Mass. Senior Four-Ball: 2 teams share lead
SOUTH YARMOUTH, Mass. (May 21, 2014) -- There is no question that Keith Smith (Franklin CC) is enjoying his time as a senior.

After capturing the 2013 Massachusetts Senior Amateur Championship last fall, Smith returned to senior amateur competition this week and currently shares the lead at the 2014 Massachusetts Senior Four-Ball Championship with partner Dave Turgeon (Norton CC).

Smith and Turgeon are tied with the team of Bob Linn (Franconia GC) and Jim Hosey (The Orchards GC) with scores of 8-under par 64. The first-round leaders both carded those impressive marks at Bass River Golf Course and will look to vie for the championship title tomorrow at co-host Bayberry Hills Golf Course.

For Smith, this marks a continuation of sensational play. Back in September, Smith outlasted two of his fellow senior competitors in a playoff to capture his first MGA championship title.

This time he partnered with Turgeon, someone he met one year ago through a mutual friend, and found himself in contention once again.

“You have to talk about how great Keith played today especially at the end,” said Turgeon, who is also 56 years old. “He lit it up on the back which was fun to watch.”

After playing the back nine at 3-under par 35, Turgeon carded the team’s first birdie on the second nine on the course's 3rd hole. It was just three holes later when Smith helped his team jump into the overall lead with a memorable three holes of golf.

He began by making back-to-back birdies on the 290-yard, par 4 6th and 129-yard, par 3 7th holes. On the driveable par-4 6th hole, Smith sent his second shot to inches. He then drained a long putt on the very next hole.

“Dave was already in with par and I had a free run at it and we made that one,” said Smith. “There were many holes where we had two putts for birdie and that lends to a stress-free round.”

Smith helped lower his team’s stress level even more on the next hole when he sent his 3-iron approach on the 488-yard, par 5 8th hole to 12 feet to set up an eagle putt.

“We did not give back a single bogey,” said Smith. “We birdied the third hole of the day and then it just started. We only had one or maybe two holes where we had to make a four or five footer for par and that was it.”

Another flawless team on day one was that of Hosey and Linn. While Smith and Turgeon finished with a flurry of great shots, Hosey and Linn began their round a stretch of golf where they were 4-under par through three holes.

Hosey kick-started his team by making a 30-foot birdie putt on the 406-yard, par 4 11th hole. Linn followed that up by hitting his approach to inches for eagle on the 12th hole. Once again, Hosey used a hot putter and drained a 25 footer on the 13th hole.

“I was able to pick up and read the greens pretty well today,” said Hosey, who also made a 12-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole. “My dad played here for 30 years, so I played with him a lot when we had a house here in West Yarmouth. I have played both courses and am looking forward to tomorrow which should be fun.”

Linn and Hosey made the turn at 5-under par 33 and continued their steady play on the Bass River Golf Course front nine.

“We made a good par on 18 and then on the front side we played steady,” said Linn. “We kept it in play and covered each other. We actually had two birdie covers when the other guy was out of the hole.”

Hosey carded two more birdies on that front nine – on the 2nd and 7th holes – while Linn added a birdie of his own on the 488-yard, par 5 8th hole to cap off the stellar round.

“We play a lot together and I am really comfortable playing with him,” said Linn. ” He is always going 100%, and he isn’t going to be out there looking at the birds. I think that we are good partners. We bear down a lot when the other guy is out of the hole.”

One year ago, Linn and Hosey rebounded from a disappointing 78 in the first round with a 5-under par final round score at the 2013 Massachusetts Senior Four-Ball Championship. Adding their last two rounds together, Hosey and Linn have played 13-under par golf through their last 36 MGA Senior Four-Ball Championship holes.

They will be looking to continue that impressive streak on Thursday.

ABOUT THE Massachusetts Senior Four-Ball

Entries are open to two-person teams of amateur golfers who hold membership in an MGA member club, who have reached their 55th birthday and who have an up-to-date MGA/USGA GHIN combined Handicap Index not exceeding 12.0 (16.0 for super seniors) or have completed their handicap certification as defined on the Entry Form.

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