Aug 09, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Capping off a memorable summer, Baldwinsville native Tyler McArdell earned first place in the Syracuse District Golf Association District Amateur Championship.
In the match-play final Sunday at Bellevue Country Club, McArdell beat Gair Carrigan 3 and 2, adding the SDGA crown to the Gerry Ashe Memorial he claimed six weeks earlier.
Play began last Friday with qualifying, where 31 players would join defending champion Bill Moore in the field of 32 for the match-play portion.
McArdell led those qualifiers, shooting a 74, three over par on Bellevue’s par-71 layout. Among others, McArdell topped his father, Walt, who also advanced.
Another B’ville native, Brendan Polsin, made it as the 32nd and final qualifier, but not before surviving a four-hole playoff where 11 players battled for four spots.
As match play got underway on Aug. 4, Polsin knocked off Moore, but could not sustain that magic into the round of 16, where West Genesee’s John Clare beat him.
Meanwhile, Tyler McArdell defeated Brad Monroe, and had to assume all of the family’s hopes when Walt McArdell lost in that same round to Michael Kitts. In the round of 16, McArdell toppled Ryan McGinnis, followed by a quarterfinal victory over Randy Young, who plays out of Bellevue.
That set up the semifinals on Aug. 5, with McArdell going up against Dylan Bedy. A poor front nine got McArdell in some trouble, but he recovered on the back nine with better golf and put away Bedy on the 17th hole for a 2 and 1 win, advancing to the finals.
Carrigan was waiting. Once a club professional, he had earned back his amateur status four years ago, and badly wanted to win a big tournament. He reached the finals with match wins over Eric Deuble, Randall Powers, Nick Masterpole and Kevin Vandenberg, another Bellevue member.
High winds, and perhaps some nerves, affected the early portion of the championship match. McArdell did not make a birdie in the first seven holes, yet led 3 up because he made enough pars as Carrigan endured a bogey streak.
Still with that three-hole lead on the 11th, McArdell watched Carrigan drain a 30-foot par putt and, on the ensuing 12th, hit his approach to three inches for a gimme birdie. Remaining cool, McArdell hit his own approach to six feet and drained his own birdie to halve the hole and stay 3 up.
From the 13th through 16th holes, McArdell missed the greens, only to hit deft chips to salvage pars. The last of them, on the 16th, clinched the match and the championship.