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Down The Fairway: Kahler overcomes nervousness, course

Sunday, August 25, 2013
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Sue Kahler conquered both her nerves and the course en route to winning the biggest tournament of her career last week.

The 55-year-old member of Ballston Spa Country Club, shot rounds of 76 and 80 for a two-day total of 10-over-par 156 to win the New York State Women’s Senior Amateur Golf Championship at Wayne Hills Country Club in Lyons.

A smooth swinger, especially with the driver, Kahler has long been one of the Capital Region’s finest female golfers. She was a two-time Gazette Women’s Am-ateur champion when the format was individual medal play, and she also teamed up with longtime playing partner Suzie Mansfield to win the Gazette Women’s Best Ball Championship.

Kahler and Mansfield won most of the area’s premier best-ball tournaments, including the Capit-al District Women’s Open and the NEWGA Gail Sykes.

Kahler also won the most pres-tigious individual medal play event for the local women when she took the NEWGA Championship in 2007.

But Wednesday’s win took her to another level.

By the way, Nancy Kroll (159) of Schenectady Municipal finished fourth overall, Pat Mayne of Western Turnpike (161) tied for sixth overall and Gail Brophy (161) of Saratoga National was tied for sixth overall and second in the super senior division.

ANOTHER DUD

The U.S. hasn’t fared very well in international team competition in recent years, and last week’s Solheim Cup loss to the Europeans in Colorado was no exception.

Although some of the matches were fun to watch, the overall tone for the Americans didn’t give me much to root for, even though I was hoping for a U.S. comeback against the youthful Europeans.

Several long delays and controversies with rules decisions didn’t help.

I felt bad for assistant captains Laura Diaz (Scotia native) and Dottie Pepper (Saratoga Springs), a pair of local products with great Solheim Cup pedigrees. It must have been very frustrating to watch the Americans lose on our home soil by such a lopsided score.

TIGER IN THE HOUSE

Tiger Woods will make his fifth appearance in the sixth annual Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation $400,000 Challenge Wednesday at Turning Stone Casino’s Atunyote Golf Club.

Woods, the 14-time major champion who has 79 PGA Tour vict-ories, second all-time to the late Sam Snead, will be the headliner for this event, which helps raise awareness and funding for the improved health and wellness of Native American youth nationwide. Woods and Begay have been friends ever since they attended Stanford together.

So far, this event has raised more than $4 million, with all proceeds going directly to Begay’s found-ation.

“We continue to be proud of Notah and our partnerhip with the NB3 Foundation Challenge,” said Oneida Nation represent-ative Ray Halbritter in a press release. “Empowering our young people to achieve their dreams and improve our communities is of critical importance to creating an impact across Indian Country. We sincerely thank the incredible professional golfers and great golf fans of Central New York, whose support helps make that vision a reality.”

This year’s version of the NB3 Challenge will showcase a different format. Twelve professionals will represent three teams — Team USA, Team Asia and Team International.

Competing for Team USA will be Begay, a four-time winner on the PGA Tour, Woods, three-time NB3 competitor Rickie Fowler, who like Begay has Indian blood, and Bo Van Pelt, who has victories on five different professional tours.

Playing for Team Asia will be eight-time PGA champion K.J. Choi, Charlie Wi, John Huh, the 2012 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, and James Hahn, who picked up his first professional victory last year.

Competing for Team International will be former world No. Lee Westwood, who has 40 professional victories, 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, Nicolas Colsaerts and 2009 Players Champion Henrik Stenson.

The teams will use a best-ball format.

“While the Challenge’s format and field may change slightly year to year, what remains constant is our focus on raising awareness and funding to fight obesity and Type II diabetes among Native youth,” said Begay, who now works for Golf Channel. “It’s shocking to see the disproportionate high rate at which these afflictions affect our young people. We, as a community, need to work to create change and reverse these statistics, and that can’t happen without support and resources. I’m so humbled by all the golfers who will be here to lend their support to our cause, as well as the Oneida Indian Nation, and all those who donate to our foundation to make possible our work of empowering Native youth to lead active, healthy and productive lives.”

Golf Channel will present a special edition of Morning Drive to deliver on-the-site coverage from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Damon Hack and Holly Sonders will do the reporting.

Tickets are priced at $50 for adults. Youth admission for fans 16 years of age and younger is provided complimentary with purchase of an adult ticket. Active military receive a 50-percent discount upon presentation of a valid military ID.

Tickets can be purchased at the Turning Stone Box Office (315-361-7469) or by calling 800-771-7711.

