Amateur Justin Lane Wins Long-Running Woodstock Open
Pressure doesn’t stop local amateur from besting areas pros.
Amateur Justin Lane Wins 84th Emerson Resort & Spa Woodstock Open.
Photo by Nick Nicholas of Nicholas & Lence Communications
Woodstock may not have a fiftieth anniversary music festival this year, but the 84th annual Emerson Resort and Spa Woodstock Open was a spectacular success. Amateur Justin Lane collected the winner’s trophy at the event this week, topping a field of 38 professionals and 10 amateurs in what is believed to be the longest running tournament in America on one course open to both professionals and amateur golfers. The inaugural event was held at the Woodstock Golf Club in 1932.
Lane, a member of the club, carded a 4-under 66 to defeat defending (and three-time) champion Scott Berliner by one stroke. Lane received a $500 gift card amateur winner’s share while Berliner received the winner’s prize of $3,000.
The nineteen-year-old Lane overcame his only bogey of the day on the par-4 11th hole with its difficult two-tiered green. He said that bogey forced him to focus for the remainder of the day. He positioned his 3-wood tee-shot on the par-4 17th within six feet for eagle. “I stuck with my game plan,” Lane said of his decision to go for the green on the risk-reward 17th. With Berliner playing in the group behind him, Lane ran by the eagle putt and settled for birdie. He followed that up with a superb tee shot on the par-3 18th to within 12 feet. His two-putt par was good enough for the triumph.
“This story is so cool for a kid who grew up here to win and play well under pressure,” Berliner said. “He must have had 50 people following him. That’s a lot of pressure.”
Also in the field were NYC teaching professional Tom Sutter and Patriot Hills Golf Club (Stony Point, NY) professional Dave Fusco, who tied for top senior score, with a pair of 68s. Right behind was Deepdale Golf Club (Manhasset, NY) professional Darrell Kestner, who birdied the final two holes for a 1-under par 69. Kestner won the Woodstock Open in 1982.
Legendary seven-time major champion and Harrison, NY, native Gene Sarazen twice played in the Woodstock Open, finishing fourth in 1966 at the age of 64. The Woodstock Open list of distinguished players includes another Masters champion, Doug Ford, as well as PGA Tour player and instructor Bob Toski, 1931 PGA Championship winner and longtime Saratoga Spa Golf Course professional Tom Creavy, and 5-time PGA Tour winner Ken Green.
This marks the third consecutive year the tournament has been sponsored by the Emerson Resort and Spa in nearby Mount Tremper, NY. Guests who stay at the Emerson, where a $6 million renovation was recently completed, can take advantage of special stay-and-play packages at Woodstock Golf Club as well as the opportunity to play nearby Lazy Swan Golf & Country Club designed by golf architect Barry Jordan and the Robert Trent Jones-designed Wiltwyck Golf Club in Kingston.