Sunday August 5, 2012

Berkshire County will be well-represented Monday when the Massachusetts Junior Amateur Champ ionship begins at Oakley Country Club in Watertown.

Five county juniors -- Kris Vahle, Ryan Grande, Matt Finnerty, Thomas Viletto and Hunter Clutz -- will be in the 120-player field for the 54-hole event. The junior division, which includes all five locals, will be cut to the low 50 for the final round.

Vahle, 16, who is heading into his junior year at Lenox High School, won medalist honors in a qualifier at Worthington Country Club in July with a 73.

Pittfield High's Grande, who is in the midst of a strong summer playing on the Northeast New York PGA Junior Tour, finished third in the same qualifier with a 75.

Grande, 16, who will be a junior at PHS, has qualified for the NENY Junior Tour Champ ionship by finishing in the top 15 in points during the summer series. The Berkshire Hills Country Club member finished fourth in a July 26th event played at Skyline Country Club in Lanesborough, firing a 74.

The tour championship is a one-day event on Saturday at Glen Falls Country Club, meaning this will be a busy and important week for Grande, who has taken big strides this summer.

Finnerty, 16, made a clutch 10-foot putt on the final hole to earn the final spot at Worth ington. Finnerty, who attends Wellesley High School in suburban Boston, opened eyes recently with a 5-under 67 at Berkshire Hills in a Berkshire County Junior Series event.

Viletto is a teammate of Vahle's at Lenox and earned an exemption as the result of a top-eight finish in the state high school Division III tournament last fall, while Clutz, who attends Weston High School but spends his summers in the Berkshires, qualified at Hope dale Country Club.

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Clutz, a junior member at Stockbridge Golf Club, took top honors in the 14-15 age division of Monday's Berk shire County Junior Series tournament with an 80 at Greenock Country Club. He beat Wyantenuck Country Club's Brad Lupiani by two.

Hoosac Valley High School star Chad Alibozek looks like he's finding his game as a new high school season nears. Alibozek shot a 2-under 69 to defeat Greenock member Jared Fadding by seven shots in the 16-and-older division.

Berkshire Hills member Kevin Quinto won the 13-and-under group with a 90.

This week's event is at Worthington Golf Club.

Meanwhile, a youth clinic has been added as part of the series finale on Aug. 16 at Waubeeka Golf Links. Wau beeka LPGA instructor Erika DeSanty will conduct the clinic beginning at 8 a.m. prior to start of the tournament.

DeSanty, who is also the women's golf coach at Will iams College, will start with a question-and-answer session with the topics entitled "Tips to Being Successful on the Course" and "Preparation for the College-bound Golfer."

Then, stations will be set up according to age group and DeSanty will work on skills with those in the tournament.

The clinic is being sponsored by Dick Rivers' Berkshire Country Senior Fall Series and the family of Helen Kawa.

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GEAA member Cas Mak owski pulled off one of golf's great feats at his home course, making a double-eagle two on the 443-yard par-5 fifth hole.

Makowski gambled off the tee on the 90-degree dogleg right, bombing a driver over the trees to shorten the hole. He then hit a 7-iron into the hole for the so-called albatross.

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Crestview Country Club member Andy Drohen captured this week's Mass achusetts Public Links Ch amp ionship at George Wright Golf Course in Boston.

Drohen finished at 8-under 132 for a three-shot victory as he earned his fourth career Mass achusetts Golf Association title, but his first since 2004.

The win makes him the only player in MGA history to have won all four major non-senior amateur MGA championships.

Waubeeka CC member Adam Hall, the only county player in the field, missed the cut with an opening 82.

To contact Richard Lord:
rlord@berkshireeagle.com or
(413) 496-6236