PREVIEW: 2012 Chippewa Championship

Kevin Larizza
Kevin Larizza

The 24th edition of the Chippewa Club Championship (my favorite event of the year!) will be played this Saturday and Sunday, August 25 – 26th.

And once again, our tournament will feature a great field of the best golf talent in three Northeast Ohio counties.

But the big question, the one I always get, is what are the pin placements going to look like.

Well, all I can tell you is this: with the lengthened new tees adding to the difficulty of the course, we will have a “softer approach” to the hole location this year.

I don’t want any tragedies, specifically a multiple-putt green because of a bad pin.

However, you will still have to know where to hit the ball.

Chippewa ChampionshipWe’ve always welcomed all comers and anyone from anywhere to play in this tournament (as long as he is an amateur), and I’ve always said the winner will be someone who is familiar with the golf course. That idea nearly panned on me last year, as Matt Heestand of Cleveland played for his first time ever and finished 2nd. And with Matt playing great in the Cleveland Am again this year, he has the ability to get it done this year, for sure.

One of the things I’m most proud of in this tourney is that all repeat winners can come back and play for FREE every year. It’s really done a lot to ensure that the field will be strong year-after-year. No exception this year.

Aaron Crewse is the defending champion, teeing it up again this year.

Ty Kovach, the winner the year before that, is also in the field.

Kenny Koprivec has won this event three times and is playing well, and he’ll be in the hunt.

Unfortunately, two-time winner Dave Oates is out this year because of his new position as Principal at Canton Central Catholic. (Dave is still the golf coach for the team, too, and they have a tournament at Windmill Lakes on Saturday.)

So with Dave out, the field appears to be WIDE OPEN. Check out the predictions made by myself, Don Olney and Sean Hunka as we look into our crystal balls, posted below.

We expect to have the usual field of around 80 players, and that also is something I’m proud of as it’s one of the best attended Club Championships around.

For an entry fee of just $125, players get two days of tournament golf an plenty of food and fun:

Day 1 – Saturday, August 25th
Breakfast 8am – 11am
Complimentary Range Balls
Lunch at the turn 11-3
Appetizers after golf
18 holes with cart included both days

Day 2 – Sunday, August 26th
Breakfast 8am – 11am
Complimentary Range Balls
Lunch at turn 11-3
Caravan out to golf course to watch the leaders play the finishing holes
Food, Awards Ceremony and Trophy Presentation
Putting Contest on the Putting Green
Long Drive Contest off #10 tee

Plus there will be an optional Skins Game, the usual wagers and odds sheets, and cash prizes for the Putting Contest and Long Drive Contests on Sunday evening.

Entry deadline is Friday at Noon so get your entry in now! Then watch Northeast Ohio Golf for the starting times to be posted soon after!



Don OlneyDon Olney

Winner: Aaron Crewes – the defending champ repeats!

Dark Horse: Mark Thomas – has the short game.

My Top Picks:
1. Pete Skirpstas – due to play well here.
2. Richie Schembechler – having a great summer.
3. Aaron Crewes – always in contention
4. Matt Heestand – Runner up last year in first appearance.

Winning Score: 143 (+1)


Sean HunkaSean Hunka

Winner: Aaron Crewes – this guy is as cool as they come; that will come in handy if he’s in contention on the back 9 on Sunday.

Dark Horse: Pete Skirpstas – if Pete is on, he’s as good as anyone, if not better. He had a great finish at the Ohio Open but has been quiet as of late.

My Top Picks:
1. Aaron Crewes – 2011 Defending Champion
2. Richie Schembechler – 2012 Summit County Amatuer Champion
3. Matt Heestand – runner up in 2011. Having a solid 2012 season
4. Mark Thomas – not quite the “darkhorse” as Skirpstas. Has the game to get it done.
5. Peter Vincent Skirpstas – see above.

Winning Score: 141 (-1)
The Mad Scientist Larizza said the course set-up would be “fair” this year.


Kevin LarizzaKevin Larizza

My Top Picks:
1. Aaron Crewse – looking to defend the title, knows the course, hasn’t been playing all that great, but he’ll show up
2. Pete Skirpstas – has the game
3. Richie Schembechler – it’s his summer
4. Matt Heestand – came out of nowhere last year and finished 2nd, that will help him out tremendously this year
5. Mark Thomas – his home course and he wants it bad, playing well, would be good for the OLD guys!

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