A windy, fun day at Stringer tournament

RAY BROOK — In extremely windy conditions, the team from Lakeside Masonry fired a 10-under par 62 on Saturday to take top honors in the Stringer Memorial Golf Tournament at the Saranac Lake Golf Club.

The tournament was held from the 12th straight summer and is played in honor of brothers Larry and Rick Stringer, who were both avid golfers nine-hole public course in Ray Brook.

Each year the tournament raises scholarship money for graduates of Saranac Lake High School, and Jeff Romano, who took over the event a year ago, said the tournament brought in more than $2,000 this summer to go toward that fund.

The tournament is a four-person scramble format with each team taking two trips around the course’s par 36, nine-hole layout.

With two long-ball hitters — Cody Ecret and Pat McHugh — leading the way, Lakeside Masonry won by three strokes, with the next two closest teams finishing with rounds of 65. Curt Hayes and Adam Reynolds rounded out the winning team.

In a match of scorecards, the team of Jay and Tanner Courcelle, Bill Vaughn and Jason Walker finished runner-up with their 65. The foursome captained by Larry Bourey placed third, also with a 65.

Hayes, who owns Lakeside Masonry and was the team captain, quipped that Ecret and McHugh were the weak links in their foursome.

“Without Cody and Pat holding us back, we could have done a lot better,” Hayes said with a grin. “Really, Cody and Pat drive the ball phenomenally long. It’s hard to beat 275, 300 yards. When you have tee shots like that, everything is really short.

“It’s a different game,” Hayes continued. “Adam and I are just trying to hit the fairway, and those two are pinpointing where they want it to be in the fairway, and they’re going long. They are 100 yards longer than we are. To watch those guys swing, the flexibility and the way they do it with ease, it’s fun to watch. They’ve been really good golfers since they were ninth graders.”

Hayes figured it was the third time his team triumphed in the tournament. He said winning the event is an honor.

“It always means a lot,” Hayes said. “I knew Larry. He was a great friend. It’s always fun.”

Tanner Courcelle, who was a member of the winning foursome on the same course a week ago when the Saranac Lake Golf Club celebrated its 100th anniversary with a scramble, spoke for the runner-up team in the Stringer tourney.

“Couldn’t pull it off two times in a row,” Courcelle said. “We got off to a really good start. We were five under through six, that was good, and then we just didn’t really get anything going. No bogeys but not enough birdies. I had a blast. It was a lot of fun playing with Jason and Billy, as always. It would have been better if we played a little better, but we’re happy. It goes for a good cause.”

The tournament also included men’s and women’s closest-to-the-pin and closest-to-the-line contests.

John Tice and Chuck Dobson won the men’s closest-to-the-pin competitions and Kelly Morgan won if for the women. Jay Courcelle was closest-to-the-line for the men and Jamie Gunther was the women’s champion.

After the tournament, golfers headed to Romano’s Saranac Lanes in Saranac Lake for a barbecue dinner and the awards presentations.

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