Bob Linn wins Allied individual tournament

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DALTON — With three holes left in the afternoon session of the Allied Gross Team and Individual Tournament, Bob Linn (Berkshire Hills CC) knew the score he needed to take home the individual title on Sunday. He held the lead going into the 18th, but instead of laying up short, his second shot on the par-5 hole went long, landing in the short right-side bunker near the green.

He escaped the bunker, and his putt out of the rough missed right. His second putt stopped just before the hole, allowing him to tap in for bogey.

The bogey was just enough for Linn to pull out the tournament win.

He finished with a 4-over-par 146, one shot better than Paul Briggs, who entered the clubhouse with the lead but could not hold on.

"I don't care how many of these you play in, you get in position to win and the nerves are still there," Linn said.

The win is Linn's second individual title. He was consistent throughout, shooting 2-over 73 in the morning and afternoon. Briggs was 1-under after the first session, before ending the day with a 4-over 75 for a 147 total. Matt Keenan, Matt Scarafoni and Andy Congdon, the other three members of Linn's foursome, finished with a 148 and tied at 149, respectively.

Linn's putting game started strong, then it began to fade as the second round progressed. He sank a 12-foot putt for par on the 10th hole, keeping him at 1-under par. He followed up by hitting back-to-back three-putts on 12 and 13, respectively. His intermediate game was strong throughout, however.

He escaped the trees on the right side of hole No.1 with an 8-iron in the morning, he missed the birdie forcing him to settle for par. The second time he played hole No. 1 he again had to navigate the trees. This time, he chipped a low shot, the ball landed on the front of the green, rolled and bounced off the pin for a near circus shot.

Linn said avoiding crisis on hole No. 1 set up him up for strong rounds.

"The first hole could've cost me a couple strokes," he said. "I could've been one or two over on that hole for playing it twice, but I was actually 1-under. That was the big hole of the day looking back at it."

Congdon's bid for a 12th tournament title got off to a promising start. He finished the morning round tied for the lead with a 1-over 72. The strong beginning did not carry over to the afternoon round. Congdon said he could not find his rhythm, finishing with a 6-over 77.

"It was a little depressing because I knew I didn't have my swing," he said, "My 'A' game wasn't there. It's a different feeling when you know you've got your swing. In your 'A' game you're excited about it, you're looking forward to every shot. I just didn't have the swing. I didn't have the swing all day."

Even with the lead down the stretch, Linn said it's never easy to win a tournament. He added that besting Congdon adds to the magnitude of the accomplishment.

"Anytime you finish ahead of a legend [Congdon] it's a meaningful win," Linn said.

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Top 10 Finishers

1. Bob Linn 73, 73 — 146; 2. Paul Briggs 72, 75 — 147; 3. Matt Keenan 74, 74 — 148; 4. Matt Scarafoni 75, 74 — 149; 5. Andy Congdon 72, 77 — 149; 6. Matt Gilardi 76, 73 — 149; 7. Jeff Puleri 73, 77 — 150; 8. Mike Schoop 76, 75 — 151; 9. Matt Ortega 78, 75 — 153; 10. Ed Schoop 78, 75 — 153.

Team Scores

1. Berkshire Hills 73, 73, 79 — 225; 2. Wyantenuck CC 72, 76, 79 — 225; 3. Wahconah CC 72, 79, 81 — 232; 4. Stockbridge GC 77, 78, 81 — 236; 5. Skyline CC 76, 80, 83 — 231; 6. Worthington 79, 81, 83 — 243; 7. Greenock CC 74, 85, 87 — 246.

Reach sports writer Akeem Glaspie at 413-496-6252 or @TheAkeemGlaspie.


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