Scorse Completes NYSGA Major Sweep with Win at 66th Senior
NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. – Add another silver trophy to the collection as Jim Scorse won his fourth individual men's state title at the 66th Men’s Senior Amateur on Yahnundasis Golf Club.
The 58-year-old from Stafford Country Club, tied the tournament low score with a 2-under 69 as he started the day one-stroke behind the lead. He was the only player to finish below par, with a two-day total of 3-under 139.
While his first round was solid with very little errors, Scorse seemed to be more comfortable on the greens on Wednesday. He sank 3 birdies on his front nine and collected nine straight pars on his way back in, forcing the field to chase him. He took advantage of the par 5s on the front, Nos. 6 and 9 with birdies during both rounds.
“Getting it done here at Yahnundasis, a (Walter) Travis course, is very special to me,” said Scorse about winning at such a special club. “This place is definitely a course where you need to hit good shots and play good golf and basically what I tried to do today.”
This was a tournament that the two-time (2013 & 2016) Men’s Mid-Am, and 2005 Men’s Amateur champion certainly had circled. With the victory, he joins three NYSGA Hall of Famers, John Baldwin, Alan Foster, and Don Allen as the only players to win all three individual men’s state titles since the Mid-Am was added to the NYSGA schedule in the 1980s.
“It’s definitely one that I wanted to get,” said Scorse. “I’m 58 and can’t go on forever playing good golf so getting it done now and not waiting till I’m 65 is pretty good.”
Scorse made his Senior Amateur debut in 2022 and finished T29.
Round one leader Luke Hobika finished in runner-up position as he did not have his best stuff in the final round. He shot a 3-over 74.
The two-time (1998 & 2015) NYS Men’s Mid-Amateur champion came into this week excited and grateful to play such a familiar course for him.
“I had a good tournament coming in second, losing to a great champion like Jim Scorse and a great player.” Said Hobika on playing in the final grouping with Scorse.
Hobika was trying to fend off a surging Scorse after shooting even on the front with 2 birdies. However, with a double bogey on the difficult par 5 10th, he couldn’t climb back on top.
The 55-year-old was thrilled to be back where he grew up and come back to Yahnundasis for his state senior debut, a place that he holds very dear to his heart. He is a member of Drumlins Country Club in Syracuse.
Following the top two was past NYS Men’s Mid-Amateur champion James Welch of Olde Kinderhook Golf Club. He was able to have a very solid championship shooting a 73 in round one and 1-over 72 to finish in solo third.
In a tie for fourth place was 2018 champion Robert Hughes of Thompson Park Golf Course, David Fizer of Ballston Spa Country Club, and Jerry Brescia of Eagle Crest Golf Club. They all finished at 6-over 148 for the tournament.
In solo seventh was John Bufalini of NYSGA eClub – Watertown, who was able to finish at 7-over with two scores of 73 and 76.
Tied at 8-over and in eighth place was past NYS Men’s Am champion John Gaffney of Crag Burn Golf Club and Don Enga of Cherry Valley Club.
Rounding out the top ten was Steve Burrows of Beaver Meadows Golf Club, and 2017 champion David Prowler of Tower Country Club. They both finished at 9-over 151.
Yahnundasis Golf Club was set up at 6,456 yards and was played to a par of 71.
The top 5 players (and ties) each earn an exemption into the upcoming NYS Men’s Mid-Amateur later this month at Crag Burn in the Buffalo region.