Aug. 27, 2018

Dan Ayars (left) and Andy Kerestesy emerged from a five-team playoff for the win.

Running Deer duo Ayars, Kerestesy battles to Four-Ball title

  SKILLMAN, N.J. — Five teams fighting in a sudden-death playoff, featuring furnacing playing temperatures, for the Four-Ball Stroke Play Championship title.

| Scorecards | History |

  That’s how it all played out Monday at a searing Cherry Valley Country Club (par 72, 6,287 yards). For a single team out of a packed field of 61, the enduring day was all worth it.

  Running Deer Golf Club’s Dan Ayars jarred a seven-foot birdie on No. 1 (par 4, 330 yards), the fifth playoff hole, to emerge victorious alongside clubmate Andy Kerestesy in the 47th Four-Ball rendition, a better-ball of partners event.

  “Boy, that was fun,” said Ayars walking off the winning green. “But now we need to go home.”

  The challenging day hosted a multitude of fantastic rounds posted in both the morning and afternoon waves.

  The first Four-Ball group out, Little Mill Country Club’s Vince Kwon and Bradley Roberts, posted an impressive 10-under 62 to grab the morning clubhouse lead. That mark wouldn’t, by any means, go unmatched in the second wave. First came Concord Country Club’s Jim Allen and Larry Benedetto, followed by the team of Yardley Country Club’s John Buliga and Coatesville Country Club’s David Kimbley, and eventually Lebanon Country Club’s John Digiacomo and Alan Kliewer.

  Ayars and Kerestesy were the final of five 10 unders to make their way in to the huddled scoring table. The champion's 18 was a bit of a roller coaster ride, including peak moments (three eagles, six birdies) and lows (two bogeys).

  “[Andy] played incredible out there today. I played well, too. The course and flagsticks really seemed to just fit our eye and games,” said Ayars. “Those eagles were the key, though.”

  “Those really got us going. They kickstarted us,” said Kerestesy, 36, of Vineland, N.J. “We knew after the two back-to-back eagles on Nos. 9 (par 5, 515 yards) and 10 (par 5, 485 yards) that we had a legit chance of winning this.”

  The up-and-down round ended on Cherry Valley’s finisher (par 4, 380 yards), where the duo had a chance to win in regulation. Kerestesy rolled a tremendous birdie putt from 25 feet out, but the ball snuck around the back lip instead of dropping.

  “I really thought that one was in the bottom of the cup,” he said.

  Soon after, a five-team playoff began on No. 1 amidst the setting sun. Five approach shots landed within 12 feet there. Only two of those birdies looks went down: a three-footer by Ayars and five-footer by Roberts. The playoff was cut to just two dueling duos.

  On the par-3, 185-yard 2nd, Kerestesy found tree trouble right but played a beautiful chip that rolled to three feet. Kwon, finding the green right, rolled a 40-foot birdie putt to the same distance. Both players missed the short looks, shaking their heads in disbelief.

  Next came No. 3 (par 5, 488 yards), where Kerestesy’s two-putt 4 was matched by a 30-foot birdie bomb by Ayars. More missed opportunities arrived on No. 4 (par 4, 375 yards), with two-putt pars being recorded for both teams. The playoff headed back to where it all began.

  All four players enlisted their drivers off the tee, leaving minimal, wedge approach shots in. Ayars found himself with a tough lie on the right downslope, but tossed a wedge onto the front of the putting surface, letting it roll out to seven feet. After both Little Mill looks failed to drop, the stage was set. Ayars stepped up and drained his third birdie on No. 1, this time for the win.

  “I had two tap-in birdies there, and then that seven footer to clinch it. I loved that hole, obviously,” said Ayars, 41, of Millville, N.J. “I was really nervous on the first tee at the beginning, teeing off in front of all those guys, but I played it so well.”

  The former PGA apprentice was playing in his first competitive amateur tournament since regaining his status a month ago. It was a big return to the amateur game, and one that will keep him coming back for more.

