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Winning the Rollison never grows old

August 31, 2018

When it comes to playing on the winning team in the annual Clive Rollison Memorial Tournament hosted by the Kankakee Country Club, it always feels like the first time.

Two men who can attest to this are Kevin Pinski and Bruce Dickstein, both of whom have golfed in the tournament continually for about three decades. They have been on three winning teams each during that span, including 2007, when they formed one half of the winning quartet.

As they prepare for the 56th Rollison, which will be held Saturday and Sunday, Pinski and Dickstein hope to experience the same thrill that has occurred in the past.

“Absolutely,’’ Pinski said when asked if another tournament win would mean as much as the previous successes. “You kind of gather on the 18th green and you realize you’ve won it. Tears well in your eyes.’’

Dickstein put it this way: “It’s the pinnacle of the Kankakee Country Club. You get your picture on the wall. The thrill is unbelievable.’’

There are 17 teams entered in this year’s field, and 16 face the challenge of getting past the foursome which includes Matt Dwyer in order to capture the title.

Dwyer is on a Tiger Woods-like run. He has been the driving force on the last two teams to win the Rollison, and he is also a two-time defending Kankakee Country Club champion. Furthermore, Dwyer is the defending Kankakee County Amateur Tournament champion and has won that event five times overall.

The “experts’’ that handicap the Rollison field have surely taken notice of Dwyer’s prowess. His 2018 team, which also includes Keith Decker, Chris Curtis and Mike Merten, has been chosen as the likely winner this year according to the “Poop & Scoop’’ sheet released in conjunction with the event.

Where will the most staunch competition come from? It might be provided by the foursome of Joe Wertz, Kent Frye, Brad Hove and Ken Williams, who the experts have tabbed to finish second. The team projected to finish third is made up of Steve Lemenager, Nick Elliot, Jorge Contreras and Jerome Warner.

Those rankings are largely based on the combined talent of the various quartets. But experience tells Dickstein and Pinski another sometimes overlooked factor plays a significant role.

“Camaraderie goes into it,’’ Dickstein said. “It’s a game of highs and lows. If you hit a good shot or a bad shot, you have to control your emotions.’’

“I’ve had good teammates,’’ Pinski said in explaining his success. “It comes down to chemistry.’’

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