May 132017
 

Brandon Haase of Mohawk Golf Club is the co-medalist at the 2017 Tri-County Match Play.

Dan Russo putts during the stroke play qualifying of the 2017 Tri-County and is trying to defend his title.

CHANNELING YOGI BERRA
By Bob Weiner

VOORHEESVILLE – It was déjà vu all over again in the qualifying round for the Tri-County Golf Association’s Match Play Championship Friday, May 12, at Colonie Golf & Country Club.
Just as they did a year ago, defending champion Dan Russo of Schuyler Meadows Club and Brandon Haase of Mohawk Golf Club shared medalist honors with a 73 (+1) in the championship flight. Neither player overpowered the tough golf course on a high-scoring day, but both were satisfied that they didn’t make too many costly errors.
Meanwhile, in the senior division, former champion Bob Cooper overcame four three-putts to shoot a 74. He was three shots better than Country Club of Troy’s David Arakelian, defending senior division champion Jim Mueller of Orchard Creek and Joe Quillinan of Burden Lake CC.

Colonie Golf & CC hosted the second of two qualifiers for the NYS Am to be played at Mohawk Golf Club in August.

Weather permitting, match play begins Saturday, with the first round and the quarterfinals. The semifinals and finals in each division are scheduled for Sunday.

“Last year, I was also the qualifying medalist with a 70, but then I lost in my first round of match play,” Haase, 42, said. “The course was a little wet in some spots, but it wasn’t bad at all. The greens were excellent, and I hit the ball pretty well, for the most part. I hit most of my fairways and greens.”
Haase chipped in for birdie on the 10th hole and added birdies on the 16th and 18th hole. “For some reason, I don’t usually play that well in match play, but I plan on changing that this year,” Haase said. “I think the problem is that none of us has played much this early in the season. You don’t think too much about your game or your technique this early. Maybe that’s a good thing.”
Russo, 59, a five-time winner of the TCGA Match Play, wasn’t thrilled with his overall ball-striking, but his short game kept him around par.
“I really chipped and putted well,” said the defending Capital Region Amateur Golf Association Player of the  Year and eight-time CRAGA Stroke Play titlist. “Other than my chipping and putting, it was kind of ugly.” Russo’s only birdie was a 12-footer on the 10th hole.
Former pro Joe Fitzsimmons, who recently got his amateur status back, shot a 75, while Justin Deitz (77) of The Edison Club, Jim Welch (77) of Olde Kinderhook, Steve Quillinan Jr. (78) of Burden Lake CC, Jim Gifford (79) of Mohawk Golf Club and two-time champion Chad Stoffer (79) of Town of Colonie broke 80 in the championship flight.

The leaderboard at the Tri-County Match Play at Colonie Golf & CC.

RESULTS (par-72)

CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT
73 (+1): Brandon Haase, Dan Russo
75 (+3): Joe Fitzsimmons
77 (+5): Justin Deitz, Jim Welch
78 (+6): Steve Quillinan Jr.
79 (+7): Jim Gifford, Chad Stoffer
80 (+8): Justin Farrell, Dave Mooradian, Steve Owens
81 (+9): Nick Braman, Pete Lindner
87 (+15): Chris Gilbert
88 (+16): Jerry Brescia, Nick Brooks
92 (+20): Mark Casolo
97 (+25): Mark Keegan
NC: Mike Wheeler
SENIOR FLIGHT
74 (+2): Bob Cooper
77 (+5): Jim Mueller, Joe Quillinan, Dave Arakelian
84 (+12): Stan Moore
88 (+16): John Mendrysa
92 (+20): Mark Barton

After the first round of qualifying, the pairings for the 2017 Tri-County Match Play at Colonie Golf & CC.

SATURDAY’S PAIRINGS

CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT
7:00 – Haase vs. Brescia
7:08 – Stoffer vs. Owens
7:16 – Deitz vs. Braman
7:24 – Welch vs. Lindner
7:32 – Russo vs. Brooks
7:40 – Gifford vs. Mooradian
7:48 – Fitzsimmons vs. Gilbert
7:56 – S. Quillinan Jr. vs. Farrell
SENIOR FLIGHT
12:00 – Cooper receives bye
12:00 – J. Quillinan vs. Moore
12:10 – Arakelian vs Barton
12:10 – Mueller vs. Mendrysa