Tee to Green: Peter Egazarian tabbed to take over as MCLA golf coach

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Recently-hired MCLA golf coach Peter Egazarian knows he is taking over a program that hasn't had much success in recent years, but the Class A PGA professional is optimistic that better days are ahead for the Trailblazers.

"I think this is a great opportunity," said Egazarian, who is the head teaching professional at Taconic Golf Club. "It is clear that MCLA is seeking to grow the golf program from the initial support I have been provided."

One huge step in the right direction is MCLA finally having a course to call its own — Berkshire Hills Country Club — after having to use various courses for its home matches in the past.

"Having Berkshire Hills as a home course is a really big deal," said Egazarian, who spent two years as the head professional at Wahconah Country Club before joining Taconic head professional Josh Hillman's staff.

"Having a home course is critical and Berkshire Hills is a great facility," said MCLA Athletic Director Laura Mooney. "It will be great to showcase it as our own."

The Trailblazers will take advantage of their new home by hosting three events, including the MASCAC and NAC conference championships, this fall. The winner of the NAC tournament earns a berth in the NCAA Division III Championship.

Mooney, who took over as the athletic director in April 2015, praised Steve Terpak for "doing some great things" during his three years with the program but said she it was time for a change in leadership.

"I believe Peter's experience as a PGA pro is really valuable in our effort to get the program up and running," Mooney said. "He has a good rapport within the golf community and he has a lot of local contacts."

One positive step over the last few years under Terpak was the ability to attract a few more Berkshire County high school products to the program. However, the on-course results have remained disappointing.

"It's up to me to help grow the local talent," Egazarian said.

Taconic took a first small step in that direction this past summer by starting a junior league for golfers ages 13-17.

One thing is certain — under Egazarian there will be no shortage of instructional opportunities for his golfers. The Methodist University graduate is a big believer in using modern technology to fine-tune his students' swings.

"I use the Trackman 4 and other multiple pieces of technology," Egazarian said. "It's all about creating an environment where I can help the kids with their games and with life."

Egazarian has yet to work with any of his returning players, but is encouraged with the results of a questionnaire he had them fill out after he took the job.

"One question I posed to them was to give me an idea of their confidence level," Egazarian said. "I got very good feedback from all of them. Now, it's up to me to get to know them better."

Top returnee Matt Lawrence, a second-team MASCAC selection last season, and his teammates will find that Egazarian's preparation for the opening event at Cobleskill Country Club to be a little different that what they are used to.

"The course is only 6,000 yards, so we won't be playing from the back tees at Berkshire Hills to prepare for the shorter course," Egazarian said.

Mooney knows that Egazarian won't be able to turn the program into a Division III powerhouse overnight, but she is confident that the future is bright.

"Recently, we've been toward the bottom, but I think we can be much more competitive," Mooney said. "With some solid recruiting we should be able to get to the middle of the pack and with more additions after that we can move toward the top.

"We are really excited to have Peter aboard."

***

Wahconah Country Club member Patty Peltier shot an 8-over 79 at Waubeeka Golf Links to capture the 2017 Allied Women's Championship on Wednesday.

Peltier, who helped Wahconah also capture the team championship, prevailed by four shots over Kathy Duguay (Taconic Golf Club), Chris Eugin (Worthington Golf Club) and Jen Race (Wyantenuck Country Club).

As the winner, Peltier had a choice of charities for a $250 donation and she picked St. Jude Hospital as the recipient.

Carol St. Onge took low net honors with a 70.

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Wyantenuck's Andy Congdon shot a 3-over 75 at Heritage Village Country Club in Southbury, Conn., on Monday to successfully qualify for the New England Senior Amateur Championship.

Congdon was one of 15 golfers in the 53-player field to advance to the regional championship event at Wethersfield Country Club in Wethersfield, Conn., on Sept. 12-13.

The 2011 Massachusetts Senior Player of the Year, who was seeing the course for the first time, was even par through 16 holes and in a comfortable spot to qualify before he finished with a double bogey and a bogey. His 3-over total dropped him into an eight-way tie for eighth place, which was just good enough to qualify.

***

Country Club of Pittsfield assistant professional Matt Kiehle put together a strong performance in the Northeast New York PGA Section's Assistant Match Play Championship, reaching the title match before falling just short of taking home the victory at Ballston Spa Country Club.

In a match that was close all the way, Kiehle drew even with Chris Sanger (Red Hook Golf Club) with a par on par-4 16th hole. Both golfers made pars on the final two holes to force a sudden-death playoff that ended quickly when Sanger reached the par-5 10th hole in two and drained a 20-foot eagle putt for the victory.

Kiehle had advanced to the championship match with a pair of 2-and-1 victories. He defeated Jeff Betti (Albany Country Club) in the round of 16 and Justin Hearley (Normanside Country Club) in the semifinals.

It's been a good month so far for Kiehle — he also finished first in the section's National Car Rental Pro & 3 Am event at Waubeeka Golf Links in Williamstown on Aug. 7. He finished with 41 points under the Stableford scoring system, shooting a 2-under 69. Kiehle finished one point ahead of Dal Dailey (Windham Country Club).

LOCAL RESULTS

Allied Women's Championship


at Waubeeka Golf Links

Low gross

1. Patty Peltier, 79. 2. (tie) Chris Eugin, 83: Kathy Duguay, 83; Jen Race, 83. 5. (tie) Angie Lingner, 87; Heidi Nejaime, 87; Sue Vigeant, 87. 8. Kimiko Akimoto, 88.

Low net

1. Carol St. Onge, 70. 2. (tie) Nel Halloway, 71; Joan Zegras, 71. 4. (tie) Carol Burke, 72; Vicki Richardello, 72. 6. (tie) Adeline Ellie, 73; Barbara Frost, 73 Margaret Camin, 73. 9. Jane Brown, 74. 10. Sheila Labarbera, 76.

Reach Richard Lord at 413-281-2226 or at relord663@gmail.com.


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