By Pete Chiodo
VERNON TOWNSHIP —
It was hard to complain about the weather on Sunday. But there weren’t very many nice things said about the numbers on the scorecards during the opening round of the 21st annual Crawford Cup golf tournament held at Whispering Pines Golf Course.
Yet, while many of those scores were higher than folks would have liked, there were a few fortunate ones who walked off the course somewhat satisfied — namely, the members of Venango Valley women’s team and Country Club men’s team. Both of those squads opened up early leads in the four-date tournament after some solid performances on Sunday.
The Country Club men, seeking their first Cup championship since 2005, won two of three flights to score nine and a half points, leading second-place Venango Valley (six points).
Meanwhile, in the women’s competition, Venango Valley, looking for its first-ever women’s title, had one flight winner and two second-place finishers to score 10 points, leading reigning women’s champ Oakland Beach by a single marker.
The Country Club’s Flight A golfer Jim Lasher was the low round for the day, shooting a 2-over-par 74.
“I got off to a rough start,” said Lasher. “I was 3-over through four, so I kind of kept it together and ended up with a decent score.”
Lasher went on to birdie holes 5 and 10 to get his round under control.
The 19-year-old Lasher is a graduate of General McLane High School and just finished his freshman season as a member of the Allegheny College golf team.
“There was something going on at the Country Club (on Sunday) so they were kind of low on guys and I was asked to play a couple days ago,” he said.
Besides Lasher’s effort, the Country Club also got a boost from George Byrnes, who won Flight B with a score of 83. Jim Dupont Sr. chipped in one and a half points to the Country Club’s total after he tied for third in Flight C with a score of 84.
Venango Valley, last year’s men’s champ, took second in the men’s standings with six points. Flight A’s Eric Shaffer (78) and Flight C’s Jack Hobson (79) did all the scoring for the team with a pair of sub-80 rounds and two second-place finishes.
Mt. Hope was third in the team standings with five and a half points. Tim Miller led the way, scoring a 78 to lead Flight C.
Whispering Pines and Oakland Beach finished tied for fourth place with four and half points each.
Oakland Beach’s Diana Lloyd provided the low round of the women’s half of the tournament, shooting an 86 to win Flight B.
“I’m pleased with that,” said Lloyd, “especially with an 8 on one hole ... No. 15. I had one birdie ... No. 13. I did (drive the green on No. 13). I missed the eagle putt and made a birdie.”
The OB ladies also got points from Vicki White, who took third in Flight A with a round of 93, and Shirley White, who was second in Flight C with a 98.
However, those three couldn’t catch Venango Valley yesterday.
Nancy Bohman picked up three points in Flight A with a second-place tally of 92 strokes. Kathy Hobson piled on three more points in Flight B by carding an 88 — the second-lowest women’s score of the day. And Maria Price won Flight C, firing a 96.
In third was Whispering Pines with four and a half points.
Mt. Hope was second with four points, all four coming from Marti Bennett’s 89-stroke performance that topped Flight A.
The Country Club is in fifth place with two and a half points.
The second round of the Crawford Cup is scheduled for June 2 at The Country Club. Following events are July 21 at Oakland Beach and Aug. 24 at Mt. Hope.