Michael Balcar Aims at Winning Third Consecutive Title
Brandywine Country Club’s Michael Balcar can continue a successful season and approach a long-standing record next week when the Northern Ohio Section of the Professional Golfers Association stages its 54th Assistants Championship at Avon Oaks Country Club.
The Assistants Championship is a 36-hole event, with both rounds being played on Tuesday, September 5.
The event also serves as a qualifier for the National Car Rental PGA Assistants Championship to be held November 16-19 at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla. The winner and runner-up at Avon Oaks will have the opportunity to advance to Florida. Third, fourth, and fifth-place finishers will be alternates.
Balcar, the reigning Ohio Open champion, won the last two Assistants Championships and can approach an NOPGA record of four titles held by former member Todd Lancaster. Lancaster, formerly the assistant professional at Westwood Country Club, was the Assistants champion in 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2009.
Balcar won in 2021 when the event was held at Weymouth Country Club and in 2022 when it was played at Mayfield Sand Ridge Club. Tippecanoe Country Club Assistant Zack Ford was the runner-up in 2022, and former Westfield Country Club Assistant Darin de Lelys was second in 2021.
NOTABLE: Many past winners of the Assistants Championship went on to become head professionals and have terrific playing careers. That list includes NOPGA Hall of Famers Mitch Camp (1988), Gary Trivisonno (1990), Bill Reilly (1986), Martin Roesink (1975) and Charlie Wood (1974) . . . Jim Troy (The Golf Dome Coaching & Teaching Professional), Jaysen Hansen (Beechmont Country Club Head Professional) and Larry Manski (Fox Den Golf Course Coaching & Teaching Professional) are the only others to win more than one Assistants Championship. Troy went back-to-back in 2018-2019; Hansen won in 2010 and 2016 and Manski won in 1998 and 2000.
PAST ASSISTANTS CHAMPIONSHIP WINNERS
2022 Micheal Balcar; 2021 Michael Balcar; 2020 Tyler McHugh; 2019 Jim Troy; 2018 Jim Troy; 2017 Nick Latimer-Zabor; 2016 Jaysen Hansen; 2015 Casey Schrader; 2014 Mike Stone; 2013 Mark Evans; 2012 Mike Emery; 2011 Brian Varsey; 2010 Jaysen Hansen; 2009 Todd Lancaster; 2008 Ryan Culbertson; 2007 Todd Lancaster; 2006 Dwayne Randall; 2005 Tim Raleigh; 2004 Todd Lancaster; 2003 Randy Dietz; 2002 John Connelly; 2001 Todd Lancaster; 2000 Larry Manski; 1999 Hugh O’Neil; 1998 Larry Manski; 1997 David Engram; 1996 Steve Parker; 1995 Mark Cero; 1994 David Plumb; 1993 John Lucansky; 1992 Jimmie Brothers; 1991 John D. Lee; 1990 Gary Trivisonno; 1989 Chip Sullivan; 1988 Mitch Camp; 1987 Terry Valentine; 1986 Bill Reilly; 1985 John Jasinski; 1984 David Graf; 1983 Lee Chill; 1982 Tim Starrett; 1981 Gus Mehallis; 1980 Jay Spitale; 1979 Danny Simmons; 1978 Roc Irey; 1977 Ted Ossoff; 1976 Ray Sovik; 1975 Martin Roesink; 1974 Charlie Wood; 1973 Gene Boni; 1972 Ken Corliss; 1971 Eddie Thomas; 1970 Bob Wallace.