CHIP SHOTS

u Local club professionals from the Northeastern New York PGA will compete in the Class A Championship Monday at Wyantenuck Country Club.

u Hiland Golf Club hosts the next Eastern New York Association weekly event on Wednesday.

u The Shaker Ridge Invitational, one of the top three-day best-ball events in the region, is set for Friday through Sunday.

u Country Club of Troy will host the New York State Mid-Amateur local qualifier Tuesday.

u The 20th annual Northeast Golf Course Superintendents Association Junior Golf Tournament will be played Thursday at Fairways of Halfmoon Golf Course. Entry fee is $15 (all proceeds go to charity) and includes golf, lunch and prizes. Eligible players must be ages 10-17. Handicap limit for boys is 25, and handicap limit for girls is 36. Individual gross competition will be conducted over 18 holes in ages 12-14 and 15-17. For players age 11 and under, the nine-hole executive course will be used. Monday is the entry deadline. Call 664-2391 for more information.

u The inaugural “Golf with a Mission” tournament, sponsored by Northway Golf Center, will be held at Mohawk Golf Club Sept. 23. Entry fee is $150 per player and includes golf, cart, lunch, dinner and prizes. Proceeds will benefit the City Mission of Schenectady’s new building project. Call Tammy at 346-2275, ext. 310, for more information.

u Winding Brook Country Club will be the host for the 19th annual East Greenbush Fire Company Golf Scramble Sept. 29 Entry fee is $95 and includes golf, lunch at the turn and a steak bake. Only the first 128 entries will be accepted. For more information, call Tim Boel (858-2332) or Mike Benson (477-7496).

u Ballston Spa Country Club will host the Visiting Nurse Service Foundation’s 13th annual Fore the Foundation Golf Tournament Sept. 9. Proceeds benefit the VNS uncompensated patient program. Lunch and awards reception will be included. For more information, call Donna Reichel at 382-8059, ext. 245, or visit www.vnshomecare.org.

u Amsterdam Municipal assistant pro Chris Mathewson recently shot a 65 (31-34) at Amsterdam Municipal. The course record (62) is held by Ryan Tatlock.

u Bob Mucha of Greenock Country Club won a sudden-death playoff with a birdie on the fourth extra hole to capture the Northeastern New York PGA Senior Stroke Play Championship over Rocky Catalano of Ausable Club at the Country Club of Troy. Mucha earned the final qualifying spot into the PGA Senior Professional Championship at Creighton Farms in Aldie, Va. and River Creek Club in Leesburg, Va., on Oct. 10-13. Mucha joins Frank Mellet of Colonie G&CC and Brian Lowe of Windham CC from this section.

u The Russo Grill Memorial Member-Guest/Member-Member is set for Sept. 7-8 at Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course. There will be gross and net flights. Call 842-4265 for more information.

u The Knights of Columbus Council No. 11064 will hold its annual Roland L. Felano Memorial Golf Classic Sept. 9 at Mohawk River Country Club & Chateau. Entry fee is $95 and includes golf, cart, lunch, awards dinner and prizes. Call Steve Sweet at 357-8932 or Scott Germain at 424-1272 to register or for more information.

u The Union College Football Dick Roberts Fighting Dutchmen Gridiron Club Tournament will be held Sept. 20 at Mohawk Golf Club. There will be a 10:30 a.m. shotgun start. Lunch and dinner will be included. You can sign up online at www.UnionAthletics.com.

u At Airway Meadows, the second annual David LaFountain Memorial Golf tournament will be held Aug. 31. Proceeds go to the Center for Donation & Transplant of New York and Vermont. Entry fee is $85, and includes golf, an entry gift and a steak/chicken barbecue.

u Van Patten Golf Course will host the eighth annual Mother Teresa Academy tournament Sept. 19. Entry fee is $150 and includes golf, cart, awards dinner, contests. There will be a scramble format. You can register at www.motherteresaacademy.org. Entry deadline is Sept. 6.

HOLES-IN-ONE

Lou Caprara sank a 9-iron shot on the 125-yard fourth hole for his hole-in-one at Shaker Ridge Country Club.

Mark Casale registered a very special hole-in-one as it also goes in the record books as an albatross on the 304-yard par-4 eighth hole. Casale holed out with his driver on the once-in-a-lifetime shot.

EAGLES

Casa Visco league founder Mickey Viscusi eagled the 12th hole, and Tim Ferrara eagled the second hole in league play at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course.

Also at Schenectady Municipal, John Privtera eagled the 12th hole while playing in the Stator Frame league, and Frank Salamone III eagled the ninth hole while competing in the Building 16 league.

Jim Reilly eagled the second hole at Mohawk River Country Club & Chateau.

At Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course, Fritz Drygula eagled the 11th hole, and Ed Gutowski eagled the 18th hole.

 
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