SYRACUSE Fresh from his college graduation at St. John Fisher near Rochester, Tyler McArdell returned closer to home – and earned one of the biggest wins of his young golfing career.
The 22-year-old McArdell, who plays out of Timber Banks, claimed first place in the Gerry Ashe Memorial, held June 22-24 at Drumlins Country Club’s East Course, the same venue used later this month for the LPGA Symetra Tour’s Credit Union Classic.
With a three-day total of 214, McArdell defeated former Le Moyne College golf coach Nick Masterpole by three shots. Masterpole, 44, is twice McArdell’s age, but the younger player showed right away in the final round that he was ready for the pressure.
Starting the day at 142, McArdell tore up Drumlins East’s front nine, shooting three-under-par 33, which left him five shots clear of Masterpole at the turn.
That margin remained essentially the same until the 15th, when McArdell bogeyed, following that up with a double bogey at 16 that trimmed the margin to two.
But as Masterpole could not take advantage of the closer contest, bogeying both 16 and 17 himself. McArdell made steady pars on the last two holes to prevail.
This was not McArdell’s first chance to contend at the Ashe, having finished third at this same tournament a year ago. He had been toughened by four years of college competition at St. John Fisher, earning NCAA Division III All-American status and twice getting named the Empire 8 Conference Player of the Year.
So when the Ashe tournament began on June 22, McArdell immediately put himself in contention, shooting a two-under-par 69, one shot behind first-round leader Ryan Elliott, who had a 68.
In the second round, though, Elliott blew up to an 80. McArdell struggled, too, but managed to salvage a 73 to stay at even par. Meanwhile, Masterpole, who started with a 70, also had 73 to settle into second, a shot behind McArdell with 18 holes left.
Another golfer with Baldwinsville ties, Brendan Polsin, tied for third place at 218. He opened with a 71, following up with rounds of 74 and 73 to share third with Drew Moore and Connor Wisniewski.
McArdell will continue to play in tournaments the rest of the summer while still maintaining plans to attend graduate school this fall.