Tee to Green: Andy Congdon claims 25th men's club championship at Wyantenuck Country Club

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Andy Congdon's dominance of the men's club championship at Wyantenuck Country Club had been interrupted by E.J. Trundle over the last three years, but the 63-year-old finally captured his 25th club title at the Great Barrington club on Monday.

Congdon overcame a two-shot deficit with an even-par 70 in the final round to defeat Brian Cunningham by five shots with a 54-hole total of 10-over 220. Trundle and his brother, Matt, tied for third at 228.

Asked if he thought his championship run was over with the emergence of E.J. Trundle and others, Congdon admitted that it had crossed his mind.

"You do wonder, especially when you look at the competition we have," Congdon said. "E.J. is quite a player and there's Brian (Cunningham), E.J.'s brother Matt, Mike Kinna and several others who can really play."

Congdon and E.J. Trundle both got off to a rocky starts in the opening round, with Andy struggling to a 79 and E.J. finishing with an uncharacteristic 81. Cunningham led with a 4-over 74.

The second round was played in brutal conditions, yet Trundle fired an incredible 3-under 67 in the rain and wind to take a two-shot lead while Congdon shot a strong 71. Cunningham struggled with the tough conditions, shooting a 79 to fall five shots behind Trundle.

"E.J. bogeyed the first hole and still shot a 67," Congdon said. "We were all wondering what golf course he was playing."

Congdon's mindset was to put together a strong front nine since he was certain the round wouldn't be completed because of the rain.

"They were the worst conditions you could imagine. It was rainy, cold and miserable," said Congdon. "Every hole I was wondering when the siren would go off. But when I birdied 10, I started to hope that the siren wouldn't blow."

Though he was trailing his younger foe by two after 36 holes, Congdon said he felt confident heading into Monday's final round.

"I was hitting it really well and my distance control was very good," Congdon said. "I told my wife Cheryl that my mindset was to shoot a 69 and see how that does."

He missed his goal by a shot, but a slow start by Trundle combined with a stunning five-shot swing on the par-4 sixth hole turned the tables in Congdon's favor. By the time the front nine ended, Congdon's two-shot deficit had turned into a seven-shot lead.

Congdon, who birdied No. 6, said that Trundle was struggling with a sore left knee that contributed to his hitting a poor drive and a couple of fat shots on his way to a nightmarish quadruple bogey on the par-4 hole.

"He was having trouble putting weight on his left side," Congdon said. "You feel sorry to see someone going through that."

Despite his 8-over front nine, Trundle never quit, however, playing the back in 2-over despite the pain he was dealing with.

"E.J. really gutted it out," said Congdon, who was steady throughout with nines of 34 and 36. "He made some incredible par-save putts."

Congdon's win continued a strong run that started with his 11th victory in the Stockbridge Invitational four-ball tournament with his son, Brian in early August. He also captured the club's senior championship with an even-par 140 total and took the Wyantenuck Cup -- a summer-long net match-play tournament -- with a 1-up victory over Bernie Leary.

With the New England Amateur Championship coming up this week at Wethersfield Country Club in Connecticut, it's a good time for Congdon to be showing his best form. Congdon will also be playing later in the month in the Massachusetts Senior Championship at Oakley Country Club in Watertown. He will be playing both courses for the first time but is looking forward to continue his good play

"I'd just like to be in the hunt going into the final nine holes," Congdon said.

Congdon is one of three seniors who are members at Berkshire County courses who will be teeing it up at Wethersfield. Taconic Golf Club's Bill Hadden and Berkshire Hills Country Club's Bob Linn are also in the field.

***

While the men's club championship went to a familiar champion, Wyantenuck's women's club championship ended with a first-time winner, Grace Rose, who had rounds of 84 and 85 for a 169 total. She finished two shots ahead of past champion Jen Race. Sharon Connelly finished third another shot back.

***

Like Wyantenuck, Greenock Country Club's men's championship produced a champion that has made a habit of finishing on top at the Lee club.

Matt Keenan shot a final-round 1-under 69 to finish off a nine-shot victory over Shane Briggs and Thomas Fraser as he took the championship for the fifth consecutive year and the 11th time overall.

Although finishing well behind Keenan, Briggs shot an impressive 68 in the final round while Lee High's Fraser fared well after qualifying for the tournament by winning the club's junior championship.

Martha Paolucci, who was unable to defend her 2015 championship last summer, defeated defending champion Tony Scott by 10 shots with a 36-hole total of 168.

***

Garrett Kuta had to work overtime to walk away with the men's championship at Forest Park Country Club, outlasting Bob Murray in a five-hole playoff. Both golfers finished with a 54-hole total of 224.

Murray, however, did claim the men's senior title with his 224 total.

June Blake, who happens to be the course superintendent at the Adams club, won the women's championship by three shots over Angie Linger, who won the Waubeeka Golf Links women's title a few weeks ago. Blake finished with a 36-hole total of 169.

***

Mark Gilligan and Dean Pope combined for a two-man scramble score of 5-under 66 in Thursday's Berkshire County Senior Fall Series event at Egremont Country Club to win in the Blue Division while John Rybka and Wayne Shutts prevailed in the Green Division with a 67.

