Down the Fairway: Cornicelli is the man behind the numbers
Schenectady Bowling Association Hall of Fame member Frank Cornicelli is best known for his administrative prowess around the lanes, but he’s equally adept tracking scores and handicaps on the links.
Cornicelli, who will be 91 in November, has been the secretary/treasurer of the Nitemens league for more than 50 years. He’s been a member of that league for 66 years.
“We started at the old Stanford Golf Course, but when the Mohawk Mall was built, they tore Stanford down, so we moved to Western Turnpike, and we’ve been there ever since,” he said.
“When we first started at Stanford, it was one of the biggest leagues in the Capital Region. We had 16 four-man teams, and we used to play 18 holes. It was a short course, so you could fly around it in no time. We had four-man teams, with two sets of partners. Two partners would start out on the front nine, and the other two would start on the second nine. Then we would cross over. The great thing about the league back then was that you had to play your best all the time. You never knew when your score was going to count that day, because we took the best three out of four scores. That was a great format.”
The head pro at Stanford at the time was Hap Duval, grandfather of former PGA Tour standout and world No. 1 David Duval.
Cornicelli said that when the league moved over to Western Turnpike, a lot of his league members dropped out. He eventually changed the league format to two-man teams, with players from the A and B divisions teaming up.
“We had a couple of different names along the way, but the league was always comprised of mostly guys who worked at night, and most of them were from General Electric,” he said. “The most people we had in the league since we switched to Western Turnpike was 28. We’ve got 24 now.”
Cornicelli’s league usually plays every Tuesday through September, and the league is capped off with a four-man scramble that includes prize money and a dinner.
“I used to work in the large steam turbine department, and I worked at GE for 38 years,” he said. “A lot of the guys who played in the league over the years were members of GE, but we also had a lot of guys who worked the same night shift that I did.”
Cornicelli said he used to shoot in the low 40s per nine holes in his younger days, but he didn’t play the game strictly for the competition.
“It was always a great league, but just like golf, it was all about the camaraderie. We’ve had good golfers and not so good golfers. It was the same with bowling. The good thing is that both sports have a handicap system that allows everyone to play together.”
Cornicelli has been around long enough to have lost many friends in both of the sports he loves.
“I’ve been in bowling leagues for more than 72 years, and have been golfing for almost 70,” he said. “I’ve met a lot of great people along the way, and I’ve lost quite a few friends over the years,” he said.
Cornicelli, nicknamed “The Mayor” because he’s so well known in the local bowling community, quickly replaces his golf shoes with his bowling shoes when the end of September rolls around. Along with his duties as a two-time SBA president and board member, he’s the secretary of the Sportsman’s Senior league at Sportsman’s Bowl. For many years, he was secretary/treasurer of two leagues and still bowls twice a week. He’s also a member of the Daily Gazette league.
Country Club of Troy’s David Arakelian shot a one-over-par 72 at his home course to take medalist honors in this week’s local qualifier for the New York State Mid-Amateur Golf Championship, set for Sept. 27-29 at Onondaga Golf & Country Club.
Only amateurs age 25 and older are eligible for the Mid-Amateur.
Others making the cut at 79 or better were David Huestis (73) of McGregor Links CC, David Pallas (73) of Saratoga Spa State Park, Jerry Brescia (74) of Albany National, Steve Bartholomew (74) of Thunderhart GC, Dan Ireland (75) of CC of Troy, Chad Stoffer (76) of Town of Colonie, John Mendrysa (76) of Shaker Ridge CC, George Brown (76) of eClub Capital District, Conor Brown (77) of eClub Capital District, Andrew Petroff (77) of eClub Capital District, Bill Fitzgerald (77) of Glens Falls CC, Bo Peabody (77) of Taconic GC, Chris Grady (77) of Woodstock GC, Mike LeClair (78) of eClub Capital District, C.J. O’Rourke (78) of Wolferts Roost CC, Mike McCarroll (79) of Saratoga National, Jason Cooper (79) of Schenectady Municipal, Bill Paulsen Jr. (79) of Eagle Crest Golf Club, Robby Bigley (79) of Pinehaven CC, Mike Wheeler (79) of Shaker Ridge CC, Greg Bennett (79) of Shaker Ridge CC and Michael Gorham (79) of Glens Falls Country Club. Ties advanced.
