Local Sports Scene
Local Hoops Camp Completes Season
Pros Set Records On Soft En-Joie Course
By Tom Robinson
En-Joie Golf Club in Endicott, NY opened for the first time this season when PGA Tour players arrived for pro golf's closest stop to the area each season.
En-Joie had been damaged by Hurricane Ivan last September and then again by flooding in April. When those floods left 13 greens and much of the course under water, the resulting damage made it necessary to close the course to the public until after the PGA Tour stop.
When the course opened, it featured ultra-soft greens that allowed the pros to fire at the pins even more than would normally be the case.
And, the result was a course that normally yields low scores to the pros gave up even lower numbers Thursday through Sunday.
Records were approached each day until Jason Bohn emerged with a one-stroke victory by shooting a final round 66 for a 24-under-par, 264 total.
The total was a record for the tournament, beating by two the mark of 22-under, 266 established by Jeff Sluman and Paul Gow in 2001 as the lowest scores since the course was redesigned from a par-71 to a par-72 layout. The winning score was even lower than when Calvin Peete shot 265 in 1982 before the changes took place.
Bohn survived a ridiculously crowded leader board. About midway through the final round, there was a six-way tie for first at minus-21 with two more players at minus-20 and a total of 13 players within two strokes of the lead.
When it was over, Bohn had a one-stroke victory over J.P. Hayes, John Rollins, Ryan Palmer and Brendan Jones. In all, 19 players finished within four strokes of first place, including Harrison Frazar, who used a final day 62 to tie for ninth at 20-under.
With the top players from the tour in Scotland for the British Open, there was room in the field for some part-time players.
Rookies and veterans took advantage of the opportunities to be in contention before Bohn produced his first PGA Tour victory in just his second career top-10 finish.
Matt Hendrix, playing just his fourth career event, shared the first-round lead after shooting a 9-under, 63. He wound up tied for 13th by shooting 268.
Hendrix opened the tournament with a double bogey, but had two eagles before the front nine was over.
Glen Day, who holed out from 118 yards on 18 for an eagle, matched Hendrix for the first-round lead and wound up tied with him at the end of the tournament.
After the second day, Hendrix was still second, a stroke behind 49-year-old David Edwards, who was playing in just his sixth event of the year.
Edwards, who last won in 1993, shot a 63 for a 15-under-129 and the lead at the midway point. He wound up at 269, in a six-way tie for 20th.
At the end of Friday's action, the cut was made at 4-under, the lowest in tournament history. That left defending champion Jonathan Byrd, who was 3-under after shooting 70 and 71, out of the field for the weekend.
Jones, a rookie from Australian, continued his steady play to take over the lead after three rounds. Jones, who led the field in driving distance, followed up rounds of 67 and 64 by shooting 66 Saturday to go into the final round at 19-under-par, 197.
A dozen players were within four strokes of Jones heading into Sunday's final round.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Binghamton Mets pitcher Brian Bannister said good-bye to Class AA baseball in about the best way possible.
Bannister was the starting pitcher for the North in a 9-6 win over the South in the Eastern League All-Star Game Wednesday. He then headed to Norfolk to join the Tides, the Class AAA farm team of the New York Mets.
"It was an honor to start the game because it was the All-Star Game and because it was my last Double-A game," Bannister told MLB.com. "It will be a new challenge at a new level, but this is how things work and I'm ready for it."
Bannister gave up a run on two hits in one inning, but got all three of his outs by strikeout.
Three other Binghamton Mets were on the North Division team.
Mike Jacobs started at catcher and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
David Bacani came off the bench to play third base. He went 1-for-2 and scored a run.
Pitcher Yusmeiro Petit did not appear in the game.
In the Triple-A All-Star Game, Chris Coste was the only Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Baron to play for the International League team.
Coste entered the game as a pinch hitter and took over at third base. He had a sacrifice fly to drive in a run and struck out in his other at-bat.
The Pacific Coast League defeated the International League, 11-5.
Gerry McNamara plays his college basketball close enough to home that fans from the Scranton area routinely make the trip to Syracuse to attend his games.