  “I was in the PGA program when I was younger, but then stepped away from the game. I still played casually, but when I joined Running Deer three years ago, I started to want to play again,” said Ayars. “There’s so much talent at the club now, plus it's close to my house. We’ve got some good players there. I’m just happy to have my status back so I can play in these events.”

  Kerestesy says bringing home a title to Running Deer is what he is most excited about.

   “We’re thrilled to have gotten a trophy, especially after how tough of a day it was. It was a battle,” said Kerestesy. “It’s going to be really fun to bring home a trophy to the club and the guys.”

  “Seriously, my phones already buzzing in my pocket,” said Ayars.

  NOTE: Buliga holed out with an 8-iron on No. 10 (par 5, 485 yards) for an albatross. His ball landed fiercely in the cup on the fly, leaving a damaged lip. GAP officials came to the cup’s rescue soon after.

Golf Association of Philadelphia
  Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) is the oldest regional golf association in the United States and serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. Its 260 Member Clubs and 75,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. As Philadelphia’s Most Trusted Source of Golf Information, the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

Gross

Name, club

Score

*Dan Ayars/Andy Kerestesy, Running Deer Golf Club

62

*Alan Kliewer/John Digiacomo, Lebanon Country Club

62

*Bradley Roberts/Vincent Kwon, Little Mill Country Club

62

*Larry Benedetto/Jim Allen, Concord Country Club

62

*John Buliga/David Kimbley, Yardley Country Club/Coatesville Country Club

62

Edward Erickson/Paul RogowiczMakefield Highlands Golf Club/Yardley Country Club

64

Will Young/James Kyle, Hopewell Valley Golf & Country Club

64

Mark Czerniakowski/Scott Forrester, Lu Lu Country Club

66

Bob Dumont/Jerry HaftmannLlanerch Country Club/Rolling Green Golf Club

66

Michael Decker/Jim Schulz, Jr., Mercer Oaks Golf Course/Old York CC at Chesterfield

