Richard Lord | Tee to Green: Two MGA events coming to the Berkshires this summer
The Massachusetts Golf Association held the Mass. Senior Championship at Berkshire Hills Country Club in Pittsfield last September. That marked the first time since 2011, when Wyantenuck Country Club hosted the Mass. Amateur, that an MGA championship had been played in Berkshire County.
There won't be a long wait locally for another MGA championship. The Berkshires, and more specifically Williamstown, will host the Mass. Amateur from July 11-15 at Taconic Golf Club, while the Mass. Public Links Championship will be contested at Waubeeka Golf Links on August 7-8.
The entry deadline for the Mass. Am has passed and pairings for six of the 10 qualifying sites have been posted. The Country Club of Pittsfield is one of those sites on June 6 and a look at the field shows that Berkshire County will be well-represented with 15 of the 50 golfers having ties to area clubs.
One entrant who has certainly proved he can play well at the CC of Pittsfield is Matt Scarafoni. The 45-year-old has captured the club championship a stunning 13 times, including last year when his victory was highlighted by a 4-under-par 67.
Taconic will have four players attempting to qualify to play their home course in July — Shane Ortega, Matthew Gajda, Andy Polidoro and Bill Haden.
Other county hopefuls are Wyantenuck's Owen Hunter and Brian Cunningham, Adam Brickle (Berkshire Hills CC), Chad Alibozek (Forest Park CC), Matt Gilardi (Skyline CC), Matt Ortega (Stockbridge GC), Mark Chylinski (Cranwell Spa & Golf Resort), Paul Briggs (Wahconah CC), Taylor Bellmare (Waubeeka GL) and Tommy Cothern (Worthington GC). The left-handed Cothern resides in Eastern Mass. during the school year but lives in Hinsdale in the summer.
Entries for the Public Links Championship, meanwhile, close on June 2. Go to www.mga.links.org for more information.
Seven teams with county ties will be in the Mass. Senior Four-Ball Championship field at Cranberry Valley Golf Club and The Captains on Cape Cod this Tuesday and Wednesday.
One of the golfers, Stockbridge Golf Club's Jim Finnerty, is a former champion in the 36-hole best-ball event. Finnerty and partner Paul Murphy (Charles River Country Club) captured the title in spectacular fashion in 2010 at The Orchards in South Hadley. Finnerty holed out a 6-iron from 175 yards on the par-4 15th hole for an eagle, Murphy followed that up with birdies on the 16th and 17th holes for a 2-3-2 stretch that allowed them to rally for the victory.
Berkshire Hills CC member Bob Linn and partner Jim Hosey (The Orchards) have been contenders the past two years, tieing for ninth last year after losing an agonizing five-hole playoff to Kevin Smith and Dave Turgeon to finish second in 2014.
Other teams with county ties are Chylinski and Ralph Dastoli (Berkshire Hills CC), Steve Terpak (Berkshire Hills CC) and Richard Tortolini (Cyprian Keyes), Joe Grochmal (Wyantenuck CC) and David Magdalenski (The Ridge Club), Rick Iemolini and Bill Williams (Stockbridge GC), and Taconic GC's Ed Sennett and Bill Haden.
Also this week, on Thursday, a Western Mass. qualifier for the Mass. Open will be played at The Ranch in Southwick with two county golfers in the field, Taconic member Dylan Dethier and Wyantenuck head professional Tom Sullivan.
Dethier, a former Mount Greylock High School and Williams College golfer, is the author of the highly praised book, "18 Holes in America" and has been playing on several golf tours since turning pro in 2014.
Sullivan, recognized as one of the state's premier teaching pros by Golf Digest, remains a strong player well into his 60s.
The 32nd Annual Fraser Golf Tournament honoring longtime Pittsfield city counselor and Skyline Country Club member John Fraser and benefitting high school graduates will be held Saturday and Sunday, May 28 and 29 at the Lanesborough course.
A field of more than 100 will play in the Captain-and-Crew event, which also includes a shootout and medal play on Friday, a dinner-dance on Saturday and a putting contest on Sunday.
Twelve high school graduates were awarded scholarships totaling $5,500 from the tournament's proceeds last year. More than 300 scholarships and nearly $190,000 has been given out to area graduates during the event's long history.
The 33rd annual Paul Dowd Jimmy Fund Golf Classic will be held at Berkshire Hills CC on Wednesday, June 8 and there are still openings for players as well as sponsorship opportunities.
There will be two shotgun starts, at 7:45 a.m. and 1 p.m. The tournament uses a scramble format.
The cost is $150 per player and $600 per four-golfer team. That includes golf and cart, breakfast for the morning golfers, lunch for both morning and afternoon golfers, gift bags and an awards dinner at 6:30 p.m.
There are four levels for sponsors: bronze ($150 for tee or green signs), silver ($250 for tee and green signs), gold ($500 for tee and green signs and a sponsor award) and platinum ($2,500 for tee and green signs, recognition at registration and in the dining room, sponsorship award and a foursome, gift bags and awards dinner).
Donations of gift certificates or prizes for the raffle are welcomed.
All proceeds go to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to help fund cancer research. The Berkshire County Jimmy Fund Council is affiliated with the institute, as well as with the Jimmy Fund Golf Program.
For additional information, call Bob Tucker at (413) 499-1099 or (413) 441-9155.
To contact Richard Lord: (413) 281-2226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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