Thomas Fraser wins Allied Junior Championship by one stroke
Fraser shot a 5-over-par 76, beating Nate Dos Santos by one stroke to win the 2017 title on Monday at Stockbridge Golf Club. Both played out of the age 16-18 division, and were two of three golfers who shot under 80. Matt Shields of Stockbridge won the 14-15 division with a 79.
"I was happy with the shots I was making," said Fraser, who beat Kevin Quinto by one stroke last year at Skyline Country Club. "I had a couple of missed putts and missed chips that could have been a little lower.
"Overall, I'm happy the way I was hitting the ball."
Dos Santos came from three down at the turn to draw even when he birdied the par-4 17th hole and Fraser parred. But Fraser parred the par-4 18th, while Dos Santos had a bogey-5 to provide the one-stroke difference.
"It was a little bit tough for me. My long game was a little bit off on the front nine," said Dos Santos. "My short game as well, that's why I made some bogeys.
"I got it [going] on the back nine, shooting even."
Ryan Selvic, who plays out of Allied member Torrington (Conn.) Country Club was third, six back at 82. Mike Kays of Berkshire Hills and Connor Champoux of Berkshire Hills rounded out the top five.
Both Fraser and Dos Santos teed off from Stockbridge's first hole, and Dos Santos promptly shot a bogey-5, while Fraser parred the hole.
By the time they made the turn, Fraser had bogeyed three holes, Dos Santos bogeyed six and the golfer from the Greenock Country Club had a three-stroke lead.
Fraser and Dos Santos, who plays out of Wahconah Country Club, both parred the first three holes on the back nine. Dos Santos picked up a stroke when he parred the 13th and Fraser bogeyed. it was the first of back-to-back bogeys for Fraser.
"I was trying to focus on making pars all day, and I was hoping that maybe on one hole a birdie would come along. It never did," Fraser said. "After those bogeys, I just needed to stick with my mojo and make pars."
Dos Santos said the par on the 10th hole helped turn things around. He said he was underneath a tree branch and hit an eight-iron to about 35 feet from the hole.
Dos Santos hit a five-iron to the 18th green, pulled it, chipped and putted for bogey. Fraser used an eight-iron and two-putted for the winning par.
For the third consecutive season, Shields of Lee and the host club, won his age-group division. Playing in the second age division, Shields had a four-stroke win over Derek Alibozek of Forest Park.
"I was happy the way I played," said Shields. "Everything was going the way I wanted to. My drives were going straight. I had a positive mind and the putts mostly went in."
Last year, Shields and Max DiGrigoli from the Country Club of Pittsfield, tied for the title in the 13-under division at 91. This year, DiGrigoli won the 13-under title with an 83, seven strokes better than Brenden Hayden of Forest Park.
Two years ago, Shields shot 87 to win the division, beating Henry Sniezek by five strokes. Sniezek, out of Forest Park, finished third in the 14-15 division.
Top 5 Finishers
Age 16-18 Division
1. Thomas Fraser, Greenock 76; 2. Nathan Dos Santos, Wahconah 77; 3. Ryne Selvic, Torrington (Conn.) 82; 4. Mike Kays, Berkshire Hills 87; 5. Connor Champoux, Berkshire Hills 88.
1. Matt Shields, Stockbridge 79; 2. Derek Alibozek, Forest Park 83; 3. Henry Sniezek, Forest Park 90; 4. Ryan Baran, Waubeeka 91; 5. Harrison Seeley, Cranwell 92.
1. Max DiGrigoli, Country Club of Pittsfield 83; 2. Brenden Hayden, Forest Park 90; 3. Camden Redstone, Greenock 94; 4. Patrick McLaughlin, Berkshire Hills 96; 5. Cliff Flynn, Greenock 99.
Allied Junior Series Champions
16-18 — Mike Kays. 14-15 — Derek Alibozek. 13-under — Max DiGrigoli.
Reach sports writer Howard Herman at 413-496-6253 or @howardherman.
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