NORTON, Mass. — Following a day of foursome play at the 2015 Tri-State Team Matches, the 12-person team from Connecticut jumped out to a three point lead over defending champion and host state Massachusetts.
This year’s 82nd edition of the Tri-State Matches – which features teams from Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island – is being held at TPC Boston in Norton, which is the home course of the Deutsche Bank Championship.
On Tuesday, the teams participated in foursome matches and Connecticut earned a total of 20 ½ points, while Massachusetts and Rhode Island finished with 17 ½ and 16 points, respectively.
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.
Massachusetts is seeking a record-setting 12th straight title. Last year, the Bay State set the record last year for the most consecutive victories when they won their 11th title in as many years at Trumble Brook Country Club in Connecticut. Connecticut last won the Tri-State matches in 2003 at The Kittansett Club and currently holds the lead for most titles in the Tri-States with 39.
On this day, Connecticut was led by a balanced team effort with all foursome matches earning at least one point and four teams finishing with three or more points.
Leading the charge was the senior duo of Mark Vasington (Wampanoag CC) and Jack Bracken (Hartford GC) who captured the maximum six points in what was the second foursome match on the course. They were the only team to collect the maximum amount of points on day one.
Just ahead of Vasington and Bracken on the TPC Boston layout was the senior team of Dave Szewczul (Tunxis Plantation GC) and Bill Hermanson (Black Hall Club), who delivered four points for Team Connecticut. The longtime friends, who are both past CSGA Players of the Year and members of the Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame, teamed up for the first time earlier this year to capture the annual Two Man Team Championship held at at Black Hall Club. The top point grossing mid-amateur team for Connecticut was Ben Day (New Haven CC) and Shep Stevens (New Haven CC) with 4 ½ points.
Team Massachusetts will have to stage a comeback in order to make history on Wednesday as it faces a three-point deficit. Two Bay State teams – Frank Vana, Jr. (Andover CC) and John Hadges (Thorny Lea GC) and Don Reycroft (LeBaron Hills CC) and Dave Houghton (Captains GC) – picked up five points, while Matt Parziale (Thorny Lea GC) and Herbie Aikens (Pinehills GC) contributed four points to pace team Massachusetts.
Kyle Hoffman (Pawtucket CC) and Ryan Pelletier (Pawtucket CC) added a team-high 4 ½ points for Rhode Island, while Bobby Leopold (Wannamoisett CC) and Charlie Blanchard (Wannamoisett CC) as well as Rick Audette (Metacomet CC) and Jamie Lukowicz (West Warwick CC) finished with four points.
The second and final round of the 82nd Tri-State Matches begin tomorrow, with all players returning to play Singles matches. Each player has the potential to earn a maximum of six points per match.
View results for Tri-State Matches Golf Tournament