By Dan DeFrancesco
RYE — It wasn’t pretty, but as the old saying goes, there are no pictures on the scorecards.
On a rainy day at Westchester Country Club Thursday, Century Country Club won the 70th annual Hoffhine Memorial Tournament for the second time under the guidance of club pro Frank Bensel.
Bensel and club amateurs Daniel Levin, Philip Mintz and Michael Karger combined to shoot a 306 to win the tournament that drew 32 teams from country clubs throughout the tri-state area. Each team was made up of the club’s top pro and three amateur club members.
“It was a great honor,” said Mintz of winning the tournament. “Representing Century is a lot of fun. To play with three great friends and win is great.”
Levin said the team was able to grind out the win despite poor play at times. Bensel (71, 1 under) and Levin (79, 7 over) combined to shoot a 150 on the West course, a par 72. Mintz (81, 10 over) and Karger (75, 4 over) shot a 156 on the South course, a par 71.
“None of us played our absolute best,” Levin said, “but I guess we played good enough.”
Rockland Country Club, featuring club pro Bobby Everett and members Pat Mahoney, Chris Coco and Greg Braca, finished second with a 309. Sleepy Hollow Country Club took third with a combined 311. Fairview Country Club pro Shawn Powers (69, 3 under) had the low score of the day.
With teams teeing off on different holes to start the tournament, the players had no idea where they stood against the rest of the field until they finished. While a slow start might cause a player to lose focus under those circumstances, Mintz said the fact that he was part of a team kept him playing hard.
“I think what helps is that you’re playing for your club and your three teammates,” Mintz said. “I think if it was an individual tournament it’d be easy to let it spiral.”
Bensel praised Westchester for the course conditions, citing challenging pin positions and inclement weather as the causes for the high scores.
“It was a good course set up,” Bensel said. “I think with the rain and wind made it a little harder.”
Entering the tournament Bensel was pleased with the team the club had assembled.
“I though we had a good chance,” Bensel said. “We had good players and everyone was playing well.”
Bensel said he was happy to bring the title back to Century.
“It’s something our club members will all be proud of,” Bensel said. “The three guys that played today, they’ll always remember winning the Hoffhine. I’m proud of them and happy to be a part of it.”