It was a virtuoso performance. Then it was eliminated for not reading the rules sheet.

In 30 mph winds with super-tough hole locations on a chilly, rain-spritzing afternoon, Team Michael Klaric with mates Matt Gurska (p), Andrew Bailey, Ian Bailey and Dom Lombardi (pictured below) posted a get-em-all score of 18-under par at the difficult Boulder Creek Golf Course in Streetsboro during the second wave of the 2017 Boulder Creek 5-Man Scramble presented by Northeast Ohio Golf.

Team Klaric Boulder Creek 5-M Scramble
Ian Bailey, Dom Lombardi, Andrew Bailey, Michael Klaric and Matt Gurska (p) played an incredible round at Boulder Creek

The round they played was by their own description “out of our minds unbelievable.” And given they are all under the age of 40, they did so from the back tee boxes set at 7,300 yards in the tees-by-age format. They made just about every putt they faced, and they holed-out for eagle-2 on a short par-4, the uphill 15th. Their only par of the day came at the 625-yard par-5 18th finishing hole, which played dead into a stiff wind to a hole location so far in the back of the green that the majority of teams made par there.

When they finished, it appeared to be a two-shot victory on an incredible performance. But the team playing behind them on the finishing hole pointed out to the Committee that they saw a potential rules infraction, one that was spelled out in clear detail on the rules sheet. And to add to the angst of the issue, the team that reported the infraction sat in the second place position at 16-under par.

A ‘No Scouting’ rule was spelled out on the rules sheet to keep the pace of play quick, as limited daylight required players to keep moving so a full field of 40 teams could finish. A delay in the carts turn-around between the morning and smaller afternoon waves held up the start of later-day play, forcing the last few teams on each side to be given permission to find open holes and play to get finished.

The ‘No Scouting’ rule stated clearly that teams could not go more than 10 yards past the tee or their ball through the green to see the layout of the hole or check a shot result until all players had hit. Team Klaric admitted individual players had gone past their ball on multiple holes after they hit, and admitted that they had not fully read that portion of the rules sheet. They also said they had a different idea of what ‘No Scouting’ meant when it was mentioned in the quick rules rundown given verbally when the rules sheet was provided. (The rules and a PDF copy of the rules sheet were also provided on days in advance of the event.)

So to the dismay of both parties after a tough half-hour of conversation, the five-man Committee had no choice but to disqualify the winning team for not following the clear statement of ‘No Scouting’ on the rules sheet. It was a unanimous — albeit heart-breaking — decision.

(Tournament golf lesson, once again: someone on the team must read and understand the Rules Sheet provided, ask questions if the rules are not understood, and make sure the team follows all of those rules during play.)

The DQ benefitted Team Tim Ailes (p), Eric Frishette, Brian Smith, Steve Blackburn Jr. and Howard Clendenin. They made eagles on both the par-5 first and tenth holes to offset four pars made at 4, 9, 16 and 18.

One shot behind them was Team Jamison Wood, with brother Geoff Wood, Mike Richey, Steve Gerardot and Jim Kuhn.

Skins were won by Team Nick Colangelo, who made an eagle-3 on the par-5 sixth hole, and Team Jon Lieser who made a deuce on the par-4 15th hole. Skins were good for $1,900 each. The DQ of Team Klaric allowed Team Lieser to earn their skin, as both teams made eagle on the 15th hole but the DQ removed the Klaric eagle from the board. Again, another tough result but the only option available to the Committee.

Boulder Creek Golf Club and Event CenterThanks to Boulder Creek owner Joe Salemi, manager Brendan Cannon and their entire staff for providing a fantastic venue for a challenging 5-player scramble.

Thanks to the volunteer members of the Committee — Ty Kovach, Doug Fleming (plus scoring), John Zitkovic, and Joe Salemi — for their efforts before, during and especially after the event.

And a special shout out to volunteer golf event specialist Bill Downing for a full day of assistance as a rules observer and cattle prod wielder to keep play moving.

All of these gentlemen made the inaugural event one worth continuing.

