LOUISVILLE — While the River Course at Louisville Landing Recreation made its Northern New York Golf Association Six-Man Tournament debut Friday, former champion Anthony Viskovich was still very much right at home.
With a strong breeze blowing in from the St. Lawrence River across the former Massena Country Club throughout the day, Viskovich survived a wind-swept finish to shoot a 3-over par 74 and take the lead atop the individual leaderboard.
“I’m happy with the way I played. Usually the front nine is the tougher of the two but with the wind blowing the way it was, it made the back nine really tough,” said Viskovich, who represented the host team and sat at even par through 16 holes before settling for three straight bogeys. “The last three holes here are already tough enough on a good day. The 18th is a great finishing hole but it was a monster today.”
“I’ve won this tournament twice before and I’ve been playing a lot of golf this summer to get ready for this year. This tournament means a lot and it would be great to win it on my home course again,” he added.
Viskovich, who won the individual title in 2013 and 2015, carries a one-stroke lead over Graham Niles of the Malone Country Club into the second and final day. Sitting three shots back at 77 are Chris Taylor of the Potsdam Town and Country Club, Chris Felix of Partridge Run Golf Course in Canton and Chris Denesha of the C-Way Course in Clayton.
The Six-Man Team standings are just as tight with The River Course and St. Lawrence University Course of Canton tied at 470 followed closely by Potsdam at 472.
The majority of the teams, including the top three, took advantage of a recent change in the scoring system. Up until last summer, the scores posted by golfers competing in the Junior, Senior and Super Senior divisions were only used to determine winners in those brackets. Now, the scores are included as part of the top six produced by the teams.
“We’ve always had the other divisions but we never used their scores for the team tournament. As a way of making them feel like they are more a part of their teams, the association voted to allow their scores to be used. Last year was the first time,” said Randy Todd, who serves as captain of the St. Lawrence team.
Todd also noted that while the scores from the other three divisions can be included in the team standings, the golfers are not eligible to compete for the overall individual title.
While Viskovich anchored the opening-day scoring for the host River Course team, Gil Viskovich, his father and former overall tournament champion, contributed a 76 competing as a Super Senior and Jace Dutch posted a 78 in the Junior Division. Tim Ahlfeld and Mark Catanzarite both carded 80s while Bob Deruchia rounded out the top six with an 82.
“The wind was brutal out there today. It was blowing 15-20 miles per hour all day long,” said River Course team captain Max Pelifian. “The course is in great shape but you can’t blame the course for the scores.”
“Anthony had the low round for us and we got nice rounds from Gil and Jace. Hopefully, we all play better tomorrow,” he added.
For the St. Lawrence squad, Ryan Jones led the scoring by shooting a 75 and sits atop the Junior Division leaderboard while Super Senior Bruce Weiner followed with a 76. Also chipping into the team total were Jake VanHouse with a 78, Bryan Littler with a 79, Aaron Jones with an 80 and Drew Mills with an 82.
“It was a tough day for everyone with the way the wind was blowing but it was really tough for us,” Todd said. “We had some guys who were really under the weather but our Junior and Super Senior really came through for us.”
The team representing the Potsdam TCC was led by Tom Smith, who sat atop the Senior Division after the first day with a 74. Super Senior Bruce Brownlee posted a 76 followed by Junior Ian VanWagner with a 78, Chris Taylor with a 77, Rick Berkman with an 83 and Tyler Berkman with an 84.
The C-Way team of Clayton stood in fourth place with a 479 led by the duo of Chris Denesha and Percy Goinet with 77s. The defending tournament champion from the Malone Country Club was 11 shots back of the leaders with a 481. Rounding out the team standings are Carlowden Golf Course at 491, Watertown Golf Club at 494, Partridge Run of Canton at 497, Tupper Lake at 501 and Gouverneur at 523.
The tournament resumes at the River Course this morning at 8, with the individual leaders slated to tee off at 9:45.
River Course (470): A. Viskovich 74, G. Viskovich 76, J. Dutch 78, T. Ahlfeld 80, M. Catanzarite 80, B. Deruchia 82, M. Pelifian 84, J. Amo 86, E. Kassian 88.
St. Lawrence (470): R. Jones 75, B. Weiner 76, J. VanHouse 78, B. Littler 79, A. Jones 80, D. Mills 82, B. Lemieux 84, J. Sovay 86, J. Casey 90.
Potsdam TCC (472): T. Smith 74, B. Brownlee 76, C. Taylor 77, VanWagner 78, R. Berkman 83, M. Bresett 85, M. Merriman 86, B. Helmer 88.
C-Way (479): C. Denesha 77, P. Goinet 77, P. Hunter 78, R. Becker 80, T. Cottter 83, M. Ingerson 84, B. Gaige 88, D. Casero 93.
Malone CC (481): G. Niles 75, B. Phillips 78, B. Honahan 80, K. Hardy 81, M. Laramee 83, S. Lang 84, B. Lashomb 86.
Carlowden (491): T. Slate 79, J. Giruzzi 79, R. Hayes 81, M. Benson 83, J. Taylor 84, M. Guyette 85, M. Birchenough 86, B. Dooley 86.
Watertown (494): B. Phillips 78, S. Taylor 79, B. Phillips 81, D. Marconi 83, A. Macks 84, S. Joles 89, T. Weller 89, Moesel 89.
Partridge Run (497): C. Felix 77, T. Pearson 80, J. O’Neill 82, D. Camp 84, B. Stone 87, S. Marquart 87, B. Todd 90, K. Daley 91, J. Aldrich 99.
Tupper Lake (501): R. Belleville 76, P. Pickering 78, W. Roberts 84, N. Skiff 85, T. Lindsay 89, J. Rabideau 89, S. Gagnon 90, S. Bell 92, C. Bell 106.
Gouverneur (523): R. McDonald 84, F. Lallier 85, E. Easton 86, K. Augliano 89, R. Rumble 89, N. Sterling 90, J. Reilly 90, T. Totten 92, J. McKeever 95.
Super Seniors: G. Viskovich (RC) 76, B. Weiner (SL) 76, B. Brownlee (PTCC) 76, R. Belleville (TL) 76, B. Phillips (MCC) 78, P. Hunter (C-W) 78, J. Giruzzi (Car) 79, B. Phillips (Wat) 81, S. Marquart (PR) 87, J. McKeever (G) 95.
Seniors: T. Smith (PTCC) 74. T. Slate (Car) 79, B. Deruchia (RC) 82, W. Roberts (TL) 84, S. Lang (MCC) 84, J. Sovay (SLU) 86, E. Easton (G) 86, B. Baige (C-W) 88, J. Moesel (Wat) 89, J. Aldrich (PR) 99.
Juniors: R. Jones (SLU) 75, J. Dutch (RC) 78, VanWagner (PTCC) 78, J. O’Neill (PR) 82, B. Lashomb (MCC) 86, R. Rumble (G) 89, C. Bell (TL) 106.