STAUNTON – Mark Marcuzzo had everything working his way the past weekend in the inaugural Midsummer Golf Classic at the Timber Lakes Course.
He blistered the familiar facility with a 10-under-par 134 score. Marcuzzo shot a 68 on Saturday and followed that with a 66 Sunday on the par-72, 18-hole course.
The Staunton High and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville product finished seven strokes ahead of Dane Gray and Matt Cooper for the top honor in the Open Division. Gray and Cooper both had scores of 141.
“I don’t know what happened. I guess it was divine intervention,” Marcuzzo quipped of his success.
He added, “I didn’t drive the ball that well. But my iron game and putting were strong. It was pretty surprising to me that I won by as much as I did.”
Matt McDonnell was next at 142, followed by Bob Gaus and Tyler Huelskamp at 143. Tournament coordinator Jim Odle took seventh at 144.
Marcuzzo, 52, recorded a dozen birdies during the 36 holes. He registered seven of them, with one bogey, on his sizzling 66 round.
“I was playing at home and that’s the best I have shot in a tournament there,” Marcuzzo said. “It was pretty neat.”
Kerry Russell carded a 143 score to win the Championship Flight. Chris Reynolds (152) finished first in A Flight and Darrin Clarke (163) emerged with the B Flight title.
A total of 64 golfers competed in the two-day tournament.
“I couldn’t be happier with the turnout,” said Odle of Litchfield. “The Open Division was really full of solid players.”
But none could match Marcuzzo’s sharp play. The course manager and pro at the Arlington Course in Collinsville was at the top of his game.
“He set both single-round and tournament scoring records in his hometown,” Odle said. “It was awesome and I know it meant a lot to him.”
The win might spur Marcuzzo to participate in more upcoming tournaments.
“I haven’t been playing a lot of golf because I have been so busy,” he said of his duties at Arlington. “I’ve been there for five years and it’s like a family there.”
Overall, Marcuzzo has served as a pro at multiple area courses, starting with Belk Park in Wood River, for 30 years. He’s a 1984 SIUE graduate.