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Nelson captures Travel League’s New York Open at Rose Brook GC

IRVING — The Wednesday Travel League held its third major of the season, “The New York Open,” after unusual circumstances forced the league to make a last-minute course change.

Originally scheduled at Elkdale Country Club in Salamanca, golfers arrived to discover that due to some kind of scheduling error, the course was overbooked. Fortunately, the league was able to quickly reschedule at Rose Brook Golf Course, so golfers hopped in their vehicles and made the 45-minute drive to Irving. The league wishes to thank the ownership and staff at Rose Brook for being so welcoming and accommodating on such short notice.

Jeff Nelson was the overall champion with the low round of 77, breaking into the win column with his first career tour victory. Two-time defending champion Mike Wolfe tied Bob North for second place, a stroke back with 78. Robert Calph shot 79 and led the back nine with a 1-under par 34. Nelson led the front nine with a 1-over par 38.

In the B Flight, Gary Haase successfully defended his 2022 B Flight crown, winning on a tiebreaker over Dave Wallace and Josh Hilliker. In the C Flight, Pete Gawron won a four-way tiebreaker with Bob Kujawa, Jaime Galarza and Pat Weaver. The 90-year-old Gawron shot his age for the second time this season and finished his round by holing out for par on the 18th hole from 75 yards out. Gawron was also the flight winner selected to take home the Statue of Liberty New York Open Trophy until next year’s tournament. Dave Franklin was the D Flight winner. The winner of the Bruce “Java” Chrabasz Commissioner’s Award was Angelo Leone.

Untied birdies were recorded by: A Flight — Nelson (Nos. 3, 6, 11), Ron Szach (No. 10), Wolfe (No. 13) and Calph (No. 16); B Flight — Hilliker (No. 1), Haase (No. 5), Seb McAfee (No. 7), Lenny Leszkowicz (No. 8), Tom Sacilowski (Nos. 10, 16), Jim Ellman Sr. (No. 11), Wallace (No. 12) and Mike Willoughby (No. 17); C Flight — Weaver (No. 3), Bob Kujawa (No. 5), Pete Pinkoski (No. 7), Tony Destro (Nos. 10, 11), Galarza (Nos. 13, 14), and Jack Hood (Nos. 16, 18); D Flight — Don Kujawa (Nos. 3, 13, 16), Brian Lore (Nos. 6, 18), Franklin (No. 9), Gary Hazelton (No. 10) and Phil Hopkins (No. 12).

Closest to the pin were Hilliker (Nos. 4, 12), Sacilowski (No. 10), Wolfe (No. 13) and Calph (No. 16). Winners of the par 3 contest were Wolfe (A Flight, plus-1), Sacilowski (B, even par), Galarza (C, plus-1) and Lore (D, plus-4). Winners of the Steeplechase were Jeff Marsowicz (A), Hilliker (B), Tony Destro (C) and Hopkins (D).

Top point winners were Sacilowski (96, league high this season), Wolfe (62), Szach and Galarza (53 apiece), Hilliker (52) and Hood (49). Season points leaders through 15 events are 1. Sacilowski (302), 2. Ed Tofil (296), 3. Hilliker (295), 4. Wolfe (267), 5. Calph (263), 6. Franklin (243), 7. Wallace (240), 8. Haase (177), 9. Leszkowicz (166), 10. Galarza (159), 11. Ken Kaus (156), 12. Pinkoski (145), 13. Weaver (138), 14. Gawron (124), 15. Marsowicz (117), 16. Mike Dornan (109), 17. Tom Destro (106), 18. Willoughby (104), 19. Don Kujawa and Hood (97 apiece).

Ron Szach moved past Gary Haase into 13th place on the all-time points list. Both Bob Kujawa and Jaime Galarza shot personal-best rounds, and Galarza’s 39 on the back nine marked the first time he ever posted a nine-hole round under 40.

This Wednesday the league travels to Whispering Pines in Meadville, Pennsylvania The first tee time is at 9:30 a.m. Several openings exist. Golfers are asked to be signed up by noon today.

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