As our men’s Member Guest Elimination Playoff continued down the 10th fairway, it was an appropriate and possibly not coincidental sight to watch two ospreys circling the sky above.
With their shining white bellies attached to two boomerang wings, they were scanning the waves of Gardiners Bay below in search of a bluefish or two. It was apt because our men’s Member Guest is named, “The Osprey” in recognition of the fish hawk on our club’s crest.
This was the fourth edition of our men’s invitational, or the Osprey IV, and as always it was a terrific tournament. Over 80 golfers got into battle over 45 holes. Divided into handicapped flights, each flight, all named after birds of prey, produced a winner, and then all flight winners entered the elimination playoff to produce an overall champion.
Many grand tales of woe and brilliance were regaled post-match, and after day one was in the book, we had some fun skills games adjacent to the clubhouse. During appetizers and a raw bar, we held a closet-to-the-hole competition. It got incredibly loud when Don Regan’s sublime shot hit the flag stick, paused for a millisecond and plopped into the cup to raucous cheers of applause, as Don turned in disbelief and delighted the crowd with a very big grin.
Great shot, Mr. Regan!
A couple of other special mentions were Paul Ben-Susan’s guest, Pete Victoria, from Island’s End, and his incredible iron play on the front nine of day one. Pete won all three guest closest-to-the-holes on our outward par threes — quite a feat against 40 other guests. It was also reported that Mark Patykewich’s guest, Matthew Oakley, hit a three wood into the wind over the fairway bunker on our 15th hole. That’s a big poke!
Another competitor letting off cannons was our member and Highway Superintendent Jay Card Jr. Despite a 15-yard handicap teeing off the blue tees and not the white tees, Jay still launched a bomb down our sixth hole to win the Member Over 50 long-drive category. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a father-son double as young Doug Sandberg Jr. beat Jake Card III, our current club champion, in the under 50 category.
Back to the playoff, eight teams started the elimination on our ninth hole and the highest four scores were “let go.” Then we progressed, passed the circling ospreys, as our remaining four teams tied the 10th hole, which is quite rare. A chip-off ensued to determine the final two. Bruce and brother Rick Dalton, as well as Ted Wheeler and guest Joe McDonald were eliminated.
That meant Gustaf Demarchelier and his guest Jed Weinstein, as well as Bill Egan and his guest Chris Kielt, teed it up on our par three 11th to decide the overall champion.
The playoff is an alternate shot format, and the slightly higher handicappers Demarchelier/Weinstein, received a stroke (shot) while Egan/Kielt didn’t. Weinstein’s tee shot was the deciding factor. He hit a lovely low punch shot under the wind into our punch-bowl green, which ran up to 20 feet, whereupon Demarchelier stroked his solid putt to 12 inches and Weinstein tapped it in for a tournament-winning three net two.
Thank you so much to all the members and guests who participated. Some of the golf was gifted, the camaraderie was celebrated, the weather cooperated and the food was fantastic. Thanks to the F&B team and golf course crew who all received many accolades from the members and guests I spoke to.
I’m already excited for the Osprey V.
OSPREY IV OVERALL CHAMPIONS
Gustaf Demarchelier & Jed Weinstein
Osprey Flight: Mark Patykewich & Matthew Oakley
Eagle Flight: Paul Ben-Susan & Pete Victoria
Hawk Flight: John Barber & Ed Sweeney
Kite Flight: Bill Egan & Chris Kielt
Falcon Flight: Ted Wheeler & Joe McDonald
Condor Flight: Bruce & Rick Dalton
Harrier Flight: Gustaf Demarchelier & Jed Weinstein
Parakeet Flight: Jay Card Jr. & James Pratt