66

Dan Smith/Thorne Ranieri, The Springhaven Club/Rolling Green Golf Club

66

Andrew Strock/Michael Minter, Trenton Country Club/Makefield Highlands Golf Club

67

Sean Torpey/T.J. Summers, Commonwealth National Golf Club

67

Mark Wachter/Michael Brown, Jr., DuPont Country Club/Lu Lu Country Club

68

John Simone/Neil Gordon, Philmont Country Club/Five Ponds Golf Club

68

Ray Pyontek/Mark Sobolewski, Mercer Oaks Golf Course

68

Bill Burke/John Dugan, Sea Oaks Golf Club

68

Joe Zulli/Kevin Maguire, Trump National Golf Club - Philadelphia

68

Mike Cavanaugh/Trey Watts, Jericho National Golf Club

68

Andrew Abrams/Steve Meyer, Rolling Green Golf Club

68

Wayne Bartolacci/Charles Dowds, III, Lu Lu Country Club/Applebrook Golf Club

68

Greg Galtere/Tom Walker, Reading Country Club

69

Beau Guarino/Michael O'Keefe, Valleybrook Country Club/Laurel Creek Country Club

69

Walt Danker/Timothy Gaughan, Jericho National Golf Club

70

David Levine/John CybMakefield Highlands Golf Club

70

Daniel McManamon/Charles McDermott, Makefield Highlands Golf Club

71

Brad Cornforth/Joe Spitaleri, Loch Nairn Golf Club/Inniscrone Golf Club

71

Alexander Maguire, Sr./Bo Maguire, Brookside Country Club

71

George Ackerman/Robert Carrier, Lookaway Golf Club

71

Thomas Covello/Joseph Boyle, Sandy Run Country Club

72

Matthew Boyer/Kevin Koch, Spring Ford Country Club

72

Jeff Hanson/Frank Ferrese, Merchantville Country Club/Tavistock Country Club

72

Anthony Dent/Ed Ciel, Medford Lakes Country Club

72

Robert Curry/Charles Carlson, Jr., North Hills Country Club

73

Brian Kreamer/Lars Beck, Bala Golf Club

73

Scott Hynes/Bob Lindenberger, Jericho National Golf Club

73

Gil Golding/Mark Lawlor, Commonwealth National Golf Club

73

Andrew Dietz/Pat Curiale, Laurel Creek Country Club/Medford Village Country Club

74

Peter Pagano, Jr./Vincent Cedrone, Penn Oaks Golf Club

74

Nicholas Angiulo/Dave Vizzini, Deerwood Country Club

75

Gershom Spengler/David Leonardis, Jack Frost National

75

Robert Dziak/Shane Dooley, Bellewood Country Club/Applecross Country Club

75

Michael Dwyer/Chris Buoni, Medford Village Country Club

76

Bill Watts/Thomas Gramlich, Medford Lakes Country Club

76

Chip Kern/Timothy Eutsler, Huntsville Golf Club/Moselem Springs Golf Club

76

Charles Johnson/Ronald White, Jericho National Golf Club

77

Mark Smedley/John Monday, Applebrook Golf Club/Chester Valley Golf Club

77

Bill Kowals/Dan Burns, Cherry Valley Country Club

77

Mitch Friedman/Matthew Weyand, Yardley Country Club

77

Justin Caple/Bob Zegel, Phoenixville Country Club

78

David Dorey/Dino StathisTavistock Country Club/Metedeconk National Golf Club

78

Dan Farragut/Gary Yeager, Philadelphia Cricket Club

78

David Meschel/Jamie Evans, Yardley Country Club

78

George Crouse/Michael Vogt, Ramblewood Country Club

79

Anthony Bonasera/David Fournier, Hopewell Valley Golf & Country Club

79

Todd Luft/John Bucci, Sandy Run Country Club

80

Jian Zhang/Adrian Terranova, Inniscrone Golf Club/Hartefeld National

81

Alan Roy/Stanley Panasewicz, Cherry Valley Country Club

81

Roland Thomas, Jr./James Reger, McCall Golf & Country Club/The Springhaven Club

82

Andre Ferber/Kenneth Wortley, Radnor Valley Country Club/Bala Golf Club

83

Thomas Weinman/Michael Penso, Rancocas Golf Club/Metedeconk National Golf Club

84

Gary Roberts/Rick Studer, Lu Lu Country Club

WD

Net

Name, club

Score

Bob Dumont/Jerry HaftmannLlanerch Country Club/Rolling Green Golf Club

56

Alan Kliewer/John Digiacomo, Lebanon Country Club

59

Edward Erickson/Paul RogowiczMakefield Highlands Golf Club/Yardley Country Club

60

Peter Pagano, Jr./Vincent Cedrone, Penn Oaks Golf Club

60

Dan Smith/Thorne Ranieri, The Springhaven Club/Rolling Green Golf Club

60

Larry Benedetto/Jim Allen, Concord Country Club

61

Michael Decker/Jim Schulz, Jr., Mercer Oaks Golf Course/Old York CC at Chesterfield

