One thing that everyone in the field learned on Sunday: there are some wickedly delightful hole locations at Grover Cleveland golf course. Despite its lack of distance, many of the putting surfaces were designed by Walter J. Travis and Donald J. Ross, two of the greatest architects of the golden age of golf course design. Ryan Hawkins and Raman Luthra learned this, as did Michelle Hanes and Cat Peters. In the end, these four combatants made up the the principle figures in the playoff novella.After a course-record 62 in round one, Hawkins had the difficult assignment of holding on to the lead and holding off the field that chased him. The last three holes at Grover played as par 4-3-4, but each of the challengers would be disappointed with anything less than a 3-3-3 finish. Guess how difficult that was? Very! Three of the more challenging greens at Grover simply denied these great players and putters time and again, and it was left to Hawkins and fast-closing Luthra (who did finish 2-3 in regulation) to settle matters in the men’s event. Hawkins made the birdie on 18 that eluded him in regulation to claim the playoff and the Erie County Cup.
On the ladies side, Cat Peters has been something of the area’s Raman Luthra this year. She is the favorite in every local event she plays and seemed on track to win the Erie County Cup. Michelle Hanes found a way, though, to trim the three-stroke, overnight deficit and force another playoff, for the women’s title. After three sawed-off holes, they again reached the 16th, where Hanes made birdie to Peters’ part and the deal was done.