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LINCOLN, Rhode Island – Tuesday’s opening day of the Tri-State Matches featured two separate rounds of foursomes play that lead into singles matches on the second and final day. So far, Team Massachusetts has dominated almost everything at Kirkbrae Country Club and seems destined to win back the title after its 14-year win streak ended last year.
The Bay State squad, which consists of 10 top mid-amateurs and six senior competitors, carded a combined six scores of six points out of nine total between the two rounds Tuesday to score 77 points, more than doubling up host Rhode Island (35.5) and defending champion Connecticut (31.5). The first round featured six matches pairing seniors with mid-amateurs, plus two pairs of all mid-amateurs. The second round had all the mid-amateurs paired together, with the seniors together all well.
The point system in place allowed each team the opportunity to earn one point for winning the first nine holes, another point for winning the second nine holes, and a third point for winning the overall match.
The shotgun start for Wednesday’s singles matches begin at 10 a.m. back at Kirkbrae Country Club. Points from the singles matches will be combined with the totals from Tuesday to determine a champion.
Former UConn standout Jimmy Hervol (Hopkinton CC), this year’s runner-up in the Massachusetts Amateur Championship, led Team Massachusetts with a score a six in both his rounds, as did David Spitz (South Shore CC).
Hervol, who is debuting in the event, joined fellow mid-amateur Spitz to lead Mass in the first round. Their six points toppled Connecticut’s Glen Boggini and Justin Beal (2.5 points) and Rhode Island’s Seamus Fennelly and Austin Cilley (0.5 points).
Massachusetts had 31.5 points and led Rhode Island (22.5) and Connecticut (18) after the first round, but things really took off after that.
In the afternoon round, all eight Massachusetts duos scored at least five points, including five sixes, to sweep the eight matches. Spitz carded another six with Jordan Burke (Needham GC), shutting out their Connecticut opponents in the process. Also carding sixes were Mass Four-Ball champs Nick Maccario (Bradford CC) and Mike Calef (Pine Oaks GC); Hervol and Colin Brennan (Indian Ridge CC); defending Senior Player of the Year Frank Vana Jr. (Marlborough CC) and Jack Kearney (Westover GC); and Don Reycroft (Bayberry Hill GC) and Keith Smith (Franklin CC).
Maccario and Nick McLaughlin (Far Corner GC) and Brennan and Kearney added a five in the first round, and McLaughlin scored 5.5 points with Ryan Riley (Pine Oaks GC) in the second round.
Three-time defending Mass Golf Player of the Year Matt Parziale (Thorny Lea GC) and Ouimet Memorial Tournament champion Steve Tasho (Thorny Lea GC) only managed 1.5 points in the first round, However, Parziale joined longtime playing partner Herbie Aikens (Old Sandwich GC) in the second round to score five points.
Calef and Reycroft scored 1.5 points in their first match, but other than Parziale and Tasho, the Bay State scored between four and six points in every other match.
Jamie Lukowicz and Bruce Heterick had the lone score of six for Rhode Island, recording it in the first round against Parziale and Tasho.
Mass Golf will keep you updated on the Tri-State Matches at Kirkbrae Country Club in Lincoln, Rhode Island. Visit MassGolf.org and follow @PlayMassGolf on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest information.