With the first snows of the season behind us, we move to the season of hard-core golf in Buffalo-Niagara. Municipal courses have closed for the season, and our only hope lies in the privately-owned places that allow public access. For me, it’s Byrncliff most playable days, but I’m not picky. If you’re open and it’s relatively dry, give me a shout! Golf continues to happen across the globe as well. The Tours are finishing up their championship playoffs, with the Tour Champions done yesterday, and the European Tour done on Sunday next. The PGA Tour plays on for a few more weeks, then a nice break in December, to appreciate the televised game in its absence.
1. In mid-October, ECIC held its individual and team championships at Tan Tara golf club, in North Tonawanda. The top 70 golfers, from the 4 divisions, were invited to compete. Each member school was also guaranteed one participating golfer. Charlie Fischer (Orchard Park) and Ryan Edholm (Sweet Home) tied for low round of the day, at one-under par 71. In a playoff, Fischer emerged as individual champion. The pair were joined by 6 other golfers (Tyler Birdd/Iroquois; Alex Schickling/Frontier; Jackson Roskow/Orchard Park; Mac Quinn/Springville; AJ Fernenczy/WNorth and Kevin Zhao/WEast) on the ECIC all-star team.
2. Peter Creighton of Kenmore and Canisius High School, qualified into the finals of the Korn Ferry Tour, the final stepping stone to the PGA Tour. Creighton competed at the Southern Hill course in Brooksville, Florida. He posted rounds of 69-71-68-68 to finish in a tie for 10th spot. The Kenmore native played his final 7 holes in 4-under par, including an eagle 3 at the par five 12th, to move past the qualifying score. Creighton now moves on to the final stage of qualifying, four rounds from December 12-15, at Orange County National, in Orlando.
3. No matter how well Creighton does in Florida, we won’t see him in western New York in 2020. The Peek’N Peak KFTour event is no longer. Rest In Peace, great golf in western New York. The 2020 schedule was released this week by PGA Tour headquarters. Four new tournaments debut on the tour next season, with the Clymer event being replaced by one in Falmouth, Maine. With luck, the powers-that-be in western New York will find a way to bring Tour-quality golf to Buffalo-Niagara in 2021.