HARWICH, MA (August 16, 2005) -– It took a near record-breaking round by Phil Miceli (Sagamore Spring GC) on Tuesday afternoon at Cranberry Valley Golf Course to capture the 2005 Massachusetts Public Links Championship.
Miceli, who entered today’s round two strokes back of the leader, surged ahead of defending champion Bill Drohen (Bradford CC) on the final day courtesy of a scorching round of 4-under par 68 to post a two-day total of 4-under par 140 and to claim the Ray C. Bump, Jr. Trophy. This marks the first MGA Championship won by Miceli.
The battle for the title came down to the very end as both players found themselves tied for the lead following the first nine holes of play on Tuesday. At that point, Miceli had already registered three birdies on the day – on the 1st, 8th, and 9th holes – while Drohen was 1-under par for the afternoon. Down the stretch, Miceli turned on the jets as he broke away from Drohen by posting consecutive birdies on the 483-yard, par 5 14th and 309-yard, par 4 15th holes. A bogey on the 229-yard, par 3 17th hole may have dampened Miceli’s chance at equaling the competitive course record at Cranberry Valley Golf Course – the record is 5-under par 67 – but it didn’t stand in the way of his victory. Miceli capped off his spectacular round with a par 5 on the finishing hole.
Drohen, meanwhile, also made birdie on the 14th hole but was unable to gain ground on the surging Miceli. On the day, Drohen posted two birdies and two bogeys. After making the turn at 1-under par 35, Drohen stumbled a bit as he made bogey on the 10th and 13th holes. He followed that up with his birdie on 14 but was unable to rally further as he posted four straight pars to finish with a final-round score of even par 72 and a tournament total of 2-under par 142.
Finishing in a tie for third place at even par 140 were two former MGA champions, Aaron Siekierski (Webster-Dudley GC) and Andy Drohen (St. Anne CC). Drohen, the 2003 Massachusetts Amateur champion who next week will compete in the U.S. Amateur Championship in Pennsylvania, turned in a final-round score of 3-under par 69, while Siekierski, the 2003 Massachusetts Junior champion, finished with a 1-over par 73.
-- Following Monday’s round, the field was repaired according to score in preparation for today’s final round.
-- This year’s field consisted of 13 exempt players and 86 qualifiers. Those 86 qualifiers advanced to Championship Proper following qualifying rounds which were held on July 25-26 and July 28 at six sites located across the state.
-- A total of four past Massachusetts Public Links champions competed in this year’s event: Drohen, Eric McPhail (New Sandy Burr CC), Steve St. Amand (The Meadow at Peabody GC) and Jon Fasick (New England CC).
-- The top 10 finishers from this year’s event are exempt for the 2006 Massachusetts Public Links Championship, which will be held at The Ranch Golf Club in Southwick.