By Frank Rizzo
SULLIVAN COUNTY July 20, 2001 There are plenty of golf tournaments in Sullivan County. Many of them for worthy causes and they make for an entertaining morning or afternoon on the links.
But competitive, individual amateur gross stroke play?
Thats been missing in action..
Monticello attorney Marvin Newberg wants to bring to Sullivan County what neighboring Ulster and Orange have had an annual test of golfing skill for its amateurs.
And so on Saturday and Sunday, August 18-19, the two best courses in the county, Grossingers and the Concord Monster, will be hosting the Sullivan County Mens Amateur Championship.
The first 18 holes will be played Saturday at the Big G, followed by a second 18 holes Sunday afternoon at the Monster.
The tourney is limited to male amateur golfers residing in Sullivan County who have a handicap of 10 or less and who have reached their 18th birthday by August 17, 2001.
The $75 entry fee includes greens fees and riding carts for both rounds.
Newberg vaguely remembers an annual amateur tournament for about twelve or thirteen years, but then it just withered away sometime in the 1980s.
In 1992, then Grossingers head pro Kevin Shaw organized the Hudson Valley Mens Amateur to, in his words fill the void.
By the following years, both Shaw and his brainchild were gone.
For several years in the late 90s, the Sullivan County Golf and Country Club in Liberty hosted the Sullivan County Amateur in Honor of Jack Coughlin.
The eighty-something longtime Liberty golfer said the tournament in his honor is moribund, but gave his blessing to Newbergs idea.
I think it will be excellent, and I would hope they would make it a good thing, something that can go on, Coughlin said. You couldnt have a better set of golf courses to hold it on.
Newberg credited Grossingers/Concord head pro Todd Barker with facilitating the tournament.
There are some very good players out there and I think well get the best players around, Newberg said. It will be something good to have and if we can get it going we can expand it and maybe we can have it at other courses.
For information call tournament chairpersons Newberg at 794-8415 or Barker at 292-9000.
Aces and More
Two of the kind of players Newberg has in mind for the Sullivan County Amateur Championship are Ken Cohen of Smallwood and David Solomon of Woodbourne.
Both qualified for the New York State Amateur Tournament, which is being held July 17-23 at Seven Oaks Golf Club in Hamilton.
Solomon was also a low qualifier for the Met Publinx Championship, which was already played.
Cohen shot two hole-in-ones over an eleven day stretch. The first came at the State Amateur Qualifier at Seven Oaks on June 15. Cohen hit a six-iron to the 180-yard eighth hole for the first ace of his 38 year golfing career.
Then, in the final round of the Ike Championship, Cohen hit a four-iron to the 214-yard fourteenth hole for his second career ace and the sixth in Ike Championship history.
Jeffersonvilles Gregg Semenetz Jr. also aced his first hole-in-one in late May.
Semenetz was playing with fellow J-Y grads Jared Kubenik and Mike Corigliano, as well as golf pro Bobby Menges of Youngsville and the Wallkill Country Club.
According to Menges, Semenetz made his hole-in-one on the 205-yard, par-3 seventh hole. He used a six-iron.
It took two bounces and the third went into the cup, said Menges.
Semenetz twice qualified for the New York State golf championship while at J-Y.