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Good Afternoon

Long Islanders prominent in U.S. Amateur Four-Ball

Ken Bakst follows his tee shot from the

Ken Bakst follows his tee shot from the tenth hole during the final round of the Ike Golf Championship at Friar's Head golf club on Tuesday, June 30, 2015. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Anyone who has even an inkling about golf history knows that Long Island courses have proven they can stand the test of time. Evidently the same holds true for the Island’s golfers. The oldest twosome in this week’s U.S Amateur Four-Ball Championship is from here — Jay Sessa, 61, and Don Enga, 57, both of Cherry Valley Club in Garden City.

And so is the second oldest: Ken Bakst, 59, of Friar’s Head and Jon Doppelt, 56, of Deepdale.

The best-ball tournament in Pinehurst, North Carolina will be a special signpost for Enga as his first U.S. Golf Association event. “It’s just an honor to play with someone who is such a close friend. We complement each other really well,” he said. “We’ve both done the same thing: We’ve worked hard in our businesses, our kids grew up and here we are still playing competitive golf.”

Enga, a longtime insurance agent, and Sessa, a fourth-generation funeral director who has played in two U.S. Senior Amateurs, see the age distinction as an honor. It shows they can still play as well as anyone.

The other twosome feels the same way. Doppelt said his practice regimen allows him to keep up with his son and daughter, both competitive golfers. He added that this will be his 20th USGA tournament and it will be No. 28 for Bakst, who won the U.S. Mid-Amateur (and received a Masters invitation) 20 years ago.

Ask a Pro

Reader Vinny LoPrinzi of Massapequa submitted this week’s question: “When chipping from the rough, what should my address position look like?”

Kyle Higgins, PGA assistant pro, Inwood Country Club, said: “The common misconception is that your weight should be primarily on your front foot with the ball position back in your stance and the shaft leaning forward. The problem with that is, you are ‘de-lofting’ your club and making distance control difficult.

“Instead, try to have your weight only slightly forward (60 percent), with the ball positioned in the middle of your stance and very little lean in the shaft. Incorporate a little wrist hinge on the backswing to allow a more solid stroke. The combination will allow the ball to come out higher and softer.”

Meadow Brook women win

For the fourth year in a row and 12th time in the past 13 years, Meadow Brook won the Women’s Metropolitan Golf Association Inter-District Playoff Thursday. At Scarsdale Golf Club, Eileen Moriarty, Phoebe Timpson, Ann Enstine, Liz Berens and Wendy Havens totaled 23 ½ points to 11 for Cherry Valley (N.J.) and 10 ½ for Winged Foot.

“Most of them are single-digit handicaps and if any of them are double-digits they’re low double-digits. And they’ve been playing together, whether it be in Met amateur or club events, ever since I’ve known them,” Meadow Brook head pro Rick Meskell said. “They have good chemistry. If you look at the Ryder Cup or the Walker Cup, team chemistry is a really important part.”

Timpson (daughter of late Mets co-owner Nelson Doubleday) and Moriarty also were key members of the Long Island team that won the 92nd Golf Illustrated Competition in Alpine, New Jersey on Wednesday.

Chip Shots

Darin Goldstein of Noyac Golf Club won his singles match to help the Metropolitan Golf Association tie the Golfing Union of Ireland, 6-6, in the Gov. Hugh Carey Cup in Ireland Wednesday. Goldstein and Stewart Hagestad of Deepdale, low amateur in the Masters this year, won their foursome match Tuesday . . . Among those who just missed advancing from the Long Island U.S. Open qualifier Tuesday at North Shore was Johnny DelPrete, who had been 2 under at the turn but finished at 1 over. Still, it was not the most harrowing back nine he ever had around here. During the third round of the 2013 U.S. Women’s Open at Sebonack, he was in the gallery of his girlfriend, LPGA player Jessica Korda. She suddenly fired her caddie mid-round and gave the bag to DelPrete.

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