- Golfer Benefits
BROCKTON, Massachusetts — Every year, teams of fathers and daughters from across Massachusetts relish the opportunity to come together for one day to enjoy a round of golf with one another. For some families, it’s the golfing highlight of the summer.
Whether it was their first round together or one of countless enjoyed over the years, all 56 teams made cherished memories Monday as this event was played at Thorny Lea Golf Club for the first time.
In this format, both golfers hit a tee shot, select which drive to play, and then alternate shots until the hole is complete. The event featured two divisions: The Championship and Forward. In the Championship Division, daughters played from approximately 5,500 yards, while in the Forward Division, the daughters played from approximately 4,900 yards. Fathers played from 6,100 yards in both divisions.
When Gene Gonzalez & Jacqueline Gonzalez (Charles River Country Club) won the Father-Daughter six years ago at The Ridge Club, it happened on the same day as a total solar eclipse. While this rare astrological event isn’t set to occur again until next April, Monday’s tournament played out played out similarly to 2017.
The Gonzalezes eked out a one-stroke victory over their close friends and Thorny Lea members John Hadges & Tate Hadges, making five birdies for a score of 2-under-par 69. Jacqueline graduated from Holy Cross in 2020, while Tate is currently a senior captain on the Holy Cross women’s golf team.
“There is nothing better than teeing it up with your daughter no matter what the result is,” Gene Gonzalez said. “We know the golf course — not as well as The Hadges — but we’ve played here before, and it’s nice to be close to home.”
“I like this format because I don’t get to play it any other time,” Jacqueline added. “You have to be dinging and donging. It hasn’t worked in years past, but today it did.”
Back in 2017, the Gonzalezes closed with four birdies on the final five holes. This year, they had a similar rally, only it came earlier in the round. After starting 2-over through three holes, Jacqueline’s putter began to heat up as they made five birdies between holes 4-10.
“All of a sudden, she started draining putts, and it got us back on track,” Gene said of Jacqueline, who said her best shot of the day was a birdie putt on the 5th hole.
Despite making bogey on the 16th, Gene saved par for the team on the par-3 17th with a tricky 6-foot left-to-right putt that found the bottom of the cup to keep the lead intact. On the 18th, Jacqueline hit a well-struck approach into the green, and after Gene’s putt, Jacqueline tapped in for another victory in the Gonzalez household. Gene said the picture from that 2017 victory is in his office.
“It seems like women’s golf seems to be picking up, so I’m sure the fields will get stronger in years to come,” Gene said. “Again, teeing it off on the first tee with your daughter, there’s nothing better.”
Congratulations to the remaining top finishers in the Championship Division:
For the second straight year, the Forward Divison ended up being a showdown between John Lasek & Annie Lasek (Southampton Country Club) and Todd Ezold & Sydney Ezold (Twin Hills Country Club), but this time the Laseks came out on top.
With three birdies on the back nine, the Laseks pulled away from the two-time defending champions of the division as they shot 3-over-par 74 to win the title for the first time.
“It feels great, a pleasant surprise,” Annie Lasek said. “Going in, we wanted to do better than last year.”
Lasek, a former Springfield College basketball player, was sinking her putts like jump shots — from downtown. Annie’s 40-foot downhill make for birdie on the 14th, followed by a 10-footer on the 15th, got the team back to even-par.
“We finally got used to the greens, which are a little bit faster than home,” Lasek said with a chuckle. “We got into a grove and we were able to capitalize.”
Annie learned the game from her father at a young age playing at Southampton, a public course located 15 miles northwest of Springfield. The two play the local course often, plus some scramble and two-ball tournaments.
“It’s a blast to play with your daughter, John Lasek said. “Winning this was just icing on the cake.”
Congratulations to the remaining top finishers in the Forward Division:
The remaining Mass Golf Team & Parent/Child events will be the Sheeran Modified Scotch on September 26 at Salem Country Club. To register for this event, CLICK HERE