October's tournament held at Chuck Corica's Earl Fry North course in Alameda on Saturday, October 15 was the tenth of the year and last chance for players to make a move up the flight standings hoping to qualify for the Club Championship in November. It also marked the last tournament for members vying to become Flight Champions for 2016. Weather was looming as a small storm passed through on Friday night bringing heavy rain at times. But the club hit a window of perfect weather by tee time and it was short sleeve atire for the tournament .Just a couple hours after the last group had completed their round another storm moved in, and moved in to stay all the way through Sunday. Perfect timing!
Several players made a nice run but none paid off more than the move made by Mike Armstrong. At the start of the day Mike was positioned one stroke back of "Birdie" Bob Cossick, who was holding on to second place in flight one; only the top two positions would qualify for the club championship match play rounds from each flight. Mike's target number before the day started was a net 76 or better, or to best Cossick's score by two strokes on the day, in hopes of passing Cossick. Mike posted three birdies on the back nine to shot a net 72, improving his overall qualifying score by six strokes! But, Mike would have to wait to see what Cossick would post as Cossick was in the final group of the day. Cossick shot a net 77 which did not improve his overall qualifying score which allowed Armstrong to pass Cossick and qualify for the the club championship finals. Armstrong finished in second place with five-round qualifying score of 343. Cossick finishes the year in third place and therefore our first alternate from Flight-1.
Lionel Fernandez shot a tournament best net 68 solidifying his top position in flight one in route to becoming the 2016 Flight-1 Champion. Ed Ramirez and Carl Umpleby were the only other two to improved their qualifying scores in flight one however not enough to qualify. Only eight strokes separated places three through eight in the flight, very tight!
Flight two was poised for some drama prior to the start of the day. Both Mike Dutrow and Kevin "Adorable Stud" Madej were sitting comfortably in the top two spots respectively however a few players were looming. None would cast a larger shadow than from Tim McGuire, who with only four qualifying rounds in would only need to shoot a net 77 in his fifth round to catch Madej for second place, that's if Madej didn't improve his score...which he didn't. Tim had two net birdies coming in on the back nine however he would offset that with two net double bogies while posting a net 78 and therefore missed qualifying by a single stroke! Ouch. Mike Dutrow shot a net 75 which did not improve his qualifying score however had plenty of great scores in the bank to become the 2016 Flight-2 Champion! Congratulations Mike!
Kevin White and Pete Rubenis also improved on their qualifying scores however no one on the day improved more on the day than Scott Shepard. Scott posted a net 70 besting his qualifying score by a whopping twelve strokes! Unfortunately that left Scott three strokes back of Madej and short of club championship qualifying. Scott did however win the day's flight tournament along with Lionel Fernandez as the flight two and one winners respectively.
So, the final foursome to determine our 2016 Club Champion is set! Lionel Fernandez will square off against Mike Armstrong in flight one, and in flight two Mike Dutrow will throw down with the "Adorable Stud" Kevin Madej in a match play format on Saturday, November 19. The winners of Saturday's matches will face each other on Sunday, November 20, also in match play, to determine our champion while the other two players will square off to determine third and fourth place finishers. These players will be competing for their share of a $500 prize fund of which all four places are paid with last place paying $75. Good luck to all!