Turning Stone: 18th green offers a good view for fans

Marques Phillips

The 18th green culminates in a hill that leads upward into the clubhouse and hundreds of fans were sitting at the foot of the hill that should make for a nice setting on the weekend.

Flesch draws gallery

After a hot first nine, fans flocked to Steve Flesch. Flesch, who started on the back, birdied 18 to finish his first nine holes. As his score dropped, his gallery grew.

Sindelar solid

Horseheads native Joey Sindelar shot his second consecutive 68 to finish at 8-under par, four shots off the lead.

Glasson out

Bill Glasson withdrew from the tournament before starting this morning, citing a neck injury.

Never gets old

In one way or another, Frank Balzano has always been active. Still, in his 85 years living in Utica, he said he's never seen anything as "spectacular" as the Turning Stone Resort Championship.

Balzano's job is to walk the course with a golf trio and hold up the sign with their scores on it.

"It's just meeting with people and associating with the pros," he said. "That's exciting."

Balzano is a member of Valley View Golf Course and says he's gained appreciation for the skill the pros have.

"It's amazing how far they hit this ball," he said.

He's a volunteer, so the pay isn't as good as the experience.

"This is my thing because I'm retired," Balzano said.

Even though it was hot out on the course, the walk didn't bother him a bit.

"The walk is easy," he said. "I've been active my whole life."

Testing patience

Professional and amateur golf associations may start drug testing as early as next spring. Several governing bodies, including the PGA Tour, agreed to the testing and the substances to be banned. Now each organization will have to set penalties and procedures for the testing. Golfers at the Turning Stone Championship weighed in the matter:

Matt Hendrix: "I personally don't think that we need it. And it doesn't bother me at all. They can test all they want. But I just hate that it's come to golf now."

Brendon de Jonge: "You know, no, I don't feel strongly one way or the other. I don't know if it's necessary, but, obviously, they're going to go ahead and do it. They can test me all they want. I'm not too worried about it."

Observer-Dispatch