Johnson, Schifano Prevail In Unlikely Playoff

Alex Johnson stood off the left side of the 18th green early Saturday evening, putter in hand, knowing that he and his partner, Mike Schifano, needed something special to happen on the last hole of regulation at the 51st Italian-American Charity Golf Tournament at Holiday Valley Resort.

“Knock it close and hope for the best, really,” Johnson said were his thoughts.

Well, guess what?

His thoughts and prayers were answered in as dramatic a way as possible.

“It broke both ways, it was the right pace and it just went in,” he said.

The response from the folks watching from next to the green was instantaneous.

“That’s AJ, baby,” someone yelled. “Good putt, dude.”

“Good” would be a massive understatement.

Spectacular was more like it, a stroke of the putter that ultimately lifted Johnson and Schifano to the tournament championship. Hoisting the large trophy that comes with the title, however, would have to wait, though, because there was still more work to do in the form of a playoff.

Joe Vitello and Colin Whitermore, who led after two rounds, weren’t going anywhere.

In fact, it was their birdie-4-net-3 on the 17th hole and Johnson and Schifano’s net bogey 6 that gave Vitello and Whitermore a two-stroke lead heading into the final hole only to be spoiled by Johnson’s amazing putt.

“That was something silly,” he said. “It was 90 percent luck and 10 percent skill.”

Whitermore responded by making a clutch three-foot putt immediately after for a 5, net 4, allowing he and Vitello, to join Johnson and Schifano back on the 18th tee box to try and settle it yet again in a playoff.

By that time, a heavy rain began falling, but Johnson remained calm, cool and collected as he played the finishing hole for the fourth time in three days. His second shot on the par 4 landed in the greenside bunker, but he blasted out and needed two putts for a natural 5, net 4. Vitello and Whitermore weren’t able to match it, allowing Schifano and Johnson, whose 60 on the first day led the field, to walk off the green with their first I-A net best-ball victory in five tries.

“Breaking 200 is great,” said Schifano, who combined with Johnson on a 60-64-66-190 total compared to a 63-60-67-190 for Vitello and Whitermore.

Fittingly, to cap an impressive day of golf, the sun reappeared after 8 p.m. and a rainbow could be seen in the sky above the resort.

“It’s incredible,” Schifano said.

Just like his buddy’s putt on the 54th hole.

NOTES: Following are the flight winners: Ryan Calalesina-Corey Schmitt, 61-68-62-191, First Flight; David Munella-Dave Currie, 66-63-67-196, Second Flight; Mike Prinzi-Cody Anderson, 67-65-63-195, Third Flight; Jordan Bardo-Jordan Woleen, 69-64-61-194, Fourth Flight; Dennis Palermo-Bernie Auer, 69-63-64-196, Fifth Flight; Peter Morgante-Jon Gren Jr. 70-70-65-205, Seventh Flight; and Bucky Lombardo-Rich Shelley, 73-68-67-208, Seventh Flight.

Alex Johnson, left, and Mike Schifano celebrate after winning the 51st Italian-American Charity Golf Tournament at Holiday Valley Resort on Saturday. P-J photo by Scott Kindberg


