Scarafoni-Ferriter repeat as Country Club of Pittsfield's Men's Invitational champions
PITTSFIELD — Defending champions Matt Scarafoni and Chris Ferriter saved their best for last on Sunday in the Country Club of Pittsfield Men's Invitational, combining for six birdies to earn 3-to-2 best-ball victory over Longmeadow Country Club's Dave Laporte and Greg Fisk in the Championship Flight final.
Scarafoni, a 15-time club champion at the CC of Pittsfield, and Ferriter, a member at The Orchards in South Hadley, closed out the match with a birdie on the par-5 16th hole.
The victory marked Scarafoni's fifth in his club's premier event. In addition to last year's win with Ferriter over Randy Driscoll and Matt Carlino, he also prevailed in 2003, 2007 and 2009 with former partner Ed Budz. Fisk was also seeking his fifth Invitational victory. He was a co-champion in 2001 with Bill House and won from 2012-2014 with Bill Cunningham.
While Scarafoni said it is always fun to win, Sunday afternoon's performance was even more satisfying than usual.
"Defending a title can be harder, so I am happy we were up to it," Scarafoni said in a phone interview. "It was a lot of fun to win again with Chris, but it's even more fun when you make that many birdies in the final match."
The eventual winners were 1 down after the first four holes before they combined to make four birdies — on Nos. 5, 7, 8 and 9 — to take a 2 up lead to the back nine.
"I made a 10-footer for birdie on No. 5 to tie the match and Chris made a great birdie putt on No. 7 to put us ahead," Scarafoni said.
On the par-5 eighth hole, it looked like Ferriter and Scarafoni were in the driver's seat before Fisk drained a 20-footer for birdie that resulted in a halved hole. Scarafoni responded by sinking a 20-foot putt for birdie on No. 9.
The pivotal hole was the par-5 14th, with Ferriter making the biggest putt of the day to keep Laporte and Fisk 2 down.
"Chris had a 15-footer for birdie but Dave chipped in for birdie, so we really needed Chris to make his putt and he just buried it," Scarafoni said.
Both teams made a par on the par-4 15th to set the stage for the winning birdie on the uphill, par-5 16th hole. Both Scarafoni and Ferriter put themselves in good position to end the match and Ferriter did the honors, sinking a 3-footer for birdie and the victory.
The champions advanced to the finals with a 2-and-1 win in the morning over the Wyantenuck Country Club pairing of Mike Schopp Jr. and Brian Cunningham.
"It was a good match," Scarafoni said. "Both teams hit it well but we just made a couple of more putts. Mike and Brian are good players, they just didn't make any 10- to 15-footers like they can. ... We didn't make any bombs, but my partner made three very good putts and we had some good up-and-downs."
Scarafoni and Ferriter started their title run on Saturday with wins over the the CC of Pittsfield team of Adam Kirby and Greg Knight and the pairing of Jake Matthews (CC of Pittsfield) and Chad Alibozek (Forest Park Country Club).
For Scarafoni, the win definitely shows that he can forget a bad round quickly. He shot a disappointing 84 in Wednesday's Mass. Amateur qualifier and Wahconah Country Club.
"Golf can be a very humbling game," Scarafoni said. "Coming in, I thought I was ready and then I shoot probably my highest score since I was 15 years old.
He said he was 5 over after seven holes despite hitting one really bad shot.
"I hit wedges on fourth and fifth holes that bounced three or four times, went over the greens and left me with no shot," he said. "Then I hit my drive out of bounds on No.7. One bad swing and I'm 5 over. I am disappointed I didn't handle myself better. Normally I can keep my focus when I am not going well."
There were no such worries on Sunday when golf was fun again for Scarafoni and Ferriter.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.