Mass. Pub Links: Congdon wins his first

HINGHAM, Mass. (Aug 3, 2011) — Under perfect conditions at South Shore Country Club on Wednesday, Scott Congdon of Foxborough CC put on a display of spectacular golf and stony nerve to capture the 2011 Massachusetts Amateur Public Links Championship.

The 24 year old from Foxborough finished with a two-round score of 6-under par 138 to best last year's champion Devin Bibeau (Highfields G&CC) by one stroke.

"This is my first MGA win," said Congdon. "I couldn't be happier that it started here."

For most of the final round, Congdon was doing his best to chase down first-round leader Ryan Riley (Norton CC) who held the tournament lead for 32 of the 36 holes.

The turning point came when Riley suffered a costly double bogey on his 15th hole and Congdon capitalized by making birdie on the 14th and 17th holes. He was 5-under par with only the 476-yard, par 5 18th hole remaining.

Just as he put some distance between himself and Riley, however, Congdon heard the news that Bibeau - who was three groups ahead - had turned in a low number.

Congdon assumed that he was one back of Bibeau and would need a birdie for the tie.

With pressure mounting, Congdon was all business as he sent his chip to six feet above the hole and then drained the fast downhill putt to capture his first career MGA title. The only problem was that he didn't realize that he had won until he reached the scoring tent.

"I was surprised," said Congdon. "I really didn't know about any of the scores going into that last hole. Ryan had a couple of hiccups and I was able to capitalize on those, so at that point I just wanted to finish strong."

Finish strong is exactly what he did. That final birdie capped off a five-hole stretch where Congdon played 3-under par golf. He also carded four birdies and seven pars through his final 11 holes.

"I was just trying to stay in the moment and focus on one shot at a time," said Congdon, who enjoyed a strong golf career at Bryant University. "I was trying to play my game and stay within myself and give myself birdie opportunities."

Heading into the final round, Congdon was one stroke back of Riley who won this title in 2009. Throughout the day, the two players held a stranglehold on the lead. Congdon took a one- shot lead through six holes but gave it back on the 7th hole with a double bogey and then missed a makeable birdie on the 9th hole.

Just when it looked like it would be another Riley victory (he has already won two MGA titles this season), Congdon was able to collect himself and begin his move up the leaderboard. He went on to make birdie on the 10th, 14th, 17th and 18th holes.

"I felt comfortable all day," said Congdon, who drained a 10 footer for birdie on the 160-yard, par 3 17th hole. "I had one really bad swing on 7, but I was hitting the ball well and putting well and I knew that if I kept giving myself opportunities that a couple would roll in." Today's victory marks a continuation of great play by Congdon. He advanced to the Round of 16 at the 2011 Massachusetts Amateur Championship and was the second low scorer from Massachusetts (he finished T6 overall) at the 2011 New England Amateur Championship. He also - just one year ago - finished T2 at the 2010 Massachusetts Four-Ball Championship.

"I have started hitting the ball really well and have been able to make some putts," said Congdon. "I had been making good shots but not converting, so the putting has been the difference. This time, I have been able to roll some good ones in and that gave me confidence through the two rounds."

No putt was bigger than his final one on the 18th hole.

"The course is awesome," said Congdon. "The greens were so good. They putted true and if you had the right line, more times than not the putts would roll in."

ABOUT THE Massachusetts PubLinks

Entries are open to amateur golfers who are bona fide public course players at a public MGA member club (a course/club that provides playing opportunities for the general public seven days a week) and maintain an up-to-date MGA/GHIN Handicap Index not exceeding 12.0. Players who have playing privileges or who have an established handicap at any private club are ineligible, with the exception of:

a) Players competing on a school golf team, provided those privileges are limited to scheduled practices and competitions; or
b) Players employed by a private club, provided their playing privileges
I. Are limited in nature;
II. Are consistent with those offered other employees;
III. Do not allow participation in any club tournaments; and
IV. No handicap is maintained at the private club.

The competition will be stroke play with 18 hole qualifier and the Championship proper at 36 holes.

View Complete Tournament Information

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