SHENANGO VALLEY —
The gods of golf giveth; the gods of golf taketh away!
That was never more evident than at the annual Herald-Tam O’Shanter Junior Golf Championships Friday where penatlies and luck played major roles in the outcome.
Billy Colbert of Hermitage became a rare 3-time champion but it didn’t come easily or without controversy.
The Hickory High junior, who has a shot at a fourth crown next year, edged Kennedy Catholic sophomore Jacob Wilson in a one-hole playoff after both golfers finished the two-day event with 157 totals.
Wilson led after day one by two strokes, posting a 77 to 79 over Colbert, a son of Steven and Missy Colbert. And the lead got even bigger after the first hole on Friday.
Colbert played the wrong ball on his second shot on the Par 4 No. 1, resulting in a two-stroke penalty.
The golf gods smiled on Wilson.
It was a battle the rest of the way, with Colbert making a slight comeback, but Wilson holding a slim lead heading into No. 17. Wilson drove into a bunker by the green, then flubbed his shot out of the sand.
In frustration, he swung his club backwards hard and hit the sand. Result: a two-stroke penalty.
The golf gods smiled on Colbert.
After both players holed out on No. 18, the penalty rulings were made and strokes assessed, resulting in a two-day total of 157 for both golfers and sending them both out on No. 1 for a sudden-death playoff.
Both players pulled drives on the short Par-4 into the woods on the left. And the golf gods smiled!
Colbert’s ball cleared through to an opening, although not a very good lie in high grass, but Wilson’s ball landed under a root. Wilson tried to hit it out, but the ball rolled into the crook of a tree.
And the golf gods laughed.
Wilson did make an almost miraculous bogey 5 on the hole, but Colbert got down in par for the victory.
“Luck plays a role,” said John Kerins, director of golf at Tam O’Shanter, about the ball under the root. “It usually evens out, but not in a one-hole playoff ... It’s been a long time since we had a playoff. I can’t even remember the last one.
“It was a great tournament. Everyone thought Billy would run away with it for his third title, but Jacob played great. He made that one mistake on No. 17 in the sand. The rules of golf are there to help you but you have to know them. Both players learned something today.”
As Colbert walked off the playoff green he had to admit, “It feels good. It was a real challenge and that makes it fun for me.”
Can he become only the second player ever to win four tiltles, joining Mike Klaric III at that lofty height?
“I hope so, but I’ve got to play well,” said Colbert, adding with a chuckle, “and try not to get any penalties.
Meanwhile Wilson, a son of Bob and Fran Wilson of Sharon, lamented not only the sand penalty (”I didn’t even know I did it”) but also said, “ I missed some short putts and tht made a difference. But I have two more years so I’ll be back.”
And after the excitement of 2013, you can bet the gods of golf will be watching as well!
Notes: Colbert joined David Chuba (1981, ’83, ’84) and Bobby Thomas (1961-63) as the only three-time winners since the event began in 1949. ... Klaric’s four victories came in 2002-03 and 2006-07. ... Two girls, Alena Lancia and Abby Hearns, both accounted themselves well in the tournament. “It’s nice to see more girls playing,” said Kerins.
x-Billy Colbert 79-78—157
Jacob Wilson 77-80—157
Lonnie Schell 84-81—165
Ryan Dogan 92-94—186
Andrew Pursel 98-90—188
Louis Wareham 100-92—192
Greg Galbo 98-97—195
Jospeh Faber 84-110—195
Matt Wallace 97-101—198
Alena Lancia 97-103—200
Cameron Colbert 100-102—202
Chris Hartnagel 102-104—206
Travis Roberts 100-107—207
Abby Hearns 100-109—209
Ted Haaz 99-WD
x-won in playoff
SHENANGO VALLEY —
The gods of golf giveth; the gods of golf taketh away!
NFL NOTEBOOK: Ex-Sharon star Austin hopes to spark Lions' defense
THE TALENTED — albeit underachieving — Detroit Lions commence camp July 27 in Allen Park, Mich. as the National Football League prepares for the 2014 season.
Racing to fight cancer
Former Hickory High athlete Amanda Budzowski is on the run — the run to raise money to fight cancer.
Budzowski is part of Team in Training, an organization that has raised more than $1.4 billion for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society since forming in 1988. Her division is known as IRONTEAM and she is currently training for the 140.6-mile Ironman triathlon in Mont Tremblant, Canada, in August.
SPORTVIEW: Pirates, Indians need fast start after All-Star break
SO FAR, so good. I’m referring to the start of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians after the All-Star break on Friday night.
