Familiarity leads to success at Syron Tournament 0
Posted on 26, July 2012
July 2, 2012
PONTIAC — The theme of the final day of the Frank Syron Memorial tournament at Pontiac Country Club was familiarity.
All four of the golfers in Sunday’s final pairing have a long history of friendship on and off the course and it was clear that they enjoyed the opportunity to close out the Syron as a group.
“That was an absolute perfect pairing today,” said Josh Bauer, 33, of Waterford. “Today it just felt like you were playing a round of golf with your buddies.”
For the hometown Bauer, the familiarity went beyond just playing with friends. He currently lives a mere five blocks from Pontiac Country Club and has played the course a countless number of times throughout his youth.
“I grew up on this course,” said Bauer. “I had a junior membership here for years. I used to ride my bike down here with my clubs on my back. I’ve literally probably played 2,000 rounds here. I’ve also played in this tournament 16 times so it’s safe to say I know the course well.”
Bauer wasn’t the only golfer of the group who’s had some experience with the tournament.
Jason May of Sterling Heights has played in the tournament for the last 11 years, winning it in 2009. Rochester Hills native Anthony Sorentino has played the tournament eight times. He’s come in second twice and third once, but has never been able to get over the hump and win it.
Never, that is, until this year.
Sorentino and May came into Sunday tied at 127 with Bauer two strokes back. After a slow start to his day, Sorentino kicked things into high gear toward the end of the front nine.
“I hit a couple of three putts early on. You’re nervous, you know? You want to win. I’m playing with a few of my good buddies and I know no one’s going to let up or gag it away,” said the 34 year old Sorentino.
“My caddie today was one of my best friends and he’s currently on a golf tour. He got in town the other night, though, and he came out here to help me today. When we were struggling early he grabbed me and he goes ‘just settle down man’ so that helped me a lot to regroup and play my game. I hit a good shot on 7 then I finally birdied 8 so a couple of good shots to end the front nine helped to turn the tide for me so to speak.”
Sorentino would not look back from there. With a trio of birdies over the last seven holes he picked up 6 strokes on the nearest competitor and ended the tournament with a 207 on his scorecard, tying him for the all-time tournament record with a score that has not been duplicated since 1971.
Though May and Bauer both fell short, it was clear there was nothing but joy in their hearts for their good friend ‘Tony’ Sorentino at day’s end.
“Tony’s been close here for a number of years, so I was telling Josh on the 18th if any of us was going to win this, I’m pretty happy that Tony could. He’s one of the top players in the state and he finally got a chance to break through. Tony pulled away, and I’m happy for him,” said May.
“He did what you have to do to win a golf tournament, he hit the shots at good times, I’m so glad to see him win it,” said Bauer.
May finished in 2nd place shooting a 213, and Bauer in 4th at 215.
For Sorrentino the familiar setting Sunday gave way to some newly explored territory. A first-place finish at the Frank Syron Memorial Tournament.
“After all the years here getting so close, this is just like, finally.”
By RYAN PECK
Special to The Oakland Press