Now a rivalry is born. Well, it probably was there all along, but it wasn't formalized until Friday with the playing of the First Annual John Farley Cup Matches. It pitted teams of natural rivals: top pros from Long Island against top pros from Westchester.
Westchester won the inaugural event, 15-9, at Deepdale Golf Club to take the initial bragging rights over the Whitestone Bridge. Given that all 24 of the top players in the Met PGA rankings entered, you got the feeling that it was the start of something big.
"It's a fantastic event," said Larry Scortichini, assistant pro at Baiting Hollow, who teamed with Nick Bova of Friar's Head and lost to Mike Gilmore of Winged Foot and Colin Amaral of Metropolis. "This is definitely top of the list now, as far as things to play in."
The tournament was organized as a tribute to Farley, the Met PGA tournament director who died in 2008. At the luncheon afterward, there was some razzing of Gilmore, who used to be the head pro at Piping Rock and still lives on Long Island, and there were kudos for Westchester's Frank Bensel, who made a hole-in-one. Mostly, though, the talk was about Farley. He was remembered for having loved competition and the Met Section pros.
"No one was a better friend, administrator and supporter of the Met PGA than John Farley. We all miss him dearly," said Dave Gosiewski, head pro at Noyac Golf Club, who teamed with Charlie Bolling of Fresh Meadow to give Long Island its only outright win over Bobby Heins of Old Oaks and Mike Diffley of Pelham. "It's a privilege to play in a tournament with his name on it. That's how much we all loved him."
Gosiewski, who made four consecutive birdies, said of the Long Island team, "We'll be back strong."