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June 14, 2010

 

Marshall-Stevens duo back on top

By TOM VARTANIAN
Staff Writer

They were the dominant team at the start of this decade and they closed out the decade on top again.
High school friends Ron Marshall, Jr. and Don Stevens won the Cortland County Invitational five times in the past, including four straight Max O’Shea Championship Flight crowns from 2000-2003. The duo broke a three-way tie after the opening nine holes Sunday afternoon at Elm Tree Golf Course with five birdies over the final nine holes to post an eight-under par round of 62. Their 36-hole, two-round total of 126 —14-under par — claimed the 36th edition of this tournament.
Four-time champions Ed Mazza and Steve Torrant took second place with a two-day total of 130 (66-64). Another four-time champion, Mickey Gallagher, teamed with Don LaLonde to take third-place after a three-hole playoff with Derek Fredenburg and Tim Martins. Each team shot 131.
“It feels good to win again,” said Stevens, who now makes his home in Long Island and recently only gets in a few rounds of golf each year. “We played well both days and I don’t think we had a bogey either day.
“I thought we played better today,:” he added. “We really didn’t scramble for any pars like we did Saturday.”
“It is nice to come out on top,” said Marshall, who is the defending Collins Cup champion with John Wanish at Cortland Country Club. “There are some real good teams in this flight.
“It’s even more special because I do only see Don a couple times each year,” he continued. “His ride back to Long Island will be much nicer this time.”
Marshall-Stevens, Gallagher-LaLonde and Fredenburg-Martins were all tied at nine-under par after playing the back nine first Sunday.
Marshall birdied number one, but the turning point was the 143-yard, par 3 fourth hole. Marshall found the green with his tee shot and he had about a 20-foot putt for birdie. Stevens was just off the green, but in an ideal position for his second shot to get close to the hole.
“The flag was on the right side and back,” Marshall explained. “Don was actually closer to the hole than I was. When he chipped the ball, I knew it was good. The ball landed perfectly and rolled just like a putt into the hole for a birdie. That was the turning point in my mind.”
“I made the right shot and the right time,” Stevens added with a grin. “I just rode my partner home after that.
“Every team can play well in this flight,” he continued. “It’s the team that can make some key shots and putts that comes out on top. Today that happened to be us.”
Marshall proceeded to birdie the fifth, seventh and ninth holes to help his team pull away.
“After Don’s chip-in and the birdie on five, we felt a little more relaxed,” Marshall said. “It just made the rest of the round smoother and we were able to get two more birdies to finish strong.”
Mike Stanton and Billy Grover won the Doug Jesanis flight with a 36-hole total of 131 after rounds of 67 and 64.
Yale Hughes and John Ward carded round of 66 and 71 as their 137 total captured the Larry Martin Flight. Pat Hayes and Stu Douglas were the John Stark Flight winners with a 141 total after rounds of 71-70.
Steve Underwood and Jason Root shot 70-72 to win the Bob Swartout Flight with a total of 141.
Derek Heath and Reed Fuller controlled the Rocco Berardi Flight after round of 67 and 70 totaled 137. Jack Pease and Charlie French came out on top in the George McKinney Flight after round of 71 and 77 for a total of 148.
Joe Covington and John Rose were winners in the Sal Yonta Flight after a total of 146 on rounds of 76 and 70. Phil Gauss and Al Stauber won the Dick Zabo Seniors Flight. They shot rounds of 92 and 89 which, after subtracting their 55 handicap, totaled 126.

 

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