2018 Stamford Amateur City Champions
Three of the nine division titles up for grabs were settled in extra playoff holes. The Men’s Championship Division crown was impacted by the final two foursomes playing the last two holes in the driving rain.
When the sunshine finally returned, Craig D’Andrea (80-75=155) rallied for a two-stroke victory and his first Stamford Amateur crown.
“I made a bunch of putts today. I play at E. Gaynor Brennan every Friday. I had some good swings,” D’Andrea said. “I started the day two shots back and I was fortunate some golfers came back to me.”
Rob Colucci, who had Sunday’s best round in the field (even-par 71), along with Declan McCabe (80-77=157) and Mickey Ericson (82-75=157) were hoping to force a playoff.
Pre-tournament favorite Jim Romaniello (80-78=158) bogied No. 16, bogied No. 17 in the rain and lost his ball after a thunderous drive on No. 18 to see his chances slip away.
In the Women’s Championship, Sydney Bardsley—a freshman on the Fairfield University women’s golf team — fashioned a final round 81 from the red tees — to earn a two-shot victory over defending Women’s champion Carol Frattaroli (92-86=178).
“It’s great to win a Stamford Amateur title on what I consider my home courses (Sterling Farms, E. Gaynor Brennan), said Bardsley, who played on the Trinity Catholic HS boys golf team. “I enjoyed playing with Carol and Cynthia Hart. The key was I birdied No. 15 and No. 16.”
The playoffs began in the Women’s Handicap Division. Sharon Clark (73-75=net 148) chipped in from 40 feet in the rough behind the green on the second extra hole to hold off Frattaroli (76-72=148) and Patana Iamkrasin (78-70=148).
“It was unbelievable. The ball just kept rolling,” Clark said. “Chipping is not the strongest part of my game.”
In Men’s Handicap C, Brian Stunkel (89-82=171) won a two-hole playoff over Westhill High golf standout David Lang (85-86=171) to capture his third Stamford Amateur title since he began playing in the event in 1987.
Stunkel began Sunday four shots behind Lang. But Stunkel had a double bogey on No. 17 and a bogey on No. 18 to have Lang force the playoff.
“I hit the ball really well and stayed out of trouble until the end of regulation,” Stunkel said. “For me, the Stamford Amateur is the ultimate each year. It’s what I put in all the time and practice for.”
In Men’s Handicap E, Paul Atkinson (95-95=190) topped Tom Bakis (96-94=190) in a four-hole playoff. It was Atkinson’s first Stamford Amateur crown in his second year of participation.
“My trophy is going on the mantle on the fireplace,” Atkinson said. “I had three pars and a bogey to finish regulation play.”
In Men’s Seniors, Rob Whetsell (82-81=163) won by three strokes over Gary Lazarus (87-79=166).
“The greens were slower than at Sterling Farms Saturday. Gary closed to two shots at No. 17,” said Whetsell, the 2014 Stamford Amateur Seniors champ. “But I got it done.”
As is tradition, scores were generally lower at E. Gaynor Brennan where superintendent Mike Sullivan had the course in superb shape.
In Men’s Handicap A, Paul Molina (84-79=163) rallied from three back to earn a four-stroke triumph over Max Gross (81-86=167).
“The tournament was mentally and physically exhausting,” said Molina, who was in the Amateur for the fifth straight year. “I had a double bogey on No. 9 and thought I had to par in to win. I had two bogies on the back nine including No. 18 knowing I had a cushion. It means so much to win the tournament in the city I grew up in.”
In Men’s Handicap B, Tom Aberle (80-79=159) posted a seven-shot win for his second Stamford Amateur crown in four years. Martin King (86-80=166) was runnerup.
“It’s hard being the leader. E. Gaynor Brennan is a tight course. I double bogied No. 14 but was able to hold on,” said Aberle, the Greenwich High boys golf assistant coach who plays lefty. “Neither Sterling Farms or Brennan set up well for a lefty, especially when your fade deserts you.”
In Men’s Handicap D, Joe Paladino (90-88=178) came from a shot back to edge first-round leader Pete Silver (89-90=179).
“The 17th hole was the key,” Paladino said. “I hit a 4-iron from behind a tree 175 yards to 10 feet and made the birdie. It was back and forth all day with Pete.”
STAMFORD AMATEUR GOLF
Final round at E. Gaynor Brennan GC, par-71 (white tees)
MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION
Jamie Russo 83-75=158
WOMEN’S HANDICAP DIVISION
*Won playoff (2nd hole)
MEN’S SENIOR DIVISION
MEN’S HANDICAP A DIVISION
MEN’S HANDICAP B
MEN’S HANDICAP C
*Won playoff (2nd hole)
MEN’S HANDICAP D
MEN’S HANDICAP E
*Won Playoff (4th hole)