This year’s Championship once again brought one of the hottest weekends of the summer. Eighty-Seven players teed it up at beautiful Algonquin Golf Club. The course was in great condition, and some great golf was played on Thursday and Friday. The course played to Par 69 this year, with holes 10 and 18 playing as Par 4s, instead of the traditional Par 5s for those two holes. For the fourth year in a row, we finished with a “clean 16”, so we did not need a playoff to determine the field for Match Play. We ended up with three players tied for medalist honors, with the 2018 Champion Chris Kovach (Old Hickory), 2011 Champion Alex Cusumano (Norwood Hills) and the 2019 Post Dispatch Metro Player of the Year, Max Kreikemeier (Forest
Hills), shooting 136.
Five time champion Skip Berkmeyer (Legends) and 2019 Mid-Am Champ Jason Landry (Greenbriar Hills), shot 137. Drew Pranger (Glen Echo) shot 140, while Crimson Callahan (Legends) and Chad Niezing (Legends), qualified at 141. Sam Migdal (Norwood Hills) shot 142, Pat Britt (Norwood Hills) shot 143, and Ryan Schuenke (Quincy) and Ben Tyrell (Sunset Hills) shot 145. The last four spots shooting 146 went to Riley Ahern (Persimmon Woods), Frankie Thomas (Meadowbrook), Justin Wrozier (Old Hickory) and John Freund (Algonquin). Saturday’s round of 16 continued the trend of overtime matches. In the first match, Cusumano made quick work of Wrozier 4&3, while the next match with Niezing and Migdal going 19 holes (Migdal birdied first hole in playoff). Ahern birdied the first overtime hole against Berkmeyer, Landry dispatched Schuenke in 20 holes, and Pranger defeated Tyrell in 19 holes. In the Quarterfinals Saturday afternoon, Cusumano defeated Migdal 3&2, while Ahern bested Landry 5&4. Britt defeated Thomas in 20 holes, while Kovach and Pranger had an epic battle going 21 holes, with Kovach finally prevailing.
Sunday’s temperatures were a bit kinder on the players, but the play was hot. Cusumano and Ahern exchanged 9 birdies and an eagle (Cusumano almost jarred hole 15 from the teeing ground), but Ahern finally prevailed, winning 2 Up. In the other semi-final match, Kovach and Britt battled it out with “only” 6 birdies, with Kovach prevailing 1 Up. The Final Match was played in 2-1/4 hours, with great play from both players. Only 5 birdies in
the final match, with Kovach prevailing 2&1 to capture his third Griesedieck Men’s Championship in five years. Congratulations Chris! This marked the first repeat champion since 2005, when Skip Berkmeyer won it in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
Many thanks to the staff at Algonquin, as well as its members for allowing us to conduct the Centennial Championship there. And thanks also to our numerous volunteers who survived the heat for four days and made the Championship the success that it was.
Next year’s Griesedieck Championship is at Persimmon Woods GC, July 16-19, 2020.