Hanes Brothers Return to Victory, Bernatovicz/Riter and Yellin/Levinson Claim Senior Titles at Four-Ball
VERONA, N.Y. -- The 12th NYS Men’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship came down to the final hole on Monday, with a putt on No. 18 to secure the win for the now two-time champions.
Billy and David Hanes (Crag Burn GC) only needed a par on the eighteenth green to come out on top by a stroke. The Hanes brothers shot 7-under 65 at Shenendoah Golf Course, to prevail for the second time in five years. They finished with a two-day total of 13-under 131.
During the second and final round at Turning Stone, they made a birdie on the 1st hole to start momentum early on. Next, the Buffalo brothers knocked in a 40-footer for eagle on No. 4 to start the round 3-under through four holes.
From there on, they were able to put four more circles around their birdies and secure another round without any bogeys.
“Just to see that putt go in from 40 feet was awesome,” David said about his eagle putt on the reachable par 5. “It was a big momentum putt and kind of got us going and kind of went from there on the front nine.”
The pair was able to hold off other groups to maintain the lead for almost all of the final round. This is their second NYS Four-Ball win as a duo (won at Leatherstocking in 2018, and Billy won his first four-ball title with Jamie Miller in 2015), but Billy recently won the 2022 Mid-Am crown last September and now has secured back-to-back NYS Amateur titles.
“I’m just happy to be someone who gets to compete in these events.” Billy said, talking about his 5th win at an NYSGA Championship. “The state golf association runs great events and I encourage anybody who is good at golf and in New York State to come hang out with us because they run a great tournament.”
Chris Roeder (Ravenwood GC) and Tim Coykendall (Brook-Lea CC) shot another 6-under 66 on Monday with birdies on the final two holes to keep the pressure on the champions until the end. They finished as this year's runner-up team at 12-under.
The sides of Derek Roller and Andrew Romano (Lancaster CC), Josh Desain and Jayson Clarke (Wayne Hills CC), along with Junfan Wang and Jiarong Liu (RDGA eClub) all finished in a tie for third at 11-under. Wang and Liu fired a tournament-low 64 in the final round at Shenendoah.
The victory earned David Hanes an exemption into the 2023 NYS Men’s Amateur at Wykagyl CC in August, as well as the NYS Men’s Mid-Amateur at his home club, Crag Burn Golf Club in September. Billy Hanes was already exempt for these championships after his Mid-Am win.
The 11th NYS Men’s Senior Amateur saw new and old champions raise some crystal on Monday. Kenneth Riter (NYSGA eClub - WNY) and Andy Bernatovicz (River Oaks GC) finished the tournament at 9-under 135, winning by one stroke.
Riter, who won the Mid-Am in 2009 at Glens Falls CC, sank a 15-footer for birdie on their final hole to go up by a stroke, which would eventually be the deciding putt to earn them the trophies.
“We were helping each other read putts today and it doesn’t always happen that way, but it did,” said Riter about his timely birdie. “I’m just ecstatic, and nice to win an event on the last shot…it makes it all-the-more enjoyable.”
The pair uncharacteristically made a bogey on their 16th hole of the day, which was the par 4, No.2. They were able to bounce back and make a sound par and finish off the day with the tournament winning birdie.
“I’m emotional because to do it with such a dear friend and a buddy who, you know for the last 20 years, we have traveled to all the state events, we stay together all the time, we drive together, it brings tears to my eyes that I was able to do it with Kenny,” Andy said about winning his first state title with his partner. “I’m just so happy, I just can’t begin to explain.”
2019 champions Wade Sarkis (Canandaigua CC) and Ken Ogden (Oak Hill CC) finished up in second place at 8-under 136. They matched the winning team's 66 on Kaluhyat on Monday, but Wade’s eagle on No. 6 along with four combined birdies was not quite enough to push the pair to victory.
Joe Babcock (eClub - CNY) and two-time NYS Men’s Mid-Am champion Luke Hobika (Yahnundasis GC) finished the tournament in solo third place at 6-under 138.
Three more teams finished in a tie for fourth place. Dan Ireland and Chris David (CC of Troy), John Bufalini (eClub - Watertown) and 2018 NYS Men's Senior champ Robert Hughes (NYSGA eClub – Watertown) and round-one leaders David Hicks (Cornell University GC) and Chris Smithers (Tuscarora GC) wrapped up their tournaments at 5-under 139.
The inaugural NYS Men’s Super-Senior Amateur Four-Ball Championship, for men ages 65+, took place this weekend as well and the first championship winners were decided!
Tom Yellin and Dan Levinson (MGA eClub – NYC) managed to come back being down two shots at the end of Round 1 and took home the first Super-Senior trophy.
“It is great to have your name at the top of the trophy because everyone else who gets it will see you there,” said Yellin about being the first Super-Seniors to win the Four-Ball. “It was really fun and really meaningful. It’s great to win a state event and to do it with Dan is a real thrill.”
With six birdies on the card, Tom and Dan clinched their first state title together and finished the weekend 9-under, 135.
In a very close second place, Jim Johnson and Jim Burns (Canandaigua CC) were able to keep pace with the champions (the groups played together in the final round) but in the end, finished 8-under on the weekend, one stroke short.
The leaders after round one, Randy Young (Bellevue CC) and Don Van Gorder (Newman Municipal GC) had a 2-under 142 total to finish in solo 4th place.