Mass Senior: Bergeron wins first

CHATHAM, Mass. (Oct. 1, 2008) – Tom Bergeron (Crumpin-Fox Club) knows what it's like to win an MGA event. In 2005 and 2006, he partnered with Jack Varner to claim back-to-back Massachusetts Senior Four-Ball Championship titles.

This time around, Bergeron stood proudly alone as he captured the 2008 Massachusetts Senior Championship at Eastward Ho! Country Club. The Gill resident posted an impressive score of 1-under par 70 on a challenging Chatham layout to claim his first individual MGA title. He finished one stroke ahead of Leigh Mackay (Southers Marsh GC) who came in at even par 70.

It was an interesting road to the championship for Bergeron as well as for the entire 120-player field as the two-day event was reduced to only 18 holes after rainstorms on Monday forced the cancellation of play. After losing a day of golf, the tournament organizers made a difficult decision to reduce the event to 18 holes with a champion to be crowned on Tuesday.

That champion did not mind at all as Bergeron was resilient throughout the day. He began his round on the 10th hole and found himself 2-under par through his first seven holes. Those two birdies – on the 333-yard, par 4 12th and 380-yard, par 4 16th holes – combined with a bogey on the 521-yard, par 5 17th hole placed Bergeron at 1-under par at the turn. The front nine saw Bergeron begin with a bogey and birdie. Another bogey on the 6th hole dropped him to even par but a clutch birdie on the 391-yard, par 4 9th hole propelled him to the top of the leaderboard once again.

Bergeron then waited anxiously in the clubhouse for the final groups to finish. It was then when he could finally call himself an MGA champion for the third time in his career and the third time in four years. It was a nice belated birthday present for Bergeron who turned 59 years old last Friday.

Mackay, who played alongside Bergeron on this day, found himself two strokes back of Bergeron at the turn. A solid back nine which featured eight pars and one birdie – on the 421-yard, par 4 6th hole – proved to be not enough as he had to settle for second place overall.

Bob Bradley(Ponkapoag GC) came in third place with a score of 2-over par 73. It would not have been surprising had Bradley captured this title as he is a two-time Massachusetts Mid-Amateur Champion (1989 and 1996).

Turning in a score of 4-over par 75 and finishing in a tie for seventh place was Paul Murphy (Charles River CC), a veteran golfer who is enjoying a strong end of the season. Murphy was one of eight Bay State golfers who qualified for and competed at last week's U.S. Senior Amateur Championship. Murphy, whose round featured three birdies, five bogeys and one double bogey, advanced to Match Play and won two matches at the prestigious USGA Championship.

Two strokes back of Murphy was Joe Keller (Oyster Harbors CC), the 2005 champion of this event who last week advanced to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship. The three-time Massachusetts Mid-Amateur Champion (1986, 1987, 1992) could not continue his winning ways as he finished with a score of 5-over par 76. Earlier this summer, Keller won his first career NEGA title as he was victorious at the 2008 New England Senior Championship.

Defending champion Doug Crawford (Stow Acres CC) finished in a tie with Keller and a host of other golfers at 5-over par 76.

Charles McGovern (Cape Cod National GC) may have finished tied for 30th-place overall, but his 7-over par 78 was good enough to capture the Super Senior Division title. The Super Senior Division includes all competitors 65 years and older.

ABOUT THE Massachusetts Senior Amateur

Entries are open to amateur golfers who hold membership in an MGA member club, who have reached their 55th birthday by the first day of the tournament and have an up- to-date MGA/USGA GHIN Handicap Index not exceeding 8.0 or have completed their handicap certification as defined on the Entry Form. Competition will be 36 Holes at Stroke Play.

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