DEVENS -- The Lenox High School golf team was the top Western Mass. finisher in yesterday’s state Division III Golf Tournament at the Red Tail Golf Club, shooting a 356 for the day. St. Mary’s of Westfield, the team that edged out the Millionaires for the Western Mass. crown, finished at 396, a whopping 40 strokes behind Lenox.
That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is that Lenox finished 13th out of 15 teams in the tournament. Westwood won the state title with a team score of 319.
Lenox junior Kris Vahle was the top finisher for his team shooting a 78 for sixth place out of 117 golfers.
"Kris finished in the elite group of golfers [Monday]," said Lenox coach Dick Salinetti. "But he was the only one on the team who played well."
Cam Besse scored an 88, Thomas Villetto a 92 and C.J. Meczywor shot a 98, according to Salinetti.
"No excuses," said Salinetti. "But it was a tough course, and a cold day. We just had a bad day, except for Kris."
BEVERLY -- At the Beverly Golf and Tennis Club, Western Mass. runner-up Chad Alibozek of Hoosac Valley finished in a four-way tie for eighth with a 77.
"If you told me I would have finished second at Western Mass. and seventh in states, I would have called it a good year," Alibozek said after returning home.
Alibozek shared his 77 with Drew Benshoff of Concord-Carlisle, Zack Straub of Masconomet and James Shalhoup of Oliver Ames.
Charlie May of Masconomet was medalist with an even-par 70.
Things did not start well for the Hurricane standout, who began on the 15th hole in the shotgun start. He had bogey, bogey, par, double bogey on the first four holes. That’s exactly the kind of start that could do in a lesser golfer.
But the Western Mass. Division II runner-up wasn’t going to let a 4-over-par start wreck his day.
Pulling out his driver on the 431-yard, par-4 first hole, Alibozek put his shot down the middle, reached the green in regulation and putted for par.
"That kind of hit started me," he said. "After that I played the next 12 holes [well]."
Alibozek said that his ball stroking was good but his putting, which had been a strength, wasn’t there. He three-putted the par-4, 14th hole to close out his day.
"I’m disappointed with my 77," he said, "seeing how good I was hitting the ball. It was my putting, especially after I worked so hard on it in the fall."
Drury’s Alex Boulger shot 89.
"That was pretty much my goal going in. I wanted to stay in the 80s," Boulger said.
The Blue Devil golfer started on the 10th hole and shot a 50 on the par-35 back nine. He did that by making par on the 10th, then going triple bogey, double bogey and triple.
Boulger righted his game on the front nine and shot 4-over 39. Boulger closed out his day with a birdie on the par-5, 571-yard eight hole, what he called the "toughest hole on the course.
"Once the [warmer] weather hit, I got loose and started to shoot well," he said.
Matt Finnerty of Wellesley, a member at the Stockbridge Golf Club and the son of local golfer Jim Finnerty, shot an 81.