Mass. Senior Four-Ball: Carey-Richard duo defends
--photo MGA
--photo MGA

BERNARDSTON, MA — For the second year in a row, the team of Kevin Carey (Dennis Pines GC) and Ray Richard (Willowbend) saved their best for last and it resulted in a victory at the Massachusetts Senior Four-Ball Championship.

The duo posted a two-round score of 7-under par 137 – which included a tournament-low score of 6-under par 66 on Wednesday – to successfully defend their title and lay claim to the James Shea Memorial Trophy.

"Unbelievable," said Carey following the win. "When you sit down and try to figure out the percentages you have like a two percent chance of winning again. We had it going today, and it was just awesome."

Following the first round of play on Tuesday, the end result was not so inevitable. After all, Carey and Richard found themselves four shots off the pace after posting a 1-under par 71 at the Country Club of Greenfield.

"It was reminiscent of last year," said Richard. "We felt that if we could get a good round going today that you never know what could happen. We got it going and then we kept on going with it on the back. It was just good solid golf today."

Carey kicked off the round a birdie on the 338-yard, par 4 2nd hole. An important moment came on the 345-yard, par 4 4th hole where they made a par to keep the momentum going. With Carey set to make bogey, Richard missed a 20-foot birdie attempt but made the putt coming back to save par. That set the stage for a key stretch of golf.

On the 501-yard, par 5 5th hole Carey knocked his third shot from a bunker onto the green and made birdie, and then Richard drained a 45-foot, double-breaking birdie putt on the 6th hole. Carey sunk an 8-foot birdie putt on the 7th hole and then drained a critical 10-foot par putt on the 9th hole to allow the pair to make the turn at 4-under par 32.

"It kept the round going," said Richard of the Carey par putt. "We made the turn at four under and said 'we're in the hunt' and that was where we wanted to be."

One of the only hiccups on the day came on the 10th hole where Carey missed a three-foot putt for par. He would more than make up for that miss down the stretch as he made birdie on the 12th, 13th, 17th and 18th holes.

On the 12th hole, Carey's drive landed on what appeared to be a rock. From 120 yards out and with a precarious lie, Carey watched as his approach lipped out and landed inches from the hole. The only other bogey on the day came on the 376-yard, par 4 16th hole where both approaches landed on the green and spun off the front of the green.

"We weren't done at that point, but it definitely hurt," said Carey. "But I looked at him and said that we were going to make a three on the next hole."

They may not have made an eagle 3 as Carey predicted but on that 508-yard, par 5 17th hole they made birdie and then again on the challenging 18th hole where Carey sunk an eight footer to cap off the round.

"Kevin was a horse today and just played solid," said Richard. "My job is to cover Kevin and to play golf and let him do what he can do. He is just the best."

Carey and Richard had to wait for more than 50 minutes before they learned that the first-round leaders – Robert Currey (Brae Burn CC) and Bruce Carter (Blackstone GC) – had made bogey on two of their last three holes to drop off the pace and that they had won their second straight title.

"Winning is special but defending is even better," said Richard.

Finishing in a tie for second place were the teams of Robert Hickman (Reservation GC) and Don Reycroft (LeBaron Hills CC) and Joe Walker (Dennis Pines GC) and Jim Horvath (Dennis Pines). Both teams posted scores of 5-under par 138.

ABOUT THE Massachusetts Senior Four-Ball

Entries are open to two-person teams of amateur golfers who hold membership in an MGA member club, who have reached their 55th birthday and who have an up-to-date MGA/USGA GHIN combined Handicap Index not exceeding 12.0 (16.0 for super seniors) or have completed their handicap certification as defined on the Entry Form.

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