From staff reports
Holy Spirit senior quarterback Josh Zamot and assistant coach Andrew DiPasquale are used to high pressure situations on the football field. On Thursday, it was time to find out how they would handle pressure during the first installment of the Atlantic City Country Club/Glory Days Golf Challenge.
The conditions were perfect, 70 degrees with a light breeze under brilliant sunshine at one of the most picturesque golf courses in all of New Jersey, nestled on the bay between Atlantic City and Northfield. The Glory Days team of Publisher Dave O’Sullivan and Director of Advertising Bill Lynskey have a 10-2 career record in the King Pin/Glory Days Bowling Challenge, so they were confident they could at least hang with the guy from the Holy Spirit football program.
“Josh is a tremendous athlete, so I figured he could certainly hold his own on the golf course. And I haven’t picked up a golf club in two years, and have never been strong off the tee, so in the best-ball format I was hoping Lynskey could pick up some of the slack with his driver, and he came through for us,” Sully said.
The teams competed in a 9-hole, best-ball format on the back nine, and Zamot and DiPasquale came into the 18th hole trailing by three strokes. But a gorgeous drive by DiPasquale had Holy Spirit in business to make a late run — as they have on the football field the past couple of weeks to head into this weekend with a 5-1 record. To improve their chances, both Sully and Lynskey flubbed their drives. But a 9-iron second shot by Sully, then another, put Glory Days onto the collar, and Lynskey two-putted from there to seal a 55-56 victory for Glory Days.
DiPasquale’s second shot left Holy Spirit on the apron, and the Spartans needed Glory Days to at least three-putt to have a shot to tie, but Lynskey calmly drained a 5-footer on his second putt to ice the victory.
“We hadn’t been putting well the last couple of holes leading up to 18, so I was a little nervous at the end,” Sully said. “It wasn’t an easy first putt, as we were on the collar and backed up against a sand trap. But I was able to get it to within about five feet, and Bill picked me up by sinking that putt. It really was a team effort all afternoon, as I was able to get us straightened out on some second shots and Bill was able to come through with some clutch putting. But give Josh and Andrew credit, they hit the shots they needed to in order to be in position to tie or win on the final hole, and that’s really what you’re looking for.”
Both teams struggled in the early going, trying to shake the rust off. Glory Days had an abysmal start, carding a nine on the 488-yard, par-5 10th hole. But Glory Days picked up four shots over the next two holes, including making par on the 134-yard 12th. Sully put his team right onto the dance floor with a perfectly placed 7-iron, and Lynskey finished off the par by draining a short putt. But Zamot and DiPasquale picked up two shots by out-dueling Glory Days on holes 13 and 14, and with four holes to go trailed just 32-34. Sully and Lynskey got those shots back on the 15th and 16th, and the teams were even on the 157-yard 17th — a very tricky hole that features all kinds of hazards.
The round had its ups and downs for all four golfers, but you can’t have too many downs on a gorgeous day playing golf at a course as well maintained as Atlantic City Country Club.
“I knew Atlantic City Country Club had an amazing clubhouse and banquet facilities, and the Taproom is a really nice dining area, but I had never actually been on the golf course,” Sully said. “It’s a tremendous course. Very challenging, but not so much so that amateurs like us can’t have a good time. And the view, well, you can’t get much better than seeing the Atlantic City skyline throughout most of the back nine. The staff couldn’t have been more accommodating. You can’t go wrong with a round of golf here, that’s for sure.”