Dick Weingold wins Allied Senior Golf Championship
GREAT BARRINGTON -- Shooting your age -- or beating it -- is considered a great feat in golf. Doing it while winning a tournament and beating its four-time defending champion?
Call it a golfing trifecta, one Dick Weingold achieved on Monday at Egremont Coun try Club.
The 72-year-old bettered his age by four shots, shooting a 3-under-par 68 to edge defending champion Andy Congdon and Berkshire Hills Country Club member Ed Chandler by a shot in the Allied Senior Championship.
"It's nice," said Weingold, a Torrington (Conn.) Country Club member, of beating some "young" seniors. "There were some good players here. I've played against Andy in New England senior events and in Tri-State matches."
Before Weingold came in with his winning score, it appeared that Congdon and Chandler were headed for a playoff. However, Allied tournament director Sam Nykorchuk did not send them to the tee -- he knew the Cornwell, Conn., resident was a title threat and he was right.
The Allied Golf Association decided this spring to allow Torrington CC to join the organization on a trial basis, opening up the opportunity for its members to play in Allied tournaments. Weingold, who was previously a longtime member at Egremont, was more than happy to take advantage of the opportunity.
"When we were talking about joining, I told our members what a great bunch of guys are in the Allied," Weingold said. "I tried to stress that not only was it a chance for us to play some great courses, but that the camaraderie is just great."
It was obvious on Monday that the level of competition has jumped a notch with Torrington's inclusion. Not only did Weingold win, but two other Torrington members -- Ray Underwood (72) and Jim Burns (75) -- finished fourth and fifth. In all, six club members were part of the 58-player field.
Though he came in as an "outsider," Weingold probably had as much experience playing the par-71 Egremont layout as anyone.
"I was a member for 15 years and I've probably played in the Egremont Classic 30 times, and won it with my partners six times," he said.
Weingold, who started on No. 18 in the shotgun start, produced his winning score with four birdies and a single bogey. Three of his birdies -- on Nos. 2, 11 and 13 -- came on putts of 6 feet or less. The other, on the par-3 ninth hole, was a pleasant surprise.
"I had a 25- or 30-foot putt from the back left," Weingold said. "I was just trying to figure out how to two-putt and it went in."
The only bogey came on the par-4 16th when he three-putted from 30 feet.
Meanwhile, Congdon and Chandler fashioned their 69s in remarkably different ways, and both had good reason to think they could have matched or beaten the winning score.
Wyantenuck Country Club's Congdon managed only two birdies in a bogey-free round -- on No. 1, his first hole, and No. 17. Chandler amassed six birdies, but had a double bogey and two bogeys.
"I played very conservatively and only missed one green," said the four-time senior champion, who hit a driver just once all day. "I just couldn't get any putts to drop."
Chandler got on a roll on his first nine -- the longer par-37 back -- with four birdies in his first six holes (he lipped out an eagle putt on the par-5 13th). But one swing on the par-4 17th hole cost him two shots.
"I really had it going," said Chandler, who lives most of the year in Florida these days. "There was a group teeing off on No. 10 [near the 17th fairway] and I should have waited to hit. But I didn't. Someone hit just as I was swinging. I flinched and hit it in the woods."
Another bogey followed on No. 18 before he made the turn and had back-to-back birdies on Nos. 2 and 3. After four straight pars, he made what turned out to be a costly bogey on the short par-4 eighth, his next-to-last hole.
"I was indecisive on my second shot, left it short and missed the birdie putt," said the 64-year-old, who has had several high finishes recently in Florida State Golf Association events. "I gave it away there."
The next Allied tournament is the 36-hole individual championship at Stockbridge Golf Club on Aug. 10 when Congdon will get another chance to defend a 2013 title.
To contact Richard Lord:
or (413) 496-6236.
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