Golf notebook: Congdon, Quinto share Berkshire Hills Singles lead

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It's a battle of youth vs. experience at the top of the leaderboard after two rounds of this year's Championship Flight of the Berkshire Hills Singles at Berkshire Hills Country Club.

Senior standout Andy Congdon found some late magic on Saturday, finishing with three consecutive birdies to overcome a rough start and shoot a 3-over 75 to maintain a share of the lead with Christopher Newport University's Kevin Quinto, a former Pittsfield High All-Eagle golfer, who fired a 72. Both golfers are at one-under-par 143.

Congdon suffered two double bogeys as he stumbled early following an opening 68, but the Wyantenuck Country Club member has never been one to quit, as his spectacular record in the region would attest. He proved that point on Saturday, finishing with birdies on the par-4, 16th, par-3 17th and par-5 18th holes.

Quinto, who earned PING Division III All-Region honors in addition being named an honorable mention All-American this past season, produced nines of 34 and 38 in the second round after opening with a 71 on Friday.

Adam Brickle, also a former All-Eagle golfer at PHS, shot his second consecutive 72 and is tied one shot behind the leaders with New Yorker Jim Welch, who carded a 74 on Saturday.

There are eight golfers within five shots of the top two, including three members of Berkshire County clubs — Wyantenuck Country Club's Mike Schopp (71-76—147) and the Country Club of Pittsfield's Matt Scarafoni (73-75—148) and Matt Gilardi (73-75—148).

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One thing is certain — there will be a new champion. Defending champion Michael Mertes failed to make it into the Championship Flight in Friday's first round, putting him in the First Flight. However, he withdrew from the tournament on Saturday.

The Championship Flight golfers are scheduled to tee off Sunday between 1:30 and 2:30 p.m.

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Sam Goldenring, who recently completed a college career at Williams College that included his capturing the 2019 NCAA Division III individual title, shot a final-round of 2-under 70 to finish in a tie for 12th place in the New Jersey Open Championship at Knickerbocker Country Club in Tenafly, N.J., earlier this week.

Goldenring, who opened with rounds of 74 and 71, finished nine shots behind amateur Mark Costanza (73-65-68—206) who defeated Canoe Brook Country Club (N.J.) professional Tony Perla (73--67—206) in a three-hole playoff to win the title.

Goldenring finished sixth among the amateurs in the field. Costanza is the second consecutive amateur to best the pros in New Jersey's state championship tournament.

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After rescheduling the 37th annual Paul Dowd Jimmy Fund Classic two times because of the rules revolving around COVID-19, the fund-raising tournament's organizers have decided to cancel this year's event, which was originally scheduled for June at Berkshire Hills Country Club.

Tournament spokesman Bob Tucker said an email to the Eagle that "COVID-19 consequences have severely affected our responses from players and sponsors, which is completely understandable. We are also still under Phase 3 of Gov. Baker's reopening which does not include two golfers in a cart.

"We hope that next year will be a normal year and we'll try for No. 37 then."

Richard Lord can be reached at relord633@gmail.com.


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