John Pelling, reigning Island Men’s Club golf champion showed why in winning the annual three-day tournament.
He won in medal play with a total score of 230. He won in match play the year before.
Pelling was 11 shots ahead going into the final day. Second place changed hands, but Pelling still won by 11. David Leesig slipped into second place with a round of 75 on the last day, while John Wrucke and 16-time winner Larry Paladino tied for third.
The competition was played from the blue tees, which adds 450 yards overall to the course.
“I tend to hit a fairly long ball and I think that helped,” Pelling said.
Yet he was conservative off the tee.
“I love to use my driver but I didn’t hit it that much,” he said.
Pelling practiced three days on the weekend before the tournament from the blue tees.
“After the first practice day I pretty much put my driver back in the bag,” he said. “I played a hybrid off the tees, wanting to keep the ball in play. My goal was to stay out of trouble and stay away from the big numbers on any hole.”
Over the three days he had two double bogeys and five birdies, playing mostly par golf.
Pelling commended the pro staff, led by Michael DeJordy, and Wayne Kappauf, grounds superintendent, for having the course in great shape.
Before joining the Island Club, Pelling played three years at Fiddler’s Creek, winning one club championship. He also won twice at Ruth Lake Country Club in Hinsdale, IL.
Pelling said he’d rather play match than medal play.
“In match play if you have a big number on a hole you just lose the hole,” he said. “In medal play every shot counts.”