Mike Nechetsky Rallies to Win Lehigh Valley Mid-Amateur Title
July 21, 2016
UPPER SAUCON TWP. — Mike Nechetsky was frustrated with his putting Friday after 3-putting three greens during his second-round front nine at Wedgewood Golf Course.
But on the back nine, the 47-year-old Allentown resident mounted a winning rally for the ages.
Tied for seventh place and five strokes out of the lead, Nechetsky shot a spectacular 5-under-30 on the back nine (the course’s Maple Nine) to win the 21st annual Lehigh Valley Mid-Amateur Championship.
Nechetsky finished with a 3-under-par 68-70–138 to win his first regional amateur title by two strokes over a pair of former tournament champions: Joe Coulson of Upper Saucon Township (72-68–140), and Dave Blichar of Upper Macungie Township (68-72–140).
Dominic Carr (71-70-141) and Jason Wilson (68-73-141) tied for fourth place.
First round leader Sal Picone (67-75-142) finished in sixth place.
On the afternoon front nine, Blichar and Wilson both shot 1-under-par 35 to share the lead at 3-under-par by two strokes over Picone and Carr.
Nechetsky rallied to victory on the back nine with four pars; and birdies on the 10th, 11th, 12th, 16th, and 17th holes. He scrambled for a one-putt par on the final hole, then waited until the last group came in.
“I didn’t think that I would win because it is a short golf course,” said Nechetsky, who hit eight greens in regulation and had just 13 putts on the back nine. “I thought 8-under-par would win it. I came here not expecting anything. I just wanted to play a few rounds and go home.”
A baseball player while growing up, Nechetsky began playing golf when he was 25 years-old. He took lessons from late club professional Tom Lynch, who Nechetsky said he thought about during Friday’s tournament.
“The last time I saw him, he taught me a drill,” said Nechetsky, who works as a Pharmacist. “I’m using that now before I hit a shot. I loved the guy.”
With the win, Nechetsky earned an exemption to the 2016 Lehigh Valley Open.
21st annual Lehigh Valley Mid-Amateur Championship
Wedgewood Golf Course (par 71)
Final 36-hole scores:
1. Mike Nechetsky 68-70-138 (3-under-par);
2-T. Joe Coulson 72-68-140, David Blichar 68-72-140;
4-T. Dominic Carr 71-70-141, Jason Wilson 68-73-141;
6. Salvatore Picone 67-75-142;
7-T. Jesse Santiago 72-74-146, Mark Sivel 70-76-146;
9-T. Fred Lening 75-72-147, Dan Joseph 75-72-147, Mark Coassolo 71-76-147;
12. Andrew Lykon 75-73-148;
13. Dylan Spadt 74-76-150;
14-T. Robert Schubach 80-71-151, Tom Egolf 74-77-151; 16. Tom Woodring 78-74-152;
17. Brian Egan 79-74-153;
18-T. Frank Betz, Jr. 79-76-155, Anthony Enos 76-79-155;
20-T. Dave Fardon 77-79-156, Tom Prestia 75-81-156;
22. Scott Radio 79-79-158;
23. Leo Fischl 78-82-160;
24. David Clark 86-82-168;
25-T. Paul Egan 93-86-179, Chris Trotta 92-87-179.
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