Sunday September 16, 2012

Jim Crews and Kathy Duguay captured their sixth Allied Mixed Scotch tournament title with a round of 73 at Waubeeka Golf Links last Sunday, but this one had to be more special than the others.

Duguay learned in January that she had breast cancer and only recently finished chemotherapy treatments.

"It's remarkable considering all that Kathy has been through," said Crews, who is Duguay's uncle. "I was surprised at how well she did. Chemo is very tough, but she seemed to be in good spirits."

"I'm feeling pretty good," Duguay said Saturday after a round in a member-member tournament at Taconic Golf Club. "When I got the diagnosis, I didn't really expect to play this summer but I have been pleasantly surprised with how much I've been able to get out.

"It was special to win, especially since it's my only win this summer. Normally, I've been able to win four or five times with partners."

While Duguay has been happy to play, she wasn't thrilled with the state of her game headed into the Allied Scotch.

"I was playing well in July, but the sixth [and last] chemo treatment really kicked my butt," she said. "Nothing has been going right as far as golf goes."

But Sunday afternoon, she made a strong contribution playing with Uncle Jim.

"Let's face it, in Scotch, the woman wins the tournament and the guy can only lose it," said Crews, still going strong at age 73. "When you have Kathy as a partner, it makes it easy."

To win in the Scotch format -- both players hit their drives, select the best and then alternate shots until holing out -- both players need to play well.

"For a number of holes I hit some decent iron shots from his drives," Duguay said. "He was putting first most of the time, which was good, because he is more familiar with the greens since they have made changes. We were pretty steady."

One advantage the team had was the tournament site. Crews is a longtime Waubeeka member and Duguay dominated the women's club championship for years before moving to Taconic this year.

"We won our other five tournaments at other courses, but there's no doubt we had a big advantage at Waubeeka," Crews said.

Golf was a pleasant diversion while Duguay was going through chemotherapy.

"Being able to play golf has been pretty important to me," Duguay said. "I had the chemo on Wednesdays and was usually able to play on ladies day at Taconic the following Tuesday."

Duguay has returned to her job as a professor at East Stroudsburg State in Pennsyl vania, coming home on weekends. That will stop when she begins radiation sessions -- 28 treatments over six weeks.

"Everyone I've talked to who has been through radiation say it's not nearly as bad as the chemo," she said.

Duguay said her Pennsylvania oncologist has told her that with the treatments, there is an 80-85 percent chance she won't have a reoccurrence of the cancer over the next 10 years.

One thing that is 100 percent certain -- those in the Berkshires will be rooting for her to win this battle.

"People in the golf community have been very supportive," she said.

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It's been a mixed bag for reigning MGA Senior Player of the Year Andy Congdon the past few weeks.

On the plus side, Congdon shot a final round 2-under 68 to rally from a three-shot deficit to capture his 23rd Wyantenuck Country Club championship on Sunday. Congdon finished at 6-over 216 to finish six shots ahead of Adam Trivilino.

A few days later, however, Congdon shot a 4-over 75 to fall short in his bid to qualify for a third consecutive U.S. Senior Amateur Championship at Manchester (Vt.) Country Club. Earlier this week, Congdon had a tough two days in the New England Senior Amateur at Rutland (Vt.) Country Club, tying for 33rd with a 36-hole total of 155.

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While Congdon was winning the Wyantenuck club title, Kathy Sullivan, the wife of head professional Tom Sullivan, won the women's championship for the fifth time with rounds of 79 and 77. Defending champion Jen Race finished second at 166.

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Wednesday's Berkshire County Senior Fall Series event drew a field of 116 teams. In the junior division of the two-man scramble, Berkshire Hills' Ralph Dastoli and Bill Hogan won with an impressive 9-under 62. In the senior division, Waubeeka's Pat Grogan and Jim Crews prevailed with a 64.

This week's event has been moved from North Adams Country Club to Wahconah Country Club. If interested in playing, call the Wahco nah pro shop at (413) 684-1333.

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Frank Cipollino successfully defended his title in the Egremont Country Club championship, firing rounds of 76 and 75 from the blue tees to win by four shots over Yoshi Sato (76-79).

Jeff Sexton produced rounds of 75 and 73 from the white tees to take the senior title by 14 shots over J. Pat Murphy (83-79).

To reach Richard Lord:
rlord@berkshireeagle.com,
(413) 496-6236.