Barfly celebrates 40th year
LAKE PLACID — The annual Barfly golf tournament reached a milestone, as the event was held for the 40th year on Tuesday.
The two-person scramble was held at the Lake Placid Resort’s par-70 Mountain Course, and two golfers who hadn’t competed in the tournament for many years came through with the lowest round of the day. Long Lake’s Chuck Frost and James Paraino combined to shoot a 64 to take top honors among the 39 twosomes entered.
Frost formerly lived in Keene and said he last played in the Bar Fly 20 years ago, while Paraino’s most recent trip to the tournament was nearly a decade ago. They finished with six birdies and three shots in front of two teams that fired rounds of 67. Nick Planty and Tom Rath were the runner-up team, based on a match of scorecards, with Rhett Colby and Joe Jessmer also firing a 67 to place third.
Linda Friedlander and Katie Hale played solid golf to win the women’s competition with a 2-over par 72.
“We made a lot of long putts,” Frost said. “We just picked each other up.”
“A chip in on No. 1, that was a huge one,” Paraino added, describing a birdie that was also a key to their victory. “It’s been a good eight to 10 years since I’ve been back. I think we’ll be back next year. I hope so.”
Tournament organizer John Morgan said the event began in 1978 as a late-season event to celebrate golf in the North Country and was originally a stroke-play tournament. Morgan created a display that included and enlarged score sheet from the first Bar Fly and a hand-typed page promoting the first tourney.
The promotion for the 1978 Bar Fly began with the sentence “In the interest of bringing together area hackers, duffers and respectable golfers for a full day of fun, we are planning to hold the 1st Annual Barfly Open Golf Tournament at the Whiteface Inn on September 16th.”
The tournament has also been held at Craig Wood, but has called the Lake Placid Resort home for the past few years.
Morgan said the Barfly first started becoming a charity event around 2000 and now provides a big economic boost to the Tri-Lakes Humane Society. Morgan said the event raises between $3,000 and $5,000 annually for the local animal shelter.
Brian Morgan, Walt McClure and Ed Yanchitis played in the first Barfly and all three were competing in the tournament again on Tuesday.
In addition to prizes for the top teams, the Barfly also included long-drive, closest-to-the pin and skins contests. Participants also won dozens of raffle prizes donated by area businesses.