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BREWSTER, Massachusetts – The day didn’t go exactly as expected for collegiate teammates Jimmy Hervol (Hopkinton CC) and Tim Umphrey (Tatnuck CC), but nearly two hours after finishing their final round Tuesday at The Captains Golf Course, the University of Connecticut men’s golf stars can officially call themselves Massachusetts Four-Ball champions.
Hervol and Umphrey defeated the team of Mike Calef (Pine Oaks GC) and Kevin Silva (Back Nine Club) following a three-hole playoff on the Starboard Course in Brewster.
“It means a lot,” said Hervol, who just last week completed his junior season in Storrs. “It’s a great way to start off the summer, getting back from school just a week ago. To do it with a teammate of mine is special.”
The defining – and championship – moment came under a backdrop of dense fog and dwindling daylight on Tuesday evening. But somehow Hervol drained a 20-foot putt on the third playoff hole – the first hole on Starboard Course – to secure his team’s place as Mass Golf champions.
“Jimmy just hit a great putt,” said Umphrey. “I almost made mine. I was like 35 feet, and I left it just short. I was in for par and Jimmy had 20 to 25 feet uphill and just stroked it, and it went in, luckily.”
The victorious moment came after both teams matched each other shot for shot through the first two playoff holes.
“We did a good job bouncing back when the other guy was in trouble and that was helpful,” said Umphrey.
Following a day-best score of 10-under par 62 carded on the Port Course on Monday, Hervol and Umphrey entered Tuesday’s round on the Starboard Course with a two-stroke lead over a talented field which included two-time defending champions, Matt Parziale (Thorny Lea GC) and Herbie Aikens (Pinehills GC).
Despite the daunting challenge, the duo of Hervol and Umphrey, from Hopkinton and Northborough, respectively, made sure to add to their top-of-the-leaderboard performance by firing a 5-under par 67 on Tuesday to sit at 15-under par 129 at the end of regulation.
“We definitely didn’t play as well as we did [Monday],” said Hervol. “I thought we grinded really well today. There were a couple holes where we had to grind for pars. We ended up not making any bogeys, so that is always good, especially in this format. We birdied the holes we should birdie, which gave us the five-under par.”
While they waited for the rest of the field to finish, 2018 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball bound competitors Calef and Silva, the second to last group off the tee on the Port Course, catapulted up their leaderboard. They bettered their Monday score of 7-under par 65 with an 8-under par 64 to force a two-team playoff.
“Luckily, the time between where we found out that we were tied and the time we started the playoff wasn’t a lot, so we didn’t get to think about it too much,” said the 20-year old Hervol. “We just had to get ready to go as soon as we could. In this situation, you just try to get as focused as you can. The weather was tough out there, so you just do what you can to stick to your process.”
With the dense fog hovering over the course, the two teams remained deadlocked for two holes before Hervol delivered the difference maker, a 20-foot winning putt. Neither Calef nor Silva could sink their birdie attempts to match Hervol and continue the playoff.
“When you look at the field and see Parziale and Aikens playing, that always catches your attention, so you definitely always pay attention to them,” said Hervol. “Besides that, I think we treated it like a normal tournament. We had the typical first tee jitters today coming down the stretch and the playoff, we were a little nervous. It’s a good thing. You have to welcome those nerves.”
On Tuesday, however, Hervol and Umphrey showed no signs of nerves at the start as they made birdie on two of the first three holes on the Starboard Course. They made the turn at 3-under par and then posted a 2-under par 34 on the back nine thanks to back-to-back birdies on the 13th and 14th holes. It proved just enough to secure themselves a place in the playoff.
Finishing one stroke back of the top two teams were Aikens and Parziale and locals Michael Walker (Cape Cod National) and Alex Stimpson (Woods Hole GC). Both teams finished with two-day scores of 14-under 130.