John Mikiewicz’s walk through the Fox Hill Country Club clubhouse just got a little sweeter.
It was just last summer he, along with his playing partner Tom Biscotti, tamed Wyoming Valley Country Club to win the Wyoming Valley Classic. Less than a year later, that championship feeling has returned.
Mikiewicz and Biscotti rattled off a 45-hole score of 11-under par 167 to take home the title at the 67th John A. Allan tournament Sunday at Fox Hill Country Club.
“It’s so satisfying, absolutely,” said Mikiewicz, who was playing in his second John Allan tournament. “We really had a heartbreaker last year. I think that motivated us a lot for this year to come out and we really showed some good golf.”
A year ago, Mikiewicz and Biscotti lost to John Mulhern and Len Coleman in a match play format to rid their chances of obtaining the elusive championship. Things worked out a little differently this year as the field battled through a medal play format.
But it was something the tandem had to work for.
With multiple past champions right on their heels, Mikiewicz and Biscotti did most of their work on Saturday, shooting a low round of 65, matching Friday’s best score from Paul Keating and Matt Teesdale.
However, Mikiewicz credited Friday’s qualifying round for the momentum into Saturday’s championship first round. They finished Friday’s round with three straight birdies.
“We carried that finish right into Saturday,” Mikiewicz said. “And we were feeling very confident in our game and thought we’d be tough to beat.”
The winners posted a two-stroke advantage over Brenden Carroll and Patrick Ross for the victory.
Defending Fox Hill club champion Ed Hennigan was right on their heels heading into Sunday’s final round. Hennigan, paired with six-time Irem Temple Country Club champion Jim Hoover, just couldn’t muster enough momentum to keep pace with the winners. Hennigan and Hoover finished with a 170, good for third.
Last year’s winners, Brandon Matthews and Richard Laneski, were just a few of the big names Mikiewicz and Biscotti had to deal with. Matthews, a Temple University standout, joined Laneski in a total score of 175, good for 10th in the tournament.
“I keep saying (this tournament) has to be the best field in amateur golf in the area,” Mikiewicz said. “You have guys like Matthews and Teesdale — Eric Williams, who had been one of the top players in the area for years. You just have great teams. It goes on and on and on.”
Mikiewicz and Biscotti took a two-shot lead into Sunday morning. Playing with Hennigan and Hoover, the duo hit every green, leading to “18 makable birdie putts” according to Mikiewicz.
“Tom was hitting the ball great,” he said. “We didn’t sweat any bogies, but we needed to make some birdies.”
After birdieing four out of five holes in the middle portion of the round, a rain delay hit Fox Hill. After that, the teams were faced with a nine-hole stroke play finale. Mikiewicz and Biscotti had a four-shot lead.
“We really have a nice run going,” Mikiewicz said. “We’ve played well. It’s a step up when it’s this field. It says a lot and it’s definitely at the top of the list of accomplishments for me.”
To start the final nine holes, Biscotti ripped a perfect drive on 10 that set the tone for the final round. Unfortunately, his ball found a divot. But that didn’t worry Biscotti. He delivered a laser into an elevated green and had a nice look at birdie. The Mountaintop resident buried it.
“He hit an amazing shot to an elevated green,” Mikiewicz said. “From there we just hit green after green. We were solid.”
The rest is history. And now, every time Mikiewicz walks through the clubhouse at Fox Hill, there will be a subtle reminder of the last weekend in June. A memory that “was very thrilling.”
Here’s how the championship flight finished at Fox Hill. The teams played 45 holes for the cumulative scores:
- John Mikiewicz/Tom Biscotti - 167
- Brenden Carroll/Patrick Ross - 169
- Ed Hennigan/Jim Hoover - 170
- Eric Williams/David Kluger - 172
- Jamie Anzalone/William Musto Jr. - 173
- RJ Nemetz/ Bob Zaleski - 173
- Paul Keating/Matt Teesdale - 173
- John Mulhern/Len Coleman - 174