North Rises Again! Ohio Cup Champions For The Fourth Consecutive Season

AKRON: It was both surprising and complete.

It was about both pride and, in some ways, atonement.

And, few can doubt that it was impactful.

A stunning rally during Wednesday’s 16 singles matches lifted the Northern Ohio PGA Section (NOPGA) to its fourth straight victory in the Ohio Cup Matches on the South Course of Firestone Country Club.

After a disappointing opening round during Tuesday’s Four-Ball matches the NOPGA came to life over the final two rounds to raise its record to 16-8 with the 25TH annual event scheduled to be played in Southern Ohio in 2021.

For the second year in a row, the NOPGA defeated its counterparts from the SOPGA, 18.5 to 13.5.

It was a dominant performance in the singles that lifted the hosts as they won nine of the 16 matches, with three losses and four draws. If anyone thought the NOPGA would go 9-3-4 after the first two rounds they weren’t saying so.

The performance even stunned Captain Gary Trivisonno, no stranger to this series.

“Wow, that is pretty impressive,” Trivisonno said of the 9-3-4 mark. “Pretty impressive. We seemed to have done well in the singles over the last few years. I don’t know if the guys bear down a little more or grind a little more, whatever it may be. That was a very good team, with a lot of good, young players that we beat. Our guys played lights out. Very proud of them.”

After going 2-5-1 and falling behind by three points in the opening Four-Ball matches, the NOPGA went 13-5-6 over the next 24 to close out the victory. It entered the singles matches trailing by one.

“The bottom line, I think, is that we just outplayed them today,” Trivisonno said.

Not surprising, Senior members played a huge role in the win as Rob Moss (Pepper Pike), Tony Adcock (Seven Hills) and Gary Robison (Brookside) combined to go 8-0-1 with Moss and Adcock joining Barrington’s Mark Sierak as the only three-match winners.

Robison’s tie with three-time Ohio Open champ Bob Sowards cannot be discounted even though the Cup had been secured earlier.

Tom Atchison (Salem Golf Club) went 2-1 to join Robison with two wins each. Club Walden’s Mitch Camp went 1-1-1, as did Mike Stone (Belmont CC), and Jim Troy (Honma Golf USA). Although a Senior, Robison teamed with Sierak to win twice in the non-Senior competitions.

“We felt we were top-heavy in the Seniors,” said Robison, an assistant playing captain. “That’s one of the reasons I played against the younger guys in the first two rounds.”
Atchison is now 32-15-8 lifetime in OC matches. Moss is 26-14-5. Robison is 37-10-10 and Camp is 35-20-10. Combined they have won or tied 163 of 222 matches with just 59 losses.

Trivisonno chose to send Moss out in the first match of the day. It proved fruitful as the veteran left-hander defeated Tim Krapfel, 3-and-1.

“To be honest, I asked Rob if he wanted to go first” he said. “I told him I needed a point to get us going and I felt he could beat any of their Seniors. The South had first pick and they sent out a Senior first and I didn’t hesitate to pick Rob. It worked out perfect for us. I think it gave us some momentum.”

Also ties by Joe Meglen (GolfTec-Stonebrook) with veteran Sam Arnold, Gary Rusnak (NOPGA) with Chris Black and the aforementioned draws by Camp and Robison cannot be overlooked. With three ties it meant Rusnak did not lose a match and produced 1.5 points.

“Halves are huge,” said Trivisonno. “If you get one half, instead of losing one, it’s like a point-and-a-half difference. I mean, that’s huge.”

Troy and Mike Stone and Rusnak and Steve Stone also picked up half-points during Tuesday’s second round. Both ties came on the final hole, after Troy and Mike Stone were three down with three holes to play against the team of Sowards and Andy Montgomery and Steve Stone made a gut-testing clutch 4-foot par putt to beat a bogey by Dave Bahr and Bob Stephens in a Seniors match.
“I think those two ties on the last hole might have discouraged their guys a little,” said Trivisonno. “I mean it got us to within a point heading into today.”
Other singles winners for the NOPGA were Randy Dietz (Windmill Golf Center), Cory Kumpf (Brookside) and Mike Stone.
Craig Goldsberry (PGA Lifetime Member), Jeff Olson (Golf Club of Dublin) and Montgomery (Kinsale Golf and Fitness) had the victories for the SOPGA with Olson being the lone 3-match winner.

South Course, Firestone Country Club
Oct. 6-7, 2020
Northern Ohio PGA 18.5, Southern Ohio PGA 13.5
(Key: 1 point for a win; 1.2-point for a tie)

SINGLES: Rob Moss (NOPGA) def. Tim Krapfel, 3-and-1; Jeff Olson (SOPGA) def. Jaysen Hansen, 3-and-2; Joe Meglen (NOPGA) halved Sam Arnold; Gary Rusnak (NOPGA) halved Chris Black; Randy Dietz (NOPGA) def. Kyler Booher, 3-and-2; Tom Atchison (NOPGA) def. Bob Stephens, 3-and-2; Mark Sierak (NOPGA) def. Doug Wade, 2-up; Nick Gustin (NOPGA) def. Joe Moore, 2-and-1; Tony Adcock (NOPGA) def. Dennis Wells, 4-and-2; Craig Goldsberry (SOPGA) def. Steve Stone, 1-up; Dave Bahr (SOPGA) halved Mitch Camp; Bob Sowards (SOPGA) halved Gary Robison; Cory Kumpf (NOPGA) def. Daniel Sorgini, 3-and-2; Jim Troy (NOPGA) def. Chase Wilson, 3-and-2; Andy Montgomery (SOPGA) def. Adam Lewicki, 8-and-6; Mike Stone (NOPGA) def. Caleb Wittig, 6-and-4. NOPGA wins, 9-3-4.

FOUR-BALL: Sam Arnold-Kyler Booher (SOPGA) def. Adam Lewicki-Jaysen Hansen, 1-up; Bob Sowards-Andy Montgomery (SOPGA) def. Joe Meglen-Nick Gustin, 3-and-2; Rob Moss-Tony Adcock (NOPGA) def. Tim Krapfel-Dennis Wells, 3-and-2; Daniel Sorgini-Caleb Wittig (SOPGA) def. Randy Dietz-Cory Kumpf, 5-and-4; Jeff Olson-Chase Wilson (SOPGA) def. Jim Troy-Mike Stone, 1-up; Dave Bahr-Bob Stephens (SOPGA) halved Gary Rusnak-Steve Stone; Chris Black-Craig Goldsberry (SOPGA) def. Mitch Camp-Tom Atchison, 1-up; Gary Robison-Mark Sierak (NOPGA) def. Joe Moore-Doug Wade, 2-up. SOPGA wins, 5.5-2.5

FOURSOMES: Lewicki-Hansen def. Arnold-Booher, 4-and-3; Moss-Adcock def. Krapfel-Wells, 3-and-2; Troy-M. Stone halved Sowards-Montgomery; Sorgini-Wittig def. Meglen-Gustin, 4-and-2; Olson-Wilson def. Dietz-Kumpf, 1-up; Rusnak-S. Stone halved Bahr-Stephens; Camp-Atchison def. Black-Goldsberry, 2-and-1; Robison-Sierak def. Moore-Wade, 2-and-1. NOPGA wins, 5-3.
NOPGA 18.5, SOPGA 13.5

Tim is a Contributing Writer for the Northern Ohio PGA. Award-winning golf writer and sports reporter for the Plain Dealer, now retired. Contributor to the Akron Beacon Journal, Canton Repository, AP, other national publications.