Persistence finally pays off

Lake Placid duo takes home Bar Fly title

Nick Politi, left, and Pete Fazio celebrate after winning the 41st annual Bar Fly Open golf tournament played Tuesday on the Lake Placid Resort’s Links Course. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

LAKE PLACID — On an ideal late summer day to play the game of golf, Nick Politi and Pete Fazio took home the championship they started looking to win four years ago when they beat the field Tuesday in the 41st annual Bar Fly Open at the Lake Placid Resort’s Links Course.

The two Lake Placid residents first formed a team for the two-person scramble tournament in 2016, and they’ve stuck together for the event ever since. They finally came through with the win this year, firing a five-under par 66 to beat out 42 other twosomes.

The Bar Fly has been an important fundraiser during recent years for the Tri-Lakes Humane Society, and both winning golfers said they have two dogs at home. The award presented to the winning twosome is the Harry and Larry Cup, named after Harry Tucker and Larry Stringer, former owners of Casa Del Sol and the Waterhole in Saranac Lake.

“This was our year. We hit them straight,” Fazio said. “That was definitely the key. We stepped up, it was a beautiful day for a beautiful cause. It was wonderful. I feel especially lucky. It was hard work and luck.

“Saratoga Olive Oil, the company I work for, was a sponsor of this, and to be able to bring it down and win was great,” Fazio continued. “And the animals — dogs, cats — it’s for one of the best causes you can think of. I have two Labradors at home, and I love them.

Chuck and Lynne Meldrim took home the mixed division title Tuesday in the Bar Fly Open. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

“I have two dogs,” Politi said. “One is a rescue, so that’s kind of cool. I’ve always wanted to raise the trophy with Pete. We’ve been trying to win it for four years, and we’ve gotten close. It’s always special to raise the trophy. No bogeys — that kind of saved our round.”

“Nick hit out of his socks,” Fazio added. “I played some of the best golf I’ve ever played, and it helped I think give him the confidence to put it inside my shots. It was just partnership. We played well together, and it was both our days.”

Only two other teams finished below par. James Piraino and Chuck Frost, who won the tournament last year, finished runner-up this time around with a two-under 69, and the husband-and-wife team pair of Chuck and Lynn Meldrim, placed third with a 70 on the par-71 layout. The Meldrims were representing the Saranac Inn Golf Club.

Four twosomes finished in a four-way tie for fourth place with even-par 71s.

Kelly Morgan and Carol Baker took the women’s title with a round of 75.

Joe Jesmer sends a shot toward a green Tuesday in the Bar Fly Open. Jesmer won the tournament in 2015. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

In addition to winning the title, Politi won two men’s long drive contests on the fifth and 15th holes, and Pat Anderson claimed a long drive win on the 13th. Kate Hale won the women’s long drive title on the third hole. There were also four closest-to-the-pin competitions on the Links course’s par-three holes, with Anderson, Chris Erickson, Matt Sceliga and Lynne Brubaker.

Prior to the start of the tournament, John Morgan, who organizes the event each year with his wife Marie, gave special recognition to his playing partner, Ed Yanchitis, who was unable to attend the Bar Fly a summer ago after competing in the tournament every year since it was founded. Yanchitis returned to play on Tuesday to mark his 40th year competing in the Bar Fly.

High Peaks Distributing and Rock Bottom Golf were major sponsors of the tournament, which a year ago, presented a $6,000 donation check to the Tri-Lakes Humane Society, whose shelter is located on state Route 3 in Saranac Lake.

A dog up for adoption that is staying at the shelter, a beagle mix named Yukon, was a special guest at the tournament this year.

Curly Rand hits the ball during the Bar Fly Open tournament on Tuesday. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

Lake Placid resident Rich Walos sends a shot toward the green during Tuesday's Bar Fly Open tournament at the Lake Placid Resort. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

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