Eric Manning collected his fifth career Central New York PGA Section Championship with a one-stroke victory over Mark Tucker on Aug. 18. The two-day, 36-hole event was held at Seven Oaks Golf Club on the Colgate University campus.
Manning (Elm Tree GC) fired a 2-under-par 70 in the final round to become the first CNY PGA player to the Section Championship in three different decades. His fifth Section crown is also a record snapping a four-way tie for most titles with Jerry Steelsmith, Kevin Savage and Bill Galloway.
“I was telling my wife before I came up here if I could win again it would be the fifth and nobody has won five and I’d also have won it in three decades. I don’t how many more I have in me but maybe I can go for a fourth decade,” Manning said.
Manning won the Section Championship in 2018 (at Teugega CC), 2012 (at Turning Stone Resort Casino), and back-to-back crowns in 2006 and 2007 Shenendoah GC.
Manning, Tucker and third-place finisher Michael Deuel all earned spots to compete in the 54th PGA Professional Championship, April 25-28, at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
Manning turned in a winning total of 2-under-par 142 to capture the Section title presented by Cadillac, Club Car and Omega.
Tucker (Cazenovia CC) finished at 1-under 143 while Deuel (En-Joie GC) carded a 1-over 145. Deuel won the CNY PGA Stroke Play Championship in June and finished second at the Senior Championship in July.
Tucker, playing in the lead group behind of Manning, pulled into a first-place tie with Manning after sinking a birdie putt on 15. Manning regained the lead for good with a birdie putt of his own on the 436-yard par-4 16th hole.
At 16, Manning said he misjudged his second shot out of the rough and his ball flew to the back of the green leaving him with a long putt. Hoping to get close to save par, Manning instead sank a 40-footer for birdie.
“It was one of the best long putts I’ve hit,” Manning said. “Like Mark (Tucker) said ‘When you make those you usually win.’
Tucker, who won this event in 2011, had hopes of winning again. But he said his main goal was to qualify for nationals.
“I saw Eric make that putt (on 16) but I didn’t see where everyone stood until 17,” Tucker said. “On 18, I thought I could catch him if I made birdie but he made birdie. I could have gone for eagle but I didn’t want to take myself out of qualifying.”
Tucker, Deuel and Jeff Reader tied for the first-round lead with a 1-under 71. Reader (146) is the first alternate followed by Ryan McGinnis (147) and Dennis Colligan (149).
2020 CNY PGA SECTION CHAMPIONSHIP AT SEVEN OAKS
Michael Deuel, Eric Manning and Mark Tucker
Eric Manning champion
Bernie Herceg Brian Smith
Bernie Herceg and Brian Smith
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Bernie Herceg Ryan Evans
Bernie Herceg and Ryan Evans
Stan Gorman Dallas Pylinski
Stan Gorman and Dallas Pylinski
Steve Aloi Stefve Campanaro
Steve Aloi Steve Campanaro
Alan Seamans, Joey Tesori and Chuck Harty
Seamans and Tesori
Alan Seamans and Joey Tesori
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Ryan McGinnis, Alan Savage and Eric Manning
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