Sintkowski, Bilich grind out Bestball

HOUGHTON – Paul Sintkowski and Tony Bilich had the prototypical grind-it-out round Sunday to conclude the annual Memorial Weekend Two-Man Bestball at Portage Lake Golf Course.

But they weren’t the only ones who were fighting to score Sunday, and that helped Sintkowski and Bilich’s opening-round 64 stand up for a two-shot win.

“Yesterday, we ham-and-egged it good: when he made bogey, I made birdie and when I made bogey, he made birdie. Today, it was more or less, one of us made a double bogey, the other got another bogey,” Sintkowski, an assistant golf pro at PLGC, said.

Opening the second day of the 36-hole event with a one-shot lead, the pair promptly double-bogeyed the first hole and found themselves trailing midway through the front side.

In the sixth fairway, Bilich holed out on a wedge from 120 yards to kick-start the pair

“Once that went in, we got a little bit of life back, because we were trailing by two or three at the time,” Sintkowski said.

Three birdies in a row to start the back nine put the pair solidly under par. One more birdie on the tricky par-3 15th gave them more than enough cushion to absorb a bogey on the 18th.

“I lost a little trust in my game today and kind of sprayed it all over, but fortunately I made that eagle and a couple birdies to help us out,” Bilich said.

Few others went low either, as the course yielded precious few rounds in the 60s all day.

“Fast greens and good pin positions, too. Tough pins, plus the wind,” Bilich said.

Bilich was back in form after he said he sat out most of the last two seasons. The duo won the 2010 and 2011 Bestball tournaments.

Three other pairs tied for second, two shots back.