MASSENA Even a slight breeze coming off the neighboring St. Lawrence River could not cool off the host Massena Country Club golf team Saturday as it used a home-course advantage to claim the team and individual title Saturday at the annual Northern New York Six-Man Tournament.
Massena entered the second day of competition three strokes behind the Potsdam Country Club, but wound up winning the event by 16 strokes, with a two-day score of 929 strokes. St. Lawrence Universitys Golf Course and the Malone Country Club both passed Potsdam to tie for second at 945 strokes. Potsdam finished tied for fourth with the Watertown Country Club at 947 strokes.
Like his team, Massenas Justin Tyo rallied from a three-stroke deficit to claim the individual title, shooting a 1-over-par 72 to finish at 146 strokes. SLUs John Pezdek finished second with 148 strokes. Massenas Tom Post, the first-round leader, shot a 78 to finish tied with SLUs Joe Keniston and Chris Donah for third at 149 strokes.
It was good conditions out here for sure, Tyo said. Yesterday I let a couple slip away. Today it started off a little tough, I was 3-over through three. But I came back pretty good and made an eagle on eight and things really started turning around. The eagle on eight was huge. My buddy (Potsdams Ryan Williams) said it was a game-changer. The back nine I kind of coasted through and got good swings going.
After a 71 on Friday, Post struggled a bit Saturday, but still salvaged a tie for third and helped his team win its first title since 2005.
The home-course advantage definitely made a difference, Post said. For me (today) was a little bit of nerves. The pressure of being right in the game there made a difference. It was all putting. I hit the ball pretty well today and I putted terribly. I had four three-putts today and that really did a number on my score.
Tyo shot two strokes better Saturday than he did on Friday, even though he had some help on day one with Winnipeg Jets defenseman Zach Bogosian, a Massena native and former classmate of Tyos, serving as his caddie.
Hes a great friend of mine, Tyo said. We had a lot of fun yesterday. Hes a real genuine individual and hes a great caddie. He was reading a lot of the greens. He could have a future in that if hockey doesnt work out for him.
It was a rough day for Potsdam after solid opening day. All but one of Potsdams golfers shot under 80 on Friday, but only one golfer shot under 80 for Potsdam on Saturday.
Ryan Williams led the squad with a 78 and finished with a two-day total of 151 strokes.
We knew it was tough with only a three-shot lead on Massena, on their home course, and we knew a lot of our guys played really well yesterday, Williams said. We wanted to continue doing that. But we knew Massena was going to go low today. It was a struggle out there.
Potsdam will host the event next year and will get a chance to return the favor to Massena as it looks for its first team title since 1980.
At our course we can do pretty well, Williams said. Its a huge advantage to have the home course to play on and hopefully we can take advantage of it.
Three other titles were awarded Saturday and two came after playoffs.
Potsdams Bill Ford won a three-man playoff on the third hole to claim the Super Senior championship. He had a two-day score of 150 strokes with Massenas Omer St. Louis and SLUs Sam Lamacchia joining him in the playoff. Massenas Don LaBaff edged Carlowdens Phil Hunter in a one-hole playoff after each tied for the lead in the Senior division with 158 strokes. Malones Devin Delisle won the Juniors division with a 151.