh Clay 67 – 72 = 139 $600.00
Ryan Gutowski 68 – 71 = 139 $600.00
Joe Puch 67 – 72 = 139 $600.00
Brian Krusoe 69 – 72 = 141 $500.00
Kyle Buzaki 67 – 75 = 142 $412.00
Aaron Crewse 71 – 71 = 142 $412.00
Bryan Kordupel 70 – 72 = 142 $412.00
Ryan Stefanski 69 – 73 = 142 $412.00
Doug Barber 74 – 69 = 143 $350.00
Howard Clendenin 69 – 76 = 145 $300.00
Brett Montgomery 75 – 70 = 145 $300.00
Kurt Peterson 73 – 72 = 145 $300.00
Bob Henignan 74 – 72 = 146 $225.00
Kent Monas 71 – 75 = 146 $225.00
Jason Opal 73 – 73 = 146 $225.00
Niko Anagnost 72 – 75 = 147 $135.00
Aaron Apticar 72 – 75 = 147 $135.00
Doug Fleming 77 – 70 = 147 $135.00
Michael Klaric III 71 – 76 = 147 $135.00
Brian Polick 75 – 72 = 147 $135.00
A.J. Spalding 73 – 74 = 147 $135.00
Bobby Spino 73 – 74 = 147 $135.00
Steve Blackburn 76 – 72 = 148 $108.00
David Trier 72 – 76 = 148 $108.00
Eric Wonkovich 74 – 74 = 148 $108.00
Anthony Briggs 78 – 71 = 149 $100.00
Zack Drukenbrod 74 – 75 = 149 $100.00
David Laib 73 – 76 = 149 $100.00
Xander Moran 71 – 78 = 149 $100.00
Brian Smith 72 – 77 = 149 $100.00
David Sotka 71 – 78 = 149 $100.00
Max Watson 77 – 72 = 149 $100.00
Zach Baker 74 – 76 = 150
Kyle Jacob 73 – 77 = 150
Larry Lahnan 74 – 76 = 150
Rob Schustrich 77 – 73 = 150
Matt Frey 75 – 76 = 151
Jay Prospal 76 – 75 = 151
Bud Radis 72 – 79 = 151
Mike Simpson 73 – 78 = 151
Patrick Steffen 75 – 76 = 151
Mychal Agarenzo 77 – 75 = 152
Shaun Kloetzer 74 – 78 = 152
Matt Warren 76 – 76 = 152
Jeff Wenger 74 – 78 = 152
Michael Dota 79 – 74 = 153
Cade Kreps 77 – 76 = 153
Brandon Main 76 – 77 = 153
Rick Bryson 82 – 72 = 154
Dean Cutlip 75 – 79 = 154
Chris Eggleton 76 – 78 = 154
Allen Freeman 80 – 74 = 154
Cole Smith 81 – 73 = 154
Nathan Strack 72 – 82 = 154
Evan Ferrara 79 – 76 = 155
Vaughn Snyder 78 – 77 = 155
Cam Starr 76 – 79 = 155
Oliver Byers 73 – 83 = 156
Jim Cea 74 – 82 = 156
Nathan Fousek 77 – 79 = 156
Justin Grunstein 81 – 75 = 156
Rick Kies 76 – 80 = 156
Will Ellison 74 – 83 = 157
Zach Huscusson 81 – 76 = 157
Brian Kukoleck 78 – 79 = 157
Alex Loftin 81 – 76 = 157
Tommy Miano 80 – 77 = 157
Joshua Prok 80 – 77 = 157
Tyler Watkins 82 – 75 = 157
Mike Witmer 80 – 77 = 157
Anthony Yacovazzi 78 – 79 = 157
Zach Hewitt 81 – 77 = 158
Andrew Zgrabik 81 – 77 = 158
Cory Gasaaway 81 – 78 = 159
Rob Loomis 80 – 79 = 159
John Pattakos 79 – 80 = 159
Michael Stiller 84 – 75 = 159
Tyler Ankrom 77 – 84 = 161
Angelo Granata 84 – 77 = 161
Matthew Hartman 79 – 82 = 161
Austin Kardish 76 – 86 = 162
Kyle McCafferty 80 – 82 = 162
Dustin Buehler 85 – 78 = 163
Jacob Henyey 82 – 81 = 163
Keith Hughes 82 – 81 = 163
Grant Morgan 75 – 88 = 163
Ben Robison 84 – 79 = 163
Mark Thomas 82 – 81 = 163
Jeff Barbas 78 – 86 = 164
Jonathan Knapp 77 – 87 = 164
Stephen Spalding 81 – 83 = 164
Michael Thornburg 82 – 82 = 164
Kevin Wheeler 81 – 83 = 164
Sammy DiMeo 83 – 82 = 165
Adam Filo 80 – 85 = 165
Steve Wilson Jr. 41 – 45 = 165
George Allen 83 – 83 = 166
Michael McCaffery 83 – 83 = 166
John Toth 85 – 81 = 166
Jason Zachardy 84 – 82 = 166
Jeff Hetler 87 – 80 = 167
Jeff Mirelli 86 – 81 = 167
Dan Terry 82 – 85 = 167
Ryan Hostetler 86 – 82 = 168
Jay Carpenter 88 – 82 = 170
Bryan Hoffman 88 – 83 = 171
Cody Rice 87 – 84 = 171
Mark Ciccarello 87 – 86 = 173
Denny Krill 88 – 85 = 173
Mike Butler 86 – 88 = 174
Dan Distelhorst 86 – 90 = 176
Eric Rush 91 – 85 = 176
Shawn Stradwick 91 – 85 = 176
Steve Wilson Sr. 48 – 43 = 176
Larry Kerns 89 – 88 = 177
Chris Walker 90 – 88 = 178
Dante D’Andrea 88 – 91 = 179
Brandon Zolata 91 – 96 = 187
Brandon Shaffer 93 – 97 = 190
Jon Good 99 – 107 = 206
Jon Schnur 76 – WD
Joe Ribelli 80 – WD
Bobby Harmon 83 – WD
Jackson Chiesa 86 – WD
Ken Troutman 87 – WD
Kevin Breen 92 – WD

 
SUNDAY SKINS: $505 ea
Rick Bryson Birdie-2 Hole #9
Bobby Spino Birdie-3 Hole #10

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