Preview: 34th NYS Men's Mid-Amateur Championship at Yahnundasis GC

September 21, 2017

New Hartford, N.Y. (September 21, 2017) – The upcoming 34th annual New York State Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship at Yahnundasis Golf Club will be an exciting and difficult test for amateur golfers ages 25 and older throughout 54 holes of stroke play over three days of competition on September 22 – 24, 2017. 

Related: Championships Website // Pairings // Past Results

The championship begins on Friday with 18 holes of stroke play and the 120-player field will be divided into morning and afternoon waves, with a cut applied to the low 60 players and ties. Saturday, the field will play a second set of 18 holes to decide who survives another cut - set at low 30 players and ties. On Championship Sunday, the remaining competitors will play a final 18 holes to decide the next state Mid-Amateur champion. If a tie exists after 54 holes, a sudden-death playoff will determine the winner.


Past NYS Men’s Mid-Amateur Amateur Champions 

Jim Scorse, will look to defend this year after claiming his second NYS Men’s Mid-Amateur title, and fifth state title overall, last year at his home course, Stafford Country Club, in a tight race against runner-up and this year’s NYS Men’s Amateur champ, Adam Condello. Scorse won his first Mid-Am title at Onondaga Golf and Country Club in 2013. He captured his lone Men’s Am title in 2005 at Brookwoods Country Club (when the format still involved match play). He also won consecutive Men’s Four-Ball titles in 2011 and 2012 at Ravenwood Golf Club.

Luke Hobika, of Cavalry Club, is a two-time NYS Men’s Mid-Amateur champion, winning the championships seventeen years apart, first in 1998 at Yahnundasis Golf Club at age 30 and again in 2015 at Wolferts Roost Country Club. In 2016, he was one of three players chosen to represent New York on the USGA Men’s State Team Championship alongside last year’s NYS Men’s Amateur champ Tyler McArdell and 2016 US Mid-Am champ Stewart Hagestead. Hobika, although a member of Cavalry Club, grew up playing Yahnundasis and has plenty of course knowledge and familiarity with the layout.

Patrick Pierson, of Hollow Brook Golf Club, won the title in 2003 at Teugega Country Club. He’s won a few amateur events in recent years including the New York City Amateur in 2009 and the Westchester Golf Association Mid-Amateur in 2014.

Jimmy Welch, of Old Kinderhook Golf Club, captured the title in a four-way playoff in 2011 at Dutchess Golf & Country Club. Due to inclement weather over the weekend, the second round was cancelled, making the tournament 36-holes.

Tim Spitz, of Monroe Golf Club, won in 2012 at Midvale Country Club. He came close again in 2015, finishing as runner-up. He finished fourth in the 2016 NYS Men’s Amateur at Mohawk Golf Club. In 2009, at only his second USGA event, Spitz advanced to the US Mid-Am final match against four-time winner Nathan Smith, 7&6.

Ken Riter, a NYSGA eClub member out of Western NY, claimed the title in 2009 at Glens Falls Country Club.


Other NYS Amateur Champions

Matt Stasiak, won the NYS Men’s Amateur Championship in 2013 at Schuyler Meadows Club a four-round total of 284 (-4). Stasiak also won the 2013 NYS Men’s Amateur Four-Ball with Jonathan Clark at Leatherstocking Golf Club.

Doug Kleeschulte, of Wiltwyck Country Club, was crowned champion in 2010 at Albany Country Club with a one stroke victory over the field. Kleeschulte, has appeared in a string of U.S. Amateurs over the years and recently competed in the 2015 U.S. Four-Ball championship.

Anthony Occhipinti, is a past NYS Boys’ Sub-Junior and Junior champion, having won the titles in 1990 at Seneca Lakes Country Club and 1992 at Albany Country Club, respectively.

Adam Condello, of Locust Hill Country Club, earned his first state title at this year’s NYS Men’s Amateur at Bethpage State Park’s formidable Black Course where he edged the field by one stroke and finished at 3-under 281. Condello has finished runner-up at the NYS Mid-Am the last three years and if he can finally capture the title, would be the first player to claim the Amateur and Mid-Amateur titles in the same year.

Jonathan Clark, of Crag Burn Golf Club, collaborated with Matt Stasiak to capture a NYS Men’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship in 2013 at Leatherstocking Golf Club with a two-round best-ball score of 128 (-16).


Others to Watch

Jim Gifford, of Mohawk Golf Club, qualified for the 2017 US Amateur Four-Ball championship last fall at Allendale Country Club alongside partner Chad Stoffer with a 7-under 65. In last year’s championship, Gifford finished in a four-way tie for third at 217 (+1). In the 2016 Men’s Amateur, Gifford tied for fourth at 1-over 285.