The 41st annual Bryce Hume Memorial Golf Tournament is set for Oct. 6 at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course. Entry fee is $50 and includes golf, cart, lunch and prizes for gross and Calloway net. Longest drive and closest-to-the-pin prizes also will be included. Gazette employees, retirees and guests are eligible, but employees and retirees will be given first consideration. Entry deadline is Oct. 1. Entries will be limited to the first 32 players. Tee times begin around 8 a.m. Drop off or mail entries to Bob Weiner, 2345 Maxon Road Ext., P.O. Box 1090, Schenectady, NY 12301-1090. Be sure to include the $50 payment, and make checks payable to The Daily Gazette Co.
The Eastern New York Golf Association plays its weekly event at Frear Park in Troy on Wednesday.
Many of the area’s top amateurs will be competing in best-ball competition at the Wolferts Roost Invitational Friday through Sunday.
The Rensselaer County Amateur is set for Friday and Saturday at Frear Park.
Scotia-Glenville Lions Club’s 18th annual Falling Leaves Tournament will be held at The Edison Club Sept. 30. All proceeds benefit youth programs in the Scotia-Glenville, Burnt Hills, Ballston Lake and Schenectady areas, including the awarding of college scholarships to outstanding high school graduates from the community. Entry fee is $100 per player and includes golf, cart, lunch and dinner. Contact Michael Tobin at 783-3100 for more information.
Frank Barbera won the league championship in the Pinhead Susan’s league.
John Reagan won the men’s club championship, and Pat Mayne took the women’s club championship at Western Turnpike. Other flight champions included Brian Dinon and Kathy Canetrini in flight 1, Jim Teschke and Mary Corrigan in flight 2, Tom Catchpole and Ann Dieckmann in flight 3 and Charles Cassidy and Mona Wasserman in flight 4.
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.
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.
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.
Gary Purcell used an 8-iron to hole out on the 14th hole at Saratoga Lake Golf Club.
At Amsterdam Municipal, Brian DeGrof used a pitching wedge for his hole-in-one on the 153-yard 16th hole.
Harold Casey hit a 7-wood for his ace on the 125-yard 14th hole at Eagle Crest.
Pat Healey of The Edison Club used a 9-iron for a hole-in-one on the 94-yard fourth hole at Shaker Ridge Country Club.
Andrew Sail, 17, eagled the fifth hole on the red nine at Town of Colonie Golf Course.
John Castiglione eagled the par-4 fourth hole at Hales Mills Country Club.
Bob Cantine of Saratoga National holed out with a wedge on the par-4 third hole, and Chic Bianchi of the host course holed out with a 6-iron on the par-4 ninth hole at Rolling Hills Country Club.
Bob Smith posted an eagle-2 on the 10th hole at The Edison Club while playing in the New York State Golf Association State Days event.
Edison Club member Mickey DeMarco chipped in for eagle on the 495-yard par-5 17th hole at The Sagamore Resort.
At Mechanicville Golf Club, Bonnie Minick eagled the par-4 third hole.
Karl Fuerst holed out with a pitching wedge for an eagle-2 on the 295-yard par-4 seventh hole at Stadium Golf Club.
At Western Turnpike, Adam Jordan holed out for an eagle-2 on the blue nine while playing in the Arsenal league.
There were a bunch of eagles at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course this week. Corey Barringer drove the 340-yard first hole and sank a 20-foot putt for an eagle-2, while Bob Imfield and J.P. Hebert each eagled the ninth hole. John Ruzzo eagled the par-4 10th hole with a 7-iron.