Wednesday October 10, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- Even when Lenox's top golfer wasn't at his best on Tuesday, the Millionaires showed they could still gut out a tough win.

Lenox put together four scores of 44 or better to edge Taconic, 164-168, on the par-35 front nine at Berkshire Hills Country Club. Kris Vahle was co-medalist (38) with the Braves' Mitchell Omelenchuck, while Cam Besse fired a 40 and Patrick Conlon's 44 in the final group sealed the win for Lenox (10-1).

"That's a good confidence-builder for us," said Millionaires coach Dick Salinetti. "Our No. 1 man, Thomas Villetto, struggled a little bit, but he hung in there. ... It was a good team effort."

Villetto lost two balls on the first two holes on a cold and windy day. He still recovered to shoot a 42. Vahle said he was happy with his round, hitting a lot of greens despite the tough conditions. But it was Conlon who made the difference, lowering his team's score just enough to get the win.

"It wasn't my best round, but I stuck with it," Conlon said. "I didn't let myself make too many bad holes. I had some good holes. I birdied eight. That really helped my game."

Staying tough was the name of the game on an afternoon where judging the wind was key. The best rounds were solid, not spectacular. Everyone seemed to run into their own trouble spots at different times.

Omelenchuck judged his day as "OK," dwelling on a three-putt here and a bad chip there.

"It was really windy and I think the greens were a lot faster than they were a few days ago," he said. "The putts have been hard. With all the wind on some holes, you didn't know how hard to hit it."

The win kept Lenox unbeaten in Berkshire County while Taconic (9-5) must continue on a brutal 5-match week today at crosstown rival Pittsfield. The Braves didn't shoot higher than 45 among all six of their golfers, showing just how tight this match was. John Keegan and Brian Bonacquisti each shot 43 while Matt Ferris had a 44.

Villetto said Salinetti had been reminding his team every match how important each stroke is. That was true on a raw Tuesday.

"You had Conlon come in with a 44 which really was what did us in, coming in the last group," said Braves coach Mike Hillman. "I think we're strong that way, too, throughout the lineup we're very strong. You never know what to expect with that last group coming in. You're going to have at least one good score in there."

Salinetti said he knew the match was going to come down to the final foursome. That's when Lenox's depth helped it to win No. 10.

"That definitely feels good," Conlon said. "Our lower half of the lineup is still solid."

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LENOX (164) -- Thomas Villetto 42, Kris Vahle 38, Cam Besse 40, CJ Meczywor 48, Patrick Conlon 44, Cam Sibley 47.

TACONIC (168) -- Mitchell Omelenchuck 38, Matt Ferris 44, Liam Nolan 45, John Keegan 43, Brian Bonacquisti 43, Kyle Nutting 45.

BIRDIES -- Omelenchuck (No. 2), Besse (No. 4), Conlon (No. 8).