BY KEN MORSE
The round of champions was played at Hop Brook on Aug. 7 and in the championship flight, Mike Erickson came on strong to win the title over Chris Sheedy.
In the championship flight semifinals, Sheedy won, 5 and 4, over Chris Hannon with Erickson taking a 9 and 7 win over Colin Sheedy.
“I was just happy to have made it to that point playing for the championship,” said Sheedy. “I was playing very well but Mike (Erickson) is just at another level. It was great just to be there competing with him. It was hot but the course was just in great shape for all of the traffic and the weather. Joe (Malay) and his crew did such a phenomenal job having the course ready to play in spite of the hot weather we have been having.”
That set up the grueling 36-hole shootout for the title. Erickson was focused and took a two-stroke lead after the first 18.
Sheedy was playing his best game at that point and quite content to remain competitive. Erickson then shifted gears and began to pull away, hitting birdies on five of the last 11 holes to win the title.
“It was such a pleasure to play against Chris (Sheedy),” said Erickson. “He’s a great guy and obviously a pretty good golfer. We took a break after the first 18 that took about two and half hours. When we came back I started to feel it and began hitting birdies. It feels great winning the title again. I have never seen the course look that good and hats off to Joe (Malay) and his crew. They did a great job.”
In the women’s championship semifinals, Maggie Moniz knocked off Carol Douty, 5 and 4, and Stephanie Kowalec defeated Stephanie Slekis, 3 and 2, to set up a showdown for the title. Moniz outlasted Kowalec on the first playoff hole to claim her first championship.
The first flight champion was Jim Robinson, who won a 19-hole battle with Amador in the semifinals and then went 2-up over John Tzeto in the final.
Billy Testone celebrated his birthday in a special way, winning the second flight championship over Nick Konecky. In the semifinals, Konecky got past Steve Nester, 5 and 4, with Testone winning, 1-up, over Jim Russo.
In the third flight championship Bill Klisus, last year’s second flight champion, made it two years straight winning a title by beating Jake Bendler, 4 and 3. The semifinals played out a lot like many of the matches in this year’s tournament with Bendler having to go 19 holes to get past Rob Spenser and Klisus taking a 3 and 1 over Eric Sloma.
BY KEN MORSE