Mike Schifano-Alex Johnson 60-64-66-190


Joe Vitello-Colin Whitermore 63-60-67-190


Ryan Calalesina-Corey Schmitt 61-68-62-191

Chris Pappalardo-Dan Brunenavs 64-65-63-192

George Panebianco-John O’Mara 63-66-65-194

Casey Digirolamo-Dusty Carlson 63-66-67-196

John Trussalo-Tim Magnuson 64-67-68-199

John I. LaMancuso-Adam McKinley 64-72-66-202

Jon Scalise-Kurt Eimiller 64-72-69-205

Sam Peppy-Charlie Moss 63-66-79-208

Brett Cappa-Derek Dawson 65-72-73-210


David Munella-Dave Currie 66-63-67-196

Pete Pillittieri-Andy Sandstrom 66-65-66-197

Blake Tarana-Quint Lawson 66-71-61-198

Paul Mole-Kurt Johnson 67-70-67-204

Paul Pappalardo-Sean Larson 66-69-70-205

Busty Triscari-Steve Johnson 65-70-71-206

John Sirianno-Ryan Calkins 66-70-72-208

Drew Rinaldo-Levi Madden 67-72-70-209

Colin Lodestro-John Geisler 66-71-73-210


Mike Prinzi-Cody Anderson 67-65-63-195

Rob Foti-Craig Lundgren 67-61-67-195

Adam Mason-Patrick MacIntyre 67-69-62-198

John Foti-Dan Cotter 67-66-66-199

Tommy Tantillo-Nick Bell 67-67-67-201

Henry Mole-Tom Ames 67-66-69-202

Angelo Volpe-Jim Brown 67-70-67-204

Mike Condella-Dave Anderson 67-70-68-205

Andrew Buttafaro-Andrew Parolini 67-71-68-206

Tony Triscari-Randy Nelson 67-66-74-207

Nick Munella-Jake Dwaileebe 67-72-69-208

Jasyn Consiglio-Josh Dankovich 67-71-71-209


Jordan Bardo-Jordan Woleen 69-64-61-194

Jordan Coccagnia-Kyle Rensel 69-63-67-199

David Foti-Nick Madden 69-68-65-202

Anthony Peppy-Reid VanEvery 68-69-65-202

Paul Mole Jr.-David Lobb 68-67-71-206

Sam Triscari-Dave Rowe 67-71-68-206

Chris D’Angelo-Steve Anderson 69-72-66-207

Nick Yachetta-Bruce Johnson 67-65-77-209

Joe Fangionne-Tyler Nelson 68-74-70-212

Sandy Volpe-Jamie Barton 68-79-66-213

Nick Amatuzzo-Jake Berg 68-76-76-220

Jordan Ricotta-Ben Lindquist 68-75-80-223


Dennis Palermo-Bernie Auer 69-63-64-196

Fred Pellerito-Dan Chendy 66-69-62-197

Tim D’Angelo-Jason Stronz 70-66-66-202

Jim Todaro-Tom Yocum 69-64-70-203

John L. LaMancuso-Mike Roberts 69-67-67-203

Sam LaMancuso-Evan Grey 69-68-66-203

Carl Pillittieri-Dave Bogdan 69-69-68-206

Todd D’Angelo-Joe Willig 69-70-70-209

Joe Calimeri-Chris Hammond 70-71-71-212

Dave Rizzo-Tim Mead 69-71-73-213

Bob Marchiando-Barry Minsker 69-78-77-224

Brooks Landy-Ryan Thompson 69-86-74-229


Peter Morgante-Jon Gren Jr. 70-70-65-205

Sam Restivo-Max Eimiller 71-68-67-206

Todd Frangione-Mark Tarbrake 70-69-67-206

Sebby Baggiano-Gary Yager 71-68-70-209

Ray Paladino-Dan Wells 71-74-67-212

Steve Cusimano-Jim Pullan 71-71-71-213

Joey Paterniti-Matt Bittner 71-71-71-213

Josh Ricotta-Kyle Luce 71-73-69-213

William Malenga-Salim Sarvaiya 71-73-71-215

Joe Paterniti-Paul Weinstein 71-71-78-220

Anthony Vitello-John Deppas 70-71-80-221

Anthony Tuccio-Dan Hocking 71-71-81-223


Bucky Lombardo-Rich Nelson 73-68-67-208

John Panebianco-Nelson Johnson 77-67-69-213

Chris Cusimano-Josh Nelson 72-72-69-214

Jim Panebianco-Tom Sedorchuk 72-68-75-215

Lucian DiNapoli-Brett Mucheck 73-73-69-215

Phil Ribaudo-Keith Martin 73-76-67-216

Joe Sinatra-Dan Hallberg 72-74-72-218

Jim LaMancuso-Chad Waddington 77-73-75-225

Joe Cordosi-Brent Sutter 73-80-75-228

Nick Trussalo-Kyle Hocking 74-77-77-228

Mike Panebianco-Dylan Kuropatwinski 78-77-79-234

Mike Yezzi-Matt Robbins 88-80-79-247


Article by Scott Kindberg

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