‘Moonie’ wins PNA

It’s been 23 years since the Polish National Alliance National Golf Tournament was held at Shorewood Country Club.

And just like in 1990, Ron “Moonie” Rys walked away as the Champions Flight winner with a two-day score of 167. He was able to hold off Jeff Kiss who finished with a 168.

On the opening day of the tournament, Rys led the field with an 82, and was six strokes ahead of Kiss, who shot an 88 in the first round.

This was Rys’ third PNA championship as he also won in 1991 at Cedarbrook, Pa.

“It’s always nice to win at home,” Rys said about winning at Shorewood. “It’s an honor. It’s a great golf course. The course was in great shape and it was really nice. It’s a thrill, very big thrill.”

Rys, who is an avid fan of horse racing, made a horse racing analogy on how he was able to hold off Kiss for the win.

“It was like a horse leading the top of the stretch and dying like hell near the end,” he said with a laugh. “I was surprised I won. I had no clue.”

In 1990, Rys set an amateur course record at Shorewood with a 66. Saturday, Rys’ score was an 85 for the win.

“It wasn’t something I was very proud of,” he joked. “It was nice to win, but the wind was tough.”

Rys contemplated withdrawing from the tournament after an ailing wrist injury, but was persuaded to compete in the final day by golf pro Vince Puglia.

“I wasn’t going to play and Vince told me to give it a shot,” Rys said. “He said I could hang on. I struggled, no question about it. It didn’t feel bad. The swelling went down so I figured I would give it a shot.”

Kiss was able to get back into the hunt thanks to a 38 on the front nine and a 42 on the back nine, compared to Rys’ 42 on the front nine and 43 on the back nine.

Howard Butters finished Saturday with an 83 to bring his two-day score to 171.

The A Flight was a tight race, but in the end, Call Palastro pulled out first place with a 177. James Racco finished second at 178 and Mark Deckert was one stroke behind him with a 179. In the B Flight, Cliff Beverly shot a 178 for first place while Bill Schmid III was two strokes behind at 180. Ron Viskowicz placed third at 181.

In the D Flight, Jerry Townsend took the top spot at 176 while Frank Piekut shot a 185 for second place. Mark Crossley finished one stroke back with a 186.

Steve Kulback won the E Flight with a 186 while Ed Blais was two strokes off the lead at 188. Gerald Parker placed third at 189. In the F Flight, Tom Jackson placed first with a score of 182 while Adam Galaski, the youngest tournament participant, placed second at 194. Jim O’Donnell and Donald Babiec each finished with a 196. After matching of scorecards, O’Donnell was declared the third-place finisher.

Robert Cieslica won the Senior Flight with a 174 while John Woloszyn was two strokes back at 176. Normand Vadnais took third place at 187.

Terry Viskocicz was the Ladies Championship Flight winner with a 199, followed by Patricia Smithers at 218 and Sherry Wonsevicz at 219.

In the Ladies A Flight, Denise Gerhard shot a 223 for first place while Joan Beverly finished with a 225 for second place. Tammy Pendleton charted a 251 for third place.

And after two years of planning for this event by tournament chairman Rys and the committee, it was a win-win for the City of Dunkirk and for all the participants.

“Everything went great,” Rys concluded. “The weather held up for us. Everyone had a great time. I am so happy everyone enjoyed themselves. I just want to thank everybody.”