DALLAS TWP. – Kris Konicki took his first two shots at the Potentate Tournament title at Irem Temple Country Club with his father, John Konicki.
Partnership changes this year put the Konickis on different teams, both of which made the Championship Flight.
When 21-year-old Kris Konicki won the title in his third year in the event, while playing with 20-year-old Jeffrey Carter, he still felt the influence of his father.
“He pretty much taught me everything about the game,” Kris Konicki said while standing on the 15th green where the Carter-Konicki team finished out a 4-and-3 championship match victory over Jim Breck-John Mulhern Aug. 7.
John Konicki, who reached the championship flight with partner David Kern, followed along to watch the title finish in the club’s biggest member-guest event of the year, a tournament in which he has often been a contender over the past three decades.
The Potentate Tournament has seen many of the same teams battling for the title year after year.
Carter, the captain of the Penn State/Wilkes-Barre golf team, and Kris Konicki changed things up, winning in the first year they were eligible to play as teammates.
They ended the fourth straight Sunday final four appearance by 2013 champions Scott Francis-Lou Belgio in the morning semifinal. In the afternoon, they prevented Breck from putting a senior club championship and a Potentate title back-to-back and the Breck-Mulhern team from making it three titles in six years.
Carter-Konicki won the championship as the 10th seed in the 16-team bracket after qualifying in that spot Aug. 5 when Jim Blinn-Brian Corbett led the 60-team field with a 5-under-par, 67.
They beat four straight higher-seeded teams, starting with when Carter rolled in a 12-foot birdie putt on 18 for a 1-up victory over Coray Mitchell Sr.-Coray Mitchell Jr. in the opening round.
Mitchell Jr. had provided one of the highlights of the opening day by winning a car with a hole-in-one at 17.
Carter-Konicki topped second-seeded Gary Sagan-Bill Lydick in the Saturday quarterfinals, then jumped ahead early in both Sunday rounds.
Konicki’s eagle on 4 and birdies by Carter on 7 and 9 keyed a 3-and-2 win over Francis-Belgio.
They opened a four-hole lead on the front nine of the final with the help of three birdies in a four-hole stretch.
Each had one of the birdies before Carter made one of the key shots of the match by sinking a birdie putt from the fringe on 6.
“I saw a double break, so I played it within the hole and hit it firm, knowing I had the flagstick there if I needed it,” Carter said.
Breck and Mulhern never recovered. They got to within three holes briefly on the back nine, but that comeback lasted just one hole because of another Carter birdie at 11.
Results of the other championship matches by flight:
First, Brett Slocum-Jim Hoover over Gary Neupauer-Gary Orlando; Second, Gary Krawetz-Marty Behm over Rick Skudalski-Craig Skudalski; Third, Chad Kelly-Dave Straley over Ryan Holthaus-Bob Bogensberger; Fourth, Bill Lozo-Ed Lozo over Phil Lipski-Ed Dorward; Fifth, Joe Ryan-Trevor Woodruff over Ray Irvin-Karl Blight; Sixth, Don Hopkins-John SIleski over Randy Walsh-Jamie Walsh; Seventh, Allen Evans-Charlie Preece over Travis DeBona-Chad DeBona; Eighth, Dennis Wengrzynek-Henry Simoncavage over Bob Roberts-Chuck Malpass; Ninth, Pete Wiegus-Rick Franks over Joe Switzer-Scott Schukraft; Tenth, Clarke Feldman-Dave Grega over Michael Dombroski Jr.-Michael Gyory.
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