By Matthew Kleiner,
Villa Roma PGA Golf Professional
CALLICOON August 22, 2003 This morning starts the three-day tourney which I feel is the most fun for Sullivan County golfers. The Sullivan County Democrat Two-Man, Better Ball Tournament, now in its 22nd year, tees off at 8 a.m. at the Villa Roma Country Club in Callicoon.
Two-time defending champions Gregg Semenetz and Bill Phillips are trying for the threepeat against the strongest field of teams in years. The golf being played in this tournament gets better and better each year.
Last year a 7-under-par 64 by Marvin Newberg and Charlie Johnson led the qualifers and four teams tied at 73 and had to have a playoff for the championship flight. This year Newberg is back with Sam Hillman, his partner for many years. Johnston recruited Gerry Garber, also a former champion and recently a U.S. Senior Amateur qualifer.
Ken Cohen, a six-time Democrat champion, will compete with a very strong partner in Pravin Singh. The team won the 27-hole shootout last week at the Nevele Grande in Ellenville and will be favored here to challenge for the title.
Lets not leave Jack Jordan and David Solomon out either. The runner-ups two years in a row, they will definitely be in the mix and probably a top four seed.
The golf course is playing a little harder this year and I expect the qualifying score to reach the elite championship flight will click up to 3 over par or 74 or maybe even 75.
Predictions: Final Four Cohen/Singh, Solomon/Jordan, Sean Semenetz/Nicholas Yaun and Gregg Semenetz/Bill Phillips. Cohen/Singh over S. Semenetz/Yaun for the championship.
Odds on Winning:
3-1: Cohen/Singh Cohens best partner in years.
5-1: S. Semenetz/Yaun Big time improvement from last year.
6-1: G. Semenetz/Phillips Tougher teams than ever to beat.
6-1: Solomon/Jordan Very capable, need a little luck.
7-1: Johnston/Garber Watch out; this team could win it all or could win third flight.
8-1: Chris DuBois/Bill Elliott Things would have to fall their way.
8-1: Tom Drobysh/Ricky Morgan Two solid players; a good team.
10-1: Ira Steingart/Nathan Steingart Championship flight perennials.