‘This Is Priceless For Me’

D’Angelo, Willig Shoot Final-Round 58 To Win By Four

By Cody Crandall, The-Post Journal

It was somewhat of a struggle for the duo of Todd D’Angelo and Joe Willig during the first two days of at the 46th annual Italian-American Charity Golf Tournament at Holiday Valley Resort.

But, boy, did the pair ever bring their “A” game when it mattered most.

D’Angelo, sporting a 12 handicap, and Willig, golfing with an 8 handicap, combined to fire a net best-ball 58 in Saturday’s final round, which allowed them to take the overall title thanks to their total score of 194 over 72 holes, four shots better than the runner-up combo of Nick Trussalo and Kyle Hocking, who shot a 198.

Heading into the day, D’Angelo and Willig had a 136, five shots back of the leaders at 131.

Getting off to a good start when making a push for the title is of the utmost importance and that’s exactly what D’Angelo and Willig did.

How good were they at the start of their final round?

Well, the team fired a net 5-under par 30 on the front nine to put themselves in contention.

“We were clicking right out of the gate today,” Willig said. “We struggled the first two days, but we maintained, if you will. And today it all came together. When I was off, Todd was on and when Todd was off, I was there. We played really well, we putted well. All those four-footers that don’t go in, they dropped today. It was a combined effort. … We really enjoyed it. The weather was great today and the course was playing really well for us. It was a little windy, but we managed to get through it.”

After their remarkable start, the pair was even better on their final nine holes.

In total, D’Angelo and Willig came through with a net 7-under par 28 on the back nine, including D’Angelo picking up a natural birdie on the 395-yard par-4 13th hole for a net eagle.

The tandem also ended their flawless round with four consecutive net birdies on Nos. 15-18.

“It was just a great team effort,” D’Angelo explained. “There weren’t a lot of holes where we weren’t both in it, but when there was, the other one was right there.”

The victory is especially sweet for D’Angelo, whose family has a had a great deal of success in the tournament over the years.

“To me, it’s just great to play with (Joe) and to have him finally get a chance to win,” D’Angelo said. “It was shocking to us that we did what we did today. My dad, when he was alive, he played in this tournament for years. My older brother has won it. I’ve won it before (this was D’Angelo’s second time winning the I-A). It’s just awesome.”

For Willig, the chance to play with one of his best friends is something that he cherishes.

“This is priceless for me,” Willig said. “Todd’s my best friend, the best man at my wedding. … I’m very grateful for Todd letting me join him.”

According to the official tournament website, the Italian-American Charity Golf Association has served the community by supporting, donating, and raising funds for Cancer Care treatments, diagnostics, and technology.

Now going strong for 46 years, the tournament continues to grow and prosper. This year, 84 teams competed at the event.

“It’s just such great fun for everybody to come here,” D’Angelo emphasized. “It’s for a great cause and it’s just (great) to come out here. There’s so many friends that everyone has up here and you make new friends every year. It’s great.”

NOTES: Joe Vitello and Kevin Thorpe won the First Flight with 199. … James Panebianco and Salim Sarvaiya were tops in the Second Flight with 199 as well. … With D’Angelo and Willig coming out of the Third Flight, the winners in that division were Lucian DiNapoli and Brett Mucheck with 203. … With Trussalo and Hocking coming out of the Fourth Flight, Dennis Palermo and Bernie Auer took the top spot in that division with 200. … Levi Madden and Jordan Coccagnia won the Fifth Flight with 204. … Ray Paladino and Dan Wells were tops in the Sixth Flight with 210. … Tony Calanni and Gregg Bender were winners of the Seventh Flight with 215.

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