Low Scores Aplenty At 43rd Mass Four-Ball Championship - MASSGOLF

Stundis & Congdon Fire 10-under 60 In Opening Round At The Club At NEw Seabury

By Steve Derderian

MASHPEE, Massachusetts (May 8, 2024) – Raindrops splashed upon the lush greens, and ghosty gray skies enveloped the seaside layout for much of Wednesday morning at the Club at New Seabury. However, Mother Nature only partially stood in the way of Mass Golf’s largest standalone championship.

A total of 192 pairs, forged primarily through either friendship or kinship, descended upon the quaint oceanfront fishing village along Cape Cod’s southern shore to team up in the opening round of the 43rd Massachusetts Four-Ball Championship.

New Seabury’s property features two 18-hole courses — Dunes and Ocean — and if you were playing the former, which is 6,040 yards compared to 7,000 yards to its counterpart, you had the edge, with 14 of the best complete round 1 scores coming from the shorter course.

Lucky 7 (under) seemed to be the number to beat as Patrick Frodigh and Danny Frodigh (Dedham Country & Polo Club), Cape Cod golfers Ryan Brown and Sam Russell, and 2016 & 2017 champions Herbie Aikens and Matt Parziale all finished the morning round at that mark. However, Tim Stundis (TPC Boston) and Chris Congdon (Links At Mass Golf) charged through the Dunes Course like a thoroughbred out of the gates at Churchill Downs by going 6-under through their opening six holes and making birdie on holes 3-7 to take the overnight lead at 10-under-par 60.

“Chris was on fire right out of the way, hitting it close and making everything in sight,” said Stundis, who said he’s partnering together with Congdon for the first time. “Hopefully, this is the first of more to come.”

Round 1 was suspended due to darkness at 7:23 p.m. Play will resume at 7:15 a.m. Thursday morning. Round 2 will begin as scheduled at 7:30 a.m., with each side flipping courses.

Online: Round 1 Scores | Round 2 Starting Times | Past Champions | Event Home

Tim Stundis, left, and Chris Congdon shake hands after shooting the low round of the day at The Club at New Seabury. (Mass Golf)

Congdon and Stundis may not have teamed up in this event before, but they go back a ways. Congdon is the owner of Stix Fun Center, a driving range and mini golf facility in North Attleboro, and Stundis was the former teaching professional at the facility. Just last week, Stundis gave Congdon a putting tip and it seemed to work wonders.

After Congdon made birdie on three of the first four holes, Stundis drove the green on the 305-yard par-4 15th and made the eagle putt to nearly tie for the clubhouse lead just a third of the way into their round.

“That really got us charged up, and we held it together and then got another streak on the backside and made four in a row,” Congdon said. “Today, we were hoping to hit greens, have birdie putts and hopefully get some close and get them to fall.”

As they head to the final round on the Ocean Course, which played about three strokes tougher than the Dunes, they said the key is to have as many looks at birdie as possible to maintain the lead. “It worked for us today,” Stundis said.


One day after helping his brother Will Frodigh advance to U.S. Open Final Qualifying at nearby Sacconnesset Golf Club, Danny Frodigh teamed up with his brother Patrick and made some waves of their own. Patrick made three birdies on the last four holes, capping off his round with a smooth 93-yard wedge shot inside 10 feet followed by a successful birdie putt to put the pair at 7-under.

“We carried each other when one guy was out of the hole and did a good job with that,” said Patrick, a former Mass Amateur champion. “It’s a fun format, but we don’t play it a lot. I feel like it frees you up in a sense, especially when your partner is in a great position like Danny. It made things easier and took a lot of the pressure off.”

The former champs, Aikens and Parziale, also are in the hunt thanks in part to a closing eagle putt from Parziale on the 18th. Russell  & Brown meanwhile made consecutive birdies on holes 14-16 to move into a share of the early lead. Sitting one back of them are Nick Maccario (GreatHorse) and Andrew DiRamio (North Hill Country Club) and Marc Francis (Allendale Country Club) and Kyle Pelletier (Marion Golf Club). Maccario, who defeated Brown in a playoff during U.S. Open Local Qualifying on Tuesday, made five birdies as he tries to win the Four-Ball for the first time since 2019 (with Mike Calef).

