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UXBRIDGE, Massachusetts – It took an incredible comeback and a playoff hole, but Robert Linn (Berkshire Hills CC) finally has his first Mass Golf Championship. Linn outlasted Tom Fox (Farm Neck GC) who held the lead for most of the afternoon at Blissful Meadows Golf Club.
After both players missed the green on the first playoff hole, Fox played first, chipping his ball to 12 feet. Linn then followed, chipping his to 8 feet. After Fox missed his par putt, Linn stepped up and rolled in the winning putt. Talking about the win, Linn said “It’s huge because like I said I used to play Connecticut all the time and in 2005 or so I started playing Mass Golf (events) and see all these guys winning these nice little blue trophies. And I thought by now I’d have one or two, but it’s just a testament to the competition out here.”
Getting to the playoff was a victory in itself for Linn, who trailed Fox by 3 strokes heading into the 17th hole. Going into 17, Linn said his mindset was “I could still come in the top three. I noticed this year at the Ouimet Memorial Tournament, the top three in the Super Senior were invited. And next year, the first two rounds are at Charles River. Yeah, so that was a little perk for me there.” Linn stayed steady, making pars on both 17 and 18, while Fox made bogey on 17 and double-bogey on 18, leading to the playoff.
Earlier on the back nine, Linn and Fox were going shot-for-shot, putting on a ball striking clinic. Fox’s putter was the difference early, as he was able to capitalize with birdies on 14 and 15. Although he wasn’t able to pour in any birdie putts on the back, Linn continued to make good swings, which kept him in the championship. Talking emotionally about his swing coach, Linn said “Since I started working with Tommy Sullivan, my whole idea about the golf swing really…it’s, it’s really a lot simpler than people make it. And he’s about the simplest guy around.”
While Fox was unable to win it in the playoff, he played outstanding golf all day, knocking down pins and making 4 birdies on the day. His (+4) 148 total was good for solo second. Don Foberg (Plymouth CC) had the round of the day with an even par 72, putting him at (+8) 152, good for a third place finish. One shot behind Foberg was Andy Congdon (Wyantenuck CC) and Jim Doyle (Brookmeadow CC), who both finished T4 with a (+9) 153 total.
Bob Linn for the Win!
— Mass Golf (@PlayMassGolf) September 3, 2020
In the Legends Division, Doug Crawford (KOHR Golf Center) shot a final round 74, to win the first ever Legends Division Championship at the Super Senior Amateur. His total of 154 was one better than Paul Nunez (Ludlow CC) who played a nice round of golf, backing up his 77 yesterday with a 78 today. Rounding out the top 4 in the Legends Division was Thomas Mone (Hatherly CC) who came in third and Joseph Monahan III (Winchester CC) who finished fourth.
The Super Senior Amateur Championship was first contested in 2014. Four of the past champions are in this year’s field.
Peter Brumme (’14) – MC
Doug Crawford (’15) – T6 (154)
Dick King (’16) – T27 (Legends T5) (159)
Don Foberg (’19) – 3rd (152)
The top 70 players and ties at this year’s event have earned exemption into next year’s Massachusetts Super Senior Amateur Championship. The site of next year’s championship is to be determined.
Entries were open to amateur golfers who have reached their 65th birthday by September 2, 2020 and who have an active Mass Golf/GHIN Handicap Index at any public, private, semi-private, municipal or non-real estate Mass Golf member course/club not exceeding 12.0 (as determined by the July 9, 2020 Handicap Revision) or have completed their handicap certification. New for 2020, a Legends Division has been added for competitors ages 70+. All Legends Division competitors are also competing for the overall championship.
Blissful Meadows Golf Club is built upon land that was purchased by the Wood family from the King of England in 1726 when the town of Uxbridge was a section of Sherborn, Massachusetts. The farmhouse located to the right of the clubhouse was built by the Wood family in 1745 and is now in the National Register of Historic Buildings. In 1964 Gordon and Jean Bliss purchased the farm, including the house, barn, approximately 100 acres of land, and all of the farm machinery.
In 1988 the Bliss Family converted the nearly 300 year-old farm into one of Blackstone Valley’s most beautiful golf courses. The course was designed by Golf World magazine’s 2000 “Architect of the Year”, Brian Silva. Construction of the golf course began in 1988. The front nine holes were opened in 1991 and the back nine opened shortly thereafter.
All seven of the Bliss children have had a hand in the everyday operations of Blissful Meadows. The New England charm still exists at Blissful Meadows, from the historic buildings, abandoned “Scadden Silver Mine”, hundreds of feet of original stone walls, and 100 year-old farm machinery. As a hobby Gordon still collects and refurbishes old farm equipment to add to the course. They all contribute to that feeling you get at Blissful Meadows, bringing you back to a simpler time, a more relaxed time, time when families worked together, and played together.
Next week’s Massachusetts Mid-Amateur Championship will be held at GreatHorse in Hampden. Interestingly, Gordon (the owner of Blissful Meadows) grew up less than a mile from what is now GreatHorse. He said that he and his family lived just around the corner from the old Hampden Country Club (now GreatHorse) until they bought Blissful in 1964. Gordon remembers the old golf course and mink farm that sat within the course.