Little Brown Jug returns to Wahconah Country Club on Friday
Chris Ferriter and Joe Wilson, who are members at The Orchards in South Hadley, will be on hand to defend the title they won last summer by two shots over four-time champions Brent Dietz and Bill Tefft. Ferriter and Wilson combined for a 54-hole best-ball total of 11-under par 207 to withstand a late surge by Connecticut's Dietz and Tefft, who shot a sizzling 5-under 66 in the final round.
Ferriter made it clear after the victory that winning the Jug ranked high on his list of victories, so you can bet he and Wilson will be focused on making it two wins in a row.
"Every year when I come up and see the jugs and look at the names on them, just to reacquaint myself with them," said Ferriter after the victory. "I look at it every year and I've always wanted to see a jug with my name on it. In 2016, we're there. ... If I only had one tournament to play, I'd make it the Little Brown Jug. I tell everyone that."
Dietz and Tefft will be looking to win the tournament for the third time in four years while last year's third-place team, the New York duo of Mike McCarroll and Chad Stouffer, have been consistent contenders at Wahconah but are still looking for their first Jug win.
There are perhaps a dozen teams capable of walking away with the top prize. Among the duos with Berkshire County ties in that category are Jeff Puleri and Randy Driscoll, Matt and Shane Ortega, Matt and Tom Keenan Jr., Bob Linn and Jim Hosey and the Wahconah combination of Paul Briggs and Scott Hurley.
Matt Ortega (Stockbridge Golf Club) and Matt Keenan (Greenock Country Club) finished second recently in the Stockbridge Invitational but will keep things in their respective families this week. Puleri and Driscoll (Berkshire Hills Country Club) won last year's Country Club of Pittsfield Invitational while Linn (Berkshire Hills) in coming off a victory in the Allied Championship at Wahconah in which Briggs finished second.
The Jug's popularity in the region remains as strong as ever. Over the past eight years, 525 golfers from 130 different clubs have played in the tournament.
The starting times will run between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Friday with the field being divided into eight flights based on the opening-round scores. The top 14 teams will make up the Championship Flight.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.