Welch, Pallas win rain-shortened Pewter Cup title
PITTSFIELD — For the second time in the last three years, rain plagued the final round of the Pewter Cup Best-Ball Tournament.
In 2018, the rain was brief and allowed the golfers to finish. Unfortunately for the competitors in the 38th Pewter Cup, the thunderstorms and torrential downpours forced cancellation of the final round. That gave the title to second-round leaders Jim Welch and Dave Pallas.
"It would have been nice to get three rounds in. We would have liked to play, and I'm sure everybody else in the field would have liked to play," said Welch. "It's also nice to win from that respect. It feels good.
"I'm 53 and my buddy Dave is 46, and anytime you win a golf tournament, it always feels good."
Welch and Pallas finished at 134 for the two days, 10 under par. The duo finished three strokes ahead of defending champions Joe Wilson and Michael Mertes. Wilson and Mertes shared runner-up honors with the Country Club of Pittsfield duo of Matt Scarafoni and Chad Alibozek. Both teams shot 137.
Steve Sykes of the host Club and Andy Dastoli of the Orchards finished up in a three-way tie for fourth at 138, while Bill McDonald and John Kelly were in a four-way tie at 139. McDonald and Kelly had won the Pewter Cup in 2014, 2016 and 2017.
According to a text from Berkshire Hills president Jeff Puleri, the storm washed out most of the bunkers and the greens.
"This was Dave, my partner's first time" in the Pewter Cup, Welch said when reached by phone after escaping the downpour. "I played in it about 20 years ago one time. I've played in the Singles here in July the last three or four years."
In fact, Welch finished eighth in the 2019 Berkshire Hills Singles.
Welch lives in nearby Valatie, N.Y., and plays out of Olde Kinderhook Golf Club. Pallas plays out of the Saratoga Spa course and lives in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Welch and Pallas had a pair of outstanding rounds at Berkshire Hills, shooting 4-under 68 on Friday and six-under 66 on Saturday. They closed out the second round by making birdie on three of the final four holes.
"We'd been playing really solid," Welch said. "We were both shooting probably par or under on our own balls, so we were playing well. We also know in amateur golf that three shots is nothing. The plan for us was to go out and try to win it by a lot, or be prepared to win it in a dogfight."
The Country Club of Pittsfield duo of Scarafoni and Alibozek shot 4-under 68 on Friday, even with two bogeys. They also eagled the 474-yard, par-5, 15th hole. On Saturday, they only had three birdies, but no bogeys to sit three behind the leader.
"The confidence [coming into the third round] was there. We had been playing some rounds together," Alibozek said. "We slapped it around a little the first day, made some birdies and a couple of bogeys. I feel like neither of us brought our A-game [Saturday], but we shot a bogey-free 69. I found my confidence on the back [nine] there, so I was ready to go. Matt had a great range session after he was hitting shots real close on Friday.
"The confidence level was real high."
Unfortunately for them, and the rest of the field, the weather would not let them close out the tournament.
"I thought about 2:30, when the sun came out," said Alibozek, when asked if he thought they'd get back to finish. "I was over at Pittsfield hitting balls, so it's basically the same weather over there. I thought we'd get back out there.
"The grounds crew had to make the call. They made it and that's the call."
38th Pewter Cup Tournament
1. Jim Welch/Dave Pallas 68-66 134; 2. (tie) Joe Wilson/Michael Mertes 66-71 137 and Matt Scarafoni/Chad Alibozek 68-69 137; 4. (tie) Steve Sykes/Andy Dastoli 67-71 138, Bob Lynn/Jim Patterson 68-70 138 and Justin McKennon/Adam Trivilino 68-70 138; 7. (tie) James Ryan/Adam Brownlie 69-70 139, Mike Kays/Kevin Quinto 67-72 139, Aaron Nackoul/Glenn Dickerson 70-69 139 and Bill McDonald/John Kelly 68-71 139; 11. (tie) Jeff and Rick Puleri 68-72 140 and Josh Shepard/Jamie Cimini 70-70 140; 13. Nicholas Marini/Greg Bennett 68-73 141; 14. Brandon Sullivan/Cam Boraski 68-80 148.
First — Michael and Kevin Dwyer 73-67 139. Second — Gavin and Frank Cipollino 70-67 137. Third — (tie) Steve Campoli/Bob Nonamaker 72-72 144 and Michael Lamoureaux/Mike Graham 70-74 144. Fourth — Bob Horne/Leo Nutting 75-72 183. Fifth — Thomas and Tommy Curry 73-74-72 219. Sixth — Brandon Strileckis/Ray Biron 77-69-36 182. Seventh — Marc Wilkinson/Zip Carver 88-73-78 239.
Howard Herman can be reached at email@example.com, at @howardherman on Twitter, or 413-496-6253.
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