Olde Vine twosome takes MGA team title

HAWORTH, N.J. — The team of Carl Giovernale and Phil Marino of the Olde Vine Golf Club in Riverhead, newcomers to the Metropolitan Golf Association scene, shot a 14-under-par net 58 to win the 34th MGA/Met Life Men’s Net Team Championship at White Beeches Golf and Country Club last Thursday.

It was a day of firsts, as it was the first MGA championship hosted by White Beeches, an historic Bergen County club with a demanding golf course. It was also the first time Giovernale and Marino played in an MGA championship. The two Eastern Long Island men caught fire and scorched the course on a hot and humid day that saw periods of rain.

Finishing two shots back in second place with a net 60 were Michael Estabrooks and Jay Bertelson of Plainfield West.

Marino was a significant contributor to the winning team. He made two gross birdies on the par-5 third hole and the par-5 eighth, recording a net eagle on the third and a net double eagle on the eighth. Things were clicking as the partners sank three putts over 30 feet.

“It was your classic ham and eggs story,” Marino said at the awards ceremony. “We scrambled around out there, but we made the putts when we had to make them and we stayed out of trouble.”

The duo would not have even been in a position to win had their home club not held a qualifier.

“We didn’t know about the MGA/Met Life Men’s Net Team Championship until the club qualifier was held at Olde Vine,” Marino said. “We climbed out of the club qualifier and just kept on marching.”

Giovernale and Marino marched from the sectional qualifier at Hamlet Country Club on Long Island to New Jersey for the championship, and all the way into the winner’s circle and MGA championship history.

The championship is played over 18 holes of stroke play, net better-ball against the field, with players competing at 90 percent of their course handicap.

Each team member must have a USGA handicap index between 5.0 and 24.0, with the team total not exceeding 40.0.

MONAGHAN ADVANCES Connor Monaghan of North Fork Country Club shot a 74 in first round of the Long Island Amateur on Monday at Inwood Country Club. He advances to match play.

GILDERSLEEVE TIED FOR 16TH Morgan Gildersleeve of Mattituck finished the Junior PGA Championship tied for 16th place among girls ages 13 to 18 with a 37-over-par 181 over two rounds at the Baiting Hollow Club. Gildersleeve shot an 86 in the first round on Monday and then followed that with a 95 on Tuesday.