From Way Back
Magnuson, Trussalo Catch Leaders Late For Come-From-Behind Victory
ELLICOTTVILLE — All John Trussalo and Tim Magnuson were hoping for Saturday afternoon when they teed it up on the final day of the 47th annual Italian-American Charity Golf Tournament was to win the First Flight.
“We went into today thinking first place was locked up,” Trussalo said.
Well, a funny thing happened during the final 18 holes on the Double Black Diamond course at Holiday Valley Resort. Instead of settling for their realistic goal — being competitive — Trussalo and Magnuson took it up a notch.
And when the scores were tallied, the pair, who entered Saturday trailing the team of Jasyn Consiglio and Josh Dankovich by 10 shots, pulled off one of the most improbable victories in tournament history, rallying for a final-round, 8-under par 62 and a two-shot victory.
For Trussalo, who shot 78 on his own ball, it was his second career win, the first coming in 1986 when he teamed with Mark Thorpe.
For Magnuson, who fired an 81 on his ball, it was his first win in five tries.
“Coming in 10 shots down, we put everything into perspective,” Trussalo said. “We were just going to play our game. We came out hot. We made some big putts early and gained a little momentum.”
On the back nine, Trussalo missed a birdie putt on No. 14 and had a par putt lip out on 16, but Magnuson parred No. 14, made a clutch putt on 16 and had a nice two-putt on 17.
“We went back and forth,” Magnuson said. “That’s what you have to do in this type of tournament. You have to be there for your partner. We played a lot of holes together, which is fun. When we did goof up, the other guy was there.”
Finally, on the 429-yard par 4 18th hole, Trussalo ripped his drive to the bottom of the hill, 96 yards from the pin.
“I’ve never been (there),” Trussalo said.
A chip and two putts later, he and Magnuson were in with scores of 64-65-62-191, which was 19-under par. Because Consiglio and Dankovich were playing behind them, Trussalo and Magnuson didn’t know for certain they had won the tournament until long after leaving the 18th green.
“It’s a surprise,” Trussalo said as he was being congratulated by a host of people. “I’m thrilled to win it, but it’s certainly isn’t our agenda. Our agenda is to play well and compete. Just to be relevant. That’s all we want to be is relevant. I don’t care if we finish in the middle of the First Flight or the Second Flight. We just want to be relevant.”
Consiglio and Dankovich, who led by seven shots heading into the final round, finished with a 57-62-74-193 and into a playoff for runner-up honors. In the playoff, the team of Nick Munella and Jake Dwaileebe outlasted Consiglio and Dankovich for second place.
P-J photo by Scott Kindberg