By Ken Love

For the mirror

The region’s best ball season kicks off this weekend in Huntingdon as Ryan Franks and Corey Reighard’s side look to defend the title they won last year at the Huntingdon Country Club Invitational.

A look back at the highlights of last year’s best ball reveals a determination on area golf clubs to persevere despite numerous COVID-19 restrictions.

Through hard work, club officials were able to complete each local event, despite some schedule changes.

When it comes to golfers, Anthony DeGol of Scotch Valley was particularly dominant in last year’s game, winning five of the six best ball events he has competed in.

His only loss came in the final of the Scotch Valley tournament. DeGol and his brother, Dennis, had a great run at their home club before eventually losing in the final to Quintin Dziabo and David DeGol Jr.

The big game was also made last year by Artie Fink Jr., who teamed up with Anthony DeGol for four wins.

Another winning season brought Fink’s incredible career tally of top home ball titles to 52.

Fink and DeGol actually achieved the Golf Achievement of the Year by teaming up to shoot an incredible 58 final round to win the Summit Country Club Invitational.

As this year unfolds, this weekend’s Huntingdon launch event will be followed by the 30th annual Down River Invitational in Everett scheduled in its traditional time slot over Father’s Day weekend.

The following weekend, golfers will flock to Mount Union, where the American Legion Club will host their annual 36-hole event, won last year by Brett Berkheimer and John Lowden Jr.

The month of July will see each of the clubs in the Altoona region host their own respective invitational events.

For four consecutive weekends, Sinking Valley, Park Hills, Iron Masters and Summit Country Clubs will host their biggest event of the year starting in the second week of July.

After a hiatus in August, when most local courses host their club championships, the Scotch Valley Country Club will host the last best ball event in the area during the last weekend in September.

Since the area’s first best ball event was held in 1968 in Park Hills, these two-person events have marked the pinnacle of our local golf season.

It will be interesting to see if Anthony DeGol and Artie Fink Jr. continue their recent dominance, or if a new duo knock them down from first place.

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