Fink, Day win golf titles

HOLLIDAYSBURG – The year was different, but the results were the same.

Artie Fink Jr. repeated as medalist and led Sinking Valley to the men’s team championship of the Greater Altoona Golf Tournament on Sunday at Scotch Valley Country Club.

Michelle Day of Scotch Valley was the women’s medalist for the third time in the last four years, and Summit continued its dominance of the ladies’ team event by winning its fourth straight title.

“It’s been a good summer, I hate to see it come to an end,” Fink said, laughing.

The 43-year-old Altoonan plays almost every weekend – and a lot of weekdays, too – and dominated area men’s golf this year.

“When June rolls around, it’s pretty much solid golf until the end of September. I have two more events left at the end of September in Pittsburgh,” he said, noting he’ll play in two state amateur events Sept. 17-18 and Sept. 24-25.

“After those two, it’s pretty much put ’em [clubs] away and get out the bowling balls,” noted Fink, who also excels in that sport as well.

Fink shot a four-under par 68 in Saturday’s first round at Summit and came back with an even par 72 on Sunday at Scotch Valley to capture medalist honors with a 140.

Scotch Valley’s Brian Hall finished second at 145 – 70 at Summit and 75 at Scotch Valley. Ken Love of Iron Masters shot a 72 Saturday and maintained his third position with a 76 Sunday for a two-day total of 148.

“I had two bogeys yesterday,” Fink said, “but I’ve been putting the ball pretty good. My driver’s been pretty soft the past month but, after getting the lead yesterday, I came into today just concentrating on making pars.

“My goal today was to shoot even par,” he said. “I felt if I shot even par somebody would have to go nuts to catch me and after 10 or 11 holes I didn’t hear of anybody going nuts so I just tried to keep it in the fairway and on the green and go onto the next hole.

“It worked out all right.”

Fink and Sinking Valley teammates Ben DelBaggio III (79-72-151), Terry DelBaggio (73-81-154) and Len DelBaggio (75-81-156) – Ben and Terry’s uncle – had a two-day total of 441 to win the team title for the second year in a row. Scores are determined by the top three players each day.

Iron Masters was second in the team race with a 448, Scotch Valley was third (460), Summit fourth (464) and Park Hills fifth (468).

“It’s a team tournament,” Fink said. “To win the individual is a bonus but we always gear up to try and win the team and keep the trophy at Sinking Valley.”

Day also led wire to wire to win the ladies’ championship. She shot 78 at Summit on Saturday and came back with 81 Sunday for a two-round total of 159, five strokes better than Gwen Paden of Iron Masters, who had rounds of 82 and 82. Jessica Burlingame of Summit was third after the first round, but teammate Anita Jo Petrusky shot 81 Sunday for a two-day total of 168, which propelled her to a third-place finish.

“The second year in a row and my third time winning,” said Day, who also won medalist honors in 2010. “I wasn’t so great today but good enough, I guess.

“The course played long today,” noted Day, who had a four-stroke lead after the first round. “I just wasn’t hitting the shots I usually hit. It was a little frustrating.

“I played conservatively but didn’t worry about what anybody else was doing,” she said. “I just tried to play in the zone and not pay attention to the others.”

Petrusky’s 87-81-168 led Summit’s race to its fourth straight women’s title. LuAnn Dividock posted 83-88-171, Burlingame shot 82-94-176 and Kate Conway 89-94-183 for the champs.

“What made it nice was that all the members played a part in the title,” Petrusky said. “I didn’t shoot as well on my home course (Summit) as I would have liked and I was a little disgusted, but it still helped the team.

“I just went out and played my game today and was thankful for a good score,” she said.

Petrusky noted that Dividock shot a 48 on the front nine Sunday but shot 40 on the back. Petrusky played the back nine in 38 Sunday.

“When everything was added up, it was exciting and interesting,” Petrusky said. “We were all excited to win it for a fourth straight time.”

Summit won three of the four titles with the same four players. The only year there was a different foursome was 2010 when Burlingame had a shoulder injury and was replaced by Teresa Hoffman.

“We’re already looking toward a fifth straight,” Petrusky added, noting that the 2014 event will be held at Park Hills and Summit.