In another testament to the strength of Longmeadow Country Club's roster of talented golfers, club members Pat Pio and Bill Cunningham won last weekend's Wyantenuck Four-Ball Invitational at Wyantenuck Country Club.
Pio and Cunningham defeated Will Bacas and John Gilmartin 4 and 3 in Sunday's match-play final. Gilmartin, from greater Boston, and Bacas, of New York, are longtime friends who played together in college at Colgate.
Longmeadow had a tournament-high five players in the field in the Massachusetts Amateur Championship the club hosted earlier this month. Pio and Cunningham weren't part of that fivesome, an indication of just how deep a roster of strong players the Pioneer Valley club has.
The nation's oldest invitational team tournament, the Stockbridge Invitational, will take center stage starting Friday at Stockbridge Golf Club. Friday's medal-play round will set the flights and pairings for two days of best-ball, match-play golf.
Past champs Andy Congdon-Silas Warner and Davis Mullany-Mike Schopp Jr. are among the top teams entered.
Speaking of Stockbridge and Wyantenuck, the Great Barrington club's men upped its winning streak against their neighbors to four in the Tennagoma Cup.
Wyantenuck took a 16-8 victory in the two-day, Ryder Cup-style match. While the final score looks lopsided, Wyantenuck captain Rocky Scarbro said the match was much tighter than it appears.
"There were a lot of well-contested matches," Scarbro said. "It was much closer than last year. They are starting to close the gap."
Both teams featured some new players -- Scarbro had to serve as a non-playing captain after having been a playing captain the past three years -- with Stockbridge adding one of the county's best golfers, with Matt Ortega having shifted his membership from Berkshire Hills Country Club to Stockbridge.
"You put Matt together with Randy Driscoll and you have one heck of a team," Scarboro said.
True, but the Wyantenuck team of Mike Schopp Jr. and Adam Trivilino, boosted by a hole-in-one on the par-3 11th hole by Trivilino, beat Ortega and Driscoll in the first round as Wyantenuck took a 31 2 - 21 2 lead it wouldn't relinquish.
The Saturday afternoon matches were highlighted by a couple of comebacks. Stockbridge's veteran team of Rich Iemolini and Jim Finnerty rallied to tie with Silas Warner and Dan Driscoll, while Wyantenuck's Jody Low and Mark Douglas erased a 5-down deficit to tie Bob Kay and Todd Briggs.
Sunday's singles matches were tight, but a sweep of A division matches by Schopp, Trivilino and Andy Congdon were too much for Stock-bridge to overcome.
"They had it over us for about six years and now we have won three in a row to tie the overall series," Scarbro said. "It's good to see the great effort on their part. It's more fun when the matches are close."
The Stockbridge women, meanwhile, earned South County bragging rights by beating Wyantenuck 4-2.
Pittsfield's Hayden Jarck, who missed making it to match play in the Mass. Amateur by three shots, rebounded from a nightmarish 90 in the New England Amateur with a solid effort in this week's U.S. Amateur qualifier at Crestview Country Club in Agawam.
Jarck didn't play well enough to make it to The Country Club in Brookline for the nation's biggest amateur event, but he did post solid rounds of 75 and 76 to tie for 20th place in a talent-filled field.
Jarck was 1-under through his first 13 holes of the opening round before bogeying four of the final five holes for a 75. As it turned out, he would have needed to shoot a 66 in the second round to tie for the final two of three spots available, or a 68 to make a playoff for two alternates.
Dave Szewczul, Connecticut's best amateur for years, took medalist honors at 5-under 139. The other two spots went to Ludlow's Nathan Pereira and Methuen's Colin Brennan, who finished at 141.
Billy Walthouse (73-70) is the first alternate and nine-time Mass. Golf Association Player of the Year Frank Vana Jr. (72-71--143) is the second alternate for the Aug. 12-18 event.
Jon Farrell made it two consecutive wins in the 13-and-under division of the Berkshire Country Junior Series on Monday at Egremont Country Club. The Skyline Country Club golfer shot an 83 to beat Worthington Golf Club's Tim Fay by three shots.
Justin Martin, also from Skyline, shot a 78 to take the 14-15 division while Mitch Omelenchuck, a Taconic High School golf team member, captured the 16-and-older title by two shots over Lee High School's Jared Fadding.
Next week's tournament will be played on Tuesday at Waubeeka Golf Links.
To contact Richard Lord
or (413) 496-6236.