Kevin Quinto beats Ben Gilooly in playoff to win Berkshire Classic golf tournament
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STOCKBRIDGE — Kevin Quinto hadn't played in very many golf playoffs. He ended one quickly on Sunday.
Quinto's second shot on the par-4 16th hole at Stockbridge Golf Club hit the flag stick, and the Pittsfield High golfer calmly parred the hole to beat Ben Gilooly of Mount Greylock to win the eighth-annual Berkshire Classic. It was the first playoff in the tournament's history.
"I'm pretty happy right now," Quinto said as a group of reporters gathered around him. "I'm glad I did.
"Especially after the last two years, I didn't play very well here."
Quinto, who tied for ninth last year, had a round that was nine strokes better than a year ago. Quinto and Gilooly finished 18 holes tied at 5-over-par 76. Both golfers finished two shots better than Taconic's Mike Kays, who shot 78.
Thomas Fraser, who tied for second with Gilooly last year, was tied for fourth with Wahconah's Jon Dos Santos. They both had 79s.
"I definitely believed I could" win the Classic, said Quinto. "I just knew that I would have to play all right, and hope that a few other guys wouldn't play better than me.
"It just turned out that was enough."
Gilooly sailed his first shot on the playoff hole into an unplayable part of the hole. That opened the door for Quinto. Coming into the playoff, the sophomore from Greylock said he was feeling pretty good.
"I felt pretty confident going into [the playoff]," he said. "After the third shot, I knew it was over. It was a good round."
Gilooly was in one of three groups that started play at Stockbridge from the first hole. He shot a 3-over-par 39 on the front nine, and was second to Jon Dos Santos, who made the turn at 2-over 38.
Quinto, however, had to do a little bit of scrambling. He had three bogeys and a double-bogey 6 on the ninth hole and made the turn at 41.
He parred the 10th, and went on to par each hole on Stockbridge's back nine. He shot 35 for a total of 76.
"I think I had five or six up-and-downs. On 18, I had a tricky up and down that I made," Quinto said. "I knew it was important. I'm glad I made that one."
Lenox golf coach and tournament director Dick Salinetti announced that the sudden-death playoff would begin on the par-4 16th hole, and would continue to No. 17 and 18, repeating the three holes if needed. It wasn't.
Quinto won the toss and had honors. His tee shot, with a driver, landed the ball about 90 yards from the flag on 16th. He hit a three-quarter sand wedge with his second shot, and clanged his golf ball off the flag stick.
"I knew it was a good shot," the Pittsfield senior said, of the second shot. "I didn't think it was going to be that close. I was pretty relieved.
"I knew I had a pretty easy two-putt coming."
Gilooly, meanwhile, was in trouble right from the start of the playoff hole.
"I hit a driver, and it was a little bit of adrenaline pumping," said the Greylock golfer. "I just kind of pulled it a little bit."
He said he had a quality up and down on 16, for a par 4 during the regulation round.
"Honestly, coming into it, I was freezing. I was really cold," said Gilooly, when asked about how he felt as the day started. "I had a little bit of confidence. I hit the range earlier this morning and I was striking it well."
Kays just missed making it a three-way playoff. He had birdied the par-3 11th hole, but followed that four bogeys on his final eight holes. That gave him the 78, two shots out of the playoff.
"I wasn't really playing well for the past couple of weeks, but today, I played pretty good," said Kays. "I don't mind the course that much. I enjoy playing here. It's pretty short, so there are a lot of holes I can take advantage of."
With the Classic in everyone's rearview mirror, the regular season wraps up this week and the Western Massachusetts golf tournaments will be contested next week. According to the MIAA's golf book, the Division I and II tournaments will be on Monday, with the Division III tournament on Tuesday.
Western Mass. tournaments are 18 holes, and each of the top golfers agreed that playing the classic will help them next week.
"Honestly," said Gilooly, "it's a huge confidence builder. It should be a lot of fun."
1. Kevin Quinto, Pittsfield 41-35 76 and Ben Gilooly, Mount Greylock 39-37 76 (Quinto wins on first playoff hole); 3. Mike Kays, Taconic 40-38 78; 4. (tie) Thomas Fraser, Lee 41-38 79 and Jon Dos Santos, Wahconah 38-41 79; 6. Nate Dos Santos, Wahconah 43-37 80; 7. Bryce Whalen, Lee 41-39 80; 8. Ross Omelenchuck, Taconic 41-45 86; 9. Ricky Berrian, Pittsfield 40-48 88; 10. Kyle Alvarez, Mount Greylock 46-43 89.
11. (tie) Jack Sniezek, Hoosac Valley 44-46 90 and Justin Martin, Pittsfield 45-45 90; 13. Luc Trombley, Hoosac Valley 46-47 93; 14. (tie) Colette Basiliere, Wahconah 47-47 94 and Tim Curry, Taconic 48-46 94; 15. Noah Hunter, Lenox 48-47 95; 16. Hunter Roosa, Lee 50-47 97; 17. (tie) Derek Alibozek, Hoosac Valley 52-47 99, Max Joyner, Monument 49-50 99 and Jordan Zimmerman, Mount Greylock 50-49 99; 20. (tie) Matthew Shields, Lenox 56-44 100 and Lexi Shumsky, Monument Mountain; 22. Matthew Iemolini 53-62 115.
Contact Howard Herman at 413-496-6253.
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