ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Many would think the club championship is the event that most Belmont Hills Country Club members would most desire to win.
Dave Diosi captured the event he most cherishes Saturday afternoon on the Par 72 layout.
An 18-year member of the BHCC, Diosi and playing partner Kent Hess claimed the coveted green jacket by winning the annual Belmont Hills Country Club Member-Guest Tournament.
DAVE DIOSI, left, and his playing partner Kent Hess celebrate their victory in the Belmont Hills Country Club Member-Guest Tournament Saturday
afternoon in St. Clairsville.
SPORTING THEIR new ‘Green Jackets’ for winning the Belmont Hills Country Club Member-Guest Tournament are Dave Diosi (left) and his guest Kent Hess (right). Also pictured are BHCC Club Professional Ron Baker (left) and BHCC golf staff member Zac Riggenbach (right).
"This is a dream, for sure," Diosi said amid hugs from his wife, children and handshakes from other members. "This is so thrilling."
Diosi, who's now one of the veterans of the event, was actually asked by a younger member just how important the Member-Guest was in the grand scheme of the BHCC golf schedule.
"I'd won the first flight three times and I told him, 'I'd trade every trophy for this,'" Diosi said. "This is just numbing."
Diosi had been altering his guest partnership with his friends over the years, but Hess gets a pass and will automatically be invited back for next summer's tournament.
Hess is a St. Clairsville native, who now lives in Columbus. The last time he took part in the event was 2010.
"Over the last 15 years, we'd probably played eight times or something like that," Hess said. "The relief and excitement of winning this are unbelievable."
En route to the crown, Diosi and Hess claimed the title of the Second Flight with 25.5 points, which was three more than the nearest competitor.
"I definitely commend all of the players," Diosi said. "All of the guys here are gentlemen and it's such a privilege to win this jacket."
After the flight play completed, the real tournament got under way with three-hole match play.
"My son just told me that his heart was beating really fast when he hugged me and I told him, 'mine was beating fast all day even when we were just trying to win our flight,'" Diosi said. "It's great competition."
In the championship match, which was once again contested on the ninth hole, the winners edged Larry Landtiser and L.D. Landtiser for the title. The Landtisers won the First Flight with a tourney-high score of 31 points.
"We're usually matched up pretty well with our opponents and we're pretty consistent," Hess said. "That allows us to stay in contention, but you have to get some breaks to go your way and get some luck. We're just happy to be here."
1. Larry Landtiser and L.D. Landtiser, 31; 2. Zach Hanson and Matt Hanson, 21.5; 3. Vic Wood and Roger Waialae, 20; Craig Bentley and Matt Bentley, 20.
1. Dave Diosi and Kent Hess, 25.5; 2. Jason Balcar and Ryan Dadas, 22.5; John Istadt and Dave Stack, 22.
1. Dan Balgo and Jeff Balgo, 24.5; 2. Gary Young and John Karras, 23; Tim Conway Sr. and Greg Ashton, 23.
1. John Timko and Sam Armann, 30.5; 2. Ted Showalter and Mark Landini, 25.5; 3. Mark Costine and Ty Martin, 22.
1. Sonnie Jacobs and Dennis Miller, 28; 2. Dan Auber and James Auber, 24.5; 3. Jeff Thrash Jr. and Jeff Thrash Sr., 22.
1.Charles Melchiori and W.L. Heasley, 26; 2. Nick Karras and Ron Johnson, 23; 3. John Sambuco and Tom LeCron, 22.5