EAST WILLISTON – It’s been a while since the last meaningful fist pump.
Rob Labritz opened the Met PGA season five months ago with a win at the Westchester PGA Championship, and he closed the year on Friday with a comeback victory at the Treiber Memorial Tournament of Champions.
The director of golf at GlenArbor closed out with a pair of clutch birdies late in the round at Wheatley Hills to win by two points.
“I work on the putting always,” Labritz said. “I found something that is actually starting to help me and I putted well the whole week. We’re not going to say what it is, but I think I’m on to something because it works under pressure.”
It was the second win here in three years for the 45-year-old resident of Pound Ridge.
The event utilizes a Modified Stableford format, awarding two points for a birdie and five points for an eagle. A bogey results in the loss of a point and doubles take away three points.
Four different players were leading at different points in the day.
Labritz picked up six points under trying circumstances to finish with 19, outdistancing Fresh Meadow head pro Matt Dobyns and Glen Oaks assistant Scott Ford.
“You needed to make your move on the front nine,” said Willow Ridge assistant Kyle Baehler, who came in fourth with a total of 16 points. “I got five points on the front, then we turned the corner and the wind started whipping and it was hard to make any putts.”
The greens were not very hospitable.
“I’m guessing they were rolling upwards of a 15,” Labritz said. “They were as fast as any major I’ve played in.”
Getting close was a chore.
Labritz climbed atop the leaderboard with an easy birdie on the 15th hole and the fist pump came two holes later.
“I hit my 19-degree hybrid and it went 303 yards into the rough,” he said. “The wind helped. I actually hit a really good shot to about 25 feet under the hole and made the putt.”
The birdie resulted in a three-point lead.
Labritz survived a nervous moment when a misread from the front edge of the 18th green left a ticklish 15-foot putt for par. He sidestepped a disaster with a good second effort and tapped in for bogey.
Treiber Memorial Tournament of Champions
At Wheatley Hills Golf Club
Modified Stableford Scoring
1. Rob Labritz, GlenArbor 7-6-6-19
2. Matt Dobyns, Fresh Meadow 7-4-6-17
2. Scott Ford, Glen Oaks 7-9-1-17
4. Kyle Baehler, Willow Ridge 8-6-2-16
5. Nick Beddow, Piping Rock 13-0-2-15
6. Charlie Meola, Saxon Woods 6-5-3-14