It seems odd for a touring pro golf to be on hiatus in the summer, but that’s the situation David Denlinger is in.
It’s part of the reason why he’s in the field for Friday’s Lanco Lancaster Toyota Open at Crossgates Golf Club.
“I was encouraged to get in by (Lanco president) Don Landis, and I don’t really have anything else to play in right now,’’ Denlinger said Monday. “I love playing Crossgates, and I’ve played well there.’’
Defending champion, course record holder, fourth alternate, … Ryan Dornes held a bunch of ti…
Denlinger is a member of the PGA Tour LatinAmerica, where he played six events in the winter/spring and is 93rd on the Order of Merit, or money list.
That tour takes the summer off. Trying to fill the gaps, Denlinger has played a few state opens and Monday qualifiers for the Korn Ferry (formerly Web.com) Tour.
He finished third in the Vermont Open last month, including a first-round, course-record 62. He Monday-qualified for the Korn Ferry Lecom Health Challenge in Findley Lake, New York July 1 with a round of 60, 12 under par, but then missed the cut.
“I definitely had it going,’’ he said. “I had my dad up there pushing the cart around, so that was fun.’’
Denlinger won the PIAA championship at Lancaster Mennonite in 2008. He won the Lanco Amateur in 2014 and ‘15, the latter at Crossgates. He won the Lanco Open at Four Seasons in 2011 with lowest 36-hole score, 65-66-131, in the history of the event (the Open was 36 holes from 2006-12).
But he’s 28 now, in his fifth year as a pro. The clock ticks.
“You definitely have to be moving up,’’ he said. “The Korn Ferry (formerly Web.com) Tour is where I need to be.
“I need to get it going if I want to continue, but I’ve been shooting some good scores lately, and I’m definitely getting some good experience.’’
Denlinger has to be the favorite Friday, but not an overwhelming one. The field of 66 as of Tuesday (59 amateurs, seven pros) includes recent Penn State grad Ryan Dornes, who won the Open the past two years, last year with a 67 at Overlook.
There’s also Connor Sheehan, who won this year’s Lanco Amateur and Better-Ball (with Derek McCarty, also in the field). Sheehan won the Open in 2015.
More past champions in the field: Ken Phillips (1991, ‘83, ‘80), Overlook pro Mike Atkins (1999, ‘76), John Sweeney (2002, ‘96), Chris Fieger (2016), Brixton Albert (2012) and Dave Richards (2001).
The event is 18 holes of stroke play. Tee times are from 7:30-11:20 a.m. The Open is open to the public, free of charge.