Nicholas Morreale of the Niagara Falls Country Club claimed the first Buffalo District Golf Association title of 2011, winning a two-hole playoff at Orchard Park Country Club on Tuesday. The victory was Morreale’s third in four years of the BDGA Mid-Amateur and staked him to the top spot in the year-long area amateur golf rankings.
Morreale was gracious enough to send some commentary on to BuffaloGolfer.Com: “The conditions were tough. The rough was very think and wet, and the ball seemed to find its way to the bottom of the rough every time. Two separate times, I missed the fairway by a couple feet, and had no chance at the green, just had to chop it out as far as I could up the fairway.”
Morreale and Justin Pfalzer each matched the course par of 72, with Billy Hanes one stroke back at 73. Dan Irwin from CC Buffalo was another 2 shots back at 75, while a trio of the area’s finest (Mike Yurko, Raman Luthra and Kenneth Riter) finished at 4-over par.
Morreale continued, “I was very happy with the way I played: 3 birdies and 3 bogeys. [I was] only really in trouble once, up against a tree trunk on the 14th hole, and I made par on that hole, so I [played] pretty steady all day.
That the first event of the season went to a playoff was not unexpected. The playoff began on the back nine at Orchard Park.
Morreale made bogey but Justin Pfalzer was unable to capitalize as he missed a 5 footer to end it, making bogey as well. The second hole (11), a 350 yard par 4, brought the event to a close. Pfalzer hit his drive left, then punched it up just short of the green from the rough. Morreale hit what he called “my best drive of the day,” leaving just a half wedge (50 yds) to the green. Morreale made par, just missing the birdie effort. Pfalzer chipped to 9 feet, but missed the par-saving putt.
In other BDGA news, the Men’s Match Play, scheduled for May 26th & 27th, was postponed due to wet course conditions and rescheduled to July 7th and 8th.