Downpour Washes Out Cleveland Am Third Round; Skirpstas Wins Playoff

Cleveland Metroparks Golf
Sleepy Hollow's 9th Green on Sunday
Water covers the entire 9th green and a river runs down the fairway at Sleepy Hollow on Sunday

Cleveland Amateur Golf ChampionshipsAs the leaders made the turn on Sunday, it started to sprinkle again.

As the players reached the 10th green, some lightning flashed. Then came the rain. Lots of rain.

After nearly two hours of a strong, steady downpour, tournament directors Mike Raby and John Fiander determined that too much of the golf course would remain under water for the remainder of the day, so third round play was wiped out and the results after 36 holes would stand.

That meant a playoff between round one leader Andrew Bailey of Rocky River and Sleepy Hollow’s newly crowned course champion Pete Skirpstas of Medina would decide the 2011 Cleveland Am.

The rain ended the chances of the playoff roster being even larger — or perhaps crowning a different champion all together — as the top of the leaderboard was tightly packed with just eight holes to go. Skirpstas turned at 1-under par 34 and led Bailey and 3-time Cleveland Am champion Brad Steven going into the back nine by just two shots.

But Steven had birdied the ninth hole by nearly holing his second and followed that up with a birdie at 10 to create some momentum, while Skirpstas made bogey at the 10th for a two shot swing.

Unfortunately, that’s when the skies opened so the finish could not be completed.

Raby and Fiander made the call to revert to the 36-hole scores at 3 p.m.

At 3:20 p.m., the water had receded just enough on the 18th green that a playoff could be started. Skirpstas hit his tee shot into the right rough, while Bailey found the fairway.

Skirpstas cut a gap wedge around the huge tree in the right rough to a spot on the green below and left of the hole, leaving about 18 feet up the hill with a big left-to-right sweep.

So Bailey had an opening, and he took advantage. He hit his own wedge shot to about 12 feet dead above the hole; with the green being wet, he was in great position for his birdie run.

Skirpstas Taps In For Par in the PlayoffSkirpstas hit a solid putt that cruised just past the low side of the hole, leaving himself an 18-inch tap-in which he finished up.

That set the stage for Bailey to win the playoff.

Bailey Birdie Effort in Cleveland Am PlayoffBailey read the putt carefully with his caddie, stroked the downhill putt — and it simply stopped. Some excess water between his ball and the hole left him halfway home. Earlier in the day, that same putt would have been dangerously fast.

Bailey was now faced with a downhill six footer just to tie, which he failed to convert by sending it just right of the hole. It was an extremely disappointing ending to the day for the 2011 Big Met course champion.

Andrew Bailey and Pete Skirpstas with their 2011 Cleveland Am Trophies
Andrew Bailey and Pete Skirpstas with their 2011 Cleveland Am Trophies

With the playoff victory, Skirpstas becomes the first Cleveland Amateur champion who is also the reigning course champion from the same site, as he won the qualifier at Sleepy Hollow two weeks previous.

A big thank you to Cleveland Metroparks golf professionals Mike Raby and John Fiander for their fantastic work throughout the tournament, and a big congratulations to Sleepy Hollow course superintendent Chad Lewanski who has done a fantastic job in bringing this challenging golf course back to tournament quality.

FINAL RESULTS: 2011 Greater Cleveland Amateur Golf Championship
Sleepy Hollow Golf Course, Brecksville, Ohio – Par 71
Friday, August 12 – Sunday, August 14, 2011
[Final round cancelled due to rain; *won on first playoff hole]

Pete Skirpstas*7369142
Andrew Bailey6874142
Brad Steven7469143
Zach Glassman7271143
Matt Heestand7073143
Norton Brick7272144
Jonathan Riemer7273145
Michael Klaric7472146
Phil Bojc7373146
William Schaefer7968147
Robert Schustrich Jr.7671147
Matt Marino7275147
Kevin Hamori6978147
Brian VanDeMotter7573148
John Furlong7474148
Frank Whites III7474148
David Sotka7474148
David Griffith7574149
Mike Guarino7475149
Mark Borlin7971150
Kevin Pikus7872150
Phil Latsko7575150
Dan Predovic8071151
Anthony Yacovazzi8071151
Bryan Yeo7676152
Steve Blackburn Jr.7974153
Matt Kanegkasikorn7677153
Jesse Fox7677153
Dan Metzendorf8373156
Pat Elber8075155
Chris Okeson7381154
Ross Beal7483157
Louis Durban8074154
Alex Brinkman7977156
Scott Saari8076156
Joe Zucker7779156
Fred Colli7578153
Scott Heran7678154
Charles Milo8076156
Matthew Kreider7579154
Alex Dipalma7778155
Tony Briggs7679155
Bill Speirs7482156
Jim Schaefer7976155
Jake Wetzel8274156
Paul Krueger7977156
Bob Crouch7879157
Doug Barber8474158
Mark Foss8276158
Joe Zabukovec8276158
Ray Prokop8177158
Kevin Hagen8177158
Billy Barbour7781158
Colin Holmes7682158
Matt Timmons7682158
Jerry Miller8178159
David Stover7980159
Michael Mintz8179160
Thomas Gill8179160
Allen Freeman7783160
Jack Elber8279161
Lorenzo Lanier8279161
Mark Ciccarello8478162
John Martis8679165
Ryan Andrews8283165
Bob Coy7887165
Brian Miller8681167
Michael Opsitnick8781168
David Winchell7989168
Craig Stewart9178169
Michael Scherer8782169
Greg Manuel8684170
Jeff Deal8387170
Chinnawatt Scott8190171
Carl Quercioli8792179
John Neidzalek77WDWD
Brian Smith80WDWD
Ryan Augustitus84WDWD
Cary SlabaughWDWD
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