Marc Forbes and Bill Vine, friends for 40 years, are now champions
HARWICH, Mass. (May 24, 2016) — Marc Forbes (Norton CC) and Bill Vine (Foxborough CC) tapped in their par putts on the 9th green at Cranberry Valley Golf Course on Tuesday afternoon and enjoyed a handshake that they will remember forever.
After all, the friends of more than four decades had just won their first major MGA Championship.
They were 2016 Massachusetts Senior Four-Ball Champions after posting a winning score of 11-under par 133.
Forty years of emotions were brimming over as they savored the moment in Harwich.
“Exhilaration,” said Forbes. “It is exhilarating.”
“It is a great feeling,” said Vine. “We wanted to win this very badly.”
They began playing golf together nearly 40 years ago at Heather Hill Country Club. They first played this event together in 2014. One year ago, they finished in second place.
“We are on cloud nine,” said Forbes. “We were fortunate to finish second last year. With such a strong field, we told each other that we would love to move up just one spot and that has been our motto all year.”
They accomplished their simple goal on Tuesday under chilly and cool temperatures.
They entered the second round with a two-stroke lead (they posted a tournament low score of 9-under par 63 on Monday at The Captains Golf Course), but they saw their advantage slip away after playing their first nine holes at Cranberry Valley GC at 1-over par 37.
“We had a talking to on the first tee about what we had to do,” said Forbes. “We figured that we had lost the lead at that point. We didn’t know if we had for sure, but we were going to play like we did. We decided that we had to go out and play 3 under on the final side to give ourselves a chance.”
With Keith Smith (Franklin CC) and Dave Turgeon (Norton CC) waiting in the clubhouse with a score of 10-under par 134, Vine and Forbes delivered on their promise to each other at the turn.
Vine struck first by finding the green on Cranberry’s 490-yard, par 5 2nd hole with his 3 wood approach. He rolled his 30-foot eagle attempt to feet for birdie. Three holes later, he registered his third birdie of the day - on the 401-yard, par 4 5th hole.
“It was an uphill hole and I hit 8 iron and I knew I hit it good,” said Vine. “I just wanted it to get pretty close and when I got there it was there about five or six feet.”
Forbes closed out the day for his team on the 502-yard, par 5 8th hole when he was able to get up and down for birdie.
“We were really pumped up at that point,” said Forbes, who one day earlier sank a 40-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to close out their 9-under par score at The Captains GC. “We had heard that there were 9-unders already in and we were at 10 at that point. We thought that if we were able to birdie 17 at that point it would give us some leeway on [our 18th hole].”
Both players found the green in two shots on their final hole of the championship, and it was then only a matter of time before the longtime friends could enjoy a handshake for the first time as MGA champions.
“It cements us playing together,” said Forbes. “We have complimentary personalities. We are both very positive guys. It’s never “Why did you hit that shot?”. It has always been “Don’t worry. You’ll make four.” We constantly believe that the other guy is going to make the next shot that they need to make so that we can be free and not worry about it.”
And on Tuesday afternoon there was no hint of worry… just exhileration.
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