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MASHPEE, Massachusetts – Nearly one year after he won his first Mass Golf Championship title, Don Foberg, of Plymouth Country Club, took home his second Mass Golf trophy by winning the 60th Massachusetts Senior Amateur Championship on sunny and windy Thursday at Willowbend. Foberg, the 2019 Super Senior Amateur champion, shot an even-par 70 in the final round to finish 5-over 145 total and edge out runner-up Steve Tasho (Thorny Lea GC) by two strokes and take home the Frederick J. Wright Memorial Trophy for the first time.
Foberg, 66, became the third person to win both the Mass Senior and Mass Super Senior titles and the first person to win them in consecutive years.
“It feels awesome,” Foberg said. “When you look at the guys we get to play with — Steve Tasho, Keith Smith, Frank Vana and Kevin Carey, Joe Walker — down the list of guys who are legends in golf … just to be able to compete with them for me is awesome because I’m no spring chicken.”
After a giant scramble for the lead in Round 1, the same was the case Thursday as strong winds affected everything from drives, approach shots and even putting.
Foberg entered Thursday three strokes behind overnight leader Jeff Page (Wellesley CC). Despite two bogeys on his first six holes, Foberg finished with two birdies and finished with seven consecutive pars to hold his place. He made his first birdie on the 8th hole (Bay Course), but his next tee shot set the tone for the rest of the round.
“I smoked it,” Foberg said. “I said that was the rhythm, the timing. At Oakley Country Club three years ago … I hit the ball as good as I could, and I always try to remember how that felt. It was slow, smooth, and the ball went where I looked. Yesterday, the ball never went where I looked. When I hit that tee shot, everything just snapped back into place.”
Foberg hit most greens in regulation from there on out, and even when his birdie putts rolled a little long, he was able to sink the comebackers. He also missed the fairway on the par-5 18th but was able to punch out, get on in three and two-putt his way to an eventual victory. In the process, he held off Todd Ezold (Twin Hills CC), who spent most of the back nine (Bog Course) just 1-to-2 strokes off the lead. Ezold and fellow Western Mass player Andy Congdon (Wyantenuck CC) both shot consecutive 74s to finish T3.
Steve Tasho, the two-time Mass Amateur champion, was able to leapfrog Ezold and Congdon with a solid finishing stretch. Tasho, who won the Senior Hornblower Championship at Foberg’s home course, finished 1-under on the back nine (Bog Course) with four birdies on his final six holes. He put some pressure on with birdies on holes 16 and 18, but it wasn’t enough to catch Foberg.
Tasho, 61, said he’s happy he’s been able to continue competing at a high level.
“My year’s been good for the amount I play and what I’m doing at this point,” he said. “This will get me into next year’s event, and we’ll try again. I had like five years before this where I wasn’t playing much. I’m just happy to be able to go out and compete with the guys and have a good time.”
John Hadges (Thorny Lea GC) had one of the most improved rounds from Day 1 after shooting a 10-over 80. Hadges made birdie four times Thursday to finish even-par 70 to finish T5 alongside Willowbend’s Scott Beers. After starting the day T2, Beers had double-bogeys on holes 6 and 8 and was unable to make up the deficit down the stretch.
Jack Kearney (Westover GC), the 2019 Senior Amateur champion, finished seventh overall at 11-over (79-72–151).
Joe Walker (Dennis Pines GC) also had a tremendous turnaround, following up Wednesday’s 83 with a 1-over 71 on Thursday.
Darren Clarke, the 2011 winner of The Open and the 2016 Ryder Cup captain was spotted at Willowbend during this week’s Senior Amateur Championship. Find out what brought him to Massachusetts.
Though the Senior Amateur is the final individual Championship event for the season, the Mixed Four-Ball Championship for the Stone Cup will conclude the Mass Golf Championship slate. The event will take October 21 at The Cape Club in Falmouth.
The top 30 and ties from this year’s Championship Proper are exempt into next year’s Senior Amateur, which will return to Salem Country Club, which hosted the event in 1964 and 2009.