Northern Ohio Rallies From 3-Point Deficit But Still Trails By One In 24th Ohio Cup

AKRON: After a disappointing morning round the Northern Ohio PGA Section (NOPGA) team rallied strong in the afternoon segment in the 24th annual Ohio Cup Matches on the South Course of Firestone Country Club.

Still, there will be an uphill climb today when the event concludes with 16 singles matches to determine if the NOPGA team can win the Cup for the fourth consecutive year.

The event pits teams from Ohio’s two sections of the Professional Golfers Association of America in a Ryder Cup-like format.

The Southern Ohio PGA Section (SOPGA) team leads the event, 8.5 to 7.5 and needs to accumulate 16.5 points to wrest the Cup away from their hosts.

The SOPGA got off to a wonderful start, winning five of the eight matches during the morning Four-Ball, in which the two-man team with the lowest individual score wins the hole.

The NOPGA roared back in the afternoon Foursomes (alternate shot) matches, winning five of the eight possible points to pull within one point at day’s end.

“I feel a lot better now than I did after the morning session,” said NOPGA Captain Gary Trivisonno shortly after a team picture was taken outside the clubhouse. “I thought we needed to get off to a hot start in the afternoon and we did.”

Ohio Cup rookie Adam Lewicki teamed with veteran Jaysen Hansen to post a 4-and-3 win in the opening match over Sam Arnold and Kyler Booher after losing in the morning, 1-up. It was the momentum kick-start the NOPGA needed.

“We got after it in the second round,” said Lewicki. “Jaysen really wanted it.”

Veterans Rob Moss and Tony Adcock followed with a 3-and-2 victory. Veterans Mitch Camp and Tom Atchison and Gary Robison and Mark Sierak closed out the day with 2-and-1 wins.

However, it was matches that ended with the NOPGA coming from behind to earn halves that fueled the rally.

The team of Mike Stone and Jim Troy rallied from a 3-hole deficit with three holes to play to earn a halve with Bob Sowards and Andy Montgomery.

“It was a wild day,” said Stone. “Up and down.”

Then, Stone’s brother, Steve, made a clutch 6-footer on the final hole to clinch a tie with partner Gary Rusnak against Dave Bahr and Bob Stephens. When Steve Stone was asked if he was nervous while standing over his final putt he said, “Of course.” Then he smiled widely.

“Key matches and key results, no doubt,” said Trivisonno. “I thought our guys really played strong down the stretch.”

The NOPGA teams of Rob Moss/Tony Adcock and Gary Robison/Mark Sierak won both their matches, as did the North’s Daniel Sorgini/Caleb Wittig and Jeff Olson/Chase Wilson.

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.

Matches stand, SOPGA 8.5, NOPGA 7.5

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.