Calef successfully defends his Mass. Amateur golf title
LONGMEADOW -- Brockton Country Club member Mike Calef put on a dominant display at Longmeadow Country Club on Friday to become the 10th player to win the Massachusetts Amateur Championship in consecutive years.
Calef rolled to an 8-and-7 victory in the 36-hole final over George Wright Golf Course's Ian Thimble, who had made a remarkable run to the finals. Thimble was the first player in the tournament's 105-year history to reach the final after being seeded last in the 32-player match-play field.
"I was afraid to peek earlier in the week to see who had done it," said Calef on becoming a repeat champion. "I know that Frank [Vana Jr.] was the last one to do it and like I said [Thursday], anything that I do that Frank Vana does is fine by me. If I can copy what his career has been, I will be a lucky man."
In addition to Vana, a nine-time Massachusetts Golf Association player of the year, repeat champions include the legendary Francis Ouimet and Berkshire County's own Jim Salinetti, who won the tournament three times.
Calef played spectacular golf, recording 13 birdies and just three bogeys starting with the 10th hole of his round-of-16 match. His error-free play turned out to be too much for Thimble.
"He is just consistent," Thimble said. "He is not someone who [is going to let you] into his head. He is not going to beat himself. You have to beat him."
After producing comeback wins over former champion and Longmeadow member Flynt Lincoln, Peter French and Matt Parziale, Thimble ran out of gas against Calef.
"I feel I hit a wall emotionally and physically this morning," he said after the match. "It showed in my game."
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