Maiolo wins golf club title for second time
In 2014, John Maiolo became one of the youngest winners of the Ridgefield Golf Club’s championship flight. Four years later, Maiolo has entered some more select company.
With a victory in the finals at the Ridgefield Golf Course on Aug. 5, Maiolo added his second club title, joining nine other golfers who have two or more championship-flight triumphs.
“It was great to win for the second time; match-play events like this are always tough because you can have a bad day or the other player can have a really good day,” said the 23-year-old Maiolo, who lost in the finals last year. “You start to wonder if you are going to win another title.”
Playing on a rain-soaked course, Maiolo defeated Bob Ingram by a score of two-up in Sunday’s finals. Maiolo was one-up going to the 18th hole, which he won to end the match.
“It was back and forth the whole way,” said Maiolo. “Bob is a great competitor, so I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.”
After Ingram took an early lead, Maiolo recovered to go one-up through nine holes. Ingram won the 10th hole to even the match, but Maiolo went back ahead by taking the 11th hole.
Maiolo increased his lead to two-up before Ingram won the 15th to close within one hole again.
“Bob has a great short game and I didn’t have my putter going too well, especially early in the match,” said Maiolo. “I was driving the ball and striking it well, so that saved me.”
Maiolo sent his tee shot into a bunker on the 16th hole but was able to place his second shot on the green and two-putt for par, halving the hole with Ingram and staying one-up.
Ingram just missed a birdie putt on 17, and Maiolo sank a tricky downhill putt for par to retain his slim lead going to 18.
Maiolo’s most meaningful shot came on the final hole of regulation. A tee shot that pulled left meant that Maiolo had to play his second shot from the rough, 153 yards from the pin and with a sizable tree in front of him.
“I used a pitching wedge and swung as hard as I could to get over the tree,” said Maiolo. “The ball cleared the tree, barely, and rolled 12 feet from the pin.”
When Ingram subsequently missed a par-four putt, he conceded the hole and the match to Maiolo.
“My mom and my dad and my sister and my girlfriend were all waiting for me, along with some family friends, so it made for a nice celebration,” said Maiolo. “I joked with my dad after the match that I want to do better than be on an Olympic schedule and win once every four years.”
Notes: Defending champ Mike Barbarossa, who beat Maiolo by a score of 4 & 3 (four-hole lead with three holes to play) last year, lost to Ingram in the semifinals.
Bob McBride (nine), Ben Graves (four), Greg Jacobson (three), Chip Reardon (three), Peter Adams (two), Andy Inman (two), Mark Gaccione (two), Travis Wolf (two), and Christian Bangert (two) are the other golfers with two or more championship-flight victories.
Also winning titles were Rob Barone (first flight) and Mike Reilly (third flight). The second-flight championship match between Brian Zeyer and Joe Brenia was rained out and will be played at a later date.