Lancaster captures dominating victory over York in War of the Roses golf tournament

  • Lancaster defeated York in the War of the Roses golf tournament, 17-7.
  • The annual match-play event was played at Bon Air Country Club near Glen Rock.
  • Lancaster now leads the series against York, 16-9-1.
Bob Ruby is seen here in a file photo.

GLEN ROCK — In the annual War of the Roses match-play golf battle vs. Lancaster, Bob Ruby said there isn’t a better "home" course for the York team than Bon Air Country Club.

The visitors from across the Susquehanna River, however, disproved Ruby’s sentiment quite emphatically this past weekend.

While Ruby did well as part of the 12-man York contingent, the Red Rose outfit left little doubt about who the better team was. Lancaster bested York, 17-7.

“We got drilled,” said Ruby, who played in his 22nd consecutive event for York. “It was bad. Normally the home team wins the majority of these matches. And when I was leaving (Saturday) with us down 9-3, I just couldn’t believe that we got beat that badly, especially on this golf course.”

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Bon Air is generally known as a tough, tricky track that normally requires a lot of course knowledge.

Ruby and Devin O’Connor teamed up to earn 1.5 points in the better-ball and alternate-shot portion of the tournament on Saturday. Ruby then added an additional point after he defeated Lancaster veteran Craig Kliewer, 5 & 4, in the first of the 12 individual match-play battles Sunday.

Not much else went well for the Yorkers. Lancaster, which won 5.5 out of 6 points in the better-ball portion Saturday, won eight of the final 10 battles Sunday, none of which were by a margin of less than two holes.

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Ruby was shocked, to say the least.

"Bon Air is the best home-course golf course in York County,” said Ruby, who claimed the York Senior Open this summer. “Nobody generally comes down here to play this course. And it’s even new for some of the York guys, but for outsiders it’s really quirky to play.”

Ruby certainly couldn’t fault the course itself for any of York’s troubles. He raved about the conditions.

“The course was really in fantastic shape, it’s the best I’ve ever seen it and I’ve been playing here for almost 50 years,” he said.

A highlight for Forjan: Another highlight of the day for the home side was the final two holes between former York Catholic High School standout Andrew Forjan and Lancaster’s Richard Riva. Trailing by one hole with two holes left, Forjan turned things around with a bit of good fortune on No. 17.

Mired in what seemed to be a very difficult spot under the trees about 75 yards from the hole, Forjan hit a low line drive shot that skipped and bounced toward the green.

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After getting onto the green, Forjan’s ball kept rolling and rolling until it finally fell into the cup.

“That was the best, worst shot I’ve ever hit in my life,” Forjan said with a smile. “I was dead and just scrambling to make par and I just chipped it through the trees to see what would happen.”

Riva, who was on the fairway, couldn’t believe what he saw. Forjan’s good-luck shot forced the Lancaster Catholic alum to hole out to halve the hole. It didn’t happen.

Forjan, who captured the Champion of the Champions title a few week ago by besting Ruby, completed the comeback by sinking another putt on No. 18 after a Riva miss to claim the final point for York.

"That was definitely a really cool shot for me,” Forjan said.

Other York winners: T.J. Ostrom (3&2) and Bobby Stiffler (5&3) were the only other York players to win points Sunday. Ostrom and Don Dimoff teamed up for a 3&1 win in an alternate-shot match, while Stiffler and Shane Henry forged a half point in their match Saturday.

It was Lancaster's second consecutive win in the event. Lancaster leads the series, 16-9-1.

Reach Ryan Vandersloot at