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Bon Air's Stiffler fires 69 to take Champion of Champions title at Cool Creek

RYAN VANDERSLOOT
YorkDispatch

WRIGHTSVILLE – The rain that fell throughout the area Saturday left the greens at Cool Creek Golf Club soft.

That suited York County Amateur Golf Association standout Bobby Stiffler just fine.

The Bon Air Country Club golfer enjoyed the conditions Sunday during the Etzweiler Family Funeral Services Champion of Champions event at the Wrightsville course. Stiffler rolled in six birdies, including a stretch of four over five holes on the front nine, to build an early lead.

Playing in a foursome that included Bob Ruby didn't allow the powerful Stiffler much chance to coast. Ruby closed in on his playing mate after No. 11, moving within a stroke to apply pressure.

But there was no stopping Stiffler and his putter on a cool and dry day. Stiffler finished at 2-under-par 69, which bettered both Ruby and Cool Creek's Randy Grim by two strokes, to earn his first Champion of Champions title.

"I was surprised," Stiffler said. "Because it was so soft out there today. I mean, wherever you hit it on the green it would just stop. So, yeah, I'm pretty surprised that there weren't better scores out there."

One of the positives about Stiffler's game is that he's adept with his putter. That came into play when he tallied birdies on No. 4, No. 6, No. 7 and No. 8 to put him at 3 under.

But back-to-back bogeys on No. 10 and No. 11 put him at 1-under, or just a stroke ahead of the steady Ruby, who tallied three birdies, three bogeys and 12 pars on the day.

"(Ruby) playing decent probably helped me out a bit," Stiffler said. "Because I had to focus on beating him instead of worrying about what others on the course were doing. And that's why I love match play because all you have to do is beat what's in front of you and not worrying about if Matt Henry is shooting 6 under with another group."

Fortunately for Stiffler, Henry had no such run Sunday. Henry, who finished runner-up at the Summer Classic a few weeks ago at Honey Run, had a rare off day, finishing at 6-over par.

While no one else could find the right touch with their putters, Stiffler felt at ease. He drained a birdie on No. 17 that all but wrapped up the title.

"I like putting on slow greens," he said. "I stroke it pretty good."

The victory was a nice way for Stiffler to end a bit of a drought in YCAGA action, after having won the Interclub and Better Ball titles a few years back.

"I plan to keep this thing for a long time," he said of the clear trophy that was presented to him. "Nobody can take that away from me."

There are still two big events left on the schedule for the York-area golfers. In two weeks, the York team will head across the river to battle Lancaster's best in the War of the Roses tournament at Meadia Heights. York won the Ryder Cup-style event last year.

That will be followed by the York Open the first weekend of October. The Open was pushed back this year because of problems with the greens at Royal Manchester, the site of this year's event.

Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch.com.

Local golf

YORK COUNTY AMATEUR GOLF ASSOCIATION

CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS

Sunday at Cool Creek Golf Club

Name (Club)....................................Score

Bobby Stiffler (BA) 69

Bob Ruby (RM) 71

Randy Grim (CC) 71

John Lowder Jr. (CC) 72

Bill Brenner (YCGA) 73

Chris Borge (GV) 73

Chris Mescan (GV) 73

Al Geiman (OD) 73

Cary Walton (CCY) 74

Greg Hamme (GV) 74

Doug Barton (GV) 75

Scott Knouse (CC) 75

TJ Ostrom (YCGA) 76

William Holly (CCY) 76

Keith Krout (BW) 76

Ryan Dull (BG) 76

Jay Campbell (BA) 76

Travis Hoffman (GV) 76

Phillip Andrus (BG) 76

Gary Stewart Jr. (CCY) 77

Don Dimoff (HR) 77

Matt Henry (SH) 77

Wayne Jacobs (BW) 77

Fred Bowers (CC) 78

Bob Kuhn (CCY) 78

Kevin Crumbling (CC) 78

Shane Henry (HH) 79

Matt Smith (OD) 79

Shaun McIntyre (CC) 79

Bruce Smith (BWW) 80

Drew Barton (GV) 80

Mike Benedict (BW) 81

William Lynch (CC) 82

Brian Leljedal (PV) 82

Peter Grove (BA) 83

Bob Etzweiler (CCY) 86

Bud McCullough (OD) 86

Levern Krout (RE) 86

Ken Myers (GV) 86

George Barton (GV) 91

George Lupfer (RE) 91

Greg Neff (GV) NC

Brett Berkheimer (BWW) NC

Danny Lankford (CCY) WD

Mark Coburn (UA) WD