(Scott Merzlicker, Ryan Helminen, Bob Mandoli & Chris Lindberg)
After being derailed earlier in the spring, the 2019 WPGA pro-am season got underway this past Monday at the Cobra Puma Oneida Pro-Am. Originally the first of several four-player pro-ams was set to take place in late April, but poor weather postponed that event until early July. So a sold out field of 128 players ventured to Oneida G&CC to help the WPGA kick off the pro-am season.
The day was jam packed with the always fun Oneida G&CC old school layout, great food, tee gifts, and plenty of chances for players to win one of the several contests.
Coming out on top in the main contest of the day was the group of Ryan Helminen, Scott Merzlicker, Bob Mandoli and Chris Lindberg. The foursome played consistent throughout as they played nine holes under par and only had one misstep where they gave shots back to par. Their 15-under-par 129 score in the two net best ball format was good enough to win by three shots.
Leading the way for the winning squad was Helminen, as he also carded the top score in the low professional contest. The former State Open champion was able to birdie four of the five par fives, and only make just one bogey en route to his 3-under-par 69. The score gave him a two shot win over Craig Czerniejewski and Matt Taken.
In the low senior professional contest it was Charlie Brown earning the win with an even-par 72.
In addition to these three main contests the day also featured nine on-course contests and a raffle benefiting the WPGA Junior Foundation. Raffle winners were announced at the end of the event and all prizes were claimed.
On course the following players were able to grab a hold of some prizes courtesy of the American Family Insurance Championship, Cobra Puma Golf and Northern Waters Distillery,
#1 – Par 4 – Closest to the Pin in two – Justin Kamps
#3 – Par 3 – Closest to the Pin – Matt Brandrup
#7 – Par 4 – Closest to the Pin in two – John Gaschke
#8 – Par 3 – Closest to the Pin – TJ Smith
#10 – Par 4 – Closest to the Pin in two – Brad Peck
#11 – Par 3 – Closest to the Pin – Bill Heilbronner
#13 – Par 3 – Closest to the Pin – Nate Lockhart
#16 – Par 4 – Closest to the Pin in two – Rick McCluskey
#17 – Par 3 – Closest to the Pin – Mike Yaktus
All Par 3 proxy winners will also be entered into the American Family Insurance Championship – Par 3 Grand Prize Giveaway. At the conclusion of the first three WPGA pro-ams one lucky recipient will be drawn to receive a prize package that includes golf at University Ridge GC and a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses.
A big thank you goes out to Paul Minz and Cobra Puma Golf for their support of Monday’s event. With Paul’s help the event featured some great welcome gifts for all the attendees, fun prizes for the par 4 on course contests and a nice bump to the purses.
In addition to our event partner, a great deal of gratitude goes out to Oneida G&CC and their staff. The club did a terrific job of showcasing their facility and ensuring that all the participants had a good time.