HANOVER TWP. — Somehow, Frank Schiel Sr. and his son by the same name barely snuck into the Championship Flight.
Now, nobody can get them out.
The 16th-seeded Schiels’ made an unlikely run to the semifinals of the 2016 McCarthy Tournament, besting two favorites Saturday including one team that included a defending champion to remain in contention for a title on the final day of competition for the first time either can remember.
“It feels great,” Frank Schiel Sr. said. “We never made it this far. We’ve been in big matches, but never made it to the final day.”
They almost didn’t make the Championship field at all.
It took a one-hole playoff Friday to fend off three other teams tied for the 16th and final spot of the championship flight, sending Team Schiel into the title running as the 16th and final seed.
Their reward was a meeting with the top-seeded team of Scott Henry and Eric Williams — who was part of the winning tandem at last year’s McCarthy.
But in a match play format, the Schiels’ team pulled off the tourney’s biggest surprise by winning an opening-round match when Frank Schiel Sr. sank a difficult six-foot putt for par on the 18th hole for the win.
“Huge putt on 18,” Frank Schiel Jr. said. “It was either make it and we win, or go into a playoff.”
Their successful run continued in the quarterfinals, where the Schiel tandem took down the ninth-seeded team of Joe Weiscarger and John Gershey, 2 and 1.
“Hats off to Joe Weiscarger and John Gershey, they played phenomenal,” said Frank Schiel Jr., a former King’s College golfer. “We just got it together.
“We’re pretty hot right now.”
The Schiel team will square off in Sunday morning’s semifinals with fourth-seeded tandem of Drew Mamary and Eric Plisko — who birdied the final three holes of regulation and the first playoff hole to edge Marty Behm and Todd Vonderheid in another quarterfinal match.
Another father-son team made up of John and A.J. Olszewski was also busy riding a major upset into the semis.
They first knocked off No. 10 Joe Werner and Jim Gardas, then stunned the No. 2-seeded team of Ken Ralston and Brandon Matthews — who will attempt to turn pro on the PGA Tour in October — in the quarterfinals.
“Brandon is such a great player and such a nice kid,” John Olszewski said. “I think we played the course well. We just got off to a good start against them.”
It was the first time the Olszewskis played in the tournament together and the first time A.J. Olszewski — who only started playing the sport three years ago — teed it up with Matthews.
“He’s amazing,” said A.J. Olszewski, who had a neat chip-in birdie during the quarterfinals and plans to tryout for the Emmaus High School golf team in the fall. “I’ve seen him play before. But really, playing against him is pretty amazing. It feels good, Feels fun. It was the most fun round of golf I’ve had in a long time.”
The fun continues for the Olszewskis on Sunday morning, when they meet the No. 3 team of Rick Bray and Holy Redeemer golf coach Art Brunn Jr. in a semifinal match.
“I think the second match we had (Saturday) was much easier than the first match,” John Olszewski said. “A.J.’s still a new player. Playing against Brandon was a big deal. If he beat us, everyone expected them to win. I think we were playing consistent.”
Reach Paul Sokoloski at 570-991-6392 or on Twitter @TLPaulSokoloski