Western Massachusetts golf tournaments begin on Monday

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The Western Massachusetts divisional golf tournaments kick off today with the Division I and Division III tournaments, while Division II golfers will go on Tuesday.

The Division I tournament will be at Chicopee Country Club, the Division II tournament is at Cranwell and the Division III golfers will compete at The Orchards Golf Club in South Hadley.

All three tournaments begin with 10 a.m. shotgun starts. The top two teams and the lowest six individual scores will advance to the state championships next week.

In the D-I field, Taconic will compete for a Western Mass. crown. Mike Kays, coming off his Berkshire Classic win at Stockbridge Golf Course, will lead his Braves into action.

Longmeadow won last year's D-I title, shooting a 324 at The Ranch Golf Club in Southwick. Kays led Taconic last year with an 84, and finished four strokes outside of a spot as an individual qualifier for the state tournament. Former Pittsfield golfer Kevin Quinto was the lone individual from the Berkshires to make it to the state competition.

There are three Berkshire County teams competing in the D-II field at Cranwell, with Mount Greylock and Hoosac Valley competing as teams while Nate Dos Santos from Wahconah will compete as an individual.

Coming off strong regular seasons, the Mounties and Hurricanes will enjoy a slight edge over the rest of the Western Mass. contingent having played at Cranwell before, but Southwick enters with an undefeated regular season record and its eyes set on a Western Mass. crown.

Last year's D-II tournament was at Crestview Country Club in Agawam, and Belchertown took home the team title. The Orioles, though, are not back to defend their title this year. Former Wahconah golfer Jon Dos Santos and former Mountie Kyle Alvarez qualified as individuals for the state tournament.

Finally, the Division III field at The Orchards will feature the Lee, Lenox and McCann Tech teams. Lee, which went 12-1 in the regular season, won a Western Mass. crown in 2015 and finished fourth at last year's tournament at Wyantenuck. Hopkins is the defending D-III champion. Both Cole Kratz from McCann Tech and Thomas Fraser from Lee made the individual cut last year for the state championship.

Golfers that advance past the Western Mass. tournament will move on to compete at Haverhill Country Club for Division I, Highfields Golf & Country Club for Division II and Wyantenuck Country Club for Division III. The D-I and D-II tournaments will be on Oct. 30, with the D-II tournament happening the next day on Halloween.


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