The 48th edition of the Senior Portage County Amateur had a little bit of everything for golfing fans.
Matt Habbyshaw of Aurora scored a hole-in-one on a blind shot to the second hole.
Four golfers decided to go low, as Jim Herchek, Randy Steele, David Pifer and Gerald Musiel all fired under-par rounds on the tough fairways at Sugar Bush Golf Course in Garrettsville.
The magic number of the day was 77 as ten golfers scored the five-over-par round across four divisions.
Familiar faces returned from the Amateur to compete in the Senior Amateur and move to the top of the leaderboard including Dennis Lawler of Hudson, in second place with a 75 after the first day and Ed Marsinek who fired a 73.
Returning champions also made their way to the top of the leaderboard including Missy Gedeon of Hudson, a two-time champion, leading the women’s division with a two-over-par 74.
The men in the 70-plus age division greet each other as friends each year as they return to compete and wait for the entire division to finish before leaving the course on the first day.
David Pifer of Mantua, competing in the Senior Amateur after handling the starting duties at the 88th Portage County Amateur, fired a three-under-par 69 to lead by two strokes over Gerald Musiel of Chagrin Falls who also was under-par (71).
Pifer was happy with his round that started with a birdie on the first hole and included two bogeys and five birdies. Pifer started each nine with a birdie on the lead hole.
Joining Pifer in the championship pairing are Musiel of Chagrin Falls and Mike Lingo of Lady Lake, Fl. Only four strokes separate the leaders as they head to Windmill Lakes today.
Missy Gedeon, a two-time champion from Hudson, has a decisive lead in the women’s division.
Gedeon fired a two-over-par 74 to top returning champion Tracy Moore of Ravenna who carded an 89.
SENIOR MEN’S DIVISION
In the 50-to-59 age division, Ed Marsinek of Streetsboro (pictured at top) didn’t think, at the start of his round, he would be in the lead.
Marsinek was three-over-par going into the third hole at Sugar Bush.
He settled down to finish with a 37 on the par-36 front nine and added a 36 on the back nine for the one-over-par round of 73.
Close on Marsinek’s heels are Dennis Lawler of Hudson (75) and first time senior amateur competitor Hank Morris of Poland (76)
Jim Herchek was moving right along in his 18-hole round until a double-bogey on the 16th hole threatened to derail him.
But Herchek of Chagrin Falls didn’t let the hiccup throw him off course, continuing to birdie the 17th and 18th holes and finish with a two-under-par 70.
Randy Steele of Hudson (71) and Earl Miller of Warren (73) look to fire better scores today at Windmill Lakes in the championship pairing of the division.
It has been a welcoming environment during the season of the amateurs for holes-in-one.
First, in the Junior Amateur, Hannah Stone of Rootstown and Grace Thompson of Kent Roosevelt each scored a one on the eighth hole at Windmill.
In the Senior Amateur on Saturday, Matt Habbyshaw of Aurora counted his score of one on the second hole at Sugar Bush.
While his playing partners, Lou Boarman of Mogadore and Frank Livak of Brimfield, witnessed the shot but none of them saw the ball roll into the cup on the 150-yard Par 3 that provides golfers an almost-blind shot to the green.
But they saw Habbyshaw take the Callaway ball out of the cup after he used his nine iron for his first hole-in-one.
The Portage County Amateurs are a tradition for many golfers. “I plan my vacation around this event,” said Jim Franks of Ravenna.
The same is true for the golfers who won the Amateur, Senior Amateur or both.
Returning champions this season include: Scott Mishler of Mantua, Dave Cutlip of Suffield, Lou Boardman of Mogadore, Jerry Bobbs of Rootstown, Randy Steele of Hudson (currently in second place in the Gold Division), Missy Gedeon of Hudson (currently in the lead of the women’s division), Tracy Moore of Ravenna, John Sloe of Aurora and Don Labaj of Solon.
Action gets underway today at Windmill Lakes Golf Club in Ravenna, beginning at 11 a.m. Golfers will be presented trophies and gift certificates to the champions at the conclusion of each division.
ROUND 1 RESULTS:
48TH RECORD-COURIER PORTAGE COUNTY SENIOR AMATEUR
presented by Windmill Lakes GC
Sugar Bush Golf Club, Garrettsville | Par 72
Saturday, August 25, 2018
Ed Marsinek, Streetsboro 73
Dennis Lawler, Hudson 75
Hank Morris, Poland 76
Geoffrey Burge, Aurora 77
Dave Peck, Macedonia 79
Dave Cutlip, Suffield 79
Troy Luckenbaugh, Uniontown 79
George Allen, Champion 79
Leo Szczepanski, Seven Hills 80
Randy Wilburn, Deerfield 85
Ray McNiece, Cleveland 85
Ray Rousseau, Stow 89
John Sales, Canton 98
Jim Herchek, Chagrin Falls 70
Randy Steele, Hudson 71
Earl Miller, Warren 73
Jeff Dean, Copley 74
Tom Schuster, Southington 75
Ray Prokop, Cleveland 76
Jim Franks, Ravenna 76
Tom Reed, Steubenville 77
John Sloe, Aurora 77
Jack Pico, Niles 77
Robert Gintert, Newton Falls 77
Matt Habbyshaw, Aurora 77
Ron Rositani, Willowick 77
Frank Livak, Brimfield 77
Larry Kerns, Shaker Heights 79
Lou Boarman, Mogadore 79
Douglas Rice, Mogadore 88
Scott Mishler, Mantua 88
Don Labaj, Berea 89
Timothy Ryan, Newton Falls 89
David Pifer, Mantua 69
Gerald Musiel, Chagrin Falls 71
Mike Lingo, Lady Lake, Fla. 73
R.E. Duff Long, Mantua 74
Thomas Ludlam, Atwater 76
Dan Bania, Delaware 77
Jerry Bobbs, Rootstown 77
Bob Harwell, Stuart, Fla. 77
Robert Hall, Ravenna 80
James Crowe, Berlin Center 80
Eli Maravich, Mogadore 88
Missy Gedeon, Hudson 74
Tracy Moore, Ravenna 89
Wendy Brugman, Mantua 95
Kathy Tomaswick, Tallmadge 95