- Golfer Benefits
MATTAPOISETT, Massachusetts – Cathy Flatley and Frances Rush (Presidents Golf Course) took an early lead at the Curtis Bowl Scotch Tournament and couldn’t be caught as they won the second Mass Golf Women’s Tournament of the year Monday at the Bay Club of Mattapoisett. The duo finished with a 3-stroke advantage in the field of 56 two-person teams after handling windy conditions off the nearby shores of Buzzards Bay.
The married couple team of Alison Kirchgasser and Sally Degan (LPGA Amateur Boston) won Low Net honors at 1-under 70.
The 18-hole, shotgun-start tournament used the Scotch format, in which one partner plays first from the teeing area of all odd-numbered holes and the other plays first from the teeing area of even-numbered holes. Afterward, partners alternate shots for the remainder of each hole. The tournament was open to golfers with a Handicap Index® up to 54.0.
Despite being a step ahead of the competition for much of the round, Flatley and Rush had no idea they were in the lead until a friend approached them on the final hole to give them the news, much to their excitement.
“We knew that we were playing well and we didn’t watch the leaderboard, but we just felt really good about our game,” Flatley said. “I mean, I have goosebumps right now. We’re just thrilled, beyond thrilled.”
Both Flatley and Rush were particularly moved by the event’s history within the women’s game. Past winners include Mass Golf Hall of Famers Joanne Goodwin, Anne Marie Tobin, and Tara Joy-Connelly.
“Once we started looking at the names on the trophy, it really started to sink in, just the history and to be part of history for golf, women’s golf and for Mass Golf,” Flatley said. “It felt really special, and it makes me want to get out and play some more and maybe even do more for golf.”
Rush added: “We really spent some time looking at the trophy and seeing the history going back to 1956 and looking at the names on there that you hear these names at other tournaments and that’s when it started sinking in. Being part of now having our names on the trophy is really awesome.”
Making a late push to finish second were Renaissance’s Teri Burtoft and Betsy Masse, who made par on seven of eight holes down the stretch to move past the duo of Diane Carter (Salem Country Club) and Jenny Ceppi (Bass Rocks Golf Club). Burtoft and Masse, the 2016 and 2017 Curtis Bowl champions, finished with an 8-over 79, while the 2012 winners Carter and Ceppi recorded a 9-over 80.
Kathy Brown (Hyannisport Club) and Lisa Heaps (Cape Cod National Golf Club) as well as Georgia Pierce (Eastward Ho!) and Noranoel Nolan (Ocean Edge Golf Club) also recorded 9-over 80s to round out the leaderboard.
The 2021 Curtis Bowl champions Kristen Henderson and Elizabeth Derwin shot a 12-over 83, good for ninth.
DeGan and Kirchgasser finished one stroke ahead of the Country Club of New Bedford’s Kim Walecka and Patricia Ansay to earn Low Net honors.
The tournament was established in 1954 in honor of Harriot and Margaret Curtis by their friends who were also members of the Women’s Golf Association of Massachusetts.
The Curtis sisters were active golfers in the United States, where they combined to win four U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship titles. Their play overseas in Great Britain inspired them to establish the Curtis Cup Match, a biennial match between women golfers from the two countries, to help foster international friendships in women’s golf.
The Curtis Bowl trophy is a replica of the Curtis Cup trophy that the sisters donated for the Curtis Cup. The Curtis Bowl was first contested in 1956 and has been held every year since. Several pairs have won multiple titles at the tournament, most recently Masse and Burtoft in 2016 and 2017.
Mass Golf hosts several Women’s Tournaments not only during the summer season, but also throughout the spring and fall.
Flatley offered the following advice to female golfers considering participating in a tournament: “If you love golf, you have to come out and play. There’s just great camaraderie because when we came back to the clubhouse afterwards and everybody just was so happy and welcoming, it just really makes you want to get out and play some more. There’s just a lot of good people playing golf and it just makes it so much more enjoyable to get into the game.
The Women’s Fall Cup Matches begin Thursday, September 8. The statewide tournament consists of three matches played in September between Member Club teams. The Fall Cup Championship will then take place October 11 at Renaissance in Haverhill.
First-time and beginner-level golfers can check out Intro to Golf Day on July 24, a clinic led by female instructors that will cover the basics of the sport and give participants an opportunity to meet other women who are new to golf.
Mass Golf is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to advancing golf in Massachusetts by building an engaged community around the sport.
With a community made up of over 100,000 golf enthusiasts and over 360 member clubs, Mass Golf is one of the largest state golf associations in the country. Members enjoy the benefits of handicapping, engaging golf content, course rating and scoring services along with the opportunity to compete in an array of events for golfers of all ages and abilities.