Darin Goldstein, of New York, who played tennis at Duke University in the early 2000’s, has emerged on the regional/state amateur golf scene over the past few years. Beginning with his Long Island Mid-Amateur title in 2013 and Long Island Amateur (LIA) title in 2014, he’s built momentum over the past few years with another LIA title in 2016, two U.S. Mid-Amateur appearances in 2015-16 (and recently qualified for the 2017 championship), and a U.S. Amateur appearance in 2016. In 2015, he also won the Havemeyer Invitational and Nassau Invitational and was chosen as a member of the MGA’s Carey Cup team. He’s currently ranked in the top 1,000 on the WAGR.

Jonathan Jeter, of Nassau Players Club, won the 2017 Havemeyer Invitational at Southward Ho Country Club, a three-day match play event that attracts top metropolitan area amateurs each year. 

Kevin Vandenberg, of Tuscarora Golf Club, has built up a lengthy amateur golf resume over the years. At age 51, he’s yet to capture a New York State title but has won a slew of Syracuse District events over the past few years. In 2016, he won the CNY PGA’s Central New York Open and qualified for the U.S. Senior Open as well as the US Four-Ball with partner and NYSGA Executive Director Bill Moore. Prior to moving to New York, he was a resident of Michigan where he claimed a Golf Association of Michigan Championship title, a Michigan Amateur title as well as Mid-Amateur title in the early 2000’s.

Dan Russo, of Schuyler Meadows Club, qualified for the 2017 US Senior Open and US Mid-Amateur Championship this summer, his tenth and eleventh USGA championship appearances. Locally, he’s won countless Capital Area events over the years including four consecutive Capital Region Amateur Golf Association Stroke Play Championships in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Tim Saur, of Oak Hill Country Club, recently won the 2017 Rochester District Golf Association Mid-Amateur at Cobblestone Creek by four strokes.

Tim Lane, of Cornell University Golf Course, finished tied for third in last year’s championship at Stafford Country Club. He’s earned two consecutive exemptions after finishing tied for eleventh in 2015 at Wolferts Roost. 


Championship Quick Facts 

Dates: September 22 - 24, 2017

Host Site: Yahnundasis Golf Club  

Course Yardages:

6,811 yards, par 71 

2016 Champion:

Jim Scorse at Stafford CC

Format: 54 holes of stroke play, played over three days with an 18-hole cut to 60 players and ties and a 36-hole cut to 30 players and ties. 

Eligibility: Entries are open to male amateur golfers who are members of the NYSGA and have an active Handicap Index of 8.4 or less (at the time of entry), issued by a golf club which is licensed to use the USGA Handicap System. A member of the NYSGA is defined as a dues paying member of a NYSGA member club, which includes NYSGA eClubs.


Schedule of Events

Thursday, September 21

9:00am – 4:00pm // Player Registration

10:00am – 4:00pm // Practice Rounds

Friday, September 22

8:00am – 9:30am // Round 1 (morning wave) from tees #1 and #10

12:30pm – 2:00pm // Round 1 (afternoon wave) from tees #1 and #10

Cut after 18 holes to low 60 players and ties

Saturday, September 23

8:00am – 11:30am // Round 2 from tee #1

Cut after 36 holes to low 30 players and ties

 Sunday, September 24

8:00am – 9:40am // Round 3 from tees #1 and #10

2:45pm // Awards Ceremony


Yahnundasis Golf Club

Yahnundasis Golf Club is regarded across upstate New York for its magnificent Walter J. Travis layout spanning over 6,800 yards and includes gently rolling hills, strategically dispersed bunkers and tricky undulating greens defined by the land’s natural contours.

The club dates to 1897, where sixty-five prominent area citizens made a commitment to create an institution that would enhance the enjoyment of their leisure hours. They began a strong tradition of sportsmanship and camaraderie that would be built upon by those who followed.

The club’s name, Yahnundasis, means “around the hill”, which Native Americans called the area around Utica’s close by Genesee Street, the club’s original site.

After a harsh winter in 1897-98, membership decided to move the club to a better site in the village of New Hartford and built a new nine-hole layout and a clubhouse which served the members for more than seven years before the club was once again relocated. 

In 1905, the club selected a new and final site for Yahnundasis, purchasing over 200 acres of farmland. The present clubhouse was formally opened and the course constructed in 1924.

A year earlier in 1923, the New York State Golf Association was founded at Yahnundasis on August 9th to foster closer and more intimate relations in and among the greater body of golfers in New York and to create an opportunity for an annual sanctioned (men’s) state championship.

This will be the second time the NYS Men’s Mid-Amateur is hosted by Yahnundasis after it was held in 1998 and won by hometown player, Luke Hobika. The venue has been a wonderful supporter of the NYSGA and has hosted numerous championships over the decades including: NYS Men’s Amateur in 1946, 1958, 1968, 1988 & 2007, as well as the NYS Women’s Amateur in 1932, 1950 & 1977.