While everyone was celebrating Saturday evening, John Mikiewicz was scowling.
He felt his lack of driving distance was holding his team down, even as things were looking up.
So Mikiewicz went out looking to do something about it.
“I wasn’t hitting the ball good off the tee,” said Mikiewicz, an Old Forge native. “I said, ‘That is not acceptable.’ I went to the driving range with Bob Zaleski, he watched me, helped me.
“I found something.”
It helped him find another John A. Allan championship.
Mikiewicz and 1996 Pittston Area graduate Dr. Tom Biscotti, the dynamic local duo quickly becoming an area dynasty, celebrated their second straight Allan title Sunday when Biscotti dropped his birdie putt on the 13th hole of match play Sunday at Fox Hill Country Club to stop David Kluger and Eric Williams in the tournament’s Championship Flight Finals.
That gave Mikiewicz and Biscotti three major local tournament titles in three years, a run which began when they captured the 2012 Wyoming Valley Country Club Classic.
“I’m going to really cherish this,” Biscotti said. “You don’t get a chance to win this tournament very often. I want to savor it. We’re absolutely thrilled.”
The pair dominated the final day at Fox Hill, eliminating the tournament medalist team of Brenden Carroll and Pat Ross in 16 holes during the morning semifinals before returning with a vengeance in the afternoon. Mikiewicz and Biscotti made four of their seven birdies on holes 3 through 6 while building a four-hole lead through the first 11 of the finals.
They polished off their second Allan crown by finishing with birdies on the 12th and 13th holes, going six up with five to play when Biscotti angled in a 10-foot putt.
“Dave Kluger and Eric Williams are excellent golfers,” Mikiewicz said. “Eric Williams is so accomplished. You won’t find a nicer guy than Dave Kluger. They definitely didn’t have their A Game today. That contributed to why it ended early.”
Mikiewicz made his own contribution to ending the finals round five holes short of the 18th.
With long, accurate drives, Mikiewicz drove away his team’s struggles of the Saturday’s first two rounds of championship play - when Mikiewicz and Biscotti went 17 holes in both matches.
“Tom was so good yesterday, made a lot of great shots that catapulted it into today,” Mikiewicz said after Sunday’s clinching hole. “The greens were treacherous this weekend - the course was in fantastic shape. I was so comfortable on the greens. A combination of everything just came through in one weekend.”
In the end, Biscotti came through because he’d pretty much had enough, wrapping up the second straight hot and humid day of the weekend event before fatigue had a chance to really set in.
“I’m exhausted,” said Biscotti, a Mountain Top dentist during his day job. “Every match, it’s mentally exhausting. You have to stay in every shot at every moment. It drains you.”
That didn’t stop him or Mikiewicz from draining big shots, or taking two Allan titles in two very different formats. They captured this year’s match play after winning last year’s title in stroke play.
“Last year was stroke play, it’s a completely different competition - Tom and I against the golf course,” said Mikiewicz, a Fox Hill member from Old Forge who is a science teacher in the Abington Heights School District. “In match play, you have a specific opponent. Tom and I didn’t miss anything significant today. We just made birdies. We didn’t let anything makeable get by.”
That got them to the top of the Allan Tournament for a second straight year - an impressive and increasingly rare feat in a field filled with strong area competition.
“This feels fantastic, just great,” Biscotti said. “It feels just as good (as last year), if not a little bit better. Just because it’s hard to defend any title, especially one with as many great golfers as this one has. John and I pick each other up all the time. He knows how to pull the right club for me, he knows the right thing to say. I do the same for him. We’re just a really solid team.
“It was great.”
That camaraderie helped make Biscotti and Mikiewicz the best in the 104-team Allan field for the second straight year.
“I think we had our best today,” Mikiewicz said. “We’re tough to beat when we’re playing our best.”