Mercedese Large and Kristen Henderson capture their first Cris Eaton Chapman Title - MASSGOLF

Mercedese large and kristen henderson come out on top

For immediate release: May 13, 2024

HARWICH, Massachusetts – For the first time, Cranberry Valley played host to the Cris Eaton Chapman Tournament. The first Mass Golf Women’s Tournament of the 2024 season is always a special one. Teams gather on what seems to be the first nice weathered Monday of the season for an 18-hole, double-shotgun tournament with the Chapman format. Each teammate hits a tee shot and proceed to play their partner’s ball as their second shot. Competitors then select a ball and alternate shots until the ball is in the hole. Low gross and net were awarded for each of two divisions (Division 1, Handicaps Up to 18.0 & Division 2, Handicaps 18.1 and above).


Two-over-74 was the score to beat at the start of the 1:30 p.m. shotgun. The duo of Rita Bedard and Loren Le Gassick had a one-stroke solo lead after the morning wave finished up.

Out of the gates Mercedese (Ellie) Large and Kristen Henderson started with a birdie on the par-3 4th. While the course proved harder to finish the front-9, the duo carded five additional birdies to end up even par-72 on the day. The duo paired together last year and ended the day T2, 3-strokes behind the lead. Going back and forth on the leaderboard, the strategy behind the title might not have been that strategic at all. Just good old golf with friends.

For the first time as a pair, the duo captured the 2024 Cris Eaton title.

“We started on hole number 4, we went birdie, then par, then a couple bogeys. And I went okay time to have fun, we’re out of it. And all of a sudden the birdies started to add up. I knew we were doing good but I was trying to not pay attention to it. The course was nice too. A little quirky, some of the holes. I just focus hole by hole” said Henderson.

“I won back in 2021, so I love this format. Especially for early in the year. It’s a team event so you have a little bit of flexibility with the different drives. And we both had our straights. We had a few choices, but it was usually a clear choice.”

“Last year we played in this and I had just called her. We played in this [Cris Eaton] last year so this made the most sense. She is so positive. I missed a few putts and had a few bogeys and as a partner event you tend to get a little down and she’s so positive all the time, it’s just a pleasure to play with her. She hit’s a really long golf ball its fun to watch” said Henderson on her enjoyment of her partner.

“This was my first win. It feels great. What’s special is that I played with Kris last year, it was fun to be a part of it and play with a champion” said Ellie Large.

“I don’t know that there was any conversation that “we need to focus” we respect each others game. Poor Kris never got a good shot from me, I put her in the woods or in the rough. She’s straight and perfect. We weren’t giving each other enough choices. never the less, we were able to focus, get out of trouble and get onto the green. ”

“It’s good company, we played with two really fun people. Wendy and Janet it was fun. A comfortable foursome. we laughed a lot. it was just a nice day. You certainly want to win but you want to make it fun. Just not think about it. It’s the beginning of the season. You go in understanding that. It’s fun to play a good round of golf with people you enjoy.”

“It’s a fun format, for me I can’t hit a straight ball. The challenge of the format is that you’re partner has to suffer with the results from your swing. I expect to be in the woods. You don’t want to make your partner miserable. It’s a challenge to a get a groove since you’re not hitting every single shot every time. It’s more easy going. You have options. Your partner has the opportunity to hit as well. it’s a nice way to start the season” said Ellie Large.



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Congratulations to the duo on an excellent Cris Eaton finish.

In Division II, Andrea Reissfelder and Catherine Kobler had the lead after the morning wave, but Susan Martinelli and Flora Fonzi ultimately captured the lead during the second shotgun of the day for the 18.0 Handicaps and above. Though Kym Pappathanasi and Mary O’Neill we’re chasing the lead throughout different parts of their round, the duo scored in the Division I Net department with a 7-under finish. In DII net, Christina Haufler and Joanne Urso had a -6, 66 to capture their first title together.


All of Mass Golf’s women’s tournaments and some of its championships are named after some of the pioneering women involved with organizing and promoting amateur golf in Massachusetts. During her time, Cris Eaton was among the most popular women in the game, known for her charm, wit and unequivocal appreciation for sportsmanship and fair play. She helped bridge the gap between older, established players to the newcomers to the game. Eaton also helped establish the New England Women’s Golf Association (now part of the New England Golf Association) and twice served as president of the Women’s Golf Association of Massachusetts (now part of Mass Golf). The Cris Eaton Tournament began one year after her death in 1965 and has been played every year since (except for 2020).

Cris Eaton, left, served as president of the WGAM from 1954-1957. She was a member of both The Country Club & Duxbury Yacht Club. (Boston Public Library)


Cranberry Valley Golf Course was designed by Geoffrey Cornish and Bill Robinson and first opened in 1974. The course is challenging yet approachable and was number 12 on Golf Advisor’s list of the top courses in Massachusetts in 2022. 

Depending on your skill level, you’ll have a few options when playing Cranberry Valley. The course is a par 72 with four par threes, ten par fours, and four par fives. You can extend the course to 6,482 yards if you play from the blue tees or shorten it to 5,060 yards by starting from the green tees. 

The longest hole is the 521-yard 18th, and the shortest is the 174-yard 13th hole. Both of those numbers are from the blue tees. 

Overall, Cranberry Valley is a fun course with lots of variety and an unpretentious atmosphere, making it the perfect place to play a round or two while vacationing on Cape Cod. 


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