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Fink, DeGol reign again after surge

Sinking Valley golf

TYRONE — The winning team of Artie Fink and Anthony DeGol had to weather a storm literally and figuratively en route to defending its championship in the Sinking Valley Country Club Invitational Sunday.

Fink and DeGol shook off a rain delay that held up their championship-flight round by 45 minutes, using eight birdies to scorch the final 18 holes with an eight-under par 64, en route to a winning score of 131.

The victorious duo had trailed the eventual runner-up team of Todd Homan and William Smith by one stroke entering the second and final round of play in the two-day tournament Sunday, but rebounded gamely to gain three strokes over the final 18 holes in an event that ended after nightfall.

Homan and Smith finished second with a 66-67-133, while the teams of Bobby Stiffler and Brett Berkheimer, and J.P. Stultz and Spencer Hinish, finished tied for third with a two-day score of 135.

It was the third time overall, and the second consecutive year, that Fink and DeGol had teamed to win the Sinking Valley Invitational title.

“We shot eight-under today, and that was pretty much the number that we had in mind when we got out there,” Fink, 50, said. “Right before our tee time this afternoon, at about 2:45, we got some rain, and we had to wait an hour until the rain stopped. We basically played the last two holes in the dark.”

It didn’t stop the Fink-DeGol team, which began the day in a three-way tie for third place before finishing strong.

“It was tough to go through a whole warmup, and then have to start again,” DeGol, 30, said. “But everybody was in the same boat.”

DeGol and Fink have been playing together as a team for several years, and also won the Sinking Valley Invitational back in 2012.

Both golfers canned clutch putts during Sunday’s final round.

“Anthony was rolling the putter real well today,” Fink said. “He made some great putts on the back nine, and we got it done.”

DeGol was quick to salute Fink’s contributions as well.

“He had two big momentum-saving putts on the second and eighth holes that kept our round together,” DeGol said of Fink. “Those putts saved us pars on those holes, when we would have been affected badly by bogeys. He was there when I needed it.”

DeGol also said that Fink helped him with his putting success Sunday.

“Once you see a putt or two drop, you get some confidence,” DeGol said. “Artie knows the lines (on the greens) well. I kept putting it where he said to putt it, and they were going in.”

Considering Sunday’s rain and the fact that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event was cut from three rounds to two, the overall event still unfolded nicely.

“The course was great, and the people running this event did an excellent job, especially considering the circumstances,” DeGol said.

CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT

1, DeGol-Fink, 67-64-131; 2, Homan-Smith, 66-67-133; T3, Stiffler-Berkheimer, 69-66-135 and Stultz-Hinish, 69-66-135; 5, Kirsch-Dziabo, 67-69-136; 6, Andrew Ferguson-Greg Ferguson, 72-66-138; T7, Swindell-Foor, 69-70-139; Lance Thompson-Luke Thompson, 72-67-139; Hefelfinger-Rhone, 71-68-139; Perry-Macionsky, 67-72-139; T11, Hayes-Rager, 70-70-140, Dimoff-Baer, 68-72-140, and Clapper-Elder, 72-68-140; T14, Greg Ferguson-Jimmy Ferguson, 71-71-142 and Ritchey-Andrew Ferguson, 70-72-142; 16, Collins-McCall, 74-77-151.

FIRST FLIGHT

1, Young-Ulrich, 68-68-136.

SECOND FLIGHT

1, Smith-McAlkich, 67-67-134.

THIRD FLIGHT

1, Gary Bickle-Ryan Bickle, 74-68-142

FOURTH FLIGHT

1, Miller-Myers, 70-72-142

FIFTH FLIGHT

1, Strobel-Bierly, 75-81-156

SIXTH FLIGHT

1, Dutrow-Marshall, 78-79-157

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