FARMINGDALE – There’s a fresh coat of paint on the house along with a new deck.
What’s next on the list?
Rob Labritz is on the golf course six or seven days a week, but that is not keeping him from getting a lot of work done at home. The 45-year-old resident of Pound Ridge is funding all of these projects with oversized winner’s checks.
And it’s time for the next estimate.
Labritz had another productive day on the Black Course at Bethpage State Park on Thursday, capturing a third Lenox Advisors New York State Open title with a routine par on the first hole of sudden death.
The director of golf at GlenArbor claimed the Westchester Open two weeks ago and will be playing in the PGA Championship next week at Baltusrol.
“So this will go to fix our pool,” said Labritz, who picked up $17,500 for this win.
He clearly has a comfort level on the punishing Black Course that is foreign to a majority of the field.
“I guess I’ve just learned how to be patient,” said Labritz, who also won this championship in 2008 and 2011. “I’m a pretty good ball-striker, and my putting and short game are coming around. I’ve been working really hard. I love the place. You have to hit it good. And if you make a mistake, you just can’t let it get you down, you have to move on.”
There were only a few miscues all week.
Labritz was chasing Matt Dobyns most the afternoon, but was holding a one-shot lead on the 16th tee when the Fresh Meadow head professional hit a shot out of the rough that flared right and led to a double bogey.
One faulty swing instantly slowed the momentum of an otherwise brilliant round.
“It’s easy to point at that one, but the reality is my front nine the first day is the reason I didn’t shoot 5-under,” Dobyns said. “That shot certainly hurt down the stretch, but we were able to recover and ended up in a playoff.”
Labritz was in between clubs when he played his approach to the 16th green and took a bogey after the shot landed in a bunker. He got up and down for par at the 17th and then made par at the 18th after launching a 3-wood into a bad lie in the rough, closing with a 71.
Dobyns was 2-under on his round, giving him an even-par total of 213.
“It was kind of nerve-wracking and kind of not,” Labritz said. “Knowing that I’ve won a couple of times before was helpful, but Bethpage is the kind of golf course that can grab you. The shot coming into 18, I had an angel on my side because that ball was sitting down. I had 188 yards to the flag and I hit, probably one of the best 6-irons I’ve ever hit in my life and it came out perfect. Wow. That was a blast of emotion.”
Peter Ballo was also very much in play until his uphill approach from the rough on the right side of the 15th fairway came up short. The assistant from Old Oaks wound up taking a double bogey and finished three shots back at 216.
He was tied for third with Paramount head pro Steve Scott, who made a push with a final-round 70, and upstate amateur Tyler McArdle.
“I was in pretty much the same spot all three days,” Ballo said. “I had 140 yards in, 120 yards to clear the bunker and hit the shot I wanted to. It came up short and plugged in the lip of the bunker. I had to hit it out sideways. I hit a good chip up to 15 feet, then had a hard lip-out on the bogey putt, which was kind of devastating.”
Dobyns, who’s made three cuts in PGA Tour events this season, was first to go in the playoff and promptly drove the ball into a gaping bunker alongside the 18th fairway.
“I just hit it 20 yards to the left is really all that happened,” he said. “It wasn’t a bad hook, I just pulled it a little bit. I’m trying to hit a narrow fairway. I’m playing aggressively in that spot, hitting first and trying to apply some pressure to Rob.”
Labritz was dead center, and then dropped his approach on the 411-yard par 4 within 14 feet.
Dobyns landed in a greenside bunker, then blasted to 16 feet and narrowly missed the par attempt.
Labritz cozied up the first putt, and calmly tapped in for the win.
“Rob does really well at this golf course,” said Dobyns, who is also heading to the PGA Championship. “I came into this week trying to get ready for Baltusrol. I hit driver on every hole I could … and that’s not normally what I do here.
“The rough here was pretty commensurate with what’s going on at Baltusrol. The length here is comparable. The width of the fairways is very similar.”
Both players left knowing they were ready for the upcoming challenge
“I feel like this course is harder than Baltusrol, although I know they are going to have it firm and fast next week for the PGA,” Labritz said. “This gives me a huge confidence boost.”
And they might run into each other in New Jersey next week.
“I’m sure we’ll hook up at some point in the week for a practice round,” Dobyns said. “It will give me a chance to get some of the money that he won here.”
Lenox Advisors New York State Open Championship
At Bethpage State Park – Black Course
1. Rob Labritz, GlenArbor 72-70-71-213
2. Matt Dobyns, Fresh Meadow 74-70-69-213
3. Steve Scott, Paramount 72-74-70-216
3. Peter Ballo, Old Oaks 75-67-74-216
3. Tyler McArdell (a), Timber Banks 70-73-73-216
6. Mark Brown, Tam O’Shanter Club 74-73-71-218
6. Eamonn McLoughlin, Cherry Valley 75-70-73-218
6. Trevor Sluman (a), Oak Hill 74-71-73-218
9. Scott Berliner, Hiland Park 75-73-71-219
10. Jeb Buchanan, Schuyler Meadows 79-72-69-220
10. Brian Bartow, Sunningdale 75-75-70-220
10. Josh Rackley, Tam O’Shanter Club 74-74-72-220
10. Anthony Aruta, North Shore 70-69-81-220
10. James Ondo, Apawamis 72-69-79-220