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Moon Open Brings Competition, Camaraderie to All Skill Levels



MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — As a golfer came off Moon Golf Club’s 18th hole, he turned to course superintendent Jason Batchelor and was quick to say this course was “tough, but a good tough,” which resulted in a wide smile from Batchelor.

The largest field in Moon Open history — 132 — with ages ranging from 17 to 80, comprising the lowest aggregate handicap of tournament history, all took to the course Saturday, competing in the 17th annual event.

The Moon Open is divided into four different flights, so that golfers of various skill sets can compete and have a chance to win prizes based on overall gross and net.

Each flight has a gross winner who will earn free greens fees for a year, while the low net winner receives club credit.

The A Flight saw Cameron Krotec lead the way with a 2-under par round as part of the threesome leading off the event.

Krotec is competing in his second Moon Open and looking to earn some redemption from last year’s appearance. One of his highlights included a birdie on the par-4 fourth hole, which was playing difficult for some of the field.

“I play out here pretty frequently, once or twice a month,” Krotec said. “It was good playing with the boys. (The course) is fun. Everyone is here for a good time and to have fun.”

Tony Manfred is two strokes behind with David Bennett and last year’s Flight A champion David Michaels an additional shot back. Quinn Silker rounds out the top five.

In addition to having such a wide age range, there also are many competitors who regularly play Moon Golf Club. In Will Alexander’s case, it was his first time, as he made the hour-long commute from North Huntingdon to play this event.

“I got the invite from a friend, and it sounded like an interesting time,” recalled Alexander. “The course is in great shape. It’s set up fair and I would come back to play the course. You have to have fun in a golf outing, that’s why you’re there.”

Also in the B flight were the father-son duo Darryl and Cam Williams. The latter works at Moon Golf Club and was competing in his first Moon Open, a year into picking up the game.

“The atmosphere out here is amazing,” Cam Williams stated. “When you know the people that are coming in and see them every day, it’s awesome. The course was really well put together. Anybody can come out here and play. I started golf about a year ago and with it being four flights, I’m still able to come in and be competitive.”

John Kim and Kevin Snatchko pace the B Flight at 8 over with Matt Hunter and John Barber each a shot behind.

The C Flight has Bob Soda out in front by a single shot over Anthony Glunt and Tim DiPietro and the D Flight is Luis Cardiel’s for the taking with him leading Jim Kelly and Ron Swantek each by three strokes.

In an effort to ramp up the fun during the event, there were two prize competitions, with the winners receiving pro shop credit. The first was a longest putt on the third hole and the second was a closest-to-the-pin on the seventh hole.

John Barber won the longest putt prize, and the closest-to-the-pin challenge was hotly contested with a ball hitting the then-leader Steve Kramer’s spot. Playing partner Eric Jenko then snatched the lead by half a foot, but ultimately it was 2018 Flight C Champion Mike “Elder” Zgola who stuck his approach to 11 inches.

There is also a prize for a hole in one on the 10th hole, a Ford Bronco courtesy of Falconi Ford Moon Township general manager Allan Bloss, who is also in the field.

Also among those in the field was 93.7 The Fan personality Chris Mueller, who has been a top participant in Flight B multiple times in this event.

Mueller had high hopes going into the event and cited a lesson he had last week, but after parring the first hole, was undone by several unforced errors, one of which included a three-putt on the par-3 seventh hole, while John Mellencamp’s Hurt So Good ironically played in the background.

His round ended with an 18th-hole hiccup which saw him promptly throw a ball he hit out of bounds into the water after it was retrieved for him.

Another fun moment from day one was 80-year-old Bernie Sarsfield competing and hitting a 10th green which proved to be demanding all day as many players missed short. Sarsfield found the green, to the delight of his three playing partners.

The event featured a VIP option for those who purchased spots and among the perks were a chance to have input on tee times and playing partners, in addition to an Under Armour polo and an extra sleeve of Bridgestone balls.

All competitors also received a bag tag, were fed breakfast with drinks and then after the round were treated to salad, pulled pork, wings, drinks and more.

As the playful teasing about pin placements gave way, all involved left the course smiling, something which always encouraging heading into Sunday’s final day of play.

2023 Moon Open Leaderboard

Flight A Gross

Cameron Krotec -2

Tony Manfred E

David Bennett +1

David Michaels +1

Quinn Sliker +3

Flight A Net

Brian Fredericks -3

Cameron Krotec -3

Tracy Lehman -2

David Bennett -1

Tony Manfred -1

David Michaels -1


Flight B Gross

John Kim +8

Kevin Snatchko +8

Matt Hunter +9

John Barber +9

Keith Heenan +10

Brian Blaha +10

Sean Cummings +10

Rick Brasko +10

Flight B Net

John Kim -3

Brian Blaha -2

Keith Heenan -1

Matt Hunter -1

Kevin Snatchko -1


Flight C Gross

Bob Soda +13

Anthony Glunt +14

Tim DiPietro +14

Dane Looman +16

Eric Jenko +16

Flight C Net

Anthony Glunt -5

Mahru Singh -1

Robert Soda -1

Tim DiPietro E

Eric Jenko E


Flight D Gross

Luis Cardiel +16

Jim Kelly +19

Ron Swantek +19

Steve Kramer +20

Dave McHugh +22

Flight D Net 

Jim Kelly -8

Skylar Russo -6

Luis Cardiel -5

Steve Kramer -1

Ron Swantek -1

Tom Taylor -1


Photo credit: Julia Wingard

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