LAKE PLACID - Bob Modiszenski was only looking to win the senior division in the two-day Whiteface Open held last weekend in Lake Placid. Playing on his home course at the Whiteface Club, the Lake Placid resident got a lot more than he was hoping for.
In a tournament hosted by club pro Peter Martin, Modiszenski topped a field of 105 golfers to claim the overall title in the 36-hole event held Saturday, July 14 and Sunday, July 15. Modiszenski birdied the final three holes to finish Sunday's round with an even-par 71 and a winning 144 total.
As a member of the final foursome to tee off Sunday, Modiszenski also played with two other golfers who claimed championships in the tournament as Kevin Pokorski captured the pro division title and Brad Griffin won the open division.
Lou Reuter/Lake Placid News
Don Mortensen tees off while fellow Lake Placid residents, Jeff Estes (left) and Dave Clark watch during the second round of the J. Peter Martin Whiteface Open golf tournament.
"I'm very excited. I'm very happy," Modiszenski said. "I entered the senior division, and winning that was my only goal. I played good golf. The key to success on this course is keeping the ball in the fairway and knowing the greens. Just about every fairway is tree-lined, the greens can be tricky and being a member here may have helped me out a little."
Pokorski, a pro at the AuSable Club in St. Huberts, held the overall lead after firing a 2-under par 69 on Saturday and followed with a 75 Sunday to capture the pro division title and $1,000 in first-place prize money that came with the win.
"I haven't played very much golf this summer, so I'm happy with the win," said Pokorski, who also lives in Florida during the winter months. "I've played this is course a bunch of times. It's my favorite course in the area. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to come out and play in this tournament."
Griffin, a long-time fixture in tournament play in the North Country, fired rounds of 72 and 74 for a 146 total to win the open division. Griffin also put himself in contention for the overall win with back-to-back birdies on the 16th and 17th holes, but Modiszenski held him off with a stronger finish.
Eight golfers competed in the pro division and Florida's Cheryl Anderson found herself finishing runner-up two strokes back after carding two rounds of 73 for a 146 total. The director of golf at the Mike Bender Golf Academy, Anderson said she spends about a month each year vacationing in Lake Placid and was informed about the tournament by Craig Wood pro Jim Wasson, who also played over the weekend.
"I didn't even know there was tournament, so this was an added bonus for me," said Anderson, who collected $400 for her second place finish. "I come up here every summer, I'm heading back home Wednesday, so in a way, this is a nice send-off. I had a great time."
Roger Loberbaun won the super seniors men division, shooting rounds of 80 and 82 for a 162 total. The senior women's title went to Kate Oppedisano with an 88 and 85 and a 173 total. Joan Taylor won the super seniors women's division with a 96 and 94 and a 190 total.
Martin, who has been the pro at the Whiteface Club for 35 years, re-established the Whiteface Open this summer in an effort to bring back the tournament, which flourished in the 1970s when it featured a field of more than 150 golfers.
"I think we're off to a very good start," Martin said. "This tournament was a big deal years ago, and we want to get it going again. Hopefully, we can have 150 golfers back playing in this again on this beautiful golf course. This weekend was very successful."