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OSTERVILLE, Massachusetts – With overcast skies, temperatures barely cracking 60 degrees, and periodic mist, it felt more like tailgating weather than golf weather on Tuesday. Even in the cold conditions, Don Reycroft (Bayberry Hills GC) was able to heat up with birdies early in his round to win the 8th Massachusetts Super Senior Amateur Championship.
His round of 3-under 67 in the 18-hole rain-shortened event at the Wianno Club (par-70, 5,744-yards) earned him another Mass Golf title for the mantle. Reycroft, 65, most recently won the 2015 Massachusetts Senior Amateur Championship and was the 2014 George M. Cohen Massachusetts Senior Player of the Year.
Fittingly, Reycroft already has a flight booked for Arizona on Wednesday to dodge the cold weather ahead.
Starting his round on the 10th hole, Don Reycroft (Bayberry Hills GC) birdied his second hole of the day to quickly get into the red and never looked back. Reycroft tacked on another couple of birdies on 13 & 14 before closing out his opening nine holes with a birdie on 18. He was the only player in the field to birdie the difficult par-4 18th hole. With no bogeys on the card, he turned at 4-under-par (31) and held a 4-shot lead.
On the back, he continued his fine play, hitting the ball beautifully and shooting a cool 36 to earn the victory by 4 shots.
“I was striking the ball well, but really my putting was spot on,” Reycroft said. “I made a nice putt on 13, a 30-footer, and then on 18, I rolled one in from 60 feet, from the front of the green. So the putter was working.”
After jumping out to the big lead, Reycroft continued to strike it well, just barely missing birdie putts on 6 of his final 9 holes.
“I love this golf course,” he said. “I mean it could have been a really spectacular round, I was hitting it that good.”
Among those in the morning wave, was runner-up Steve Camara (Ferncroft CC). Camara separated himself from the rest of the morning-goers with a 1-over-par 71. His fine play gave him a three-shot lead over those to tee it up early in the day.
“It started with a great drive on 10 and then I hit my approach shot to about five feet. I couldn’t see it until I came over the hill and saw it was five feet. Then I rolled it in to get off to a good start because it’s a hard hole,” Camara said.
Talking about the tough playing conditions, Camara added, “The conditions were not great today, temperatures the way they were, mist, and the wind picking up. So you just kind of keep grinding it out, see what happens.”
Camara then had to wait around for the rest of the day to see if his score would hold. Ultimately it did not, but his top-10 finish secured him a spot in both the 2022 Senior Amateur Championship and 2022 Super Senior Amateur Championship fields.
In the Legends Division for players 70 years and older, it took a playoff to decide a champion. And after two playoff holes, Claude Hoopes (The Kittansett Club) came away victorious.
Paul Murphy (Charles River CC) and Hoopes both shot 4-over 74 through 18 holes, and on the first playoff hole, both narrowly missed their par putts. Then, playing the 9th hole again, Hoopes knocked home a 57-foot birdie putt to win the Legends Division. It was the only birdie made on the 9th hole Tuesday.
This year marked the 8th playing of the Massachusetts Super Senior Amateur Championship, with the first coming in 2014. Entries were open to amateur golfers who have reached their 65th birthday by October 4, 2021, and who have an active Mass Golf/GHIN Handicap Index not exceeding 12.0. The Legends Division was also contested for competitors ages 70+.
Due to heavy rains on Monday, this year’s version of the event was shortened to an 18-hole Championship (normally a 36-hole event). Thanks to recent renovations (updated drainage system) by famed architect Gil Hanse, the golf course was able to host this year’s full-field event just one day after it took on 2.1 inches of rain.
Past Champions (Year, Name, Host Club)
Located along the south shore of Cape Cod, the Wianno Club is situated along the Nantucket Sound and boasts a Len Biles & Donald Ross designed golf course. Biles laid out the original nine before Ross added the second nine and then remodeled the entire course four years later when more land was acquired. In recent years, Gil Hanse has established a master plan for the course.
Hanse is said to have made renovations to every hole on the course. Recently, holes 2, 8, and 13-17 have seen work and the 5th hole is the next on his list. As has been the case with many classic Massachusetts courses, Hanse’s work has been focused on tree removal and bunker restoration to help bring the course back to its original design.
The area of land that is now called Wianno is part of the third major purchase from the Native Americans by the Plymouth settlers as that colony expanded southward. The sale was negotiated by Captain Miles Standish and Chief Paupmumuck in May 1648. The price paid was two brass kettles, one bushel of corn, and half of the fence needed to enclose thirty acres of land reserved for the Native Americans.