Tee to Green: Berkshires Singles set to tee off on Friday

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Wyantenuck Country Club's Andy Congdon has cut back his tournament schedule over the past few years, but when it comes time to tee it up in the Berkshires Singles at Berkshire Hills Country Club, you can count on him being ready to contend for the title.

The 62-year-old will look to win the championship for the third year in a row — but he will be facing a very strong field when the 54-hole tournament tees off on Friday at the A.W. Tillinghast-designed layout. Congdon, the 2011 Massachusetts Golf Association Senior Player of the Year, has won the title at the Hills six times overall.

Perhaps his most exciting Singles victory came two years ago when he rallied to get himself into a five-way playoff and then took the title on the second playoff hole. Three of the golfers who lost out to Congdon — 2016 Allied Association champion Jeff Puleri, former professional Donnie Troy and Berkshire Hills veteran veteran Mark Chylinski — will be in this year's field.

Congdon won last year's rain-shortened event by one shot over fellow Wyantenuck member Joe Grochmal, who isn't playing this year.

The championship flight will feature a mix of golfers ranging from talented teens to experienced seniors. The youngest player in the championship flight is Berkshire Hills member and former Pittsfield High star Kevin Quinto, who was last year's All-Eagle MVP. Another young gun with plenty of experience at the Hills is long-hitting 23-year-old Hayden Jarck.

The most battle-tested of the seniors is 2014 Singles champion Bob Linn. The 2009 Massachusetts Senior Player of the Year has been busy on the New England tournament trail this summer. He qualified for and played in the Mass. Amateur Championship at Charles River Country Club and earlier this week competed at the New England Amateur Championship at Metacomet Country Club in East Providence, R.I.

While he missed the cut in both major events — he was the oldest player in the Mass. Am. Field — his second-round 1-over par 71 after an opening 82 at Metacomet was an encouraging sign as heads back to the Berkshires for a "home game."

"I was 8 over on three holes the first day," he reported via email. "I finally made some putts (in the second round)."

The field includes some strong players from the Albany area and the Pioneer Valley in addition to a solid contingent of county players that includes the likes of 13-time Country Club of Pittsfield club champion Matt Scarafoni, Stockbridge Golf Club's Matt Ortega and Berkshire Hills' John Dahrouge. Scarafoni and partner Chris Ferriter finished second in this year's Pewter Cup while Ortega and Dahrouge won May's Allied Four-Ball and tied for third in the Pewter Cup.

The tournament will run through Sunday.

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The Women's Golf Association of Massachusetts held two events this past week in Williamstown — the organization's Mother & Son Championship and the Curtis Bowl — and left with rave reviews for both Waubeeka Golf Links and Taconic Golf Club.

The visit means that both clubs have hosted Mass. Golf Association and WGAM events over the past two summers. Given that the state's population base is tilted heavily to the east, the fields tend to be smaller then when tournaments aren't played in Greater Boston or on Cape Cod.

Players raved about the beauty and condition at both courses as they finished their rounds as did the WGAM's volunteers and Executive Director Cathleen Beach, who made it clear that geography won't keep the organization away from the Berkshires.

"I tell those who chose to not come out here that they are the ones who are missing out," she said when asked about the smaller fields.

The MGA and WGAM are in the midst of merging, but the tournament schedules will remain much the same over the next two years. Beach said that she is confident that the merger will benefit both organizations, and more importantly, the state's avid golfers.

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Country Club of Pittsfield head professional Eric Mabee finished in a tie for 44th place this week in the New York State Open, which was played at the famed Bethpage State Park Black Course.

Mabee, who played in PGA National Championship earlier this summer in Oregon, finished at 12-over 225 at the two-time U.S. Open course.

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It's not a misprint in this week's Area Aces list — Nick Massana really did hit a hole-in-one on the 280-yard, par-4 hole at Bas Ridge Golf Club in Hinsdale with a 4-iron.

No, he isn't Berkshire County's Dustin Johnson, but he certainly deserves credit for earning the albatross (3-under par on a hole). The hole is a dogleg right but he expertly cut across the dogleg to find the bottom of the cup during an Elks Lodge tournament. The shot probably flew about 200 yards.

The odds of recording an albatross have been quoted as being as high a six-million-to-1. However, Dean Knuth, inventor of the USGA's slope rating system for golf courses and handicaps, told Golf World magazine in 2004 that the odds are more likely one-million to one. The odds for a hole-in-one are estimated to be 13,000-to-one for the average golfer.

Either way, it's the shot of a lifetime! Congratulations, Nick.

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The Championship Division of last weekend's Member-Guest tournament at Waubeeka had a great finish, at least for the winners. Peter Baran birdied both the 17th and 18th hole to give he and his brother, Chris, the title by a half-point over Geoff Tatro and Steve Rocchio.