Both teams rallied to win. The Buccos beat the Colorado Joints — err, I mean Rockies — by coming from behind in the 8th inning. Since they legalized marijuana sales in that state, it gave new meaning to John Denver’s song “Rocky Mountain High.”
Rutters earn spot in national motocross event
The brother-sister racing duo of Elijah and Dannah Rutter of Mercer are set to travel to Hurricane Mills, Tenn., to compete soon in the prestigious 33rd annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships presented by AMSOIL at Loretta Lynn Ranch.
Elijah, 18, and Dannah, 16, earned a ticket to the event with their performances at qualifiers and then regionals and are among the top 5 percent of riders in the U.S. Overall, 20,000 hopefuls from across the U.S. competed and there are only 1,446 qualifying spots at nationals.
Notebook: Sharon football greats meet, reunite at inaugural golf scramble
Mid-July, with the temperature 80-plus degrees at Avalon at Buhl Country Club; however, it felt like a fall, football Friday.
The inaugural Sharon Football Boosters 4-man golf scramble took place recently, and served as a Who’s Who in the Tigers’ triumphant tradition.
SPORTVIEW: All is right with the world - LeBron has come home!
HAPPY DAYS are here again. The prodigal child has returned!
The announcement that “King James” is returning to Cleveland has created a level of euphoria not seen since the Browns won the city’s last major sport championship a couple of years ago.
What’s that? Oh, yeah — make that 50 years ago (1964).
Full text of LeBron's essay in SI
LeBron James announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday in an essay that he wrote for Sports Illustrated. The following is the full text of that essay.
Snyder, Gordon, Popatak named to All-State team
Grove City High’s David Gordon, Sharpsville’s Greg Popatak and Lakeview’s Logan Snyder recently were named to the Pennsylvania High School Baseball Coaches Association all-state team.
Synder was selected 1st-Team in Class A as a designated-hitter, while Gordon was honorably-mentioned in Class AAA and Popatak similarly was honored in AA. Gordon gained his laurels as a pitcher; Popatak as a 3rd baseman.
Oprah lands first interview with Jerry Sandusky's adopted son, Matthew
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Little League Tournaments
Sharon won the District 2 Major Division (12-year-olds) Championship, while Greenville 9-10 and West Middlesex 11 teams notched tournament victories in recent action.
Hermitage Brennan Chiropractic won the Mercer County 14-under championship recently.
Following are game reports:
The First Tee of Sharon celebrates 15th anniversary
Professional golf star John Cook has received many honors and awards in his illustrious career, but probably none mean as much as those similar to the one he received Monday afternoon at The First Tee of Sharon.
During a special ceremony to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the local program, a permanent plaque was unveiled in his honor describing the contributions he has made to junior golf.
SPORTVIEW: John Cook here Monday for First Tee; other celebs on July 11
THE RETURN of Tiger Woods to a PGA event sparked a lot of interest this past week. The return of John Cook to Buhl Farm Golf Course Monday will do the same locally.
Cook, a standout on the Champions Tour and outstanding TV golf analyst, will conduct a clinic at 11 a.m. Monday at the course to help celebrate the 15th anniversary of The First Tee of Sharon program.
It is open to the public at no charge.
Hickory honors Tri-Athletes
Hickory High honored its 2013-14 tri-athletes in a recent ceremony, the latest installment in a program that began in 2003-04.
Fifty student-athletes (grades 9-12) were cited for having competed in at least one sport in the fall, winter and spring while maintaining a minimum B (85 percent) grade-point-average during the first three 9-week grading periods of the academic year.
SPORTVIEW: Ex-Greenville man to enter Bedford County Hall
HUGHEY TATE was the greatest baseball player that ever lived — hitting 10,000 home runs and never making an out in 50 years on the diamond.
OK, that’s not true of course. But that’s the way Hughey would have told it before bursting into laughter.
Tate, a Greenville man who was as good at spinning a yarn as well as he was in hitting home runs, will be inducted posthumously into the Bedford County (Pa.) Hall of Fame Saturday. Some of his relatives from this area will attend the ceremonies.
Wilson wins Herald-Tamie Jr. golf crown
It was a case of family history trumping golfing history!
Hickory High golfer Billy Colbert had a chance to become only the second player ever to win the Herald-Tam O’Shanter Golf Championship four times. But he missed the final round of the tourney Wednesday along with his brother Colbert to attend his great-grandma’s funeral in Pittsburgh.
“I kind of wish he was here,” said the 2014 champion Jacob Wilson, a Kennedy Catholic High player who lost in a sudden-death playoff to Colbert last year. “But you play whoever is here. And in golf, you play against yourself too.”
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