- Golfer Benefits
FALL RIVER, Massachusetts – Jill & Michael Mertes have been a couple for 30 years, but this past May they made it official and got married. Less than 48 hours later, they competed in the Mass Mixed Four-Ball Championship. But for the first time, they also became eligible for Mass Golf’s Sheeran Mixed Tournament consisting of teams of legally married couples, and they made the most of their debut on Tuesday.
The Holyoke natives and Crumpin-Fox Club members made three birdies and finished even-par 72 to win the Sheeran and take home their first-ever Mass Golf victory for either of them.
“It’s so special for us,” Michael Mertes said. “We play a lot of golf together. We met when [Jill] was in college, and if we wanted to spend time together she’d have to learn to golf and ski, and she did.
“Getting married this May is the best decision I’ve made in my life.”
A total of 42 teams competed in the event at Fall River Country Club.
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The Mertes duo was in sync Tuesday as Jill was hitting the ball well off the tee and leaving wedges into the green for Michael. And even when things didn’t go exactly to plan, more often than not Jill was also able to bail out the team with strong short play.
“She can pound it, and when it’s straight, it far makes my life easy,” Michael Mertes said. “Then if it’d look like we’d make a bogey or worse, she’d stuff one in.”
Making the turn at even-par, Jill made a 10-footer to save bogey on the 11th and on the next hole the pair birdied the short par-3 12th. For their final birdie on the 14th, Jill drove the green, and the team two-putted to move to 2-under. Despite a pair of bogeys to finish the round, they held onto the lead over Michelle and Jesse Morgan (Amherst Golf Club), who finished 1-over-par 71.
“We really enjoyed it, and we like the format,” Michael said. “We’ll do this as long as we can.”
In the Net Division, Michelle and Jesse Morgan shot a net score of 64 (-6) on Tuesday. Starting on hole 1, the Morgans made four net birdies on the front nine, including an actual birdie on the 8th. With three consecutive birdies on holes 12-14, plus a net eagle on the 17th clinched the top spot for them in the division. Eileen Nolan & Gerard Nolan (Ocean Edge Golf Club) finished with six consecutive net birdies on holes 8-13, but were edged out by the Morgans in the tiebreaker.