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ACUSHNET, Massachusetts – The second of two days of the 2018 Massachusetts Women’s Senior Amateur Championship was held on Tuesday at Acushnet River Valley Golf Course. Champions from three divisions – Classes C, D & E – as well as the Legends Division, for those 70 years and older, were crowned on this day.
These three divisions feature competitors with an active Mass Golf/GHIN Handicap Index between 18.1 and 36.0. See below for complete divisional highlights from Tuesday’s action.
The Massachusetts Women’s Senior Amateur Championship was introduced in 1946 when Margaret and Harriot Curtis presented what was then known as the Women’s Golf Association of Massachusetts (WGAM) with the “Senior Bowl”. In 1958, a second trophy was added, presented by M.E. Philbrick, to the Senior Championship low net scorer (now known as the Philbrick Trophy).
In 1980, the age of eligibility was raised from 50 to 55 years of age. In 2010, the Gerry Baker Legend’s Trophy was introduced to recognize the overall low gross and overall low net for players age 70 or older. Beginning in 2016, the event format was changed to feature two independent tournaments – one for Classes A & B and another for Classes C, D & E.
Besting both a strong field and blistering heat all day long, Sue Maslowski (Long Meadow GC) found a way to prevail and win the overall Class C, D & E divisional title at the 2018 Massachusetts Women’s Senior Amateur Championship.
“I am very excited,” said Maslowski. “It has been a long time since I have won anything so this feels great.”
It marks Maslowski’s first divisional win, and it came following 18 holes at Acushnet River Valley Golf Course. She finished with a score of 14-over par 86. Her final score was one better than second-place finishers Jill Appel (Charter Oak CC) and Susan Martinelli (Presidents GC). Anne Farrington (The Country Club) and Esther Chamberlain (Butter Brook GC) were T4 with scores of 16-over par 88.
Maslowski’s victory comes one day after Natalie Galligan (Pocasset GC) captured the Class A & B title. Both competitors will have their names engraved on the Senior Bowl, the permanent trophy which was first presented to the overall gross winner by Margaret and Harriot Curtis back in 1946.
“It is incredible,” said Maslowski. “I am very proud to have my name included and to win this event.”
Looking back at her round, Maslowski noted that making par on three of the par 5s was critical to her capturing the title.
Maslowski added to her winning day by capturing the top spot in the Class C low net division. She turned in a net score of 5-under par 67, while Farrington, Appel and Martinelli finished T2 in that category with scores of 4-under par 68.
She said that she was nervous after winning, but while on the course Juanita Grass (Gannon GC) was calm, cool and collected en route to capturing the Class D Gross Division title.
Grass, who traveled from Lynn to Acushnet on Tuesday to compete in the Massachusetts Women’s Senior Amateur Championship, finished with a score of 15-over par 87 for a one-stroke victory over Fran Caruso (Walpole CC). Suzanne Rebeiro (Acushnet River) came in third with a score of 17-over par 89.
“It feels really good. It feels like a vacation day,” said Grass. “It was nice to get together with some of the girls I knew. It was a fun group today, and I really enjoyed it.”
Grass’s victorious round was highlighted by a pair of birdies. The first one came on the 102-yard, par 3 6th hole. The second was made six holes later on the 94-yard, par 3 11th hole. Those were two of only three total birdies made by the Class D Division on Tuesday.
“It was fun because my Garmin just went and I didn’t know the yardage,” said Grass. “I was just trying to pay attention to the card and get the right iron to hit on the green. I did that and the putts went in.”
Grass estimates that both birdie putts were under six feet.
“Most of all I know a lot of the girls now, and it’s just a wonderful group of people,” said Grass about what makes this week’s event so special. “You get to play different places, and the women are wonderful and the competition is great too.”
Grass made it a clean sweep as she also finished atop the Class D net division leaderboard with a score of 9-under par 63. She placed three strokes ahead of Anne Hopper (Marlborough CC) and Rebeiro who turned in net scores of 6-under par 66.
In addition, she received the Philbrick Trophy as the competitor who posted the low net score across all divisions (C, D & E).
After finishing second many times before, Joan Morin (Walpole CC) can now call herself a champion.
“I am kind of excited because I have been coming in second a couple of times so I am really excited that I finally did it,” said Morin.
On Tuesday, the longtime competitor who resides in Walpole posted a score of 17-over par 89 to capture the Class E Gross Division title. She finished two strokes ahead of Leslie Payne (Walpole CC), who posted a 20-over par 92. Marilyn Miller (William J. Devine GC) and Jacqueline Corcoran (Brookline) were T3 at 23-over par 95.
A highlight from Morin’s round came on the 123-yard, par 3 17th hole where she registered a birdie – her first of the day. It was one of only two birdies made in Class E Division action on Tuesday.
“That was exciting because I wasn’t in the fairway a lot today but my short game was really, really on point,” said Morin. “ The greens were beautiful. They were really true and really nice greens.”
Making her win even sweeter was the fact that she was surrounded by a handful of her club mates in Acushnet. The tight-knit group of competitors from Walpole are regulars in Mass Golf events and were there to cheer on one of their own.
“We usually have a road trip,” said Morin. “We all out and enjoy playing all of these different golf courses.”
In addition to her Class E Gross Division title, Morin posted the top net score – an 8-under par 64. She finished three strokes ahead of Miller and Payne who registered net scores of 5-under par 67.
Proving again that age is just a number, Fran Caruso (Walpole CC) and Esther Chamberlain (Butter Brook GC) were recognized for their outstanding play against those who are 70 years or older.
The Gerry Baker Legends Trophy is annually awarded to the individual or individuals who score the overall low gross and low net scores.
Caruso and Chamberlain finished tied atop the Legends leaderboard in the gross category with scores of 16-over par 88.
In the net division, it was Joan Morin (Walpole CC) who edged Caruso by one stroke. Morin finished with a net score of 8-under par 64, while Caruso turned in a net score of 6-under par 66.