McNamara will get to play even closer to home one time in his senior year.
Officials at the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre announced last week that Syracuse will play Towson University there December 27 in the first NCAA Division I basketball game at the arena.
The game gives a chance for McNamara, who led Scranton's Bishop Hannan to a state title, and Towson freshman Tim Crossin, who led Kingston's Bishop O'Reilly to back-to-back state championships in 2004 and 2005, to play in front of Northeastern Pennsylvania fans.
"This is another great day for Wachovia Arena and Northeastern Pennsylvania," state Rep. Kevin Blaum said in announcing the event. "We are very excited to bring yet another example of quality sports entertainment to our area."
Tickets, priced at $20, $25, $45, $85 and $100 will go on sale July 25 at 10 a.m.
McNamara was recently selected to be among 13 players to attend camp to try out for the team that will compete in the World University Games Aug. 11-22 in Izmir, Turkey.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
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TONY STEWART Dominates At New Hampshire
Tony Stewart dominated the New Hampshire 300, leading 231 of 300 laps to win for the third time in four starts. His other two wins came at Sonoma and Daytona.
Kurt Busch, who came back from an early race spin, zipped past Stewart shortly after a restart on Lap 241.
That was the first and only time Stewart had been passed for the lead all day. Six laps later, Stewart passed Busch for the lead, and from then on, it was all Stewart, as Busch was never able to mount a charge.
Near the end of the race it appeared Stewart had his No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet on cruise control.
After the race ended, Stewart climbed the fence to the top and went over into the flag stand. He took the checkered flag and waved it to the crowd. This time, he took the stairs back down to the track to drive his car to victory lane.
"That's my deal," Stewart said. "If anybody else starts doing it they're copying me. Everybody's been doing burnouts. I am just really happy, the car was awesome today. I am just happy we're on this roll and headed towards the championship.”
Kurt Busch, who swept both races at Loudon in 2004, rallied to finish second. Bobby Labonte finished third, while Kyle Busch and Greg Biffle rounded out the top five.
The other big news story of the race was that of Jeff Gordon.
Gordon had moved up to fourth and it appeared the bad luck that has plagued him for so many races was gone. But with 15-laps remaining, the brakes went out on his No. 24 and he had to coast to a 25th place finish.
Top ten finishing order: 1. Tony Stewart, 2. Kurt Busch, 3. Bobby Labonte, 4. Kyle Busch, 5. Greg Biffle, 6. Kasey Kahne, 7. Ryan Newman, 8. Rusty Wallace, 9. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 10. Matt Kenseth.
Chase for the Cup Contenders: 1. Johnson-2672, 2. Biffle-2595, 3. Stewart-2587, 4. R. Wallace-2442, 5. Busch-2347, 6. Newman-2347, 7. Martin-2320, 8. Mayfield-2285, 9. Sadler-2276, 10. Jarrett-2254.
MARTIN May Stay, WALTRIP Leaving – Mark Martin may stay with the No. 6 Ford team for the 2006 season, while Michael Waltrip, driver of DEI’s No. 15, says he will walk.
Jack Roush confirmed reports that he has asked Martin to remain with the No. 6 Ford team one more year should new driver Jamie McMurray be unable to join the team until 2007.
"I made my appeal to Mark, I asked him if he would make an encore performance for one more year to help me keep this team together," Roush said.
"He thought about it and had a conversation with his wife, Arlene, and his son, Matt, who were expecting to spend more time with their husband and dad. He told me the next day they were OK with it. He said, 'I hope you don't need me, but I'll do it if you need me.' "
McMurray's current owner, Chip Ganassi, has until September to exercise an additional year's option on McMurray's current contract. Roush said he spoke with Ganassi Sunday and that Ganassi indicated he planned to keep McMurray in 2006.
Martin is currently sixth in points, with five top-five and nine top-10 finishes.
"I'm real proud of this organization, I've been part of it for 18 years since day one and I don't want to let them down," Martin said.