Shirakura Adapts To His Circumstances

Douglas Shirakura will graduate with an aerospace engineering degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute on Friday. For graduation week, he’s on the golf course competing in the Mass Four-Ball with WPI Dean of Engineering John McNeill. Graduation will conclude another impressive chapter of a young man’s life who has been determined to compete in sports, particularly golf, at a young age.

Originally from Somers, New York, Shirakura was born with amniotic band syndrome, a condition where his body’s development in the womb was hindered by amniotic bands, making his hands and right foot unable to fully form. His parents made the difficult decision to proceed with an amputation below the knee so that Shirakura could grow up learning how to use a prosthetic.

Like many golfers with disabilities, Shirakura has taken pride in competing in sports just like his counterparts. His parents got him into golf at age 7, and as a teenager became involved in events with the Eastern Amputee Golf Association.

Shirakura had the opportunity to shine two years ago when he competed in the inaugural U.S. Adaptive Open at Pinehurst. And while he enjoys helping others with disabilities take to golf, his goals are to have a successful career as a civil engineer and compete in golf whenever possible.

“I’ve always loved competing with the best of the best,” said Shirakura, who trains at The Golf Performance Center in Ridgefield, Connecticut. “My best friends have all played for Division I schools and some are grinding out on mini tours trying to make it to the PGA Tour. So I have a lot of respect for what they do, and I’ve always looked up to all my friends. They motivate me as much as I try to motivate them.”

McNeill never taught Shirakura, but they bonded over golf and met weekly to discuss the game. “He’s a great guy all around,” McNeill said of his playing partner. “As a dean, I don’t teach classes anymore, so any chance I get to connect with someone, I do it. ”

Shirakura and McNeill had a solid opening round, going 3-under 69 on the Ocean Course, with Shirakura knocking down a pair of birdies.

Douglas Shirakura hits an approach shot during the first round of the Mass Four-Ball on Wednesday at The Club at New Seabury. (Mass Golf)

A Sleeper In The Field

Ricky Sleeper (Gardner Municipal Golf Course) and his playing partner Doug Croteau (Monoosnock Country Club) turned in the first under-par score of the day on the Ocean Course (1-under). Sleeper, a former military police officer, has a greater appreciation for the game than most. Joining the armed forces at age 24 in 2009, he faced daily dangerous situations and returned to the United States with severe PTSD.

After trying several remedies, golf by far has helped him the most significantly. He originally found the game through the On Course Foundation which helps wounded, sick and injured veterans develop golf playing abilities while teaching career skills to work in the golf industry, and now participates in charity events all over, including for the Salute Military Golf Association. For the first time, he holds a plus handicap (+0.8).

“Playing with my friend Dougie today was awesome,” Sleeper said. “The course is in great condition, so hats off to the folks here. Golf’s been helpful with the PTSD, and my scores have been dropping. I’m just grinding and working through it.”

To learn more about Sleeper’s story, CLICK HERE 

Watch: 5 Big Things From Round 1

About The Club At New Seabury

The Club at New Seabury, located along Cape Cod’s southern shore, features two tremendous golf courses. The par-72 Ocean Course and par-70 Dunes Course, designed by William Mitchell. Bruce Hepner completed a renovation of the club’s Dunes course in 2019 before moving on to the Ocean Course. The 8-month project for the Ocean Course featured a full bunker renovation, expanding fairways, recontouring greens, and relocating cart paths.

With a distance of just over 6,000 yards, the Dunes is accessible for all golfers with several appealing short par 4s. With native vegetation and fresh sand, the Ocean Course is a challenging layout with views all the way to Martha’s Vineyard across the sound, amplifying the windswept, links-style layout.

“The renovation of the Ocean course takes advantage of the ocean, pure and simple,” Hepner said. “Our goal was to make the golf better and interesting by changing grass lines and angles so people can subtly enjoy their round and surroundings. We infused classic architecture into the site to make it feel old, a classic style, where the golf course lays right on the land.”


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