MANCHESTER — One of the most important traits for a leader of any athletic squad is knowing the strengths and weaknesses of his or her squad.
That might explain why Jay Gingrich wasn’t especially worried about his York side in the annual War of the Roses golf tournament, even though his White Roses were down by a point (6.5-5.5) to Lancaster heading into Sunday’s final round of action at Royal Manchester Golf Links.
“They told me (Saturday) night that they were all mudders,” Gingrich said. “So let it rain.”
While the rain wasn’t substantial, it did turn out to give the best golfers on the York County Amateur Golf Association (YCAGA) Tour just the advantage they needed. The White Rose squad, led by strong efforts Sunday from Brett Berkheimer, Don Dimoff, Bob Ruby, Scott Dobak, Carson Bacha and Steve Goodley, earned seven of the 12 singles points up for grabs to claim a 12.5-11.5 victory over the Red Roses in the two-day, Ryder Cup-style, match-play event.
Sunday’s triumph marked the second victory in three years for the White Roses, who battled Lancaster to a 12-12 draw last year. Last year’s tie enabled York to maintain possession of the War of the Roses trophy before Sunday’s victory gave York the cup for a third year in a row — a first in the 24-year history of the competition.
“It didn’t rain too hard, but they were right,” Gingrich said. “They really are mudders.”
Bacha brings energy: The contributions both on and off the course by Bacha were praised by Gingrich. By far the youngest player on either roster, the Central York junior brought an extra bit of energy to a squad that featured a mix of younger players and older veterans.
“Carson is just a delight,” Gingrich said. “He’s just a great kid and a great golfer. I think he may have inspired some of the older guys. I think the young blood helps.”
Bob Ruby, who paired up with Bacha for the better-ball portion of Saturday’s action, wouldn’t mind pairing up with the Auburn recruit in future events. That duo combined for 11 birdies over 15 holes in their 5&3 triumph.
“He was a good partner,” said Ruby, who claimed a 5&4 victory over Lancaster’s Ken Phillips Sunday in singles. “I’m playing with him in everything now.”
Bacha, who defeated Connor Sheehan 3&2 in Sunday’s round, wouldn’t mind that.
“We kicked (butt) out there,” Bacha said. “Bob’s a hell of a player and he and I had a lot of fun bouncing birdies back and forth off of each other.”
Other key wins: Berkheimer, who claimed the York County Amateur title last month, won his pairing against Lancaster’s Marc Oliveri 2-up for York. Dimoff downed David Richards, 5&3, while Dobak claimed a 5&4 triumph over Bunky Burgess.
York’s victory was assured after Steve Goodley downed Craig Kliewer, 2&1, to earn the White Roses their 12th point. Bobby Stiffler halved his battle with Matt Burkhart to claim the title outright for York.
The White Roses' other point on Sunday came when John Lowder halved in his match with Chris Fieger.
In Saturday's action, York lost the alternate-shot format, 3.5-2.5. The teams tied 3-3 in the better-ball action.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.