The flight winners are listed below.

LOCAL RESULTS

88th annual Sherwood Invitational

Stockbridge Golf Club

CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION

36 holes

Low gross

1. Nancy Kroll and Pam Zanetto, 139. 2. Heidi Nejaime and Sara D'Arcangelo, 154.

Low net

1. Cindy Hedge and Linda Lyons, 126. 2. Valorie McMillan and Fran Morris, 132.

FIRST DIVISION

Low gross

1. Anne Poulin and Laura Couch, 164. 2. Charlotte Ackerman and Liz Wilson, 172.

Low net

1. Kathy Nicholl and Chris Eugin, 136. 2. Mary Hurley and Crystal Diamond.

SECOND DIVISION

Low gross

1. Sharon Davies and Elizabeth Brady, 166. 2. Gail Findlay and Sherry Webb, 169.

Low net

1. Judy Mysliborski and Anne Hartranft, 135. 2. Nell Hellawell and Jacqueline Togut, 137.

THIRD DIVISION

Low gross

1. Margaret Camin and Ellen Cohen, 178. 2. Diane Brown and Robyn Mahan, 180.

Low net

1. Sue Grayson and Thirza Hyatt, 135. 2. Brenda Mirkin and Cathy Dow, 138.

FOURTH DIVISION

Low gross

1. Barbara Depalo and Louise Lupone, 179. Michele Agihigan and Dawn McClure, 182.

Low net

1. Vicki Richardello and Jane Brown, 134. 2. Ann Twohig and Sharon Ialenti, 139.

FIFTH DIVISION

Low gross

1. Lynn Barry and Kate McCormick, 185. 2, Sue Holmes and Kim Obanhein, 186.

Low net

1. Julie Rathbun and Jodie Rathbun, 138. 2. Cheryl Bean and Diane Magargal, 142.

SIXTH DIVISION

Low gross

1. Deb Boynton and Mary Connolly, 191. 2. Maureen Wellspeak and Eve Terpak, 199.

Low net

1. Edwina Hubbard and Barbara Hirnyk, 152. 2. Barbara Hobbs and Janet Bronstein,

159.

Waubeeka Golf Links

MEMBER-GUEST TOURNAMENT

Championship Division

1. Chris and Peter Baran. 2. Geoff Tatro and Steve Rocchio.

First Division

1. Jim Crews and Pat King. 2. Brian Manoogian and John Barrett.

Second Division

1. Billy Molloy and Colin MacDonald. 2. Stefan and Peter Lemarre.

Third Division

1. Ed Flaherty and Pete Landry. 2. Woody Gravel and Del Keyes

Fourth Division

1. Dan Ellsworth and Brian Quinn. 2. Tom Rochelle and David Candow.

Berkshire Hills Country Club

BERKSHIRE COUNTY JUNIOR SERIES

13 years-and-under Division

1. Brenden Hayden, Berkshire Hills C.C., 85. 2. Max Digrigoli, CC of Pittsfield, 88. 3. Darrin Cloran, Wahconah CC, 95. 4. Patrick McLaughlin, Berkshire Hills, 99.

14-15 Division

1. Derek Alibozek, Forest Park CC, 82. 2 Luc Trombley, Forest Park CC, 94. 3. Ryan Baran, Waubeeka GL, 102. 3. Hayden Grimes, Forest Park CC, 102. 4. Henry Sniezek, Forest Park CC, 104. 4. Liam Fitzgibbons, Berkshire Hills CC, 104.

16-and-older Division

1. Jonathan Dos Santos, Wahconah CC, 71. 2. Thomas Fraser, Greenock C.C, 82. 3. Kays, Berkshire Hills CC, 83. 4. (tie) Connor Champeaux, Berkshire Hills CC, 88. 4. Hunter Roosa, Greenock CC, 88.

Worthington Golf Club

PRESIDENT'S CUP

Men's low gross

1. S. Preston and F. Goerlach, 70. 2. E. Figiela and P. Waite, 73.

Mens low net

1. D. Petrossi and D. Morrison, 59. 2. D. McDonald and I. Sanders, 62.

Women's low gross

1. S. McClellan and C. Lajzer, 75.

Low net

1. J. Haigler and C. Fender, 57.

AREA ACES

Nick Massana, on the 280-yard fourth hole at Bas Ridge Golf Club with a 4-iron. Witnesses: George Boltin, Todd Boltin and Chris Boltin.

Bill Coe, on the 162-yard fifth hole at Skyline Country Club with a 6-iron. Witnesses Dan Norton, Bob Tabor and Jon Avery.

Vinne Lam, on 118-yard fourth hole at Pontoosuc Lake Country Club with a pitching wedge. Witnesses John Montgomery, Bill Hines Sr. and Joy Kennedy.

To contact Richard Lord: 413-281-2226.


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