Transit Valley country club, in East Amherst, has been the site this week of the Women’s and Men’s BDGA Individual Championships. The women’s competition concluded on Tuesday, while the men will finish on Wednesday. Results of the women’s competition and an update of the men’s are included below.
Victoria Parker, Sydney Shaw and Sara Riso have competed against each other for years. Whether it was BDGA and WNYPGA junior events, the AJGA at River Oaks and Harvest Hill, the three ladies know each other well. It should have been no surprise to see them matched down the stretch at the 2016 BDGA Women’s Individual championship. What mattered more was that the three get along, like each other, and kinda sorta didn’t know who was actually winning, until the final putt dropped. Parker was able to hold off Shaw and a charging Riso by one stroke (153 to 154) to claim her first district championship. Parker and Shaw elaborated a bit on their preparation for the event and their plans for the future, in interviews via Twitter (click images for a closer view.)
Ben Reichert (142) and Billy Gaffney (145) have another round to play together. It takes place in Wednesday’s BDGA Men’s Individual championship at Transit Valley. The two just might be as chummy as the ladies mentioned above, which certainly bodes well for a friendly yet heated competition. When @buffalogolfer tried to contact Gaffney on Tuesday (since Reichert doesn’t tweet), the 1st and 2nd place holders were hanging out post-round, having a gab. Although Gaffney just completed his college career while Reichert is set to embark on his, the connection between stellar golfers spans years, if not generations. Both Gaffney and Reichert competed in last week’s Porter Cup, so both golfers are veterans of the competitive game.
Close on their heels (actually, tied with Gaffney) is Andrew Romano of Depew and Canisius College. Romano has a tendency to fly under the radar in local golf, despite a penchant for sublime performances in difficult circumstances. Romano qualified for the NYSPHSAA state high championship on multiple occasions, and turned in one of the most impressive rounds this writer has ever witnessed, in the cold, rain and wind of a Midwest Prep Championship at Diamond Hawk in 2012. This final threesome won’t shy away from birdies; given their length, they should have plenty of opportunities at Transit Valley, providing they keep the ball in play.
Just when we thought it was safe to go back in the water, David Hanes reappeared in the top four as some of the first-round stalwarts fell back, under the hot lights of an East Amherst summer sun (ok, we’re done with poetic largesse.) Hanes has played consistent golf (73-74) over the first two days, but might need to go lower than 70 to catch the leading trio. Continuing to represent the mature golfers in the field are Tony Hejna (also at 147), Billy Hanes and Sean Lindstrom (tied at 148.) Unless a Stephen Jaeger-esque 58 is found along the fairways of Transit Valley today, no one outside the top six should contend for the title.