2017 Boulder Creek 5-M Scramble Photo Gallery >

We intend to stage the Boulder Creek 5-Man Scramble again next year, but clearly we will make a date change to better allow for time to complete the event without having to worry about daylight. We welcome any additional comments or feedback below on the event operations, the golf course, its setup, etc. (Note that comments will be moderated, so please express helpful suggestions only please.) If you wish to make a private suggestion by email on ways to improve the event, please send those thoughts to

Thanks to all who played, and we look forward to the 2018 edition…

2017 Boulder Creek 5-Man Scramble
presented by Northeast Ohio Golf

Boulder Creek Golf Course, Streetsboro | Par 72
Sunday, October 15, 2017

Team Tim Ailes (p)
Eric Frishette
Brian Smith
Howard Clendenin
Steve Blackburn
Team Jamison Wood
Geoff Wood
Mike Richey
Steve Gerardot
Jim Kuhn
Team Joey DiDonato
Joe Blackburn
Niko Anagnost
David Sotka
Steve Blackburn Sr.
Team Mitch Camp (p)
Allen Freeman
Ty Kovach
Larry Lahnan
Fred Miller
Team John Zitkovic
Bill Steepleton
Kent Russell
Rich Miller
Mike Davis
Team Nick Colangelo (p)
Eric Bowman
Junior Miller
Brandon Shannon
Chris Sedmock
Team Jon Lieser
Elliot Hannen
Anthony Stallsmith
Scott McVey
Frank Groves
Team Brett McBride
Ryan Lenahan (p)
Jerrod Barley
Clint Schreiber
Brandon Hoelzer
Team Cody Stinson
Ryan Mattlock
Sean Sculley
Alex Shindledecker
Joe Zoltowski
Team Mike Simpson
Allison Czetli
Aaron Czetli
Aaron Crewse
John Kabasky
Team Jeff ‘Tug’ Stabler
Nathan Tarter (p)
Dave Lightner
John Ferrando
Steve Baker
Team Taylor Pendrith (p)
David Trier
Rob Wakeling
Joe Nemeth
Sebastian Bendson
Team Ron Hulett
Hugh Pace
Justin Pagnard
Ryan Long
Brandon Veverka
Team Matt Gasser
Tyler Light (p)
Mitch Levengood
Kurt Peterson
Eric Crone
Team Jonathan Tiber
David Ludlow
Craig Voorhees
Kelly Blair
Mike Sizzler
Team David Markota
Josh Markota
Mark Markota
Frank DeAngelo
Brian Starr
Team Duy Trinh
Jason Ridgeway
Ed Rudd
Dennis Royer
Brett Spurgeon
Team Kyle Piper
Chris Kwolek
Shawn Carr
Josh Crum
Shane Eichenlaub
Team Ryan Augustitus
Jeff Deal
Joe Ribelli
Jim Barber
Doug Barber
Team Dan Grummitt
Doug Barnes
Jarrod Mink
Dave Hadzinsky
Mark Osickey
Team Patrick Damore (p)
Anthony Pellegrino
Tony Pellegrino Sr.
Jerry Bancroft
Austin Stoddard
Team Keith Okress
Brian Nagle
Brian Miller
Matt Fleming
Scott Deevers
Team Kelly Jones
JT Goodson (p)
Jay Bixby
Gary Grant
Chris Davis
Team Steve Shaw (p)
Mark Thomas
Raul Mendoza
Doug Fleming
Tom Seever
Team Jimmy Beers (p)
Josh Prok
Matt Reda
Jon Grimm
Robert Radish
Team Dan Tomola
Chris Laboda
Joan Graziano
Danny McNamara
Dave Lansu
Team Marcus Stratton (p)
Austin Earley
Mike Cook
Jeff Pettit
Steve Rogers
Team Tom Richard
Larry Milosh (p)
Steve Stopenski
Mike Montelone
Rich Shadley
Team John Schneider
Noah Schneider
Dale Holobaugh
Paul Rezk
Tony Roy
Team Emily Rohanna
Debbie Rohanna
Roseann Schwartz
Shirley Bengala
Rachel Virgili (p)
Team Mike Dessecker (p)
Kris Honeck
Bob Gless
Shawn Cavanaugh
Jan Grodecki
Team Paul Miller
Mike Adkins (p)
Ryan Monahan
Donny Waldron
John Reese
Team Kevin McAfee
Rick Roberts
Aaron Kazan
Nick Muntean
Frank Beattie
Team Joshua Reger
Jackson Chiesa
Brandon Rotili
Blake DeSimio
Andy Lamb
Team Steve Baker
Jimmy Crowe
Ray Rousseau
Mike Thompson
Scott Yannis
Team Andrew Zgrabik
Dave Zgrabik
Jerry Zgrabik
Larry Zgrabik
Jim Armstrong
Team Len Mastrucci
Rob Young
Steve Cominsky
Jamie Simcox
Vinnie Plavcan
Team Jerrod Vastag
Andrew Murray
Nate Clark
Kurtis Dilyard
Matt Moskalski
Team Nick Foschia
Adam Bouch
Bud Radis
Dom Carano
Abhi Shietti
Team Michael Klaric
Matt Gurska (p)
Andrew Bailey
Ian Bailey
Dom Lombardi



