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Saturday, December 5, 2020

Sports > Golf

39th Democrat tees off

Jul 31, 2020

Sean Semenetz (pictured) and golf partner Joe Winski look to win another Democrat.
CALLICOON - Things are really starting to heat up at the Villa Roma Country Club in Callicoon in preparation for this weekend's Sullivan County Democrat Two-Man Better Ball Golf Tournament.
On Wednesday night, two players who are playing this weekend - Brian Starr and Peter Selthafner - both hit holes-in-one - on holes 13 and 17 respectively.
“It was the first night we were doing closest to the pin in golf league and they both won them,” an excited Villa Roma assistant said.
And as 128 of the area's finest amateur golfers tee it up today for the 39th Annual Democrat, they are hoping their game is as hot as Starr's and Selthafner's.
“We have a great field this year and are truly excited to be able to continue this tradition,” Fred Stabbert III, Sullivan County Democrat Publisher and tournament sponsor said. “The Villa Roma golf course is in exceptional shape and the field looks like it is going to be one of the most competitive ever.

The three-day tournament will tee off this morning at 7:30 a.m. and continue throughout the day as teams position themselves in one of seven flights. Match play will continue on Saturday and Sunday until a champion is crowned in each flight.
Leading the list of contenders will be returning champion Jake Hommel of Kingston, who is joined by his buddy, Scott Klee­schulte.
Sean Semenetz and Joe Winski, who have won the tournament five times as a team, are also playing well and should be ready to make another run for the title - Democrat champion.
Two more members of the Semenetz Family, dad Gregg Sr. and brother Gregg Jr. are also looking to put another trophy in their case.
Gregg Sr. will be playing with his long-time partner, Billy Phillips, a duo that has won the Democrat twice.
And Gregg Jr. will join Jared Kubenik as the team looks to make the finals for the third time in four years.
And don't count out nine-ime winner Ken Cohen, who this year will join forces with Maxx Kleiner, nephew of Matt Kleiner.
This team has plenty of championship experience and can hang tough during the demanding five-round championship flight schedule.
Other past champions in the tourney include Tom Drobysh playing with Rich Schmidt, and Kort Wheeler and Walter Herzog, who look to get back in the finals.

New Rules
Things will look a little different this year due the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the Villa Roma staff, led by Matthew Kleiner, the current tournament director and the course's director of golf, have taken the steps to ensure that participants are safe.
“In this time of COVID-19, we at the Villa Roma take social distancing very seriously,” Kleiner said. “In order to run a tournament of the caliber of the Sullivan County Democrat we needed to make some changes. First there will be no more shotgun starts where all players start together at the same time on different holes. We don't want a gathering of 128 players around the pro shop area. We are going with tee times every 10 minutes to be more social distant.”
Also, there will be box lunches the players take on the cart with them or eat outside after there qualifying round. On Saturday and Sunday, players can order take out food from there cart and sit outside.
Kleiner added that, “On the course players are instructed not to touch the flagsticks or ball washers. Rake the bunkers holding a towel. There will be no water coolers on the course that players would normally see every three holes. A Beverage cart will be roaming around on the course at all times. Golf carts are sanitized after each round.”

Democrat golf predictions

Here are my predictions for the 39th Annual Sullivan County Democrat Two-Man Better Ball Tourney:

3 to 1 -- Semenetz /Winski: Perennial favorites and should be. Last year got beat down in semifinals. Motivation will not be a factor.
4 to 1 -- Hommel/ Klee­schulte: Defending champ Hommel picks up new partner Scott Kleeschulte. Very good team and will contend.
5 to 1 -- Wheeler/Herzog: Past champions had a tough bracket last year and would not be surprised to see them back in the finals
6 to 1 -- Kubenik/Sem­enetz Jr.: Also past champs. Hot putters could get them all the way again. Very talented experienced team.
7 to 1 -- Cohen/Kleiner: Cohen picks up 3-time finalist Maxx Kleiner as his latest new partner. The longer they go in the tournament the tougher they will get. Cohen playing really well right now. The more rounds Maxx gets the better he will get.
Notable teams
that will contend
Semenetz/Phillips: Senior team would be a big task to win it all but definitely a tough out.
Van Keuren/ Paulson: Semi finalists last year. Got a taste of winning.
Armstrong/ Armstrong: Not sure how much Justin can carry papa but they will be very competitive.
Goldstein/ Etter: This is an interesting team. Both players have been in the finals before, and I'm sure they are motivated to get there again. Watch out.
In the end I think Sean Semenetz and Joe Winski will be in the Finals vs. Ken Cohen and Maxx Kleiner.
Of course you never know how the brackets play out. I'll go with Wheeler/Herzog and Hommel/ Kleeschulte as the other semi-finalists.
To predict who will win is always hard and we all know it comes down to putting.
Semenetz/ Winski do it again. Final answer.

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