Local legend: Fink’s dominance in class by itself

Last weekend’s Summit Invitational marked the season’s unofficial end of local two-ball tournaments (though Scotch Valley actually hosts the area’s final event in late September).

On Sunday, the team of Anthony DeGol and Artie Fink Jr. erased a three-shot deficit with a closing round of 63 to capture the Summit title, the third best-ball victory of the season for this extraordinary duo.

Although DeGol is beginning to build an impressive two-ball resume of his own, Fink has already amassed a record that will be difficult for anyone to match.

Sunday’s victory at Summit Country Club, marked the 44th local best-ball title that Fink has been a part of to date.

A multi-sport athlete in high school, Fink didn’t play his first round of golf until age 19. After joining Sinking Valley Country Club around 1990, established golfers like Greg Ferguson and Bobby Sweitzer took Fink under their wing.

With their help and his hard work, Fink’s golf game quickly improved, and by the mid-1990s, he was competitive against the best golfers in the area.

Though much can be said of his ensuing accomplishments on a local, state and national level, Fink’s first two-ball victory came in 1996 at the Down River Classic with partner Jim Roseberry.

A closer look at the entirety of Fink’s local two-ball record shows that Roseberry was the first of 11 different golfers he’s partnered with en route to his amazing 44 best-ball victories.

The list includes Todd Homan (12 titles), Jimmy Gillam (8), Anthony DeGol (8), Ed Strickler (5), Bernie DiLoreto (3), William Smith (2), Bubba Miraglia (2), Bobby Sweitzer (1), Greg Ferguson (1), Leo DelBaggio (1) and Roseberry (1).

Equally impressive is the number of venues at which Fink has won, capturing multiple titles at every local, long-standing event. His victories include those at Iron Masters (10 titles), Down River (8), Scotch Valley (7), Mount Union (5), Sinking Valley (5), Summit (5), and Park Hills (4).

“I really enjoy the competition,” Fink said. “There are a lot of great guys that I’ve played with, and against, over the years.”

Park Hills’ Todd Homan has been a regular partner of Fink’s, as well as a long-time friend.

“Artie and I have a great comfort level playing together,” Homan said. “We know each other’s game so well that we’ll read every putt together,” and assist each other with advice on club selection.

Homan’s own total of 12 best-ball titles places him ninth, all-time, among local golfers.

Comparing Fink’s 44 total victories to other local golfing greats further highlights his dominance. The second-highest victory total, behind Fink belongs to Jimmy Gillam with 20 titles, followed by Bo DelGrosso (17), Frank Frontino (17), Bobby Sweitzer (16) and Greg Ferguson (14).

Scotch Valley’s DeGol, has claimed eight victories as a best-ball partner in local events with Fink in recent years.

“Artie’s skills on the golf course speak for themselves, with his massive track record of success,” DeGol said. “Some things that stand out to me about his golf game is his ability to feed off one good shot and turn it into an entire stretch of holes of positive momentum. That’s a big reason we are such a successful two-ball team.”

DeGol is impressed with Fink’s intangibles.

“I can go on and on about the skills that Artie has, but the things that stick out to me is who Artie is as a person,” DeGol added. “He has a great sense of humor, a kind heart, a will to win and a level of intensity about him that is contagious for me to be around. I can basically say from the very beginning when we first met, to the present day, he has been a role model for me, both on and off the course.”