Team Nick Colangelo: Eagle-3 Hole #6 – $1,900
Team Jon Lieser: Eagle-2 Hole #15 – $1,900


  1. Avatar
    October 19, 2017

    Hey,sorry for the confusion I was talking about the team that shot -18 had 2 pro’s. I know fish is good he’s played in our events at Zoar.

    • Allen Freeman
      October 19, 2017

      On the DQ’d team, Andrew Bailey has also been reinstated as an amateur by the USGA.

  2. Avatar
    October 19, 2017

    I’m a big fan of Al, this website and all it does to promote golf in NE Ohio. I think days like Saturday are bound to happen when things don’t fall into place. First of all the team that was DQ’d had 2 playing pro’s on there team(took about 5 min on a cell phone to find that out). Not sure how that slipped by when the field was set 2 weeks prior. The scouting infraction was petty at best. Pace of play was not enforced or every group In the am wave would have been penalized. Also, several teams in the afternoon wave played holes out of order to finish before dark. If that’s not scouting I’m not sure what is. To assume everyone is going to be honest with that much money is on the line is just ridiculous. If I had known there was only going to be 3 spotters out there I never would have played. We’re all adults here just be honest with what’s going on, that’s all I ask for in the future.

    • Allen Freeman
      October 19, 2017

      Thanks for the comment Mitch. FYI, Tim Ailes was the winning team’s professional; Eric Frishette had his amateur status reinstated by the USGA over two years ago.

  3. Avatar
    October 18, 2017

    There were 2 holes where not being able to scout ahead created safety issues. The 2nd hole and the hole on the back where you cut it around the trees in an attempt to drive the green. All members of my team could drive the 2nd green. we could not see the green. Need to know when it is clear to hit. I watched one of the groups behind us try to drive the dog leg right, over the lake while the team in front of them was putting. Can not see green from that tee. Much quicker to find balls on those two holes if you got someone spotting. We looked for balls for 5 minutes on the dog leg right and found 1 of 3. Safety is the big concern on those two holes. Other than that I loved the tournament. Hope you have it again next year!!!!!!!!

  4. Nick Anagnost
    October 18, 2017

    I would like to Thank the committee for planning this huge event. Awesome job. Very seldom does a scramble of this magnitude provide no issues. The team that was disqualified positioned my group for more earnings. I feel their pain. You must read the rules sheet. Although, I feel they should of been warned. If they were observed scouting someone should of yelled at them ON THE COURSE. I understand it was approved to not play holes in order. This decision was not fair to the entire field. Especially for those who have never seen or only played the course a few times. I love you.

  5. Avatar
    October 17, 2017

    First and Foremost, thank you for having this event. I had a great time with my teammates and friends and I wish these big scrambles happened more often.

    Secondly, I must give my neutral, unbiased opinion after reading this posted story.

