It wasn’t always pretty and the winning score was 38-38=76, but even in pain Ryan Stefanski of Brunswick got the job done.
Stefanski endured pain from a kidney stone on the 16th hole, waited on the 18th tee bent over and clutching his side, yet somehow finished the round spectacularly, playing the last three holes in 1-under par to win the 2008 Cleveland Shoot-Out at Fowlers Mill.
Stefanski outlasted two players who finished at 78: defending champion Steve Blackburn Jr. of Willowick and Joe Tasca of Concord.
Corey Iacofano of Painesville, Clint Paxson of Ashtabula, and Tom Evans of Perry each shot 79 to tie for fourth.
While the field included a number of very talented players, the setup of the hazard-filled course was a “big number waiting to happen”. In addition to Pete Dye’s highly challenging Fowlers Mill layout, the slow wet greens, a number of truly difficult hole locations, and a 10-12 mph wind elevated the scores for the entire field.
The players in this event qualified by participating at least twice in the traveling Greater Cleveland Skins Game, which still has several events this season [2008 schedule here]. These weekly skins-only events are open to all amateur players, and new players are always welcome.
Greater Cleveland Shoot-Out Results, September 1, 2008
Fowlers Mill Golf Course, Chesterland; Par 72, 7,002 Yards
1) Ryan Stefanski, Brunswick 76 $750
2) Steve Blackburn Jr, Willowick 78 $400
2) Joe Tasca, Concord 78 $400
4) Tom Evans, Perry 79 $150
4) Clint Paxson, Ashtabula 79 $150
4) Corey Iacofano, Painesville 79 $150
7) Al Freeman, Brecksville 80
7) Rob Schustrich, Windham 80
9) John Niedzialek, Concord 81
9) Sam Corabi, Painesville 81
9) Scott Mackar, Chardon 81
9) Phil Bojc, Willoughby 81
13) Mark Foss, Mayfield, Hts. 82
14) Bob Brodnan, Mentor 83
15) Steve Blackburn Sr., Lyndhurst 84
15) Drew Thompson, Avon Lake 84
17) Paul Kish, Painesville Twp. 85
17) Mike Angie, Mayfield Hts. 85
19) Russ Rybka, Solon 86
19) Dave Sotka, Chardon 86
19) Ron Rositani, Willowick 86
19) Pat Tyrrell, Sagamore Hills 86
23) Jim Lebzelter, Jefferson 88
24) Phil Metz, Geneva 89
— John Niedzialek & Allen Freeman