Luke Hobika added another Apogee Investment Management title to his resume, this time as a Senior champion.
In his AIM Senior Championship debut, Hobika bested John Harrington in a playoff to win 43rd annual tournament July 27. Hobika, who turned 55 in May, is tied for the most AIM Men’s titles in history (5) with Walter Knych.
“I’m excited about it,” Hobika said. “It’s never easy winning a tournament, no matter how many tournaments you have won. I didn’t have my best stuff today but I grinded it out.”
Hobika was the first-round medalist with a 69 at Cortland Country Club and held a two-shot lead over Harrington entering the final round at Tuscarora Golf Club. The pair engaged in a back-and-forth battle at Tuscarora that resulted in Harrington forcing a playoff. Harrington, playing on his home course, made a birdie putt in the rain on 18 to tie Hobika in regulation at 1-under-par 142.
The two players started and ended the playoff on No. 9. Both Hobika and Harrington were on the green in two where Hobika rolled in a 21-foot putt for birdie while Harrington’s birdie attempt rimmed out.
Hobika headed into sudden death confident despite failing to earn the win in regulation.
“I felt like I had new life,” Hobika said. “I felt like I had a lot of experience in this situation and I trust my golf swing. When I got it on to the green, I said, ‘Finally, I can make a putt and win it.”
In regulation, Hobika remembered Harrington putted from the same area on the 9th green and used that knowledge with the title on the line.
“John’s putt never broke so I played it with less break and it went in,” Hobika said of his birdie that sealed his playoff win.
This is the second straight year Harrington had to settle for second place. Last year, he lost to Walt McArdell by one stroke. Defending champion McArdell finished fifth (4-over 147).
David Smith shot a 3-under 68 in the second round and finished third at even-par 143. Joe Babcock was fourth (2-over 145).
In the Super Senior Division, Richard Volcko, last year’s runner-up, won the title by four strokes over Nick Della Penna.
Volcko shot rounds of 76 and 73 to claim the crown with a 6-over 149.
“I hit the ball solidly and I was consistent,” Volcko said.
Thank you to our presenting sponsors for the Senior AIM Championship — Kevin VandenBerg and Apogee Investment Management and DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, LLP.