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Headline: Watertown's Alex Jeffers Teams With Vermont's Garren Poirier to Capture Qualifying Spot for the 2018 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship
For Immediate Release: August 30, 2017
Alex Jeffers (left) and Garren Poirier at Wahconah Country Club.
Dalton, MA — While most in Massachusetts won’t enter fall mode until after Monday’s Labor Day celebrations, the most recognizable end of summer event on the calendar, 19 teams of two were already focused on next spring and the 2018 U.S. Amateur Four Ball Championship, scheduled for Jupiter Hills Club in Tequesta, Florida from May 19-23.
Click here to view complete results from the Wahconah CC qualifier.
At Wahconah Country Club in Dalton on Wednesday, it was the team of Alex Jeffers (Watertown, Mass.) and Garren Poirier (Killington, Vt.) who came out on top, shooting a combined 9-under par 62 and netting the only qualifying spot. They did so by edging out the team of A.J. Okeksak and Pat Pio by two strokes.
“Man, we are really, really excited,” said Jeffers, a longtime time Massachusetts golf competitor who most recently was a member of the 2016 Massachusetts Tri-Team that defeated squads from Connecticut and Rhode Island last October at Rhode Island Country Club. “Garren and I met a couple years ago and have become pretty close, so it’s just nice to play in any USGA Championship and it’s even more special to be able to do it with one of your closest friends.”
Making the trip from Boston and Killington, respectively, an approximate midpoint for the two competitors, Jeffers and Poirier were able to card matching pars on the first two holes before back-to-back birdies on the next two 400 and 300-yard par-4’s gave the pair an early lead on the leaderboard.
They went par-birdie-eagle-birdie in the span of the next four holes and made the turn at 6-under par 29, which was part of their strategy entering Tuesday’s qualifier, only the fourth of the 51 total qualifiers being held across the United States until April of 2018.
“The only thing we talked about was give yourself to chances on every hole. If you get a short hole and one guy hits iron, the next guy doesn’t need to blast iron and hit it out of play,” explained Jeffers, who holds his handicap index out of Woodland Golf Club. “We never left each other alone. We always had two shots. A lot of times we had two birdie putts. It was really stress free for the most part today.”
On the second half of their qualifying round, their play continued to be consistent to their first half – with six made pars to three birdies.
“We turned and wanted to keep it going. We made a couple of pars on the beginning of the back nine and then made a couple more to get where we needed to be at.”
This marked the second USGA Championship qualifier that Jeffers will play following his debut in the 2014 U.S. Amateur Championship, while Poirier, a 37-year old professional photographer, will be making his 12th appearance in a USGA Championship.
Wednesday’s qualifier at Wahconah Country Club also marked the third time that Poirier has qualified for a USGA Championship from the Berkshires club. In 1998, he qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship there and in 2011, he shot a 5-under par 137 to earn medalist honors and qualify for the U.S. Amateur Championship.
A.J. Oleksak (Longmeadow, Mass.) and Pat Pio (Somers, Conn.) finished second overall at 7-under par 64 to earn first alternate accolades while the duo of Douglas Mehall (Clifton Park, N.Y.) and Jim Gifford (Schenectady, N.Y.) earned second alternate status after shooting a 6-under par 65.
For more information on the 2018 US Amateur Four Ball Championship, visit usga.org and follow #USFourBall on social media.