"I'll be honest with you, I want to get going on my new chapter, because you never know. There are things in life that I really want to do and haven't gotten to do yet. I have to get started on those."
Meanwhile, Michael Waltrip will not be back with Dale Earnhardt Inc. after the end of the 2005 season.
Waltrip and DEI said they will part ways following the season-ending race at Homestead, FL. Waltrip has driven the No. 15 Chevrolets for DEI since 2001. He has won four races including the 2001 and 2003 Daytona 500s.
"Dale (Earnhardt Sr.) and Teresa gave me an opportunity with a winning organization that I have been proud to be an integral part of for the last five years," Waltrip said. "My professional relationship with DEI is ending, but my personal relationships have ties that are deep-rooted. Therefore, my decision to leave DEI is a difficult one. Our individual visions for the future are taking different courses, but our goals are the same – to be successful in the premier division of NASCAR."
Waltrip is reported to be working on a deal to drive the No. 0 Chevrolet of HAAS CNC Racing now driven by Mike Bliss.
If NAPA Auto Parts, the sponsor of the No. 15 goes with Waltrip that would only leave DEI with the No. 8 driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 1, which is scheduled to be driven by Martin Truex, Jr.
TRUEX Extends Lead With New England Win – Martin Truex Jr. held off Carl Edwards on the final lap of Saturday’s Busch Series race at Loudon, NH for his fifth win of the season. The victory allowed him to increase his points lead over Clint Bowyer.
The top-10 Busch Series drivers: 1. Truex-2846, 2. Bowyer-2704, 3. Sorenson-2676, 4. Edwards-2626, 5. K. Wallace-2499, 6. Hamlin-2446, 7. Lewis-2277, 8. Stremme-2273, 9. Keller-2186, 10. Biffle-2174.
There was no Craftsman Truck Series racing this past weekend.
All three of NASCAR’s major series will be at different venues. The Nextel Cup teams will be at Long Pond, PA, while the Busch Series is at Pikes Peak Raceway in Fountain, CO, and the Craftsman Trucks race at Memphis, TN.
Friday, July 23, Busch Series Salute to the Troops, race 21 0f 35, 250 laps/250 miles, 3:30 p.m. TV: TNT.
Craftsman Trucks O’Reilly 200, race 14 of 25, 200 laps/150 miles, 8 p.m. TV: Speed Channel.
Sunday, July 24, Nextel Cup Pennsylvania 500, race 20 of 36, 200 laps/500 miles, 1 p.m. TV: TNT.
Racing Trivia Question: How many career Cup wins does Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 9 Dodge have?
Last Week’s Question: Which is the oldest track on the NASCAR Nextel Cup circuit? Answer. It is Martinsville Speedway.
You may read additional stories by the Racing Reporter at www.race500.com. You may write him at P. O. Box 160711, Mobile, AL 36616.
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Local Hoops Camp Completes Season
NextLevel Hoops Shooting & Offensive Skills Camp for Boys and Girls in 4th - 8th Grade was held on July 11-13 at Forest City Regional High School. Under the direction of Jason Maile and counselors Amanda Vitzakovitz, Jake Beautz, and Michael McGraw, campers enjoyed three days of shooting and offensive skill development along with competitive basketball.
Pictured (l-r) are: standing – Jake Beautz, Amanda Vitzakovitz, Mark Willchock, Jake Fedak, Alex Bazink, Brad Medved, Jon McBride, Jason Maile; kneeling – Justin Kinny, Austin Smith, Noah Fedak, Colby Donahue, Kyle Cosgrove, Karch Frantz; sitting – Amanda Cino, Vicky Corey, Vincent DeLucy, Allie Corey, Candice Buamher, Danielle Liuzzo.
Special award winners are as follows: 1-on-1 Champion – Jake Fedak; Hot Shot Champion – Danielle Liuzzo; Knockout Champion – Jon McBride; Foul Shooting Champion – Brad Medved; Step-Back Champion – Brad Medved; Coaches Award – Colby Donahue; Shooting Star of the Week – Brad Medved.
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