61

John Buliga/David Kimbley, Yardley Country Club/Coatesville Country Club

61

Bradley Roberts/Vincent Kwon, Little Mill Country Club

62

Chip Kern/Timothy Eutsler, Huntsville Golf Club/Moselem Springs Golf Club

62

Dan Ayars/Andy Kerestesy, Running Deer Golf Club

62

George Ackerman/Robert Carrier, Lookaway Golf Club

62

Michael Dwyer/Chris Buoni, Medford Village Country Club

63

Ray Pyontek/Mark Sobolewski, Mercer Oaks Golf Course

63

Anthony Dent/Ed Ciel, Medford Lakes Country Club

63

Greg Galtere/Tom Walker, Reading Country Club

63

Mike Cavanaugh/Trey Watts, Jericho National Golf Club

63

Will Young/James Kyle, Hopewell Valley Golf & Country Club

63

Thomas Covello/Joseph Boyle, Sandy Run Country Club

64

Daniel McManamon/Charles McDermott, Makefield Highlands Golf Club

64

Andrew Strock/Michael Minter, Trenton Country Club/Makefield Highlands Golf Club

64

Walt Danker/Timothy Gaughan, Jericho National Golf Club

64

Justin Caple/Bob Zegel, Phoenixville Country Club

64

Bill Watts/Thomas Gramlich, Medford Lakes Country Club

64

Gil Golding/Mark Lawlor, Commonwealth National Golf Club

64

Charles Johnson/Ronald White, Jericho National Golf Club

65

Robert Curry/Charles Carlson, Jr., North Hills Country Club

65

Joe Zulli/Kevin Maguire, Trump National Golf Club - Philadelphia

65

David Meschel/Jamie Evans, Yardley Country Club

65

Scott Hynes/Bob Lindenberger, Jericho National Golf Club

65

Bill Kowals/Dan Burns, Cherry Valley Country Club

65

Mitch Friedman/Matthew Weyand, Yardley Country Club

65

John Simone/Neil Gordon, Philmont Country Club/Five Ponds Golf Club

66

Mark Czerniakowski/Scott Forrester, Lu Lu Country Club

66

Bill Burke/John Dugan, Sea Oaks Golf Club

66

Andrew Abrams/Steve Meyer, Rolling Green Golf Club

66

Wayne Bartolacci/Charles Dowds, III, Lu Lu Country Club/Applebrook Golf Club

66

Matthew Boyer/Kevin Koch, Spring Ford Country Club

67

Jeff Hanson/Frank Ferrese, Merchantville Country Club/Tavistock Country Club

67

Brad Cornforth/Joe Spitaleri, Loch Nairn Golf Club/Inniscrone Golf Club

67

Sean Torpey/T.J. Summers, Commonwealth National Golf Club

67

Beau Guarino/Michael O'Keefe, Valleybrook Country Club/Laurel Creek Country Club

67

Todd Luft/John Bucci, Sandy Run Country Club

67

Anthony Bonasera/David Fournier, Hopewell Valley Golf & Country Club

67

Brian Kreamer/Lars Beck, Bala Golf Club

68

Dan Farragut/Gary Yeager, Philadelphia Cricket Club

68

Thomas Weinman/Michael Penso, Rancocas Golf Club/Metedeconk National Golf Club

68

Jian Zhang/Adrian Terranova, Inniscrone Golf Club/Hartefeld National

68

Mark Wachter/Michael Brown, Jr., DuPont Country Club/Lu Lu Country Club

69

Andrew Dietz/Pat Curiale, Laurel Creek Country Club/Medford Village Country Club

69

Roland Thomas, Jr./James Reger, McCall Golf & Country Club/The Springhaven Club

69

David Levine/John CybMakefield Highlands Golf Club

69

Gershom Spengler/David Leonardis, Jack Frost National

69

Alexander Maguire, Sr./Bo Maguire, Brookside Country Club

69

Nicholas Angiulo/Dave Vizzini, Deerwood Country Club

70

Andre Ferber/Kenneth Wortley, Radnor Valley Country Club/Bala Golf Club

71

George Crouse/Michael Vogt, Ramblewood Country Club

71

David Dorey/Dino StathisTavistock Country Club/Metedeconk National Golf Club

71

Mark Smedley/John Monday, Applebrook Golf Club/Chester Valley Golf Club

71

Alan Roy/Stanley Panasewicz, Cherry Valley Country Club

72

Robert Dziak/Shane Dooley, Bellewood Country Club/Applecross Country Club

73

Gary Roberts/Rick Studer, Lu Lu Country Club

WD

*-decided in five-hole, sudden-death playoff

WD-withdrawal

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