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John R. Williams: Clark and Eric Rustand Win at Oak Hill
Eric (L) and Clark (R) Rustand are the 55th Annual John R.<br>Williams Four-Ball Invitational champions (Oak Hill CC photo)
Eric (L) and Clark (R) Rustand are the 55th Annual John R.
Williams Four-Ball Invitational champions (Oak Hill CC photo)
ROCHESTER, NY (September 16, 2017) - Clark and Eric Rustand of Tucson, AZ won the 55th Annual John R. Williams Four-Ball Invitational, shooting a final-round 67 on the famed East Course at Oak Hill Country Club to clear the field by three shots.

The Rustands held the lead after opening with a 6-under 64 on the West Course, then were caught by the team of Jamie Miller (Silver Creek, NV) and Billy Hanes (Elma, NY) after slipping to a one-over 71 on the East Course while Miller & Hanes had the low round of the day, a 3-under 67.

The final round was again played on the East Course, site of three U.S. Opens, two U.S. Amateurs, three PGA Championships, and the Ryder Cup. And the course held its own as expected, yielding only 14 under par rounds of the 89 played in rounds two and three.

The final group started slowly, with none of the four players making a birdie on the front nine. This should have let the chasing pack get closer, but none of the five teams starting within two shots of the lead could make any sort of move. Only the Toronto, Canada team of Mark Elgner and Craig Sinclair played the front nine under par, shooting a one-under 34 to get within a shot. But bogeys on two of the next four holes set them back, and they never got close again.

The Rustands took control of the tournament just after the turn, making three straight birdies starting at the 10th. As Miller and Hanes were falling back and no one else was making a move, suddenly the lead was four shots and although no lead is safe on Oak Hill's East Course, Clark and Eric were able to comfortably hold on and complete a three-shot win. Their final-round 67 gave them an eight-under 202 total.

The Chicago team of Kyle Moran and Charlie Waddell birdied three of their last five holes for a 68 to pull into a second-place tie with the 2015 champions, the Canadian team of Garrett Rank and Simon McInnis, who closed with a 67.

The 2014 champions David Poteet and Mike Cromer from Georgia finished in a tie for 14th at even par 210.

John Kircher and Mike Jaros
John Kircher and Mike Jaros
In the Senior Division, John Kircher (Pittsford, NY) and Mike Jaros (Endicott, NY) erased a three-shot deficit in the final two holes to steal a win from Mark Chylinski (Pittsfield, MA) and Jim Mueller (Altamont, NY).

Kircher and Jaros started the day with a one-shot lead over Chylinski and Mueller, but a disastrous finish to the front nine knocked them out of the lead. From the 5th to the 9th, they dropped four shots to complete a four-over 39 which left them three behind and in third place.

When Mueller birdied the 10th and the Georgia team of Allen Peake and Chris Hall birdied the 11th, Kircher and Jaros were four shots behind Chylinski and Mueller, and two shots behind Peake and Hall. A birdie at the 11th righted the ship, but then each team put together a string of pars on the back nine, and Kircher and Jaros looked safe going into the 17th.

At that point, they were two shots ahead of Peake and Hall, and three ahead of Kircher and Jaros. Playing ahead of the final two teams, Peake and Hall birdied the par-five 17th to pull within one. Then Kircher and Jaros got just what they needed, a two-shot swing, with an eagle 3 pulling them within a shot and tied with Peake and Hall.

Peake and Hall bogeyed the final hole to effectively end their chances of a win. Holding a one-shot lead, Chylinski and Mueller followed suit, and when John Kircher birdied the final hole, it was a second-straight two-shot swing and a victory for the Kircher/Jaros team.

Kircher and Jaros finished with a one-over 71 for a 4-under 206 total, one shot ahead of Chylinski and Mueller, who also closed with a 71. Peake and Hall shot the low round of the day, a 69, to finish solo third at 208.

ROUND TWO REPORT

Clark and Eric Rustand of Tucson, AZ shot a 1-over 71 today on the East Course, after opening with 6-under 64 on the West Course at Oak Hill Country Club. They are now tied for the lead of the John R. Williams Four-Ball (Mid-Am division) at 5-under with Jamie Miller and Billy Hanes. Miller and Hanes posted a “low round of the day” tying 67 on the East on top of a 2-under 68 on the West. (Mark Elgner and Craig Sinclair did the same, and stand 2 shots back at 3-under.

After opening up on the West Course, the field moved over to the famed East Course for rounds two and three. The East Course has been the host site of three U.S. Opens, two U.S. Amateurs, three PGA Championships, and the Ryder Cup.

The 36-hole cut in the Mid-Am division fell at 3-over 143.

In the Senior Division, Rochester legend John Kircher and his partner Mike Jaros shot a fine round of 66 on the East Course; they are at 7-under for the tournament and hold a one shot lead over Mark Chylinski and Eric Mueller. The cut in the Senior Division also fell at 143.

ROUND ONE REPORT

Clark and Eric Rustand of Tucson, AZ shot a 6-under 64 on the West Course at Oak Hill Country Club to take a two shot lead after the first round of the John R. Williams Invitational.

Going early off of the tenth hole, the Rustands combined a quick start with a fast finish. They started off with two straight birdies, then added another on the par-3 17th, then birdied three of their final five holes to post a bogey-free round.

They lead by two shots over three different teams. Dan Russo (Hagaman, NY) and Tim Saur (Victor, NY) went out in the afternoon and made five birdies against a lone bogey to finish at 4-under 66. They were matched at that score by the Chicago team of Kyle Moran and Charlie Waddell, and the team of Blake Gianinny (Rochester, NY) and Jeff March (Penfield, NY), who posted their 66s in the morning.

Russo is a two-time champion of the John R. Williams, having won in 2003 and 2007 with partner David Hayes.

Six teams shot 67 to sit just three shots back, including the 2015 champions, Simon McInnis and Garrett Rank of Canada.

Twelve more teams are at two-under 68, with the 2014 champions David Poteet and Mike Cromer from Georgia in that group. In all, 25 of the 57 teams broke par in the first round.

The shot of the day was struck by Jonathan Dunlap of Toronto--he made a hole-in-one at the 14th hole of the West Course. He and his partner Paul Gortnar finished at two-under and tied for 11th.

Two other eagles were made during round one: Connor Salanger with a hole out on the par-four 12th, and Mike McGuire on the par-five 11th.

In the Senior Division, two teams are tied at the top at 4-under 67. Mark Chylinski (Pittsfield, MA) and Jim Mueller (Altamont, NY) combined three birdies with an eagle by Mueller on the par-five 16th. They are joined by the 2013 Senior champions, the Georgia team of Lee Dennis and Mel Mendenhall, who birdied the first three holes they played en route to their 67.

Four teams sit just one shot back at 68, with two more at 69. In all, 11 of te 18 teams broke par in round one.

The local team of Mark Dugan and Tom Blank, who have won this tournament two of the last three years including last year, struggled to a two-over 73.

For rounds two and three, the field will move over to the East Course, site of three U.S. Opens, two U.S. Amateurs, three PGA Championships, and the Ryder Cup.

There will be a cut after 36 holes; the current projected cut is even par in the Championship Division and two-under par in the Senior Division.

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ABOUT THE John R. Williams Four-Ball

54-hole two man best ball format. By invitation only. Entrants must have a handicap of 3.4 or less, with the team total not to exceed 5.5. Handicap Index must be verified by your club professional on the invitation request form. Both members of teams in the Senior Division must be 55 years of age by the first day of the tournament. (Senior index requirements are 4.4 individual and 7.2 team.)

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