Dave Blichar rallies to win Lehigh Valley Senior Amateur Medal Play title
June 4, 2018
BETHLEHEM TWP. — Dave Blichar of Upper Macungie Township is on a historic run.
Three shots out of the lead entering Sunday’s final round, the 54-year-old Blichar rallied with an even-par 34-37–71 to win the 25th annual Lehigh Valley Senior Amateur Medal Play Championship at Green Pond Country Club.
Blichar, fresh off his victory in last week’s Lehigh Valley Inter-Club Championship, finished with a 36-hole score of 2-over-par 73-71–144 to win the title by two strokes over defending champion Robin McCool of Upper Saucon Township, who shot 74-72–146.
Two players tied for third place at 148: Sal Picone of Palmer Township and Ed Mesko of Stroudsburg.
Blichar, McCool, and Picone are Lehigh Valley Golf Hall of Fame inductees.
With the victory, Blichar has an opportunity to become the first golfer in Lehigh Valley history to hold all four Lehigh Valley senior major amateur titles at the same time. He needs to win the Lehigh Valley Senior Amateur Match Play Championship in September at Green Pond to complete a “Calendar Slam”. Last October, Blichar won the Lehigh Valley Tournament of Champions.
“It’s something to shoot for,” Blichar said. “I like it.”
The victory for Blichar adds to his career resume which also includes winning the 1999 Lehigh Valley Amateur, 2008 Lehigh Valley Tournament of Champions, 2002 Lehigh Valley Medal Play, and the 2013, 2015, and 2017 Lehigh Valley Senior Tournament of Champions titles.
“This is the one I wanted the most,” said Blichar, a Palmerton native. “I tried five times, and I failed, For two days with this field, it’s a good one.”
Blichar entered the final round trailing first round leader Bob Beck by three strokes and Dave Olexson by two shots. Blichar shot 2-under-par 34 on the front nine to grab a three-stroke lead since Beck shot 40 and Olexson had a 42 on the front nine.
Blichar’s front nine surge was keyed by hitting seven greens in regulation, and a pair of birdies in the par-4 fourth (12-foot putt) and fifth hole (25-foot putt).
Despite three-putt bogeys on the 10th and 16th holes, Blichar managed to hold off a late charge from Robin McCool (three consecutive birdies on the 15th, 16th, and 17th holes) to win the title.
“I’m practicing, and playing with good players,” Blichar said. “I don’t make any major mistakes. I try to keep my mistakes to bogeys.”
25th annual Lehigh Valley Senior Amateur Medal Play Championship
Green Pond Country Club (par 71)
Final 36-hole scores:
1. Dave Blichar 73-71-144 (2-over-par); 2. Robin McCool 74-72-146; 3-T. Sal Picone 73-75-148, Ed Mesko, 72-76-148; 5. Rob Smith 72-77-149; 6. Gregory Buliga 72-78-150; 7. Bob Beck 70-81-151; 8-T. Elliot Sheftel 78-74-152, James Boburka 76-76-152, Mark Czerniakowski 75-77-152, Rob Zampella 75-77-152, Bruce Jodoin 72-80-152, Jeff Hudson 72-80-152, David Olexson Sr. 71-81-152; 15. Tom Lusto 79-75-154; 16-T. Ed Kluemper 77-78-155, Tom Prestia 76-79-155; 18-T. David Rader 78-78-156, Joseph Jasinski 78-78-156, Andrew Lykon 76-80-156; 21. Dominic Carr 76-82-158; 22-T. Joseph Zelechoski 81-78-159, Larry Pritchard 77-82-159; 24. Robert Schubach 75-85-160; 25. Fred Lening 83-78-161; 26. Tom Soares 82-80-162; 27-T. Rich Kovacs 82-81-163, Randy Brown 81-82-163; 29-T. Tom Egolf 81-83-164, Michael Squires 77-87-164; 31-T. John McCurry 80-85-165, Tommy Arnold 79-86-165; 33. Ed Schulz 83-86-169; 34. Lance Oberparleiter 82-88-170; 35. Robert Schultz 84-87-171; 36. Tom Stitt 85-87-172; 37. Brian Exton 82-92-174; 38. John Mace 83-92-175; 39. David Strohl 87-89-176; 40. Mark Harmon 88-89-177; 41. David Sweeney 88-91-179.
Age Group Winners:
50-55 — Dave Blichar
56-61 — Sal Picone, Ed Mesko
62-67 — Robin McCool
68-and-over — Rich Kovacs
NOTE: If Dave Blichar wins the Lehigh Valley Senior Amateur Match Play Championship in September, he will become the first golfer in Lehigh Valley history to hold all four Lehigh Valley senior major amateur titles at the same time.
Back To News