Herrmann has covered the Mets and Yankees since 1988, and has been Newsday’s national golf writer since 2002.
Like everyone else who played in the charity golf outing for Camp Adventure recently, Frank Scordo of Syosset started dreaming when he saw the nice white BMW convertible near the tee. He had visions of driving along all summer with the top down and the wind in his hair. It was a tantalizing prize for anyone who could hit a hole-in-one on No. 17 at Rock Hill in Manorville.
A two-year lease was there for the taking with an ace. Scordo beat the odds and made the ace, from 175 yards with a 4-hybrid. He was overjoyed.
And he didn't take the BMW. He chose a cash option instead, and pledged $10,000 on the spot to kidsneedmore.org, the group that ran the outing and runs several Camp Adventure locations for children with cancer.
"I don't need another car," Scordo said the other day from the Allstate agency he runs in Bayside, Queens. "And the charity needs the money."
Scordo said he has been supporting Kids Need More even before the American Cancer Society could no longer afford to subsidize it two years ago and he will keep doing so. He intends to pay the taxes on the prize and keep some of the money. Mostly, he hopes people will follow his lead and make donations. He can live without the wind in his hair. "The camp," he said, "gives kids a chance to get away for a week and have fun, and just be kids."
Polland takes Met Open
Right after he played in his first major, the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits two weeks ago, Ben Polland said that he had felt comfortable. Even though he missed the cut, he said, "I'll just take it and learn from it."
He evidently learned quickly. Polland, an assistant pro at Deepdale Golf Club in Manhasset with aspirations of making the PGA Tour, won the most prestigious local event, the Met Open. This year's edition was its 100th playing and the 24-year-old won with a veteran's poise, with full respect for the value of par. Polland shot par 70 in each of the three rounds on Winged Foot's renovated East Course, but he did get a birdie when he absolutely needed it -- on the last hole of the final round.
That got him into a three-hole playoff against Tyler Hall of Montclair Country Club and Polland won that, earning a $27,000 check. He could follow the path of two-time Met Open champion Johnson Wagner, whose second title subsidized his entry into the Tour's Qualifying School and sent him to a successful PGA Tour career.
Wagner is playing in The Barclays this week, but attended the champions dinner at Winged Foot last Sunday. Polland, as one of this year's PGA participants, also was invited. "I knew the Met Open was special before that dinner," he said, "but after being there and hearing everyone talk about their memories and the past champions saying words about the event, it's really special."
Former Islander Jean Potvin, now senior vice president for Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens, said Clark Gillies, Pat LaFontaine, Bob Nystrom, Ed Westfall and other alumni will play in the Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan Memorial Golf Classic Sept. 28 at Sands Point Golf Club. Proceeds go to Catholic Charities. Call 718-722-6024 . . . The Second Annual APS Open, benefiting American Legion Post 694 and the Wounded Warrior Project, will be Sept. 28 at the Village Club of Sands Point. Call 516-287-0917 . . . The 46th Annual Fuoco Memorial Golf Tournament, featuring nine "feastival" food stands, will be at Bellport Country Club Sept. 17. Call 631-650-4032.