CNY Central's 18 Holes in Central New York series makes a stop back in Cazenovia this week, visiting the 14th Hole at Cazenovia Country Club.
A long, 440-yard Par 4, the 14th at Cazenovia Country Club is the hardest hole on the course. It's a slight dogleg left, featuring fairway bunkers and trees to the right, and long, heather-type grass to the left. For our feature, the head professional at Cazenovia Country Club Mark Tucker birdied the hole, which is appropriate, as Tucker has propelled himself as one of the top players in the CNY PGA section.
At the end of July, Tucker recorded the CNY PGA section's best finish in six years at the PGA Professional National Championship. Tucker made each cut, lasting all four days, ending up in 40th, and a 9-over par just a couple strokes away from the Top 20. The Top 20 golfers in the PGA National Championship secure a spot in the PGA Championship, the PGA Tour's final major. He said afterwards the membership at Cazenovia Country Club enabled him to make the trip, supporting him while he gave national exposure to the course and the CNY PGA as well. He was shown on the Golf Channel during the 3rd and 4th round.
Tucker was one of four CNY PGA professionals in the field, as he was joined by Kevin Savage from Timber Banks, Mike Deuel from En-Joie and Joe Norman from Elmira CC.
"We have great golf in this section, but this is a working section," Tucker says. "We work in this section, there are other sections of the country where they have both teaching professionals and head pros, a lot of times the [head pro's] job is to play with the members. I'd love to go out and play with the members, but a lot of times we're moving golf bags and moving carts, that's part of the job, so we have players, but we also have good guys that work hard here."
On the heels of his best finish in the PGA Professional National Championship, Tucker took first place in the CNY Open Championship last Monday, firing two bogey-free rounds of 67 and 68 at Cortland Country Club.