Kovach, Berry Win Open and Senior Divisions at 35th Normandie Amateur
St. Louis, MO – Chris Kovach and Tom Barry won their respective divisions on Sunday at the Normandie Amateur. The 35th running of the tournament went 36 holes over two days at Normandie Golf Club.
Kovach came from behind to take first in the Open Division. Beginning the day four shots back, Kovach made the turn at 2-under on the day and was tied for the lead headed into the par 3 12th with Joe Migdal and Jason White. He then made a birdie putt above the hole for the outright lead at 6-under overall.
The Old Hickory member drove the green on the par 4 13th and had an easy two-putt for birdie to get to 7-under overall. Migdal birdied No. 17 to tie Kovach at 7-under down the stretch, but Kovach matched it minutes later and went into No. 18 with a two-shot lead after Migdal made bogey on the last.
An errant tee shot had Kovach in trouble on the right side of the long par 3 18th, but he hit an incredible shot to put it within 20 feet, and a four on No. 18 gave him the one-shot victory.
“The key here is just keeping the ball in play,” Kovach said. “If you hit fairways, you can hit some good wedges in and take advantage, if not, there’s a lot of bogeys. I did a good job with the driver, when I did miss, I played pretty smart and gave myself opportunities to recover.”
With the win, Kovach moves into tenth in the Rapsodo Men’s Player of the Year points standings. Top 16 make the Old Warson Cup, MAGA’s match play championship, next season.
“That was the main reason I came out here. The beginning of the summer I didn’t quite have it, found it the last month or so. Had a rough second round at St. Louis Country Club, just wasn’t making anything out there and knew I was around 12th or 13th (points standings). Old Warson Cup is one of my favorite events of the year and I don’t want to miss it so wanted to get a couple points here.”
Joe Migdal finished runner-up after a final round 4-under 67. A birdie on No. 9 got him to 2-under on the day, 5-under overall and just one shot back. He would go on to birdie the par 3 12th to tie for the lead at 6-under overall.
Migdal, who plays out of Aberdeen Golf Club, birdied the par 5 17th to tie Kovach, but a bogey on the last proved costly as Kovach took home the title by one shot.
Migdal and Kovach were the only two in the field to shoot both rounds in the 60s. Kovach went 7-under (68-67–135) while Migdal shot 6-under (69-67–136).
Tom Barry shot even par on day two to win the Senior Division at his home course. Barry, now a four-time champion of the Normandie Amateur, went 7-under over the two days of competition (64-71–135).
For the second straight day, Barry eagled a par 4 on the front. Saturday, he holed out from 150 on No. 9, Sunday he carded a four on the par 4 8th. He was the only player in the Senior Division to shoot par-or-better both rounds.
“I hit a lot of greens, didn’t putt great today, but I hit it really well,” Barry said. “To win anywhere is great, the older I get the harder it is to win. I always feel it’s in my blood, it’s special here, this is my home.”
Tony Nolfo finished runner-up after a 4-under 67. Nolfo made the turn on the final day at 2-over, birdied six straight on the back (holes 12 through 17) to post a 67 and get into red figures at 1-under overall.
Next up on the MAGA calendar is the Metropolitan Senior Amateur Championship, August 24-25, at Sunset Country Club.
For general news and updates on tournaments, follow MAGA on Twitter @MetAmateurGA.
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