POCASSET, MA (Sept 15, 2011) —
It was a fitting end to an amateur career
began, ended and started again here in the
Bay State for Mike Calef (Brockton
Playing in his final MGA Championship
before moving to Texas later this year, the
former professional player who regained
amateur status back in 2007 came through
with his first career MGA Championship win
Thursday at Pocasset Golf Club.
Calef becomes the 28th winner of the
Massachusetts Mid-Amateur Championship.
capped off his stirring victory by posting a
round of 1-under par 71 for a three-day
of 3-under par 213.
"I am ecstatic," said Calef. "I couldn't
asked for a better ending to my MGA golf
The script could not have been written
better for Calef. The forecast called for rain
but it never came. Ryan Riley
(Norton CC), who was looking for an
unprecedented third MGA title in 2011,
late run by making birdie on four of his last
eight holes, but his comeback came up
and he finished T3.
Others were making a charge, but
remained unfazed and steady and closed
his memorable victory under sunny skies
par - one of 15 he made on day three - to
this title by three strokes.
"I finally got one," said Calef, who
advanced to the Round of 16 at the 2010
Mid-Amateur Championship. "All of my
have won State Amateurs, New England
Amateurs, State Opens as amateurs...
everyone has won different things and I
always been the guy who played well but
didn't close the deal. Now I can say that I
As Donald Ross courses so often do,
Pocasset Golf Club proved to be a
for even the best of the best. Despite a
season that did not pan out as planned,
somehow found a way to save his best golf
his final MGA event of the season.
"It has been such a tough year," said
Calef, whose wife Alicia was
recently relocated for work to McKinney,
Texas. "I really thought that I could play
and do some damage this year and play
these tournaments, but it just wasn't what
happened. So I guess if good bounces and
breaks are going to be saved up for one
then that is just fine with me."
He began the final round with a birdie
the 474-yard, par 5 1st hole, made just
bogey (on the 6th hole) to make the turn
even par. He played his final 12 holes at 1-
under par - which included a birdie on the
yard par 5 16th hole - to outlast Riley and
surging John Gilmartin (Indian
Ridge CC) by four and three
Interestingly, the difference on day
came on the two holes that had caused
for Calef during his previous 36 holes. On
are considered makeable "birdie" holes,
was 1-over par for the championship.
"I talked to Jay
Sinkewicz before each round," said Calef
of his friend who has played Pocasset Golf
many times over the years. "I told him that
was struggling on those two holes. He told
this morning to take a different angle and
down the left side because he said that it
would give me a better angle to the green.
also said that it was OK to hit over the
green and chip back. Those thoughts were
my mind today, and I was able to birdie
After making four bogies during his
round, Calef carded just three bogies
his final 36 holes. He also posted a
low 36 pars through 54 holes.
"I felt pretty good," said Calef. "I have
played in enough events to know that this
a tough course and that I just needed to
making pars and hitting greens to keep it
stressless as possible. Someone would
catch me and that was pretty much my
Although the celebration in the
after the win was jubilant, the only bitter
sweet thought was that Calef won't be
one year's time to defend his
"I'll be back eventually," said Calef
laugh. "And these guys better watch out
because when I come back I'll bring my "A"
The round of the day was posted
by Doug Clapp (Old
Sandwich GC) who carded a 5-
under par 67 on Thursday to finish T3
after starting the day T12.
That remarkable score ties the course
competitive course record at Pocasset Golf
Club. The only other person who has
5-under par 67 was Jason Clary
(Thorny Lea GC) back in
2004. Clary was in this year's
Mid-Amateur Championship field, but did
make the cut.
While the leaders were battling to
even for the day, Clapp was on fire by
registering seven birdies, four of which
on the back nine. He made the turn at 1-
par 35 and then went on a tear on the back
nine. During that nine-hole stretch, he
birdie on the 10th, 12th, 13th and 16th
for a 4-under par 32.
Tomorrow evening, Clapp will travel
to Taconic Golf
Club where his former golf coach -
Tracy Mehr - will celebrate his
1971 Massachusetts Amateur
victory. There is no question that Mehr
be proud of the performance put on today
his former pupil.
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