By Mike Zacchio
GREENWICH, Conn. – Same tournament. Same location. Same champions.
The 17th annual Westchester Golf Association Tournament of Champions returned to Tamarack Country Club for the seventh consecutive year Monday; one of several recurrences.
Sleepy Hollow Country Club’s John Ervasti defended his men’s championship after birdying the first playoff hole against Owen Cummins and Thomas Corrigan. The three men carded a 74 during their championship round.
“I was just looking to have a fun day of golf, really. If you think about winning, then you never win,” said Ervasti, sporting a stylish white polo with a flow of salt-and-pepper hair. “I was just sort of holding it together. It wasn’t really a pretty day.”
Ervasti’s female counterpart, Laura Algiero, also wasn’t very pleased with her round, despite matching the day’s top round of 74. Another defending champion, Algiero specifically focused on her putts — all 36 of them.
“I hit the ball real well today; I putted terrible,” said Algiero, who was still all smiles after her seventh T of C title. “If I could’ve putted a little better, (the round) would’ve been a whole lot better; but I’m happy — I’m happy with the 74.”
Algiero, who has now successfully defended her title in 1997, 2007, 2008 and 2014, said that even after seven victories, winning never loses its luster. “Absolutely not,” The Whippoorwill Club member said, emphatically.
Both Ervasti and Algiero admitted they rarely, if ever, play at Tamarack. Algiero’s brother is a member of the club, but she said she only plays two or three rounds a year, while Ervasti said he plays one round a year – if he makes this tournament.
While the men had a handful of other players nipping at the leaders’ heels, many of the women struggled Monday. Algiero edged recent Ursuline grad and Section 1 champion Alessandra Ricigliano by two strokes, but was 10 strokes ahead of the next player.
Corrigan’s younger sister Emily, who graduated with Ricigliano last week, carded an 89 on the day before joining her now-former classmate in watching her brother’s playoff hole.
The Corrigans both play out of Ardsley Country Club, while Ricigliano continues to dominate out of Wykagyl Country Club.
Connecticut Golf Club’s Jon Groveman took home the men’s senior championship, beating Elmwood’s Rick Blank in a playoff hole. Both men were also eligible for the championship round, where they both carded a 75.