There's a new young gun on the York County golf scene.
His name is Mike Stackus, and he announced his presence with a thrilling victory over Bob Ruby on Sunday in the finals of the York County Amateur Golf Association Match Play Championship at Regents' Glen Country Club.
Stackus' name and story are likely not familiar to many local golf fans.
He only arrived in York County in April when he took a job as a fundraiser in York College's development office.
He garnered some recognition in mid-July when he finished tied for fifth in the York County Amateur -- the premier event on the local golf calendar.
Then this past Sunday, Stackus likely caught even more attention with his triumph over Ruby, who has been one of the top amateur golfers in York County for quite some time.
Stackus and Ruby put on quite a show in the 36-hole final at Regents' Glen, combining for 20 birdies, while also throwing in two eagles for good measure. Stackus, playing out of Heritage Hills Golf Resort, had rounds of 66 and 72, while Ruby, playing out of Royal Manchester, had scores of 68 and 70. Stackus ended up winning, 1 up, in a match that went the full 36 holes.
"It was a great match, very back and forth," Stackus said. "Bob made some great putts all day. He birdied so many of the par 3s. ... Bob is great, very talkative and just a joy to play with. ... I hope we can play again."
Stackus picked up his victory despite dealing with a nagging back injury recently. The back problem flared up Friday in the York Open at Royal Manchester Golf Links, where he finished tied for 24th after a 78. Sunday, however, his back was feeling much better and it was reflected in his scores.
"(The Match Play title) was one of the harder victories I've had," he said. "To win this, you need to win five matches over three months over five good players."
Stackus, 29, comes to York with some impressive credentials. He grew up in the Finger Lakes region of New York and was an NCAA Division III All-American in 2005 at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y. After graduating from college, he became a club pro and then tried his luck as a touring pro in 2008 and 2009.
"It was my dream (to become a professional golfer)," he said. "I tried and I failed, but it was a great learning experience."
Stackus said he has no intention of trying to play professionally again and regained his amateur status. In 2012 he rolled to an impressive nine-shot victory in the Vermont Amateur while working at Norwich University.
Now Stackus has established himself as a force to be reckoned with in York County golf. He said he plans to play in the YCAGA Mid-Amateur, Champion of Champions and the War of the Roses events over the coming weeks and months. He said he was especially looking forward to the War of the Roses -- a Ryder Cup-style event that pits the best amateurs from York County against the top amateurs from Lancaster County.
"I hear that is a really great event," he said.
Stackus has also been impressed with what he's seen so far from the YCAGA, praising Tournament Director Sherm Keeney and Executive Director Dave Bennett for their work.
"Sherm and Dave do a great job," he said. "They have a really good system going."
Stackus has taken advantage of that system to quickly make a name for himself within the York County golf community.
-- Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdis patch.com. Editor's note: The site of the YCAGA Match Play Champion ship was listed incorrectly in Monday's Dispatch. The event was held at Re gents' Glen Country Club.