Shields claims Allied Association Singles title

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PITTSFIELD — Chris Shields took to the Country Club of Pittsfield course Sunday afternoon knowing he had a shot to win the Allied Association Singles championship. Shields, though, still had to go out and deliver.

The Stockbridge Golf Club member did just that, shooting a 2-under-par 69 to couple with his first-round 73, posting a even-par 142 to hold off Wyantenuck's Andy Congdon's 144 for the Allied Singles title. Matt Scarafoni (CCofP), Jeff Puleri (Berkshire Hills) and Edward Schopp (Wyantenuck) rounded out the top five, respectively.

"I've certainly always dreamed of winning this tournament," said Shields, "but there are a lot of great players in the county. Anybody can win this tournament, and come from behind and win.

"I just thought to myself, let's see what happens in the morning and take it from there."

The Allied championship was handed out after two rounds of golf Sunday. The first round by golfers helped determine the team championship — won by Wyantenuck Country Club by two strokes over defending champion Berkshire Hills Country Club — and the second round was parsed down to 19 competitors. With the stakes raised, Shields hit four birdies to just two bogeys over the final 18 holes.

"Second round, I think you just have to go out there [and hit] fairways and greens," Shields said, "stay in control of your game, try to minimize your mistakes. I hit a lot of good shots this afternoon. I stayed within myself."

Shields hit back-to-back birdies on Nos. 4 and 5, and had birdies on Nos. 10 and 14, also. Shields also pointed to a par on No. 7 that helped him remain in control.

"I made a really good save on seven," Shield said. "That was kind of a confidence builder, going into the back nine. At the time, I was 2-under par, and it was a momentum builder for me."

Congdon, meanwhile, shot even-par 71 in the first round, but in the afternoon he hit four bogeys to two birdies. Congdon's birdies came on Nos. 10 and 14.

Scarafoni and Puleri had frustrating second rounds. Each shot a 70 in the first round, but Scarafoni hit a double-bogey on No. 8 in the afternoon, and added three bogeys on the back nine for a 75. Puleri actually managed an eagle on No. 16 in the afternoon, but shot an eight on the par-4 10th and double bogeyed on No. 18 for a 75, also. Scarafoni finished third thanks to a tiebreaker.

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Schopp was five shots back of Puleri with a two-round total of 150.

Congdon helped lead the charge for Wyantenuck in the team championship in the morning. Congdon shot an even-par 71 to post his team's lowest score. Schopp shot a 77, Mike Schopp shot a 76 and Sam Hindels had a 79 for a four-score total of 303. Berkshire Hills, meanwhile, was led by Puleri's 70. The next closest teammate to Puleri, though, was Steve Sykes with a 77. Bob Linn (78) and Randy Driscoll (80) rounded out Berkshire Hills' team. Wahconah Country Club finished third in the team championships.

On multiple occasions after the Singles event ended, Shields mentioned how the greens helped his game Sunday.

"These greens are by far the best in the county," Shields said. "It's been a pleasure to come up here and putt on these greens. They have done a wonderful job maintaining and getting this course ready for this tournament, and hats off to them because it was nice coming here and rolling putts on these greens."

Allied Association championships will continue Monday, with the Women's Allied at Wyantenuck, while the Allied Junior Championships will be at Waubeeka Golf Club.

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Allied Singles Championship

1. Christopher Shields, 73-69—142; 2. Andy Congdon, 71-73—144; 3. Matt Scarafoni, 70-75—145; 4. Jeff Puleri, 70-75—145; 5. Edward Schopp, 77-73—150; 6. Kevin Lamb, 76-75—151; 7. Steve Sykes, 77-74—151; 8. Bob Linn, 78-74—152; 9. Sam Hindels, 79-73—152; 10. Scott Hurley, 76-76—152.

Allied Team Championship

1. Wyantenuck Country Club, 303; 2. Berkshire Hills Country Club, 305; 3. Wahconah Country Club, 309.

Geoff Smith can be reached at gsmith@berkshireeagle.com, @GSmith_Eagle on Twitter and 413-496-6254.


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