Chapter News

Bones creates drama

He comes off as a choir boy but don't get it twisted, Bill "Bones" Cusick is diabolical.   It started with a late night text suggesting the top money list guys get grouped together for the Last Gasp to add a little drama.   The only registered player that had a chance of knocking Carl out of the lead was Pete Demerski.   In an outside shot, Carl had to finish 8th or lower and Pete had to win.   

The 2021 season closed out in epic fashion with returning alumni, a special sponsor visit, and the inauguration of the brand new greens at Summerfield Crossing G.C.   

Brian Danahy is the guy that signs the sponsorship checks from Ed Morse Cadillac to get this group going every year.  Brian was unable to join us earlier in the season due to a last minute reschedule but thankfully he was able to come out to one of the best days of the season!   The weather was about as perfect as Florida weather can get and the course conditions were by far the best we've ever seen them.   Throw in some players visiting from Fort Myers chapter, Pinellas chapter, guests of players and the icing on the cake, the return of the Golf-Father Andrew Leatherman and that made this the best season finale we've ever had.   

There's only a handful of "OG's" in the chapter from the 2015/16 seasons that were present during the origin story of the MGA in the Bay.  In August of 2015 Andrew Leatherman started the Tampa chapter of the MGA.  Chris Adams had just moved here from the Thousand Islands MGA chapter in NY and was able to transfer in just in time for that first event  (I won btw).  Bill Cusick caught Jon Morley's interview from Golf.com  and joined in time for the 2015 Last Gasp (he won btw).   

Season 2 brought us Joe Carideo and Barry Rose all the way from Pinellas county who played out the season and in lieu of the long drives over to the Tampa area courses they spun off their own chapter and thus was born the Pinellas County MGA.  

Right before season 3 of the MGA Andrew and Jamie had a beautiful baby girl and rightfully so, the Daddy role took precedence in Andrew's life.   He handed the reigns over to Chris Adams for the Rebel Beach Am Am.    That event brought us the newbie Pete Bedell who paired with Jason "Leg Day" Dangel took home the double headed trophy as the lowest scoring team in the field.   That spark of winning was enough for Pete to go back to Spring Hill and start his very own chapter.   

And for now, that completes the family tree of MGA in the Bay that was created by Andrew Leatherman.  Well over 100 members in the area and Tampa is now the largest chapter in Florida all due to that one event back in 2015 and Andrew's persevierence.

 

The Chapter Leader says one thing, the carts say another and a member or two say yet another.   That little game of "telephone" led to some players having a bit longer round than others by playing the wrong tees.   Remember folks, you all have my number and can text me at any time throughout the round with questions.  That's why I don't compete in our events anymore, that way I can attend to any player needs that come up.   

Those greens though!   We've normally played Summerfield in the early or mid part of the season and it's always been a bit wet and the greens were slow and beat up.   Well they changed that this year and replaced all of the greens and re-opened them as of August this year.   I've played a lot of venues this year and have to give Summerfield some high praise for the work they've done.  They rolled true and fast which is a refreshing change from the past and some other courses we've played recently.   Kudos to Summerfield and all of the crew on the hard work to get the course up to this level.

Bill's plan was simple yet diabolical as it showed just how much the mental focus is needed in this game.   Pit the highest money list players together and watch how it plays out.   As the math worked, the only two real competitors for the money list championship were Carl "Slug Index" Canestrano and Pete Demerski.  It was an outside shot but if Pete finished first and Carl finished 8th or worse it was Pete's trophy.   There were a couple of other paths for Pete to win but Carl is too slow and steady for any of those options to be a reality. 

Carl fired the first shot by drilling a ridiculously long putt on hole 1 to match Pete's par.   Pete flailed a drive into the water on 2 and Carl missed the green and wound up with his achilles heal of shots, the shortsided chip.   Finishing Double Bogey / Bogey they moved on to hole 3.   Carl launched a hosel rocket into the pond and struggled through the hole finishing with a triple to Pete's double.  The back and forth race was on from there on out.  Coming into the 13th hole Bill's plan looked like it was going to work.  Carl was tied for 8th and Pete was in 1st place.    The wheels fell off for Pete though who tried to "Tin  Cup his way out of one of the pot bunkers.   That sexy ocho along with a disastrous 10 on the long par 5 hole 18 ended any hopes of an outside upset victory for Pete Demerski.    

The big win for Pete though came after the round by not forgetting a water bottle or umbrella or other equipment at the bar.   

A huge congratulations to Carl for fighting the mental game well and coming out victorious.   He was also able to stay focused even after a slight prodding to pick up the pace after we started falling about half a hole behind.   Being put on the clock can rattle even the best as we've seen in the PGA this year but Carl stepped up, focussed and won.

Bruce Campbell went winless throughout all of 2021 only to pull out the W at the eleventh hour.  Sharing the honor of the gross award with Ariel Rodriguez, Bruce wins the Last Gasp by virtue of the penalty strokes system.  Ariel with 5 took 2nd place and heads into the 2021 MGAWC looking strong.    Congratulations Bruce on taking the W alongside your longtime boss Brian Danahy and your good friend Greg Boast.     Way to bring that brand new Grandpa energy and show the youngins you still have it!

That folks put the bookend on the 2021 Season of the Tampa MGA.  I sincerely thank each an every one of you that came out, recruited friend and family and made this our biggest year yet and once again making us the largest chapter in Florida!   That's huge.   Seven of us will be headed off to Las Vegas to compete with 400+ other players from around the world in the MGA World Championships.  You can follow along with the action and updates by following us on Instagram @mgatampa  make sure you interact with us there, share it with your friends and root us on!

Stay tuned for another offseason Christmas event.   I'm thinking Scramble format this year.  Thank you everyone for making your chapter as aweseome as it is and I look forward to seeing you all next season if not sooner!

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Seeing I am new we will get email about scramble right

Yes Pete. I'll be creating an offseason event and you'll see emails just like the normal season events.