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Argonish, Palma putt Blue Devils past Vikes

Big putts on eighth, ninth holes propel Old Forge to 6-3 win

Old Forge’s Ian Nemetz chips up to the No. 8 green at Pine Hills during the Blue Devils win over Riverside on Wednesday.

photo by rick notari

Above, Old Forge’s J Argonish watches his birdie putt on No. 3 at Pine Hills as playing partner Ian Nemetz looks on. Argonish made big putts on No. 8 and No. 9 to help lead the Blue Devils to a win over Riverside on Wednesday morning. Below left, Corey Palma chips up to the No. 5 green, and below rght, Adam Barsigian watches his tee shot on No. 6.

photos by rick notari

The opportunity was there for Old Forge’s J Argonish and Corey Palma to give away three points, and most likely the match against arch-rival Riverside on Wednesday morning at Pine Hill Country Club in Taylor.

But instead, the senior duo drilled putts on both the eighth and ninth holes to solidify individual victories and a better-ball point, to give the Blue Devils a gut-wrenching, 6-3, win over the Vikings.

Playing separately, both golfers led by two holes early in their respective matches. But Nico Munley evened things up against Palma heading to the Par 5, 470-yard No. 8, and Argonish clung to a 1-up advantage against Cole Surridge as both teed off on the same hole.

Palma scrambled for a par on the eighth, leaving no doubt on his par putt with Munley already in with a par to keep the match even headed to the final hole. The three-year starter then launched his drive on the Par 4, 315-yard No. 9 less than 20 yards from the green before chipping within 15 feet of the cup. Munley’s drive was less than 40 yards from the green, but the sophomore chipped short of the green before reaching on his third shot.

But Palma drained his birdie putt before Munley parred the hole to take one point in his individual match, and one point for better-ball of partners between himself and partner Jordan Ohler and Riverside’s Munley and Carl Pugliese. Pugliese beat Ohler, 3 and 2, to keep the Vikings within 2-1 after the first group of play.

The first group had already finished when Argonish and playing partner Ian Nemetz had reached the eighth green with Riverside’s Cole Surridge and Jaron Vishnesky. Argonish steadily made the exact putt Palma did on No. 8 – a pin-high, eight footer – to halve the hole with Surridge and remain 1-up heading to No. 9. Nemetz meanwhile lagged a 20-footer from above the hole to within two feet to finish with a bogey to halve the hole with Vishnesky and keep the better-ball match even. Nemetz went to the ninth tee 1-down to Vishnesky.

Both Argonish and Surridge struggled off the tee and with their second and third shots on the final hole. But after a solid chip and one putt, Surridge was in with a double bogey while Argonish faced a eight-foot downward putt from behind the hole to tie the Vikings No. 3 golfer. Argonish solidly struck the ball which hit the back of the cup, bounced up, landed on the back of the lip and fell in for the individual win and a 3-1 Old Forge lead.

Nemetz couldn’t get past Vishnesky on the final hole, but his 10-footer for bogey halved the better-ball match and gave the Blue Devils a half-point and a 3.5-2.5 lead with the final group teeing off at No. 9.

The win by Argonish clinched the victory for Old Forge (1-0-1) because the final group of Adam Barsigian and AJ Cantarella had already clinched 1.5 points before heading to the ninth tee.

Barsigian split his individual match with Mike King, and Cantarella, a freshman, beat Adam Leasure, 2-up, for his first career win. Barsigian and Cantarella also one the better-ball match, 1-up.

OF 4.5, Scranton 4.5

Corey Palma and Jordan Ohler swept three points in the first group but it wasn’t enough for Old Forge to come away with a win as the Blue Devils settled for a 4.5-4.5 tie with Scranton on Monday afternoon at Summit Hills in Clarks Summit.

Palma won his individual match, 4 and 2, and Ohler picked up his first career win, 2-up, as the duo combined to shoot a better-ball score of 33.

Ian Nemetz also won an individual point with a 2 and 1 win. He and partner Adam Barsigian halved their better-ball match for the final half-point for the Blue Devils.

PA 158, Coughlin 165

Brandon Matthews and Ryan Tracy each carded 2-over par 38s as Pittston Area won an important WVC East match with Coughlin on Wednesday afternoon at Wilkes-Barre Muni.

Matt Carroll, Chris Lynch and Calvin O’Boyle all shot 41 for the Patriots (2-0) as they beat the Crusaders by seven strokes.

PA 168, Tunkhannock 186

Pittston Area’s Brandon Matthews shot 40 in a WVC match for the first time in over a year, but it not matter as the Patriots thumped Tunkhannock, 168-186 in the opening match of the WVC East season last Monday.

Matthews did not shoot anything worse than a 37 last season as a junior. His 40 was good enough to share medalist honors with teammate Matt Carroll at the Tigers home course, Stone Hedge CC.

Ryan Tracy and Calvin O’Boyle each carded 44 for Pittston Area.

WA 161, Tunkhannock 167

Wyoming Area dropped a close match with Tunkhannock, 161-167, on Wednesday afternoon at Fox Hill CC in Exeter.

Nick Rydzewski earned medalist honors with a 1-over par 36 for the Warriors, edging Brent Christy who shot 37 for the Tigers.

Zach Mulhern carded a 42 for Wyoming Area, and Connor Mangan shot 44. Jake Wysocki added a 45 for the Warriors (0-2).

WA 180, Coughlin 167

Wyoming Area struggled in its season-opening match with Coughlin at Wilkes-Barre Muni on Monday afternoon in a 167-180 loss.

Zach Mulhern was low man for the Warriors with a 43.

Nick Rydzewski shot 45 for Wyoming Area, and Mike Carey and Courtney Melvin each carded 46s.

Palma wins Low Senior title at Jackman

Old Forge’s Corey Palma was forced to settle for second after finishing in a tie for first after the first 18 holes of play at the annual Jackman Memorial Tournament at Scranton Muni last Friday.

Palma, and Abington Heights senior Dalton Coldwater, each shot even-par 72, forcing a playoff on the No. 1 Par-5 at the Mount Cobb course.

Coldwater, the son of Glenmaura CC golf professional Cleve Coldwater, won the event with a bogey on the first playoff hole after Palma hit his drive into trouble and could not recover.

Despite losing out on the overall championship, Palma earned the Low Senior title for his round of 37-35. The three-year starter for the Blue Devils became the highest finishing Old Forge golfer at the Jackman with his round.

Standings

WVC East

Pittston Area…2-0

Coughlin…1-1

Tunkhannock…1-1

Wyoming Area…0-2

LL Southern

Holy Cross…2-0

Abington Heights…1-0

Scranton Prep…1-0

Dunmore…1-0

Old Forge…1-0-1

North Pocono…1-1

Delaware Valley…0-1

Valley View…0-1

West Scranton…0-1

Mid Valley…0-2

Riverside…0-2

Scoring average

1. Matthews, PA…39.0

2t. Carroll, PA…40.5

2t. Rydzewski, WA…40.5

4. Tracy, PA…41.0

5t. Mulhern, WA…42.5

5t. O’Boyle, PA…42.5

Records

Palma, OF…2-0

Argonish, OF…1-1

Cantarella, OF…1-1

Nemetz, OF…1-1

Ohler, OF…1-1

Barsigian, OF…0-0-2

This week’s schedule

Tuesday

PA at Wyoming Area

OF v. Dunmore

Wednesday

PA v. Hanover

WA v. GAR

Thursday

OF v. North Pocono

Friday

PA at Holy Redeemer

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