Diane Breen holds her trophy

With a 79-83—162, Diane Breen captured the Tournament Division title at the Massachusetts Women's Mid-Amateur Championship on her home course at Berkshire Hills Country Club.

PITTSFIELD — The women competing in this week’s Massachusetts Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship built up some momentum on Tuesday at Berkshire Hills Country Club.

And that was a good thing, as Wednesday’s persistent rain did nothing to slow or stall the proceedings.

Atop the Championship Division, a trio of golfers were separated by two strokes. Shannon Johnson was the overall champ, coming in at 1-over 147 after a second-day 75. She was actually one back of both Megan Buck and Pamela Kuong after Round 1.

However, the Thorny Lea Golf Club member managed three birdies to counter a double bogey on the 14th hole and overcome her competition. Johnson rebounded by parring each of her final four holes. Buck, also of Thorny Lea, and Kuong, of Charles River Country Club, carded matching 2-under 71s on Tuesday, but the weather got to them 24 hours later.

Buck had five bogeys and one double on Wednesday, finishing in 77 for a 148 total. Kuong had as many double bogeys, two, as she had birdies and finished two strokes back in 149. Cheryl Krueger, who is listed out of Orchards Golf Club, finished 11th in the 16-player division with a 172.

Berkshire County’s presence was felt in the Tournament Division, with a pair of locals grabbing top-five spots and Berkshire Hills’ Diane Breen capturing the first-place trophy by a healthy nine-stroke margin.

“I’m usually down the middle, down the middle. Today, I was a little all over the place,” said Breen of the rain. “It was a wild ride, but I settled in on the back.

“I was ready, prepared for it, but it’s a nuisance. My husband was caddying, that was huge. He holds the umbrella, helps read the greens.”

Breen, fresh off her 25th Berkshire Hills Club Championship — No. 20 in a row — opened with a 79 on Tuesday and clung to an 83 in the inclement weather to post a two-day total of 16-over 162. Kym Pappathanasi of Renaissance was second at 171.

“I never really played in these,” said Breen, who just retired from General Dynamics. “So I’m hoping maybe I can start playing more. We’re both retired now, so maybe get away for a month in the winter and play a little. We’ll see.”

Breen’s bread and butter for the week was Berkshire Hills’ short, uphill par-3 17th hole. She birdied that one on both days to give herself a confidence boost. Wednesday was a struggle for all, though, and after a couple wrist surgeries and a knee replacement, rain can bring about a myriad of issues. Breen had double bogeys on Nos. 6 and 9, but parred nine holes, including a run of five straight starting on 11.

“It’s amazing. The course is beautiful. It’s funny, when I started there were 500 members, and there are 500 members now,” said Breen, who had been a member at BHCC for 30 years and played in every club championship, winning her first in 1996. “But it’s changed, new clubhouse, new superintendent, and you can see it’s pristine. We’re so lucky to play this all the time. The ladies I played with here were raving about how beautiful it was.”

Nancy Barry of Waubeeka Golf Links placed fourth in the Tournament Division, going 92-86—178. She had six pars on Wednesday and just one double bogey. Pittsfield native Susan Sheehan, who plays out of Hopedale Country Club, was tied for fifth in 182.

Mike Walsh can be reached at mwalsh@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6240. On Twitter:


Sports Editor

Mike Walsh is sports editor at The Berkshire Eagle. He's been with The Eagle since 2017. Walsh also authors the NENPA-winning Powder Report column. He's an avid snowboarder, runner, homebrewer, and he used to play a pretty mean sousaphone.