“There are no pictures on the scorecard.”
That cliche applied to the final hole at the 2018 NEOHgolf.com Boulder Creek Spring 3-Man Scramble, as the eventual champs were the benefactors of an incredible (and laugh-out-loud funny) break.
The team of Mike Simpson, Brian Smith and Ryan Stefanski played in the second group of the day and posted a sterling 10-under par 62 to sit as leaders in the clubhouse for most of the day.
Team Simpson had supplanted the first two groups of the day — made up of Mike Sampson/Bob Sampson/John Marek and Matt Gasser/Brian Gasser/Tim Hepner — who each shot 9-under par 63.
Given the championship layout of Boulder Creek and tougher-than-average setup of the hole locations, 10-under par seemed to be a winning 3-player score.
But the team of Dave Sotka, Nick Anagnost and AJ Borisa put together a back-nine charge. After a pedestrian 33 on the front side that included a bogey, Team Sotka birdied the first five holes on the back nine before finally making a par.
But they bounced back immediately, making birdie on 16 and 17.
They came to the long par-5 18th hole now at 10-under par for the day. The trio smashed two huge shots to get pin high, covering about 585 yards in the process.
With the tournament scoreboard posted next to the 18th green, Team Sotka was well aware that an up-and-down birdie gave them a victory. But the shot was not an easy one, as the pin sat just below a huge swale in the green, and many teams had already missed short putts there because of the severity of the break.
Anagnost was first to chip for the team. As shown in the featured photo at the top, Niko carefully settled in for the shot — but then hit it in the forehead. Everyone looked up at impact expecting to see a high floater. But instead, the ball went screaming on a line into the bank in front of him. Amazingly, the ball popped straight up into the air, landed just onto the green, and rolled to within 3 inches of the hole, almost going in.
Niko turned away in disgust. Sotka and Borisa burst out laughing, as did everyone watching in the gallery. But needless to say, neither teammate bettered Niko’s leaner, and the tap-in gave Team Sotka a one-shot victory (and a side-bet win from the second place finishers to boot).
The team of Jim Cea, Bobby Spino and Bruno Chirumbolo also finished at 9-under par to finish in a three way tie for 3rd place. Team Cea had a good look at birdie at the final hole to get out of the T3 logjam, but failed to convert.
The story of the round, however, is the skins pot sweep made by the team of Shannon Bartruff, Randy Turner and Brad Patton. Every hole on the course had been tied with at least two birdies with 2/3rds of the field in, and it looked like the skins pot was going to be sliced thin with a least-tied-holes split.
But as the third-to-last group of the day, Team Bartruff came in with the day’s only eagle on the reachable par-5 sixth hole. The eagle was made with two good shots and a 20-foot putt to take the entire enchilada, worth more than the winning team’s take. (And as truly good partners do, Turner and Patton wanted it made known that they hit the two shots and made the putt to win the skin.)
The next event on the Northeast Ohio Golf Tournament series schedule is the Skyland Pines 3-Man Scramble on Saturday, May 20th. Skyland Pines has been upgraded significantly in the last two years, and the Series look forward to playing this well-conditioned course.
Northeast Ohio Golf Tournament Series
2018 Boulder Creek Spring 3-Man Scramble
Boulder Creek Golf Club, Streetsboro, OH
Sunday, May 6, 2018
Dave Sotka / Niko Anagnost / AJ Borisa 33 – 28 = 61 $900.00
Mike Simpson / Brian Smith / Ryan Stefanski 31 – 31 = 62 $600.00
Bob Sampson / Bob Glaze / John Merrick 31 – 32 = 63 $180.00
Matt Gasser / Brian Gasser / Tim Hepner 34 – 29 = 63 $180.00
Jim Cea / Bobby Spino / Bruno Chirumbolo 33 – 30 = 63 $180.00
Dan Terry / Chris Ramaglia / Justin Trzebuckowski 31 – 33 = 64
Brandon Nixon / Mark Madison / Nick Adkins 33 – 33 = 66
Anthony Marozzi / Brad Klem / Dino Manno 32 – 34 = 66
Nick Monter / Steve Monter / Caleb Kruse 36 – 31 = 67
Shannon Bartruff / Randy Turner / Brad Patton 35 – 33 = 68
Jimmy Wild / Matt Frey / Mike Feist 34 – 35 = 69
Dan Sabo / Dan Finlin / Mike Stuewe 32 – 37 = 69
Tom Stack / Fred Martin / Joe Hedrick 35 – 35 = 70
Jay Wigal / John Abdoo / Jason Rickenbacher 34 – 36 = 70
Alex Shannon / Tony Shannon / Mike Harget 36 – 35 = 71
Bill Mooney / Wayne Jatsek / Jack Vanadia 38 – 34 = 72
Brad Trice / Joe Trice / Paul Sen 36 – 38 = 74
SKINS: $1,020 ea
Shannon Bartruff / Randy Turner / Brad Patton Eagle 3 Hole #6