Mass. Sr. Four-Ball: Ball/Chase go low in finale
Stow, MA (May 8, 2013) — It would have been a day to remember without the hardware, but Patrick Ball (Wachusett CC) and Allen Chase (Westminster CC) are more than happy to accept the James Shea Memorial Trophy following their victory at the 2013 Massachusetts Senior Four-Ball Championship, which was held at Stow Acres Country Club.

In just their second year of eligibility for this MGA Championship Proper, Ball and Chase put together a final round score of 9-under par 63 on arguably the tougher North Course to capture the title by a one-stroke margin. They finished with a final score of 10-under par 134.

Their performance on day two even had Stow Acres Country Club owner Walt Lankau shaking his head at the end of the day.

“That is a great score,” said Lankau, who has graciously hosted this year’s event as well as the 2012 Massachusetts Four-Ball Championship. “It was the best score in a four-ball for those nine holes that I can remember.”

The memorable round featured nine birdies – seven of them coming on the back nine – and zero bogies. In looking back at their round, Ball and Chase could not remember one hole where at least one of them was not on the green with their approach shots. It was just that type of day.

“We were never in trouble,” said Chase. “I had one bogey and it was in my pocket once and Pat was similar. It was just a great day. Everything worked.”

After posting an unassuming 1-under par 71 on Monday, the duo came out strong and could have been 2-under par through their first two holes. Ball made a three putt for par on the 1st hole and then missed a three-foot putt for birdie on the 2nd hole. Before they had a chance to start contemplating what could have been, their shots began to fall.

Allen made birdie on the 372-yard, par 4 3rd hole and then carded another on the 501-yard, par 5 5th hole. He also came through with a key par on the 402-yard, par 4 9th hole which allowed the team to make the turn at 2-under par 34.

The Chase show continued through the next three holes as the 56-year-old Clinton resident registered three straight birdies – on the 10th, 11th and 12th holes – to begin a nine-hole stretch that will not be soon forgotten by anyone in the field.

When Chase finally ran into trouble and found the woods on the 368-yard, par 4 14th hole, the baton was passed to Ball who took charge from that point on. Ball proceeded to make birdie on four of the team’s final five holes to allow the team to post the remarkable 9-under par 63 overall. In fact, the team played 11-under par golf through their final 25 holes. “It was a round where we both played well,” said Chase. “We both contributed. I had three birdies in a row and then Pat had three birdies in a row. We never made a bogey. We were never challenged to make a putt to save a hole. We had a really solid day.”

A turning point came on the 175-yard, par 3 14th hole where Ball’s approach landed well short and left of the hole location. With Chase on the green but facing a long birdie putt, Ball chipped in from 40 feet off the green.

“If it didn’t hit the pin it would have been in West Boylston,” said Ball. “It was nice because when he was going birdie, birdie, birdie on 10, 11 and 12 I felt like I was caddying. But then he was out of that hole on 14 and that was the first of my birdies.”

Despite knowing that they were in the midst of a special round, they found a way to keep their composure and finish off with a birdie on the 536-yard, par 5 18th hole.

“I got tight towards the end of the round because I knew the kind of day we were having and I knew that I was playing well,” said Chase. “We were just trying to hold it together and not give anything back.”

Today’s finish is a major improvement from the team’s T88 finish one year ago in their Massachusetts Senior Four-Ball Championship debut. It helped, however, that this duo knows each other well. They harken back to the days when they first met while playing in the Turner Home Golf League. Since that time, the two players have been regular partners in their respective home club four-ball tournaments. Today – without question – represents their best day ever as a team.

“This is the best four-ball round either of us have ever played,” said Chase while Ball shakes his head in affirmation. “Today was just a great day for us.”

And it will surely be a day neither will ever forget.

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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