    I played in the morning, not in the afternoon when the alleged drama took place. There wasn’t one group that I didn’t see “scouting.” So to re-phrase my double negative: I saw every group in my sight-line scouting on Sunday. By the rule-sheet definition of walking ahead 10 yards, it’s hard not to scout. Hell, I’m sure people did it on accident.

    You know, Allen Iverson had one of the best quotes of all time, talking about practice vs. a game. Here’s how I would compare his quote to the Sunday decision regarding the DQ.

    “We talkin’ about SCOUTING man, not cheating, NOT CHEATING, but we’re talkin’ about scouting man!”

    It seems like the whole makeup of the rule sheet was based on pace of play, which is fine, because slow play in these events suck. But did the DQ’d group excessively hold up pace of play and can it be proven? If they constantly held up the group behind them because of consistent ‘scouting’, then ok, several stroke penalties or DQ is warranted. With no scorekeepers on every green and groups jumping around trying to find empty holes, it’s hard to believe that they were holding people up. This is like trying to decipher what the difference is between a Catch or Incomplete Pass in the NFL when a player is going to ground. Rules getting way too complicated.

    Like I said, I personally am not favoring anyone here. All I know is if my team shot -18 and I walked home with $0.00 because of a ‘scouting’ DQ, witnessed once by one team only, I’d be ultra pissed with all that money on the line. That’s a month mortgage payment for some people.

    • Allen Freeman
      October 17, 2017

      Thanks for the comments Joe. One clarification: the DQ team didn’t accidentally scout or walk just a few feet past their ball on occasion. They stated that they walked or drove up to the green in advance of all players hitting multiple times. They didn’t read the rule on the sheet so they didn’t realize what they were doing was clearly prohibited. Whether or not they slowed up another group isn’t relevant; a rule has to apply equally to all groups in all cases.

      • Avatar
        October 17, 2017

        Thank you for the response as well Allen. Clarity is Clarity. Technically, (and this is what this scouting thing is now, a huge technicality): if the first player hits, takes a divot and the divot goes 10+ yards closer to the hole, that player goes ahead and grabs that divot to replace it before the group finishes hitting, that’s essentially scouting. My goodness, every group did that. Who’s to say they were or weren’t checking out a hole location while grabbing a divot to advise their teammates on?

        Separately, In your rule sheet it does not state specifically a team can get DQ’d for scouting. It does not state a consequence for Scouting either. All it says is the committee can reserve the right to disqualify a team for not consistently keeping up with the group in front of them. You stated in your response that whether they slowed anyone up is irrelevant….well technically, slowing a group up is the only grounds for disqualification in this event according to the language written on the rule sheet. Consequently, the scouting language is underneath the topic of: PACE OF PLAY.

        So you can accidentally scout and not be penalized….. However, penalizing them for scouting when they admit they didn’t realize what they were doing was wrong?!

  6. Avatar
    October 17, 2017

    Absolutely great event! We look forward to coming back next year

    One suggestion I have is to have a scorer on every green that way there can be no disputes in scores. Each team must sign off on their score on the scorers clipboard before moving to the next tee.

    I know it takes a lot of man power to do so, but I’ve seen it done in another 5-man I have played in and it works well

    Thanks again for hosting

    • Allen Freeman
      October 17, 2017

      Thanks Kyle. We tried to recruit multiple scorers in multiple ways. We got 4 responses.

      Boulder doesn’t have a member base or a senior association like a lot of courses, so there isn’t really a group from which to recruit. I also emailed 190 high school golf coaches twice, none responded.

      So unless each team wants to provide a scorer to sit on a hole for 5 hours (not an easy ask), or every team pays a bigger entry fee so we can recruit paid scorers, we are stuck with using a few roving scoring observers.

  7. Ty Kovach
    October 17, 2017

    Great job to Al and his staff on running a great tournament. Kudos to Joe and his staff on turning carts as fast at possible to make sure everyone finished and the condition of the course!!! Look forward to next year’s event at Boulder Creek and responses from the players who played in one of the best and biggest tournaments in NE Ohio this year.
    Ty from Medina

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