Niles’ Scott Zavitz won the Niles City Golf Tournament’s Championship Flight with a 153 at Plym Park Sunday. (Daily Star Photo/SCOTT NOVAK)

Archived Story

Zavitz wins city golf title

Published 4:45pm Sunday, July 15, 2012

Plym Park Golf Course holds a special place in the heart of Scott Zavitz.

Sunday afternoon, Zavitz parlayed countless childhood memories of the scenic 9-hole layout into his first championship in the Greater Niles City Golf Tournament.

On a day when tricky pin placements wreaked havoc on a vast majority of the field, Zavitz calmly stretched a two-shot lead into a four-shot victory.

Zavitz followed his opening round of 75 with a 78 Sunday. He struggled to a 41 on the front nine, and led by just two shots with nine holes to play, but he was solid down the stretch and coasted to victory over Dave Hopper (80-77) and Mike Brown (79-78).

Surrounded by a small gathering of family and friends, the victory was a sweet one for Zavitz.

“My mom and dad are here, my sister is here and so is my new little boy,” a smiling Zavitz said after the final round. “We all played (poorly) this morning, but I pulled it together on the back side and hit some good shots. It feels real good.”

Bob Freshley won his third straight championship in the Senior Division. Freshley recorded the low round of the tournament with 72 Saturday and followed it Sunday with a round of 77 to win by four strokes over Fred Knutel (80-74).

Knutel’s 74 was the low round on the final day of the event.

En route to his victory, Zavitz rolled in a clutch birdie putt on the par-4 fifth hole — his 14th  hole of the day – to stretch his lead to five shots with four holes to play.

“That was huge on No. 5,” said Zavitz, who played the final four holes at 1-over-par.

Zavitz was among a large number of contestants who raved about the condition of the golf course.

“This golf course is in excellent condition,” he said. “Normally, the greens are slow, but they double-cut them and they were rolling pretty good today. The pins were on all the crowns today, and that made scoring more difficult.”

Joe Tirotta (77-82) finished solo fourth in the Regular Division, while Jim Butler (77-83) rounded out the top-5.

Terry Churchill (79-78) won ‘A’ Flight championship honors by six shots over Josh Townsley (83-80).

Matt Brawley (81-87) made par on the first hole of a three-man playoff to earn top honors in the ‘B’ Flight over Derrick Balos (83-85).

John Isabell (96-92) was the ‘C’ Flight winner by two shots over Jerry Marlin (96-94).

Freshley said his third straight Senior Division championship was perhaps his most satisfying.

“This one was more difficult, because I had to work harder for it,” Freshley said. “I struggled a bit on the front nine (40) and then had a good back nine (37).”

Gerral Durham (82-82) carded top honors in the ‘A’ Flight of the Senior Division, winning by three shots over Stan Williams. Williams was credited with the largest improvement from the first round, following an 88 Saturday with a 77 on Sunday.

Chuck Brooks captured the B Flight with a 181, while Bob Blue finished second after shooting 193.

Niles City Golf Tournament

At Plym Park

July 14-15

Championship Flight

Scott Zavitz – 153

Mike Brown – 157

Dave Hopper – 157

A Flight

Terry Churchill – 157

Josh Townsley – 163

B Flight

Matt Brawley – 168

Derrick Balos – 168

(Brawley wins on first playoff hole)

C Flight

John Isabel – 188

Jerry Marlin – 190

Sr. Championship Flight

Bob Freshley – 149

Fred Knutel – 154

A Flight

Gerral Durham – 164

Stan Williams – 165

B Flight

Chuck Brooks – 181

Bob Blue – 193

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