Veteran pairs win Women's Golf Association of Massachusetts Mother & Son Tournament at Waubeeka
Kathleen and Colin Natale captured the Division I title to win their sixth age division title — mom has also won three times with her older son, Aidan — while Division III champions Susan and 12-year-old James Curtin prevailed for the fifth consecutive year.
The divisions are based on the age of the sons with Division I for sons 18-and-over while Division III is the 13-and-under division, meaning James won with his mother for the first time when he was only 8. There were no teams entered in Division II (ages 14-17).
The Natales shot a solid 1-over par 73 in the alternate-shot event (both players hit tee shots, then alternate after choosing the best drive) to win their division by two shots over a pair of teams, Temple and Mitchell Jackson along with Betty and Garrett Arnold.
"Neither of us played perfectly but we did a good job of ding-donging it," said Kathleen, who sports a five handicap. "If one of us hit a bad shot, the other one hit a good one."
The Ferncroft Country Club team had three birdies and four bogeys, shooting a 1-under 35 on the front nine and a 2-over 37 on the back nine, which features some of the most demanding putting surfaces in Berkshire County.
"We came a day early and got in four practice holes before the skies opened and that helped us," said Kathleen. "The greens are tricky, but we putted and chipped well."
"We play a lot together and complement each other's games," said 20-year-old Colin, who said he has a two or three handicap. "We have similar temperaments on the golf course."
Kathleen and Colin won for the first time way back in 2007 in Division III when Colin was 10. This year was the first time Kathleen has captured the Division I title with Colin. She won it with Aidan in 2015.
Asked whether she was bored with winning, she answered with a smile and an emphatic "never."
Meanwhile, considering that Susan Curtin is a very accomplished player, having qualified twice with partner Pam Kuong for the U.S. Golf Association Women's Four-Ball Championship, one might assume she carried her son to victory. That was not the case — in the alternate shot format both players had to hit good shots in order to produce an impressive 1-under score.
"He works hard at it," said the proud mom. "It was a team effort today."
Not surprisingly, Susan said this is her favorite tournament of the year, while adding that she is thrilled that her son loves to play the game that she also loves. Asked whether he likes to play, the talented youngster confirmed her mother's words with an emphatic "yes."
For the Curtins, golf is a family affair. James' dad, Mike, sports a solid six handicap while his older brother is now learning the game.
Waubeeka, which has now hosted both Massachusetts Golf Association and WGAM events in the past year, got glowing reviews from both the WGAM staff and the golfers.
"It is really beautiful and well-maintained," Susan said. "You really have to look at the mountain ranges and water to read the breaks on the greens."
The WGAM will stay in town another day with Taconic Golf Club hosting the Curtis Cup team event.
Reach Richard Lord at email@example.com or 413-281-2226.
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