With the area golf season nearing an end, the following is a list of top accomplishments by local golfers.
1. Anthony DeGol: The Hollidaysburg native enjoyed another great summer of play, highlighted by a fifth-place finish in this year's Pennsylvania Amateur held at Rolling Green Golf Club near Philadelphia. DeGol also placed 11th in the 240-man field of the Canadian Amateur held in early August. DeGol is currently finishing his senior year at Penn State University. He led last year's Nittany Lion golf squad by finishing with the team's low scoring average.
2. Shaun Foor: Down River's Shaun Foor won the Everett club's stroke-play championship in mid-August by holing a 70-foot par putt on the last hole. His two-day total of 1-under-par 143 narrowly beat 17-time champion Tracey Smith's total of 144. Foor's victory capped off a summer which also included a victory in the prestigious Central Counties individual/team event held at the State College Elks Golf Club in early June.
3. Artie Fink Jr.: Sinking Valley's club championship ended in dramatic fashion this year when Fink defeated Altoona's Chris Perry on the second playoff hole - after both finished regulation play at an amazing 6-under-par for 72 holes. The win was Fink's 12th title overall at Sinking Valley. In early May, Fink, one of the state's top amateur golfers, finished fourth at the Pennsylvania Amateur Public Link Championship held at Apple Cross Country Club in Downingtown.
4. David DeGol Jr.: The former world-class mogul skier, who has been focusing on golf for just the past two years, has seen some rapid improvement in his game - and with impressive results. In addition to qualifying for this year's Pennsylvania Amateur and Mid-Amateur, the Hollidaysburg native captured club championships at two local clubs - Scotch Valley and Summit.
5. Gregory Ferguson: Tyrone Area High School senior Gregory Ferguson recently captured first place in the Wildcat Invitational high school tournament held at Tom's Run Golf Club in Blairsville. Ferguson carded an impressive two-round total of 143 to earn the top spot. A few days later, he followed that feat by shooting an amazing 5-under-par 67 in a high school match at Iron Masters.
6. Michelle Day: Duncansville's Michelle Day recently captured the Scotch Valley ladies club championship by a margin of 12 strokes over last year's winner, Elaine Magee. Day followed a solid opening round score of 81 with one of the lowest competitive rounds by a female golfer in our area in recent years - a fantastic 75.
7. Josh Leibfreid: While practicing for this year's Iron Masters Classic, Bedford's Josh Leibfreid put together one of our area's best rounds. Leibfreid, who heads the golf program at Allegheny College, was 7-under par when he holed out his second shot at Iron Masters' par-4 18th hole to finish with a 9-under-par 63 - a new course record.
8. Dennis DeGol: DeGol prefers match-play golf, and he showed why this summer as he captured the match-play championship titles at both Sylvan Hills and Scotch Valley Country Clubs.
9. Chris Perry/Mike Macionsky: The duo of Chris Perry, 22, of Altoona, and Mike Macionsky, 20, from Duncansville, showed why they are among the best young golfers in our area by capturing Summit Country Club's two-man best-ball event held in early August. Perry and Macionsky finished one shot ahead of the team of Anthony DeGol and Bernie DiLoreto and two shots ahead of Fink and Todd Homan.
10. Darlene Grove: Grove recently shot a two-day total of 174 to capture her 19th Park Hills ladies championship. The win earned Grove a spot in this week's Greater Altoona Tournament. She has qualified and competed in the tournament every year since its inception in 1978.
Greater Altoona on tap
The last major golf event in the area - the 35th annual Greater Altoona golf tournament - will take place this weekend. The tourney will begin at Scotch Valley Country Club on Saturday morning and will conclude on Sunday at Sinking Valley Country Club.
Four top male and female golfers from each of five area clubs will compete for individual and team titles over 36 holes of medal play.
Playing for Scotch Valley will be David DeGol Jr., Dennis DeGol, Brian Hall and Rob Chamberlain. Michelle Day, Elaine Magee, Chris Sisto and Sylvia Schraff will compete for the women.
The Park Hills team is comprised of Jesse Auker, Todd Homan, Keith Danner and Jordon Kirsch for the men while the ladies team consists of Darlene Grove, Nancy Moore, Cindy Trimarco and Sue White.
Summit will be represented by Brett Smith, Brett Krug, Rick Holtz and Dylan Link on the men's side and by Luann Dividock, Anita Jo Petrusky, Jessica Kline and Kate Conway for the women.
Sinking Valley's entry includes Artie Fink Jr., Chris Perry, Ben DelBaggio III and Leonard DelBaggio while the ladies are represented by Suz Price, Anna Myers, Luane Maier and Sherry Buchanan.
The Iron Masters team will round out play with Brett Miller, Wally Clapper, Wes Elder and Ken Love for the men and Patti Dodson, Gwen Paden, Deb Long and Deb Showalter for the ladies.
Playoff system working
Admittedly, I was not a big fan of the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup Playoff system when it debuted a few years ago.
It just didn't seem right that a golfer could get hot for a couple of weeks in September and win golf's biggest purse - a $10 million bonus for finishing first in the points race.
However, it's hard to argue with a system that has enticed the best players in the world to tee it up together in something other than golf's four majors.
It should be exciting to see Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy battling against each other again this weekend. They'll be paired together for the first two rounds of this week's BMW Championship.
Ken Love covers area golf for the Mirror. This is his last weekly golf column of the season, and he'll return in the spring.