Andy Congdon holds off field to take home 2020 Berkshire Hills Singles Championship
PITTSFIELD — The three-day, 54-hole Berkshire Hills Singles Championship at Berkshire Hills Country Club came down to the wire for the third-straight year on Sunday afternoon.
While there wasn't a playoff, which was the case in 2019, Wyantenuck Country Club's Andy Congdon edged out Chad Stoffer by two strokes to earn the 2020 title.
"It is all mindset," said Congdon, who locked up his sixth singles championship on Sunday. "If I can get myself in a good mental state, then I can play.
"It was very nice to see it all come together this weekend."
Congdon finished the weekend with a total gross 216, but the 66-year-old set the tone on Friday with a weekend-low round of 68, which gave him a two-stroke lead headed into Saturday. He followed Friday's performance with a 75 on Saturday, allowing Christopher Newport University's Kevin Quinto, a former Pittsfield High All-Eagle golfer, to grab a piece of the lead after shooting a 72. Adam Brickle, another former All-Eagle golfer at PHS, shot his second 72 in as many days to earn a tee time with both Quinto and Congdon. The mental toughness was contagious as Brickle joined Congdon with a growing level of confidence as the weekend progressed.
"I had my game in shape my mental game was good," Brickle said. "I was looking forward to everyday and was practicing before my tee time."
The trio were tied on 12, but Congdon established a one-shot lead on 15 and carried it the rest of the way, with the help of a strong shot on 16.
"I hit the best drive I've hit in a very long time and that hole doesn't set up well for my shot," explained Congdon, who won his first singles championship in 1988. "I bombed a little draw right up and then I hit eight iron dead online about seven feet short."
He followed that with a strong 15-foot put on 17 to help secure the win. Congdon finished the weekend with 11 Birdies, tied for second behind Mike Schopp, who had 14 and finished in a tie for sixth place with Cameron Moniz.
"[Congdon] and [Quinto] were great all day, they were really unflappable," Brickle said. "Usually you don't want to go long, which was my approach to the greens. If you can keep it bellow the tee you have a great shot and I did that well the first two days. I was a little off with the driver [today], which resulted in a couple unfortunate holes, but that is how it goes."
Quinto shot a 76 on Sunday and finished with a 219, good for third place. Meanwhile, Brickle finished with a 77 and closed the weekend in fifth. While both golfers are roughly 40 years younger than Congdon, the trio was a dynamic the veteran golfer has grown accustomed to.
"It is something I have dealt with for decades, usually you take my play-in competitors, add their age and it still doesn't come close to mine," Congdon joked. "Last time I won this I think there were guys in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and then me in my 60s."
The best round of Sunday belonged to both Stoffer and Clinton Lange, who leaned on scores of 72 to secure a spot in the top five. Stoffer, the 2019 runner-up, shot a 72 on Friday and 74 on Saturday to finish the weekend with a 218, good for a repeat performance in second place. Lange shot a 74 on back-to-back days, but Sunday's 72 earned him a weekend score of 220, good for fourth place.
Aaron Nackoul won the First Flight title and Bob Cooper won the Senior Division I title.
After another successful weekend of golf with a trophy in hand, all that was left for Congdon was a championship-caliber dinner on Sunday night.
"My wife is here with two really good friends from Wyantenuck," Congdon said. "I am sure they're planning something."
1. Andy Congdon 68-75-73—216; 2. Chad Stoffer 72-74-72—218; 3. Kevin Quinto 71-72-76—219; 4. Clinton Lange 74-74-72—220; 5. Adam Brickle 72-72-77—221; 6. (tie) Cameron Moniz 73-76-73—222 and Mike Schopp 71-76-75—222; 8 (tie) Matt Gilardi 73-75-75—223 and Lancelot Hope 73-72-78—223; 10. Josh Shepard 74-75-75—224.
Jake Mendel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, at @JMendel94 on Twitter and 413-496-6252.
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