Mass. leads Conn., RI in Tri-State Matches
Warwick, RI — The team of talented Bay State golfers took an important step towards making history at Warwick Country Club on Thursday.

During the first of two days of competition at the 80th Tri-State Matches, the Bay State contingent posted 19 points during the foursomes matches and currently holds a 0.5-point lead over Connecticut. Rhode Island is just 2.5 points back of the leaders heading into Friday’s singles matches.

On the line this year is the chance for Massachusetts to claim an unprecedented 10th straight title. The impressive streak of victories dates back to 2004. In the 80-year history of the event, Massachusetts has won 30 titles which is a mark second only to Connecticut which holds a total of 39 titles since 1928.

Click here to view the official program which includes a complete list of past champions.

On this day, all six Bay State foursomes – which includes eight mid-amateur and four senior amateur competitors – contributed on day one. Leading the way with a team-best score of 5.5 points was the team of Doug Clapp (Old Sandwich GC) and Brian Higgins (Franklin CC). That Bay State duo shut out their Connecticut opponents and held the Rhode Island team of Jason Barrow (Laurel Lane CC) and Charlie Blanchard (Wannamoisett CC) to just 0.5 points.

It was a continuation of strong play by Higgins and Clapp, who earlier in the week returned home from Alabama where they both advanced to match play at the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship. Higgins won his first match to advance to the round of 32 for the first time in his career.

The senior amateur team of Jack Kearney (Elmcrest CC) and Kevin Carey (Dennis Pines GC) and the Thorny Lea Golf Club duo of Matt Parziale (Thorny Lea GC) and John Hadges (Thorny Lea GC) both registered four points, while Herbie Aikens (Pinehills GC) and John Gilmartin (Indian Ridge GC) finished with three points.

Connecticut was led by the team of Kevin Josephson (Personal Golf Network) and Michael Thompson (Glastonbury Hills CC), who finished as one of only two teams to collect the maximum number of six points during the foursomes matches. The only other duo to accomplish that feat was Rhode Island’s senior standouts, Dave McNally (Foster CC) and George Pirie (Valley CC).

The other top scorers from Rhode Island – both fresh off match-play performances at the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship – were Brad Valois (Metacomet CC) and Bobby Leopold (Ledgemont CC) with five points.

All players will return to Warwick Country Club on Friday to compete in a final day of singles matches. Each player has the potential to earn a maximum of six points.

ABOUT THE Tri-State Matches

The history of the Tri-State Matches dates back to 1907 when the team from Massachusetts was victorious at the Agawam Hunt Club in Providence, Rhode Island.

Since that time, teams from Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut have come together each fall to compete for the regional title. Individual amateur golfers are selected each year by the respective state golf associations.

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