Terry Hatch wins 2022 Blaisdell ProAm presented by Zippo

Three holes into the Blaisdell Pro-Am golf tournament, Terry Hatch set a personal goal — to not make a fool of himself.

Hatch found himself three strokes above par with 15 holes remaining at the Pennhills Club, a less-than-ideal spot to be in as he played with defending tournament champion Terry Hertzog.

Hatch rebounded admirably, however, and after nine birdies, had worked his way to the top of the leaderboard. Hatch’s final birdie gave him the one-stroke advantage needed to win the tournament, as his 4-under 66 edged runner-up Alexander Knoll by a stroke and secured the tournament’s $50,000 prize.

“I’ve known (Hatch) for 30 years, and I said to myself, ‘Just try to get through it.’ Then, I made five birdies in a row,” Hatch said. “My putting was good, I hit some good shots and just had some momentum.”

Hatch, a native of Pottsfield and club pro at Royal Oaks Golf Course in Lebanon County, double-bogeyed the second hole before bogeying the third, but responded with birdies on six of the next seven holes. As his round unfolded, Hatch said, growing confidence helped him maintain momentum.

“(The course) wasn’t easy — the pins were in some difficult spots and the ball was spinning off the greens,” Hatch said. “The greens were faster today. I just made some nice putts and hung in there.”

Hatch had played in the tournament once before, shooting what he roughly recalled to be a 75. After Tuesday’s victory, Zippo Manufacturing owner George Duke presented Hatch with a prize check and a one-of-a-kind Zippo lighter.

“I haven’t won a tournament of this magnitude in quite some time,” Hatch said. “I got a new set of irons a couple weeks ago and was hitting those well. My driver was pretty consistent, and I was just hitting it well.”

The tournament drew players from throughout Pennsylvania and New York, many of whom commuted from the Buffalo and Rochester metro areas.

Liam Friedman and Kevin Ausserlechner each shot 2-under to tie for third, while five players shot 1-under to tie for fifth. Of the 68-man field, 14 players shot par or better.

This marked the 8th year of the event at Pennhills, which is sponsored annually by Zippo and held in memory of company founder George G. Blaisdell.

Before Tuesday’s Class ‘A’ pro-only tournament, teams of five competed Monday in an event that paired two pros with three local amateur golfers.

The team of Louis Sforza, Chris Reiley, John Bedford, Matt Clark (Niagara Frontier Country Club) and Liam Freidmon (Wollaston Golf Club) won first place with a gross score of -19. First place in net scoring was awarded to the team of Kathy Taylor, Kate Colella, Hallie Dubia, Michael Mancari (Wildwood Country Club) and Philip Cardwell (Rockville Links Country Club) with -12.

“It’s a great event,” Hatch said. “A lot of pressure playing for $50,000 and I was lucky enough to win it.I wasn’t playing well a few weeks ago and I had a friend tell me, ‘You can win a tournament by accident.’ And I think I just did.”