- Golfer Benefits
BREWSTER, Massachusetts – For the first time in a decade, the Massachusetts Senior Four-Ball Championship is being played entirely at one facility. On a breezy Monday at Captains Golf Course, a public 36-hole facility on Cape Cod, 178 pairs competed in the opening round the annual spring championship.
A total of 20 teams shot 2-under or better, but none surpassed Cape-area veterans Don Reycroft (Bayberry Hills/Bass River) and Brian Secia (Plymouth Country Club), who shot a 6-under 66 in the morning wave on the Starboard Course to lead the entire field. They’ll now try to be the first team since 2017 (Daniel Seigenberg & Jim Gerrish) to win it all after leading the pack through Round 1.
The second and final round takes place Tuesday with tee times beginning at 7:30 a.m. In the event of a tie for first place in any division, a hole-by-hole playoff will commence immediately following the completion of play.
Senior Four-Ball entries are open to two-person teams of amateur golfers age 55 and older who have an active Mass Golf Membership, who have a combined Handicap Index® not exceeding 12.0 (at the time of registration). The players must also have played and posted five rounds at any Mass Golf member club/course within 12 months of the entry close.
After sinking a birdie putt on the par-4 2nd hole on the Starboard Course, Don Reycroft let out, “Finally I got one to go in.” He was being sarcastic…he had gotten plenty to drop on Monday.
Reycroft hit all but one green in regulation, making five birdies to shoot 68 on his own ball, to get himself and Brian Secia to 6-under 66 in the opening round. They had two birdie putts on 80% of the holes, they estimated.
“I putted unbelievably,” said Reycroft, the 2021 Mass Super Senior Amateur champion. “I think previously the two putts before that literally hit the hole and didn’t go in.”
“We birdied the first two holes, but could’ve birdied the first five,” added Secia. “It was a real easy day, we just played really well.”
Secia has plenty of familiarity with Captains, having first played at the course in a U.S. Amateur qualifier 15 years prior. He also earned a second alternate spot here last year for the U.S. Senior Amateur.
And now for the second straight year, a team in the Super Senior Division (age 65+) will have the overnight lead. Don Andersen and Claude Hoopes, of The Kittansett Club, led after Round 1 last year and though they didn’t win the title outright, they won the Super Senior Division.
Reycroft and Secia, finished T8 in this event back in 2021, and after a year hiatus, they’re now in contention to win it. If they’re ball-striking stays the same, they’ll be a tough team to beat.
“I love coming back and playing in this,” Reycroft said. “This is one of the things I enjoy the most.”
Playing alongside Secia and Reycroft were 2018 champions and Cape Cod stalwarts Joe Walker and Kevin Carey, of Dennis Pines Golf Course. The duo rolled in five straight birdies on holes 11-13, and closed strongly with Carey sinking birdies on the 7th and 9th to get to 5-under.
Barry Jones is plenty familiar with competitions at Captains. The five-time club champion (2011, 2013, 2017-19) teamed with Pat O’Reilly (Ocean Edge Golf Club) as one of three teams to finish 5-under 67, one back of the lead. Jones shot 70 on his own ball, hitting a precious approach on the par-4 9th on the Port Course and knocking down the 7-foot birdie putt to close out the round. Jones, 65, came close to qualifying for the U.S. Senior Amateur last year at Captains, but now has a chance to hoist another trophy at Captains.
Brian O’Hanley and Dom Petruzzelli, of Thomson Country Club, kept a clean card with five birdies for their 67 and a share of second place at the moment. Last year, the duo shaved seven strokes in the second round of last year’s Senior Four-Ball to place top 20 and earn an exemption into this year’s championship.
🚨 ACE ALERT🚨
Chalk up another #MassGolf hole-in-one for Mark Dennish. His ace on the 11th at Captains GC gets him and Vin Bucci to 4-under. Dennish also had an ace in the 2022 Mass Senior Amateur.
— Mass Golf (@PlayMassGolf) May 22, 2023
Owned and operated by the town of Brewster, Captains Golf Course is one of the most popular public golf course facilities in the mid-Cape Cod region. According to the club, there were approximately 90,000 rounds played between its two 18-hole courses — the Starboard Course and the Port Course — in 2022.
Brian Silva designed both courses as part of the Geoffrey S. Cornish and Brian Silva golf architecture firm. Cornish reportedly walked the grounds back in 1973, but the course wasn’t approved for construction until a decade later. The first 18 holes at Captains opened in 1985, and in 1999, another 18 holes was opened. The Boston Globe reported that Captains was created for $950,000, less than half of the typical price at the time. However, Silva said was quoted as saying that “Nothing chintzy [cheaply made] went into Captains, and he, “personally spent more than four hours on each hole meticulously seeding the contours into each fairway.”
“They had to move some earth here and there, but the majority of the holes out there are the natural lay of the land,” said Jay Packett, a 23-year club employee, who became the Director of Operations at Captains in January 2021.
As a result of its efforts, Captains was recognized in 1985 as Golf Digest’s Best New Public Course in the United States. If you’re curious of the original routing of the course, the front nine featured Starboard holes 1, 14, 17, 13, 12, 18, 10, 11 and 9; and the back nine is Port holes 1, 2, 7-11, and 18.
“The best part was when they added the second 18, the two courses mesh together really well, so if you’re not familiar that we expanded, you would just thing these were regular old golf courses,” Packett said.
Captains hosted the Mass Four-Ball Championship back in 2018, with PGA Tour Canada pro Jimmy Hervol taking home the title with then-UConn teammate Tim Umphrey. The club most recently hosted qualifying for the 2022 U.S. Senior Amateur Championship.
— Mass Golf (@PlayMassGolf) May 22, 2023
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