Colby Anderson, the new Long Island Amateur champion, moved across the country in hopes of either landing a good job or advancing his golf game. He achieved both.
The native of Tucson, Arizona, faced a crossroads after he graduated from Wayland College in western Texas. “I got into caddying hoping to meet a couple individuals who would either offer me a job or sponsor me on tour,” he said Friday after his 1-up victory over former Hofstra golfer Jonathan Farber in the 36-hole final at Wheatley Hills Golf Club.
A blend of adventure and ambition led Anderson, 33, to East Hampton Golf Club seven years ago. He carried for Michael Bebon of Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company, who said, “Why don’t you come to work for me?”
Soon, Anderson began handling real estate from an office near Grand Central Station. He and his wife moved to Malverne and started a family (the children are six and three). A key to the new life was location, location, location: fairly close to Nassau Country Club, which he joined. The pristine greens at the historic course in Glen Cove have allowed him to improve and flourish in amateur events.
He let out a deep breath after he drained the clinching 8-foot par putt on No. 18 Friday afternoon. The whole week had been draining. All five of his matches went the distance, except for one that went an extra hole. That amounted to 109 holes in three days.
The grind seemed to be getting to him late in the final as Farber erased a three-hole deficit in an eight-hole span. Anderson joked later that he considered breaking all of his clubs after he topped a couple of shots. Farber, a 2015 Hofstra graduate who works for a technology firm, drew even by hitting a 175-yard 8-iron approach on No. 17, the 35th hole of the day, within 4 feet and making birdie.
Anderson snap-hooked his tee shot on the last hole and appeared to be in big trouble. But he drilled a 225-yard 4-iron into the wind and onto the fringe. He took two putts from there and hoisted a trophy that dates back to 1922.
“He held it together. He made a great shot,” Farber said. “I told my caddie [before Anderson’s last swing], ‘He could hole this and this still would be the most fun I’ve had in a long time.’ ”
It was even more fun for the champion, who is happier than ever that he became a Long Islander.
“I think,” Anderson said, “the golf gods were with me.”
n Glut-ton for punishment
Paul Glut, the head pro at Woodside Club in Muttontown, recently gave his members the choice of red, white and blue. And it had nothing to do with the colors of tee markers. They got to pick what shade he would dye his hair.
Blue won in a landslide.
Glut promises one sacrifice every Memorial Day as a challenge in exchange for donations to Met PGA Hope, a charity for needy veterans. “My membership has been awesome. I probably don’t have to do anything and they’d still raise money,” said Glut, who became a golf enthusiast when he was in the Marines 30 years ago. ”But it’s just kind of a fun way for us to go back and forth. The last two years, I shaved my head. They were like, ‘What are you going to do now?’ ”
The members raised $12,000 and their pro gets funny looks when he goes into stores. “I forget that I have no hat on,” he said, “and I’m just an old guy with blue hair.”
n Win-win for Fresh Meadow
A double celebration for the Fresh Meadow Club in Lake Success: It was honored as club of the year by the Metropolitan Golf Writers Association at its awards dinner Monday and head pro Matt Dobyns qualified for the PGA Championship Wednesday . . . During his trip to Southampton for the pre-U.S. Open Celebration of Champions at Shinnecock Hills, Jack Nicklaus surveyed the work next door at Sebonack Golf Club, one of his designs, which is renovating four greens.