PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Few golf formats invite a bigger ebb and flow of fortune than a Four-Ball Stableford Team Championship, which served up a Monday second-round chemistry display between the duos of Frank Dully and John Paesani and Steven Delmar and Bob Dolan at PGA Golf Club.
Taking their turns on the Wanamaker Course under docile conditions, Massachusetts residents Paesani and Dully made the most of their third consecutive pairing in the Championship for eight birdies, an eagle and a bogey to post 32 points. That was good enough to catch first-round leaders Dolan, the PGA Head Professional at Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and Delmar, a PGA Associate under his wing at the renowned Middle Atlantic PGA venue.
Delmar, runner-up in last fall’s Assistant PGA Professional Championship, is competing in his first career Stableford event. Dolan, who has coached Delmar for over eight years, is making his third consecutive appearance. Dolan boosted his team’s chances by hitting a 4-iron to 10 feet on par-5 16th hole, making the eagle putt.
“This is my first partnership here with Steven. He’s familiar with the courses, which makes it easier for me,” said Dolan, 57, recipient of the 2011 national Bill Strausbaugh Award, which was named in honor of his predecessor at Columbia Country Club.
Paesani, a member of the Connecticut PGA Hall of Fame, is a PGA Assistant Professional at The Bay Club at Mattapoisett. He had five birdies, while Dully, the PGA Head Professional at Kernwood Country Club in Salem, atoned for his bogey on the par-4 fourth hole by rallying with three birdies and rolling home a 20-foot eagle putt for a five-point boost on No. 16.
“The courses are in great shape to score and the weather got beautiful, and that helped,” said Dully, a 2006 New England PGA Section Champion.
“It’s a momentum game,” said Paesani, a three-time Connecticut PGA Champion (1991, ’93, ’97). “We just think of two balls in play off the tee, two balls on the green and everybody is free-wheeling. We had 11 points in the last five holes.”
New England-based and friends for more than 20 years, Paesani and Dully each grew up in Connecticut. They said they tuned into Sunday’s Super Bowl with measures of indifference. “I’m a die-hard Rams fan,” said Dully. “I took it on the chin.” Paesani, a lifelong New York Giants fan added, “I had no skin in the game.”
Two tandems – Steve Schneiter of Sandy, Utah and Rick Schuller of Chester, Virginia, and Adam Rainaud of Chester, Connecticut and Scott Berliner of Sebastian, Florida, are tied a point back at +31.
A trio of teams are three points off the pace at +29 – Dwayne Randall, Clymer, New York and Gary Trivisonno, Aurora, Ohio; Rod Perry, Port Orange, Florida and Jeff Sorenson, Blaine, Minnesota and Kent Graham and Matt Newman, each of Boca Raton, Florida.
The 54-hole Four-Ball Stableford Team Championship was trimmed to 42 teams Monday, and will conclude Tuesday on the Dye Course.
Defending champions Mark Brown of Oyster Bay, New York and Joshua Rackley of Brookville, New York, are at +28.
Longtime friends Randall and Trivisonno made the day’s biggest jump and posted the day’s best round with 22 points. They combined for a bogey-free, 11-birdie effort on the Wanamaker.
Joanna Coe of Baltimore, Maryland, who partnered with Greg Pieczynski of Kingston, Pennsylvania, are tied for 13th place at +25. Coe was one of five women entered in the Championship.
The PGA Winter Championships are presented by GolfAdvisor.com and PrimeSport.