The clutch winning ways of Rob Labritz continued this week with a triumph at the New York State Open in a playoff on the Black course at Bethpage State Park. Labritz, the director of golf at GlenArbor Golf Club in Bedford Hills, has already clocked wins in the Westchester PGA Championship and the Westchester Open this year.
This triumph came on the first hole of a sudden death playoff against Matt Dobyns, head pro at Fresh Meadows Golf Club. The playoff started and ended on the 18th hole on the Black, a 411-yard par 4 with a landing area pinched by bunkers, knee-deep fescue, and other ugly stuff. Dobyns, teeing off first and trying to use his overwhelming length to put some pressure on Labritz, pulled his drive into a bunker 140 yards from the green. Labritz played conservatively and split the fairway farther back to leave himself a seven-iron into the elevated and deeply bunkered green. Dobyns went from fairway bunker to greenside bunker and finally reached the green in three. He missed a 16-foot par putt, leaving Labritz a relatively easy two-putt for the win.
Labrtiz picked up a check for $17,500 for the championship. It was his third victory at the NYSO, the other two coming in 2008 and ’11, both also played on the Black. He’ll be playing in the PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, NJ beginning this coming Monday thanks to a spectacular finish in the PGA National Championship in June, his fourth time in the year’s final major.
Labritz and Dobyns were the only players to match par of 213 over three rounds at Bethpage. Tied for third at three-over 216 were Steve Scott of Paramount Country Club, Peter Ballo of Old Oaks Country Club, and Tyler McArdell, an amateur playing out of Timber Banks Golf Club.
Other Westchester players of note included Brian Bartow of Sunningdale Country Club and James Ondo, head pro at the Apawamis Club, who both finished T10, as well as Brice Bussee of Metropolis Country Club and Grant Sturgeon of Winged Foot Golf Club, T15, Kent St. Charles of Willow Ridge, and Max Buckley of Westchester Country Club, T23.