Gilligan and Pope finished two shots ahead of Terry Carty and Tom Grannitto in the division that features the younger seniors. Rybka and Shutts edged out Dick Rivers and Ron Pero by a single shot in the Green.

This week's event, another two-man scramble, will be held at Cranwell Spa and Golf Resort on Wednesday with a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start. Call the pro shop at 413-637-1364 by 5 p.m. on Tuesday to sign up.

Contact Richard Lord at relord633@gmail.com or 413-281-2226.

LOCAL RESULTS

Berkshire County Senior Fall Series


At Egremont Country Club

Scramble format

Blue Division

Low gross                                   

1. Mark Gilligan and Dean Pope, 66. 2. Terry Carty and Tom Grannitto, 68. 3. Bill Gates and Mike Cartier, 71.

Low net

1. Dennis Boldyga and Bob Smith, 61. 2. Bob Fitzgibbons and Ron Legere, 63. 3. Tom Marchetto and Wilt Pictrowski, 65.

Green Division

Low gross                                   

1. John Rybka and Wayne Shutts, 67. 2. Dick Rivers and Ron Pero, 68. 3. Bob Chiaretta and Joe Consolini, 69.               

Low net

1. Mike Clark and Leo Romanos, 62. 2. Mike Rybka and Rick Van Alpen, 3. Gary Sadlowski and Andrew Cairns, 66.

Wyantenuck Country Club

Club championship


Men'

54 holes

1. Andy Congdon, 79-71-70 -- 220. 2. Brian Cunningham, 74-79-72 -- 225. 3. (tie) E.J. Trundle, 81-67-80 -- 228. 5. Matt Trundle, 75-79-77 -- 231. 6. (tie) Mike Altobello, 76-76-81 -- 233; Mike Schopp Jr., 84-72-77 -- 233. 8. (tie) Ben Schopp, 75-78-83 -- 226; Eric Cooper, 80-78-78 -- 236; Mike Bell 79-80-77 -- 236.

Women

36 holes

1. Grace Rose, 84-85 -- 169. 2. Jen Race, 82-89 -- 171. 3. Sharon Connelly, 88-84 -- 172. 4. Lynn Truta, 86-88 -- 174. 5. Kate McCormick, 99-94 -- 188.

Greenock Country Club

Club championship


Men

54 holes

1. Matt Keenan, 215; 2. (tie) Shane Briggs, 224; Thomas Fraser, 224. 4. Rick Puleri, 226.

First division

27 holes

1. Shane Sullivan, 118. 2. John Terry, 118. 3. Doc Sukumaran, 119.

Seniors (age 50-59)

27 holes

1. Mark Kelly, 114. 2. John Pultorak, 119.

Super Seniors (ages 60 and over)

Low net

27 holes

1. Tom O'Neill, 103.5. 2. Bill Porter, 106. 3. Doc Sukumaran, 107.

Women

36 holes

1. Martha Paolucci, 168. 2. Tony Scott, 178.

President's Cup

27 holes

Low net

First division

1. Rick Puleri, 104.5. 2. Bill Porter, 106.5. 3. Mark Kelly, 102.

Second division

1. Mark Kelly, 102. 2. Shane Sullivan, 104.5. 3. Christian Delgrande, 106.

Third division

1. John Terry, 101.5. 2. Jack Piaquadio, 107. 3. Ryan Trombly, 112.5.

Fourth division

1. Earl Barrett, 102.5. 2. Tim O'Neill, 105. 3. Bryan Brown, 105.

Fifth division

1. Joe Wasiuk, 111.5. 2. Dave Scarpa, 116. 3. Thom Swift, 118.

Forest Park Country Club

Club championship


Men

54 holes

1. Garrett Kuta, 224. 2. Bob Murray, 224.

Men's senior champion

1. Bob Murray, 224.

Women

36 holes

1. June Blake, 169. 2. Angie Linger, 172.

Men's net champion

36 holes

1. Stan Misiuk, 132.

Men's senior net champion

1. Craig Deblois, 134.

Women's net champion

1. Renelle Moser, 144.

Worthington Golf Club

Bassackwards Tournament


18-hole scramble.

1. Fred Goerlach, Laurie Israel, Julie Pavia and Scott Preston, 67. 2. (tie) Dave Pollard, Mari Hall, Liz Kay and Jeremy Stachowicz, 68; Jane Wensley, Jean Miller, Bill Miller, Jon Jewell, 68. 4. Ed Figiela, Leslie Figiela, Rachel Figiela, Emily Figiela, Paul Waite, 70. Last place winners: Paul Sena, Judy Sena, John strucker, Brenda Shanley, 79.

Area aces

Dick Liang on the 135-yard third hole at Forest Park Country Club. Witnesses: Donald Coone and Rick Kondel.

Cory Cairns on the 135-yard third hole at Forest Park Country Club with hybrid club. Witnesses: Tom Bednarz, Gary Sadlowski and Tom Kondel.


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