Although the weather sites predicted dire conditions and the skies threatened to open up from time to time, no downpour materialized to threaten a second day of great golf at Elma Meadows golf club. For the record, Chelsea Dantonio of Lancaster continued her march toward local dominance with a three-stroke victory over Hamburg’s Sara Riso. On the men’s side, Matt Stasiak of Clarence shot the low tournament round of 67 to come from two strokes back, overtake medalist Dan Yustin of East Amherst and become the second consecutive Clarence Red Devil to win the title.
I write for the record as Kevin Lynch (the Scrambler), the man responsible for tweeting updates all day long under @buffalogolfer, will doubtless file a report on the shots that he saw. I’ll say that he saw quite a few more than I did, although I have a decent excuse. For the second time, I was privileged to compete in the Erie County Amateur.
It’s invaluable as a writer to stay in touch with the game about which one writes. Golf affords us that opportunity, well into our upper years. On Saturday, I played with two bombers of the ball, Sean Mahon and Charlie Barth. I am normally the guy who hits the tee ball long, so to find myself a consistent 40 yards behind Sean and Charlie was both humbling and enlightening. It forced me to move the ball around a bit more and, save for a balky putter, I acquitted myself well.
On day two, David Goldbach and Matthew Hoeh presented two completely different competitive faces. Both are middle amateurs, like me, and depend on ball movement to gain distance. Both are Elma regulars and their local knowledge saw them through. They made putt after while I struggled once again with the flat stick. In fact, on the 15th green, I mentioned to my caddie that I had switched from a left-hand-low grip to a traditional grip. “You can do that?” he inquired. “Have you seen me putt today?” I countered. “Could it get any worse?”
At day’s end, my performance in 2013 was better than 2013. If I can find the time to continue competing, I’m hopeful that my comfort level in tournament play will elevate and that those 79s will reduce to 76s and 75s. Then, perhaps a top-ten finish will be in order.