ROCHESTER — Consistency led Dansville graduate Tommy Linehan to his first-ever RDGA title Sunday when he shot a 2-under par 70 to capture the John Ryan Memorial Golf Tournament at Brook Lea Country Club.
Linehan finished his three day total at 9-under par 207, five shots better than former Livonia resident Kyle Downey, the son of the late great Livonia basketball coach Tom Downey.
After shooting a scorching 7-under par 65 Saturday, Downey pulled to within four shots of Linehan, who carded a 68 and 69 in his first two rounds.
Playing on his home course, Linehan stayed in red numbers (below par) throughout the three-day tournament and led wire-to-wire to pick up his first place winner’s check of $700.
It marked the first time since 1999, when Carter Lucas won at Oak Hill Country Club that a member won the District title on his home course.
Downey, who started slow with a 75 on Friday, finished with a 65 and 72 and to shoot 213 for the tourney, five shots behind Linehan and in sole possession of second place.
Downey is a member at Locust Hill.
For Linehan, a 2010 Dansville graduate, the victory was special.
“It means a lot,” Linehan said. “It was really cool to do it with my parents, fiancée, family and friends following around. Rochester has some of the best golfers in the state, and the RDGA is such a great organization, so it’s really special to have my name on the trophy. As a Brook-Lea member, I’m proud of this course and excited that we got to host the Ryan Memorial. It was really cool to win this title - and to win it here.”
During the first two rounds, the only time Linehan struggled was on the back nine - however, on Sunday, he excelled on the back side, including birdies on the par-5 10th and 11th holes, as well as the par-4 17th.
“It was fun - coming in on the back, knowing that I had a little bit of room, I could just relax and enjoy it,” he said.
Brandon Grzywacz (Shelridge CC) was third with a 213 while Yaroslav Merkulov (Ridgemont CC), Jason Lohwater (Locust Hill) and Shane Dobesh (Locust Hill) all tied for fourth with a 214,
Merkulov had the low round Sunday with a 66. He was the defending champ.
Jeff March (Penfield CC) placed seventh with a 215 while Josh Rathbun was eighth with a 216.
Ravenwood’s Chris Roeder and Monroe’s John Kircher tied for ninth with a 217.
Alexander 2017 graduate Matt Genaway, who was in second place after the first day with a 70, finished in a tie for 12th overall at 219 with a solid tourney.
The women also competed at the same course for the RDGA Danielle E. Downey Memorial Championships as Julia Zigrossi, of Ridgemont CC, won the two-day title with an 8-over par 152, four shots better than both Mikah McDonnell (Locust Hills), Claire Yioulos (Oak Hill) and Jenna Hoecker (Brook-Lea) who tied for second with a 156.
All 40 players who made the 36-hole cut following Saturday’s Round 2 qualified to play in next year’s RDGA District Championship at Oak Hill Country Club.
As the premier event on the Rochester District Golf Association’s annual tournament calendar, the RDGA District Championship John H. Ryan Jr. Memorial is also the RDGA’s longest-running event, having been played every year since 1930 - with the exception of 1943, in the midst of World War II.
In the early years of the District Championship, the tournament was hosted by a rotation consisting of most the original 12 member-clubs of the RDGA, with the format of the event beginning as a 32-player match play competition. This format continued, with minor changes, through 1968 – but in 1969, the controversial decision was made to change the District Championship to a 72-hole stroke/medal play competition, following lengthy debate amongst delegates from RDGA-member clubs. Although considered a “trial” format at its inception, the popularity of the stroke-play format quickly took hold and the District Championship was conducted in that format for the next 50 years.
In 2020, the tried and true format of four rounds and 72 holes of competition changed to a three-round, 54-hole stroke play championship, allowing for players to take less time off from their places of employment, as well as providing the host club an opportunity to allow for more member play during the busy local summer season.
The RDGA wishes to thank our volunteers, as well as the membership of Brook-Lea Country Club for their hospitality in hosting this event this year - including the efforts of PGA Head Professional Jon Hoecker, course Superintendent George Caezza, General Manager Mario Gatti, Assistant General Manager Jennifer Gallo and the Brook-Lea Country Club staff for helping contribute to the success of this year’s Championship.
Men’s Final Results
1) Tom Linehan, 68-69-70--207
2) Kyle Downey, 75-65-72- --212
3) Brandon Grzywacz, 73-69-71- --213
T4) Shane Dobesh, 74-68-72- --214
T4) Yaroslav Merkulov, 77-71-66- --214
T4) Jason Lohwater, 76-69-69- --214
7) Jeff March, 74-70-71- --215
8) Josh Rathbun, 75-70-71- --216
T9) John Kircher, 72-71-74- --217
T9) Chris Roeder, 75-68-74- --217
11) Jeremy Summerson, 76-72-70- --218
T12) Tim Spitz, 72-73-74- --219
T12) Matt Genaway, 70-76-73- --219
14) Jiarong Liu, 74-75-71- --220
T15) Joshua Desain, 76-75-70- --221
T15) Jim Scorse, 74-76-71- --221
T15) Brian Riley, 76-75-70- --221
T15) Matthew Carey, 72-74-75- --221
19) Kyle Brockman, 76-75-71- --222
T20) Geoff Fountain, 72-71-80- --223
T20) Shane Shafer, 75-72-76- --223
T20) Taylor Rising, 74-75-74- --223
T20) Benton Kircher, 75-74-74- --223
24) Mike Rogers, 75-72-77- --224
T25) Adam Condello, 73-74-78- --225
T25) Joe Colosi, 80-69-76- --225
27) Shawn Coffman, 77-75-74- --226
T28) Chris Sorci, 77-74-76- --227
T28) Jude Cummings, 76-75-76- --227
T28) Wade Sarkis, 73-78-76- --227
T28) Tim Saur, 74-76-77- --227
T28) Eric Davies, 78-71-78- --227
33) Alex Zurat , 77-75-76- --228
T34) Benjamin Cratsley, 76-75-78- --229
T34) Gerry Cellura, 75-76-78- --229
T34) John Mittiga, 77-75-77- --229
T34) Tyler Bane, 75-77-77- --229
38) Brady Yates, 76-76-78- --230
39) David Cellura, 77-75-79- --231
40) Zach Fuller, 77-75-82- --234
Past Men’s Champions
Year Champion Tournament Site
2019- Yarik Merkulov Penfield Country Club
2018- Chris Blyth Monroe Golf Club
2017- Jim Scorse Locust Hill Country Club
2016- Trevor Sluman Ridgemont Country Club
2015- Trevor Sluman Midvale Country Club
2014- Trevor Sluman Stafford Country Club
2013- Gavin Hall Irondequoit Country Club
2012- Jim Scorse Cobblestone Creek Country Club
2011- John Kircher Country Club of Rochester
2010- Gavin Hall Oak Hill Country Club (West)
2009- Gavin Hall Brook-Lea Country Club
2008- Larry Sand Penfield Country Club
2007- Andrew DiBitetto Ridgemont Country Club
2006- Stephen Goodridge Country Club of Mendon
2005- Jim Scorse Cobblestone Creek Country Club
2004- John Kircher Midvale Country Club
2003- Jim Scorse Ontario Golf Club
2002- Tony DiBitetto Monroe Golf Club
2001- Jim Scorse Locust Hill Country Club
2000- John Kircher Country Club of Rochester