BRONXVILLE – Matt Dobyns carded a ridiculous number of birdies over the course of three days on Siwanoy Country Club’s perilous greens, then singled out a couple of timely pars following a runaway win at the Lincoln Met PGA Championship.
A pair of 10-foot saves on the second and third holes Thursday kept the momentum intact.
The unassuming Fresh Meadow head professional came into the final round with a five-shot cushion and shot the low round of the day, a 4-under 67. Dobyns closed with a birdie on the final hole to finish with a 16-under total of 197. The repeat winner finished 10 shots ahead of Frank Bensel.
“I think we were playing a different tournament,” the Century assistant said.
Dobyns had the driver and putter dialed in, carding 18 birdies and three eagles on the recently restored layout that proved a stubborn test for the rest of the field.
“I’ve been way out in front and I’ve been way behind and caught somebody at the very end,” the former Hudson National assistant said. “When you have that experience you can sort of rely on it and say, ‘I can’t take my foot off the gas because Frank Bensel is five shots behind me, and I made up five shots on Ben Polland in the last six holes of the the national championship.’ These leads can get erased very quickly, especially when you have greens that can make you look silly.
“I got off to a good start. I made a 10-footer for par on 2. I poured it right in the middle, and if I miss that, who knows? It was the same story on 3. Those kept my lead from shrinking from six to four and that’s a big deal.”
Dobyns rolled in birdies on the next two holes to keep everyone in chase mode.
“Matt’s playing on a different level,” Bensel added. “I wanted to come out and put three good rounds together and I played pretty solidly. The course made it difficult on the rest of us. There were some birdies out there, but there were some bogeys, too. It was a grind for me. I just didn’t have what Matt had.”
Nobody else did, either.
There haven’t been many opportunities to play of late for Dobyns, whose 62 in the second round was a shot off the course record. A pro-am in the Hamptons did not go well and there was no time for a practice round at Siwanoy last week, so this was unexpected.
Muttontown’s Christopher Marinaro and GlenArbor’s Rob Labritz tied for third at 5-under.
They were resigned to playing for second and third before making the turn.
“Matt was making everything and just crushing the ball,” Labritz said. “On all the par 5s he was hitting mid-irons or short irons into the green. He just played great. I had opportunities, but the greens, I just couldn’t quite figure out the speed or the breaks. Matt deserved to win this one.”
Lincoln Met PGA Championship
At Siwanoy Country Club – Par 71
1. Matt Dobyns, Fresh Meadow 68-62-67-197
2. Frank Bensel, Century 66-71-70-207
3. Christopher Marinaro, Muttontown 71-66-71-208
3. Rob Labritz, GlenArbor 68-68-72-208
5. Greg Bisconti, Saint Andrew’s 70-71-69-210
5. Steve Scott, Paramount 69-69-72-210
7. Darrell Kestner, Deepdale 73-69-69-211
7. Jason Caron, Mill River 69-66-76—211
9. Ben Polland, Deepdale 72-71-69-212
10. John Guyton, Wheatley Hills 72-73-68-213
10. Paul Dickinson, Atlantic 72-72-69-213
10. James Ondo, Apawamis 70-72-71-213