The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Sports

June 10, 2013

Orlando wins soggy Sunnehanna qualifier

JOHNSTOWN — Gregor Orlando qualified for the Sunnehanna Amateur Golf Tournament for Champions last year following a second-place finish in the qualifier. The Erie native, who recently completed his playing days at the University of Virginia, also competed there in 2008 and 2009 while attending Cathedral Prep.

Orlando will make a fourth appearance in the prestigious tournament, which tees off Thursday morning, and believes he’s prepared to make a strong showing.

That’s what a first-place finish at Monday’s Sunnehanna Qualifier at Bedford Springs Resort in less-than-ideal conditions can do.

“I’ve matured over the years and I’ve grown as a player,” said Orlando, whose 18-hole score of 70 provided a one-stroke victory over Nic Milito of Jeannette. “It’s great getting back there. I love that tournament. … It feels like a mini-Masters.”

The top four finishers at the qualifier made the Sunnehanna field. Joining Orlando and Milito will be Alex Andrews of Kirtland, Ohio, and Lancaster native JD Dornes. Both carded scores of 72. Johnstown’s Wes Turiano also finished with a 72, but lost in a playoff.

“The weather was difficult. I didn’t think anybody would card a 68 or 69, but I really thought a 70 to 72 would be a good score,” Orlando said. “It was windy and rainy and balls were not going far. You had to be precise.”

Orlando, who just returned from competing in the Palmetto Amateur in Aiken, S.C., struggled early as he bogeyed holes 2, 3 and 4. Consecutive birdies on holes 7, 8 and 9 calmed down the golfer.

“I held it steady from there,” Orlando said.

 

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