Professional and amateur golfers swung for a cause this week: Chautauqua Lake.
Continuing his streak for the second year, PGA Professional Dwayne Randall came in first by one stroke for the professionals, and the team of PGA Professional Ryan Swanson and amateurs Gary Reeve, Rich Flanagan and Dan Filip took first at the eighth annual Score One for the Lake Pro-Am fundraiser and tournament on Monday at the Chautauqua Golf Club.
The tournament included professional golfers, who compete as individuals and with teams of amateur players. Each team was comprised of one professional player and three amateur golfers and counted two best balls of four at each hole.
Now in its eighth year, the fundraiser has raised over $200,000 in total for the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy and is the CWC’s biggest fundraiser of the year, according to CWC Director John Jablonski III. The 2019 tournament raised about $25,000 for the CWC, Jablonski said.
Jablonski said funds raised from the tournament go to a number of preventative measures, including helping with the lake’s algal blooms, increasing messaging to remind Chautauquans not to fertilize their lawns and working with farmers to curb waste runoff into the lake.
“We work with land owners, property owners to landscape in ways so they aren’t fertilizing the plant and algae growth on the lake,” Jablonski said. “It’s preventative. We have started the ‘Algae Save the Lake’ program. We’ve sent out information to most of the property owners at Chautauqua Lake twice already this spring, urging them not to fertilize the lawns this time of year, because they can fertilize the algae blooms and the plants growing in the lake in the summer.”
The conservancy has also worked on other conservation projects around the waterways and wooded areas around the lake to protect against human development endangering animals.
“We have conserved a thousand acres around Chautauqua County lands that are of most important scenic, ecological or hydrological value,” Jablonski said. “We’ve conserved over 2 miles of shoreline. The lake is an important asset, it’s the drinking water supply for Chautauqua Institution. We need each other.”
Randall, in addition to being a PGA Professional, is the golf director at Peek’n Peak Resort in Clymer, New York. He is also a six-time recipient of the Western New York Golf Professional of the Year award.
Randall held on to win the professionals team championship with a 4-under-par 68, edging out Chris Zumpano, who ended the day with a 69.
The tournament had a higher turnout of women golfers than previous years, with 15 entrants this year, compared to six entrants in 2018. This allowed for five women-only amateur teams in the tournament.
“The girls I played with today were just phenomenal,” Randall said. “We had so much fun, lots of laughs, so that kept things loose, makes it so much easier to go out and play.”
Moss said the tournament was an overall success.
“People had a great day and Mother Nature, for some reason, cooperated with us,” Moss said. “I had a great time and we did what we’re supposed to do — raise some money.”