The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

August 26, 2013

Harris laps field again for Atchinson Cup

By Brian C. Horey Contributing Writer
The Daily Star

---- — ONEONTA — It matters not if you’re talking about margin of victory or distance off the tee, Justin Harris is way ahead of the field.

Harris overpowered Oneonta Country Club, taking four strokes off of par Saturday and Sunday en route to a 10-shot victory in the Otsego County Amateur Golf Championship. Oneonta resident Harris earned his third straight Atchinson Cup title and won the 36th annual event for the fifth time in six years.

“I putted well and that kept me in front,” said Harris, who won last year’s tournament by 17 strokes.

Harris, 27, followed an opening-round 69 Saturday with a closing 71 on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon at the par-72 OCC. He finished 10 shots clear of Bruce Miller and Mike Pugliese.

“Justin is just so solid,” said Miller, who won the last of his three Atchinson Cup titles in 2004. “You have to play your best to have a chance and none of us did.”

Unatego graduate Harris, playing in the final threesome with Miller and Richard Myers, consistently hit his drives 30-40 yards past those of his playing companions. That left Harris with short irons into the greens while his partners were hitting mid-irons.

And get this, Harris said his long game was a little off.

Harris started Sunday with a three-shot lead over Miller, who shot even-par Saturday, and a four-stroke cushion over Myers and Pugliese.

Through 12 holes Sunday, Miller stayed within shouting distance of Harris. He trailed by five shots with six holes to play, but Miller said his short game cost him any chance at a victory.

“I didn’t have a single chip on Saturday (when he hit 14 greens),” said Miller, who shot a 78 Sunday. “But Sunday, I just couldn’t get them up-and-down.”

Myers said he didn’t play for two weeks leading up to the tournament because of a sore back. That soreness returned when Myers attempted to match Harris’ power on the par-4 15th hole. He tried unsuccessfully to carry the creek and continued to struggle until the 18th. There, he knocked his approach shot to 3 feet for a closing birdie.

Upon seeing Myers’ second shot on 18, Harris jokingly suggested Myers might have exaggerated his injury. Myers shot a 78 Sunday to finish fourth.

Harris appeared on his way to shooting a second straight round in the 60s until taking a double-bogey on the par-5 17th when he pushed his tee shot into the water on the right.

Last season, Harris shot rounds of 69 and 68, so he’s been under par in his last four rounds in the Otsego County Amateur.

Allen Fassler and Mark Vergari earned victories in the first and second flights, respectively. Fassler shot rounds of 81 and 84 for a three-shot win over Teddy Trosset.

Vergari’s 96-94 led to a five-shot victory over Mike Davis in the second flight.

Thirty-two players participated in the tournament.

ATCHINSON CUP

Results Saturday and Sunday from the 36th annual Otsego Country Amateur Golf Tournament at the par-72 Oneonta Country Club.

Championship Flight

Justin Harris 69-71 — 140

Bruce Miller 72-78 — 150

Mike Pugliese 73-77 — 150

Richard Myers 73-78 — 151

Mike Schulte 79-75 — 154

Harry Schulte 81-79 — 160

Kahle Harris 78-82 — 160

Frank Liberati 80-83 — 163

Curt Bailey 82-81 — 163

Eric Hansen 83-81 — 164

Matt Burke 86-81 — 167

Nick Lambros 85-83 — 168

Cary Brunswick 84-84 — 168

Jim Bazan 86-86 — 172

Mitch Couch 84-NC — NS

Jim Ballantine WD

First Flight

Allen Fassler 81-84 — 165

Teddy Trosset 80-88 — 168

Bruce Aaronson 86-84 — 170

Frank Gaisford 87-86 — 173

Paul Adamo 87-87 — 174

John Hammond 84-93 — 177

Al Puylara 90-87 — 177

John Chapman 93-94 — 187

Bo Whaley 98-94 — 192

Guil Terry 88-106 — 194

Second Flight

Mark Vergari 96-94 — 190

Mike Davis 104-91 — 195

Walter Friedel 103-100 — 203

Bob Hobkirk 111-100 — 211

Andy Spence 119-95 — 214

Chris Crisler 112-114 — 226

ONEONTA - It matters not if you're talking about margin of victory or distance off the tee, Justin Harris is way ahead of the field.