BEDFORD HILLS, NY (October 7, 2010) -- In the final championship of the 2010 MGA season, Dennis Lynch of Nassau Players completed a wire-to-wire victory for his second consecutive MGA Mid-Amateur Championship at GlenArbor Golf Club. On a day where windy conditions made it tough for the rest of the field to go low and catch the first-round leader, Lynch, a Suffolk County police officer, was able to put together a solid round and complete the best up-and-down of the championship on the final hole to win the title in style.
“My wife told me this morning to bring the trophy back home to our mantle, and I’m really happy I was able to do it,” said Lynch.
Lynch, who shot 70-74-144, finished two strokes ahead of Hans Albertsson of Bethpage and three strokes clear of Marc Grinberg of Battleground. Gregg Angelillo of Baltusrol finished fourth and had the low round of the day with a two-under-par 70. Niall Handley of High Bridge Hills began the day two strokes in back of Lynch and played in the final pairing with him; Handley finished tied for ninth in the 36-hole, stroke play championship.
The top 15 finishers are eligible to receive an invitation into next year’s MGA Mid-Amateur, and this group includes GlenArbor club president Morgan Gregory, who finished tied for fifth after firing an even-par 72 in the final round for a total of five-over 149. Also finishing tied for fifth was Kirk Kashevaroff of Tuxedo, Patrick Pierson of Minisceongo and Merv Smith of High Bridge Hills.
With six birdies on the day, Albertsson was the only player who threatened Lynch’s lead, but a bogey on the 17th hole hurt his chances at his first MGA championship. “I birdied 15 and 16, but unfortunately on 17, I put myself in a position where I was 35 feet right of the hole [off the tee] and had to go up and over a ridge. I hit it [the putt] up to five feet, but missed that putt and then made a par on 18. I was just hoping to get it close and have a chance.” Along with his second-place finish, Albertsson can find consolation in a strong 2010 season that includes an upcoming trip to France to represent the MGA at next week’s French-American Challenge, as well as the course-record 64 he fired at Quaker Ridge at the Met Amateur.
Lynch became the second MGA champion of 2010 to successfully defend his title, the other being Mike Ballo Jr. of Woodway at the Ike Championship in June at Metropolis. At last year’s Mid-Am, Lynch fought back in the final round to win. This year, Lynch slept on the overnight lead, and the 2010 Nassau Players Club champion withstood the pressure magnificently.
Lynch opened up his final round on fire as he birdied the first two holes. He experienced a setback at the end of his front nine as he double bogeyed the seventh hole and bogeyed the eighth, making the turn at 1-over for the round and 1-under for the championship. But what set Lynch’s round apart from the rest of the field was his overall steady play. Following those setbacks at the seventh and eighth holes, he made eight consecutive pars, with his only blemish coming on the par-3 17th hole.
Heading into the final hole with a two-shot lead, Lynch found the fairway off the tee and with what seemed to be a routine approach shot into the green, the ball came to rest above the lip of a greenside bunker. With a wedge in hand and his grip nearly on the shaft of the club, Lynch hit the shot of the tournament as the ball gently popped out of the rough and rode the slope of the green to three feet and an easy tap-in for the victory.
After the first two holes, Lynch was “feeling good,” but after the double bogey at seven, Lynch made sure to “keep cool and keep hitting fairways, I knew it was going to be close at the end.” It was close, but there seems to be something about this championship that brings out the best in Lynch’s game.
View results for Metropolitan Golf Association Mid-Amateur Golf Championship