Courtesy-Nick Sardina-CNY Golfhome.com
Virgina Bound Player Wins By Three Shots
UTICA – Derek Bard accomplished just about everything during his storied high school career.
Just five weeks after graduating from New Hartford High School, Bard added a Utica City-Amateur title to his resume on Sunday at Valley View Golf Course.
“This is my first tournament in a while,” said Bard, who won the state federation high school tournament at Bethpage Black in early June, then played in a qualifier for the Porter Cup.
“I took three weeks off to just get away from the game for a while, and to come out here and get this win is exciting.
Bard enjoyed experiencing the Utica City-Am for the second time – he also played in 2009.
“Obviously it was a fun tournament and has great support and a great atmosphere,” said Bard, who is sharpening his game for a few events in the next week, before heading to play for the University of Virginia this fall.
“I’m definitely striking it better than I did late in the high school season,” Bard said. “My chipping and putting is solid and my swing is progressing, so hopefully by the time I get to Virginia it will be there.”
Jeff LaGase shot 69 Sunday and finished solo fifth at 144. Three-time Utica City-Am champ, Steve Conley, shot 70 Sunday to finish sixth at 145.
Doug DeCarlo, Anthony Villanti and Paul Paladino tied for seventh at 146. Dante Migliore, who will be a high school junior this fall at Frankfort-Schuyler, posted 147 for solo 10th.
In the Seniors Division, Pete Moskal shot an impressive two-day total of 143 (72-71) to win his second title in three seasons.
Moskal, now 52, won in his first attempt playing in the Seniors Division in 2011.
“I played steady both days,” Moskal said. “Today I putted better. I had four birdies and four bogeys. Yesterday I had two birdies and three bogeys. So I was solid both rounds.”
The victory wasn’t an easy one for Moskal, who was challenged by several competitors, most notably, Joe Hobika Jr., and Chuck Clintsman.
“It’s a small division, but it is fierce competition.”
Joe Hobika Jr. matched Moskal all day and finished with an impressive 71, but couldn’t overcome the three stroke deficit he had entering the final round.
At one point late in the round, Clintsman had pulled even with Moskal.
“Chuck was very steady,” Moskal said. “He cut the deficit to two early and with five holes remaining we were tied. He bogeyed both Nos. 5 and 6 and I made pars to give myself a two shot lead.”
Moskal sealed the win by drilling a 25-foot birdie putt from the back fringe on the finishing 9th hole.
Two mainstays, Ray Alessandrini and Barry Wengert, also won division titles Sunday.
Wengert posted a 147 total for a four-stroke victory over Steve Stetson and Chris Fulmer in the Super Seniors Division.
Alessandrini shot 156 to edge Roy Barnes by a stroke in the Super-Duper Seniors Division.