Despite difficult playing conditions, three Central New York PGA champions were crowned at Thendara Golf Club on Sept. 20 with Eric Manning winning the rescheduled Section Championship, Mark Tucker taking home the Players Championship and Jay Turcsik capturing the Head Professional Championship.
All three events were held concurrently at Thendara. The 2022 Section Championship was originally to be played Aug. 23 at Turning Stone Resort Casino but was postponed because of rain. Inclement weather also had an impact at Thendara as heavy rain Sept. 19 washed out the first round.
The Section Tournament Committee was forced to adjust competition in all three tournaments Sept. 20. After determining the back 9 was unplayable, the committee decided to play four consecutive rounds on the front 9. Yardage on 1 through 9 matched the yardage for holes 10 through 18 for each hole. Thanks to the incredible work of course superintendent Matt Simon and head professional Rich Chapman, the front 9 was ready for competition despite a light drizzle throughout the day.
Here’s a recap of the individual tournaments.
Manning (Elm Tree GC) shot rounds of 73 and 66 to win his third straight Section Championship and seventh overall.
Manning went birdie, par, par on his last three holes to finish at 5-under-par 139 and edged Dennis Colligan (Cazenovia Golf Club) by one stroke. Colligan (72-68—140) was on Manning’s heels down the home stretch but went par, birdie, bogey.
Manning, who has won the Section Championship in three different decades, earned $3,850 for the win. His other titles were in 2021 (at Timber Banks), 2020 (at Seven Oaks), 2018 (at Teugega GC), 2012 (at Turning Stone Resort Casino), and back-to-back crowns in 2006 and 2007 Shenendoah GC.
Manning, Colligan and Timber Banks’ Nick Serafino (1-under 143) all earned spots to compete in the 56th PGA Professional Championship, April 30-May 3, 2023 at Twin Warriors & Santa Ana Pueblo Golf Clubs in Santa Ana Pueblo, NM.
Mark Tucker (Cazenovia CC) defeated Turcsik (Mark Twain GC) on the first playoff hole (Hole No. 1) to become the first alternate. Turscik is the second alternate.
Will Weimer (Stone Creek GC) is the third alternate as Jeff Reader (Cazenovia GC) and Michael Deuel (En-Joie GC) declined the spot.
Ryan McGinnis (Turning Stone) aced the par-3 14th hole for his first tournament hole-in-one and fifth of his career.
With five players tied at even-par 72, Tucker prevailed in a playoff to win the Players Championship.
Tucker won the title on the first playoff hole (Hole No 2) over Stan Gorman (Pompey Club), Rob Phelps (Vesper Hills), Weimer and Colligan.
The victory earned Tucker $1,100.
Head Professional Championship
Turcsik claimed the Head Professional Championship by shooting with a 5-under 67, one shot better than two-time defending champion Colligan. Turcsik’s round featured six birdies against one bogey. He cashed $750
The Head Professional event for PGA Members who are A-1, A-4, or A-13.
Serafino finished third at 2-under 70.