Engel and Völkers retains Celebrity Golf Classic title

LAKE PLACID – A dynasty? Perhaps. A very good team? Absolutely.

On Thursday at the Craig Wood Golf Course, the foursome from Engel and Vlkers Real Estate successfully defended their title in the 13th annual Olympic Celebrity Golf Classic four-person scramble.

Not only did Lake Placid veteran golfers Larry Barry, Phil Thayer and Tim Batt nail down their second straight win in the event, it also marked the fourth time they took the title in the past five years.

The tournament, a fundraiser that has generated thousands of dollars each year for United Way of the Adirondack Region, featured 23 teams of three players each who were paired with athletes, many of whom are Olympians, as well as coaches and members of area media organizations.

Current and former United States national team athletes included those from the sports of bobsled and luge, and nordic and freestyle skiing.

The Engel and Vlkers trio teamed up with Rick Strack, a member of SUNY Plattsburgh’s hockey hall of fame who went on to play as a goaltender at the professional level, including a stint with the New York Rangers. They won the low gross competition with a 13-under par round of 59, which was one shot better than their score from a year ago and three strokes ahead of the runner-up team from Key Bank.

The winning team was awarded the Jack Shea Memorial Trophy, which was presented by Jim Shea during the ceremony following the tournament.

The Carpenters and Joiners Local 291 finished third in gross with a 64.

Representing NYSCOBA, Moriah golfers Dave Allen and Frank Gilbo joined Saranac Lake’s Barry Borden and WPTZ sportscaster Matt Hobbs to take first place in the net division with a round of 58. The Journeymen and Plumbers Local 773 finished second in low net and State Farm YMCA placed third.

The tournament also provided a lasting memory for Ken Cring of Malone, who drained his first-ever hole-in-one. Representing Plattsburgh Distributors, Cring played alongside Rod Provost and Jim Cring and movie and television star James Tolken, a resident of the Olympic Village. Ken Cring made the ace on Craig Wood’s par-3, 17th hole. He sank his 149-yard tee shot with a nine iron.

Hannah Kearney, the defending women’s Olympic gold medal moguls champion, swept both the long drive and closest-to-the-pin titles for the women. Olympian and current national ski jumping coach Casey Colby won the men’s longest drive contest and Jim Rogers won the closest-to-the-pin competition.