Mertes-Wilson get hot at right time to claim Pewter Cup title

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PITTSFIELD — The third time was the charm for Wyckoff Country Club do Michael Mertes and Joe Wilson. In their third year attending the Pewter Cup at Berkshire Hills Country Club, the team from Holyoke made the trip back home with first-place place trophies.

"This year it was pretty stress-free for us," Mertes explained. "We just played very solid tee-to-green and made the putt from there when we needed to."

The duo remained in the hunt of a championship, three strokes out of first after shooting a four-under 68 and then a 69 on Saturday, before finding an opportunity to strike on the tournament's final day.

"Mike gave me a little speech on the back nine," Wilson said. "I think we missed some we could've made earlier in the day. He said we are still in this and just need to keep fighting."

They did just that and found themselves one back of the lead with two holes to play. That is when Mertes decided to play his best golf of the weekend.

"On 17 I hit it within two-feet [of the hole] and made that putt," Mertes said. "Then on 18, I hit two of the best shots in my life to make an eagle."

"He put on a clinic to end it," Wilson added.

The trophies from the 37th annual Pewter Cup may be headed to the Pioneer Valley after a third-round that completed a 12-under 204 performance, but for Mertes and Wilson, there is no doubt they'll be back to the Berkshires.

"We don't miss many tournaments up here," Wilson said. "I think the Berkshires have the best circuit going and we come up for every tournament. It was another fantastic tournament that was run very well."

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The performance in the back nine was just enough to edge out James Cimini and Josh Shepard, who play out of the Country Club of Pittsfield. Cimini and Shepard have been long-time friends, as they played together at Pittsfield High School in the early 2000s, and led at the end of the second day with a score of 134. However, the two shot a 71 on the tournament's final day, opening the door for a comeback.

The 2018 Pewter Cup champions, Steve Sykes (Berkshire Hills Country Club), and Andy Dastoli (The Orchards), finished the weekend with a score of 209, which was good for third place.

The best round of the weekend came from the duo of Chad Alibozek (Forest Park Country Club) and Country Club of Pittsfield's Matt Scarafoni, who shot a 66 on Friday. The duo finished the weekend in fourth place with a score of 211.

Adam Trivilino and Joshua Trivilino shot a six-under 210 on the weekend to take first place in the first flight, while Jamie Denault and David Bond held off the competition by two strokes, taking the second flight with a score of 215.

Gary Grimaldi and Chris Nachtrieb leaned on a first-round score of 72 to take the third flight with a score of 223. Ken Griffin and Pete Baran won the fourth flight with a score of 225 and the fifth flight belonged to Scott Preston and Paul Waite, who finished six-strokes ahead of the field with a score of 228.

A score of 241 was just enough for John Barry and Tom Barry to edge out a first-place finish in the sixth flight by just one stroke. The final champions of the tournament were Marc Wilkinson and Zip Carver, who shot a 249 to lock up the seventh flight.

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Championship Flight

1. Joe Wilson/Michael Mertes 68-69-67—204; 2. James Cimini/Josh Shepard 67-67-71—205; 3. Steve Sykes/Andy Dastoli 70-67-72—209; 4. Chad Alibozek/Matthew Scarafoni 66-71-74—211; 5. Andy Rodgers/Kevin Bagge 73-74-67—214; 6. (tie) Kevin Flynn/Tommy Dorso 71-70-75—216; Mark Chylinski/Jim Mueller 70-78-68—216; Matt Gilardi/Paul Gilardi 70-74-72—216; 9. Glenn Stopera/Michael Stopera 67-73-77—217; 10. (tie) Matt Keenan/Tom Keenan 72-75-72—219; Mike Wheeler/Tom Salmon 72-74-73—219; 12. Jeff Puleri/Rick Puleri 69-73-78—220; 13. Glenn Dickerson/Aaron Nackoul 71-75-74—220; 14. Jay Singh/Jerry Brescia 73-77-76—226.

Jake Mendel can be reached at Jmendel@berkshireeagle.com, @Jmendel94 on Twitter and 413-496-6252.


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