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Blistering Birdies: Massar-Anderson Set Pine Meadows on Fire

BY JEFF FALK

Editor

FREDERICKSBURG – Familiarity creates comfort. And comfort sets the stage for realizing potential.

So, if it all comes back to familiarity, which is more important, familiarity with one’s partner or familiarity with the course? For Bill Massar, Jr. and Matt Anderson, there is absolutely no reason to choose.

On a warm Saturday morning, Massar and Anderson parlayed their familiarity with each other and their familiarity with Pine Meadows’ 5,734-yard, par-72 layout into a three-shot, first-round lead at the 34th annual Lebanon County Better-Ball-of-Partners tournament, presented by Wyomissing Optometric Center. Anderson-Massar fired a blistering nine-under par score of 63 which featured two eagles, five birdies and no bogeys.

Currently sitting in second place, after firing a six-under par score of 66 is another group of Pine Meadows regulars, the father-son duo of Barry Lutz-Darren Lutz. Lurking four shots behind the leaders is a dangerous group that includes Justin Arnt-Skeet Wentling, Dan Brown-Brian Auman, Ben Feeman-Dylan Ramsey and Dave Albright-Scot Adams, all of whom carded 67s or five-under.

Posting scores of 68 were the teams of Chris Gebhard-John DiGiacomo, Perry Umlauf-Kerry Wentling and Greg Seidel-Shaun Vernesconi.

The second and final round of the popular Lebanon County Golf Association event will tee off on Sunday morning.

Last year at Lebanon Valley Golf Course, Massar and Anderson finished fourth in the Lebanon County Better-Ball-of-Partners tournament, in their first time playing in the event together. Yesterday they each shot 68 on their own ball.

“It’s a really good team,” said Massar, who won this event in with partner Dave Berkheimer in 2012. “When I play against him, he beats me, or I beat him. We just complement each other. I think the key to success in a better-ball-of-partners event is being able to pick each other up.”

“You’ve still got to do your thing,” said Anderson. “But it’s nice to be able to ask someone else what your putt is going to do. If you have a bad shot, you know the other guy is going to be there for you. I know Billy isn’t going to make eight bogeys.”

After starting on Number 13, Massar-Anderson caught fire four holes into their round. With medium-range birdies at the 314-yard, par-four 16th, the 506-yard, par-five 18th and the 394-yard, par-four first hole, then an eagle at the 247-yard, par-four second hole, Massar carried his team to five-under par.

“I made everything,” said Massar. “Maybe because I didn’t think about it. If you think about it, you’re done. It’s fun pressure. But I think as you get older, it’s more fun than pressure.”

“I think it’s a big deal,” said Anderson of the importance of the event. “Billy played pretty good early. I played well on the back nine. We both played well.”

Massar rolled in a 40-foot birdie putt at the 471-yard, par-five fifth hole, before Anderson registered a short bird at the 444-yard, par-five sixth hole. Then Anderson applied the finishing touches with an eagle at the 490-yard, par-five tenth hole.

“This is a big deal,” said Massar. “Every county event is a big deal. I don’t play if I don’t think I’m going to have a chance to win. I don’t want to be second. But you’ve got to play well.”

“I thought if we both played well we’d be four- or five-under,” said Anderson. “I didn’t expect nine-under. It’s the same thing tomorrow. Hit decent shots and make putts.”

Even more of a surprise was the play of Lutz and Lutz, who last played together in this event 30 years ago. The younger Lutz, Darren, did most of the heavy lifting, while father Barry provided timely and valuable support.

“My partner backed put on me, and we were sitting here one night and I said, ‘Let’s play,'” said Darren Lutz of his father. “He’s a little intimidated with this thing. But I said, ‘Let’s just go and have fun’, and today we had the time of our lives.

“We were thinking around even par,” added Darren Lutz, “and see what happens. He helped me out on some of the holes where I needed help.”

After beginning their round on Number 11, the Lutzes were two-under through eight holes. But Darren Lutz rolled in short-to-medium range birdie putts at the par-four first, par-five fifth, par-five sixth and the par-four eighth to reach six-under par.

“It was great today,” said Lutz. “The course was phenomenal. The greens held well and they putted great. I think it helped with the scoring. You could throw it at the stick.

“Tomorrow we’re playing with two guys (Massar, Anderson) who are also members here,” continued Lutz. “We all play together, and it’s going to be fun. There’s no pressure. We’re not here to win this thing. We’ll be playing loose and care-free.”

 

 

To purchase images in this article please email jeff@lebcosports.com.

Lebanon County Better-Ball of Partners Past Champions

 

Player Name Score Course Year
Chris Gebhard and Jim Gardner 63-61-124 Lebanon Valley 2021
Chris Gebhard and Jim Gardner 66-63-129 Blue Mountain 2020
Dan Brown and Ryan Woefling 63-64-127 Pine Meadows 2019
Mike Potts and Jesse Brown 64-69-133 Pine Meadows 2018
Justin Arnt and Skeet Wentling 66-64-130 Lebanon Valley 2017
Mike Schmidt, Jr and Pete Parpagene 63-66-129 Fairview 2016
Don Johnson and Rick Troutman 68-64-132 Fairview 2015
Brian Auman and Jim Gardner 64-69-133 Pine Meadows 2014
Mike Schmidt Jr. and Ryan Weaber Iron Valley 2013
Bill Massar Jr. and Dave Berkheimer 68-69-137 Monroe Valley 2012
No tournament due to flooding 2011
Steve Allwein and Mike Schmidt 64-68-132 Royal Oaks 2010
Jim Gardner and Brain Auman 60-65-125 Fairview 2009
Tom Kintzer and Greg Behney 66-65-131 Blue Mountain 2008
Stu Hanford and Don Johnson 64-67-131 Pine Meadows 2007
Perry Umlauf and Shawn Cooper 66-66-132 Royal Oaks 2005
Dan Brown and Andy Gibbons 62-67-129 Pine Meadows 2004
Dan Brown and Andy Gibbons 66-60-126 Fariview 2003
Dan Brown and Chad Schulze 61-65-126 Lebanon Valley 2002
Bob Wenrich and John Hacunda 70-64-134 Monroe Valley 2000
John Digiacomo and Blaine Peffley 64-67-131 Fairview 1999
Joe Faller and Phil Faller 65-74-139 Monroe Valley 1998
Jim Gardner and Jim Calhoun 68-67-135 Fairview 1997
Pete Gebhard and Dave Kurtz 70-64-134 Fairview 1995
Pete Gebhard and Dave Kurtz 65-68-133 Fairview 1994
Mark Ditzler and Tom Sherk 69-68-137 Fairview 1992
Jeff Pyles and Jeff Behney 70-68-138 Fairview 1991
Rick Troutman and Pete Gebhard 70-65-135 Fairview 1990
Joe Faller and Dave Kurtz 66-67-133 Fairview 1989
Bob Page and Bill Shoop 68-65-133 Fairview 1988

 

 

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