Rahbeck takes turn as Edgewood champ
They finally can have a champions dinner for Edgewood golf club winners next year.
Jeff Rahbeck, a repeated runner-up and perhaps the best player never to have won the men’s golf club title, overcame a late charge by Dick Schwarte to win the 36-hole tournament last month.
“It’s been a long time … about 20 years,” Rahbeck said. “They were all happy for me and said that it was my time and kidded me that they had been holding off on the champions dinner, waiting for me to do this.”
His first title didn’t come easily.
A four-putt on No. 13 pushed Rahbeck two shots off the lead.
“I thought I had lost it. But I parred 14 and 15 and birdied 16, so it was really the birdie on 16 that helped,” Rahbeck said.
Those three shots put Rahbeck in position. But Schwarte made Rahbeck sweat it out through an extra hole. Schwarte miraculously chipped in from off the green on the 18th hole to force a playoff.
“That’s Dick. That was his second chip-in of the day,” Rahbeck said. “I figured he’d chip on and two putt and I’d two-putt and win.”
The 30-foot par-saving shot wasn’t Schwarte’s best of the day, as he holed out from 50 feet earlier in the round.
“I don’t ever give up. I try to the end and see what happens,” Schwarte said. “I knew I had to chip in to go to overtime, and the probability of making that shot I don’t even know it.
“I thought I was still in the game, but I knew Jeff is every bit the competitor I am and I knew he wouldn’t fold. I quickly forgot the chip and realized I had to go to the next hole and get a par or better,” Schwarte said.
However, Rahbeck ended the high drama by parring the first sudden-death hole while Schwarte bogeyed it.
“Jeff is a good friend and I’m glad he won. Now he has the monkey off his back,” said Schwarte, a three-time runner-up who won the 1993 club championship. “He finally got his opportunity to win. I wasn’t letting him win.”
Playing the lengthy gold championship tees, which measure some 7,500 yards, Rahbeck fired rounds of 80 and 81 for a 36-hole total of 161. Bruce Patras was third at 162, Dave Huber fourth at 163 and Phil Weidinger fifth at 164. Weidinger caught fire too little too late, shooting a 3-under-par 33 on his final nine.
Patras showed his competitive savvy during a roller-coaster back nine. A bogey on No. 16 and a double bogey on No. 17 knocked Patras out of the lead, but he nearly joined Rahbeck and Schwarte in the playoff as his third shot on the par-5 18th hole almost landed in the cup.
Meanwhile, Chris Bessette, who resides in Las Vegas, won the women’s club title for the fourth time. She defended her title by five strokes with 18-hole rounds of 90 and 89.
Bobbi Roach won the low net title with gross scores of 94 and 98.
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