ELI NELLIS: Crumbling takes control at VFW
Same old same old?
Sort of, but Rod Crumbling Jr., consistently the leader of the pack at the State VFW Golf Tournament, has raised the bar even higher.
Crumbling, a four-time winner and the defending champion out of York County, fired his second straight 2-under-par 69 on Saturday to take a commanding 10-stroke lead on second-place Tony Orlandi entering today’s final round at Indian Springs Golf and Country Club.
“You never plan on being that far ahead, but when you play good, it’s just one of those things,” Crumbling said. “Through two rounds, this is the best I’ve ever done out here, 2 under both days. … Nobody that I know of since I’ve been coming out here has ever been under par like that.
“Since I did shoot 69 both days, my goal for tomorrow is to shoot in the 60s again. I’ve never done that before, three rounds in the 60s. I’m not even sure if anyone’s ever done it in this tournament.”
Orlandi, of Jenners, Somerset County, shot a 72 in the qualifying round and a 76 on Saturday.
“Last year if I would’ve played like this, I think I would’ve been leading by a few strokes, the way things went,” Orlandi said. “Rod’s played really great. I’m not going to hang my head. He’s made it look easy out there. There’s not a lot you can do.”
“I’m hitting the ball pretty good,” Crumbling said. “I bought a new set of Cobras at the beginning of the season, and it took me a little while to get adjusted and get a good feel for them. A couple weeks before I came out here I really started getting on to them. I’m just hitting everything real nice.
“It’s all about putting now, because my drives are all in good shape, my irons are hitting greens, so as long as I’m putting just halfway decent I’m going to be fine.”
Crumbling has enough cushion for his challenge to hit in the 60s.
“If things get real ugly and Tony starts catching up and getting closer, things might change a little bit, but that’s definitely my goal,” he said. “The worst that I could possibly imagine doing would be 75, 76.”
That would require a 65 or 66 from Orlandi.
“It’s his tournament to win or lose,” Orlandi said. “It’s all up to him at this point, and he’s earned that with the way he’s played. … If he plays the same way, we won’t have a chance. And that happens. A guy comes out and plays the course the way he does and has a weekend like he does, he’s in the zone. So basically we’re all playing for second place — unless he gets out of that.”
Orlandi has a five-stroke lead on Marty Bolo and Matt McGinnis, who are tied for third at 156. Ron Janicki (156), Don White (162), who shot a hole-in-one in the first round, and Rich Howells (163) round out the Championship Flight scores.
George Berringer (163) leads the first flight. Other flight leaders are: Derek Stewart (165), second; Andy Myers (180), third; Jack Gotwalt (186), fourth; and Rod Crumbling Sr. (161), Super Seniors. Wes Skibo and Steve Seasak (210) are tied for the fifth-flight lead.
The third round begins this morning with an 8:30 shotgun start.
ON CAMPUS: IUP player Zack Kempa was named the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference’s Men’s Golfer of the Year, while teammate and Indiana native Sean Sweithelm joined Kempa on the all-conference first team.
Kempa, a junior, won three events and had six other top-five finishes in the 2012-13 season. This is the 12th time since 1989 an IUP golfer has earned player of the year honor and the fifth in the last six years. Gavin Smith won the award from 2008 to 2010 and Brad Boyle won last year.
Sweithelm earned his third all-conference selection. He was on the first team in 2011 and the second last year. A senior, he had his best season in 2012-13, winning the medalist honor at the IUP-Cecil Spadafora Invitational at the Indiana Country Club this spring.
Freshman Kenny Sames was named to the second team.
Kempa was also named to the All-America Division II at-large second team.
AT MEADOW LANE: Scott Cunningham defeated Mike Rieg, Dale Tozer beat Kevin McKee, and Jeremy Flynn topped Butch Nanni in first-round Palmer Bracket matches in the Coney Island Meadow Lane Match-Play Tournament.
Dean Tozer advanced into the second round with a bye.
In the Nicklaus Bracket, Tony DeLoreto beat Bill Putt, Seth Tassos defeated Jesse Putt, and George Berringer edged Alan Kuckuck. Carl Kologie and Bruce Manecke advanced with byes.
Tim Lipniskis beat Fran Super, Colton Wiggins defeated Jack Tozer, Ray Blystone topped Garry Henry, and Travis Redinger held off Jim McQuown in the Hogan Bracket, while Lou Fedinick and Brad Malenich advanced on byes.
The first round is complete in the Snead Bracket. Marty Medvetz, Shawn Askins, Todd Redinger, Bob Volk and Tony Super scored wins over Michael Black, Garet Weston, Rick Hatter, Rick Moorhead and Alex Blazavich, respectively. Kurt Manecke, Brandon Dixson and Kaleb Byler advanced on byes.
Play began in the double-elimination ladies’ bracket, with Bernadette Sgro-Hodak defeating Theresa Wise and Kathy Glassford topping Kathy Whitesel.
• Barb Peterson shot the low gross and Charlene Hornfeck the low net in the Ladies’ 18-Hole league’s Red, White and Gold event on Wednesday.
The special event winners were Betty Lukehart, with the low putts, and Theresa Wise, with the high putts.
Lukehart lowered her putt total with chip-ins on Nos. 15 and 18. Ann Poliziani chipped in on No. 5, and Dot Sanford turned the trick on No. 18.
AT INDIANA COUNTRY CLUB: Nancy Doverspike was crowned the Queen Bee in Queen Bee Tournament on Saturday, carding a 62, and Mary Jane Gatti settled for Bumble Bee status as the runner-up with a 63.
YMCA OUTING: The seventh annual Kennard Fairman Memorial Golf Outing, to benefit the YMCA of Indiana County, will be held Monday, July 22, at the Indiana Country Club.
Check-in for the scramble event starts at 11 a.m., and the shotgun start is at 12:30 p.m.
The field is limited to the first 40 foursomes, and the registration deadline is Friday, July 12. The cost is $200 per person.
Prizes will be awarded to the top three foursomes, as well as for special events on challenge holes.
The tournament is also seeking sponsorships.
For information, contact Meghan Foulk, at (724) 349-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Eric Neal, at (724) 463-9622 or email@example.com.
PHOTO: The Indiana High School Baseball Boosters held their inaugural golf outing May 25 at Meadow Lane Golf Course. Pictured are, from left, assistant coach Ryan Davies and the winning foursome of Zach Shultz, Danny Clark, Ryan Creps and Cole Shaffer. (Submitted photo)