Chapter News

Welcome to Worcester. Dollah Twenty-Five, Pop.

This Write-Up Brought to You By: The MGABoston Chapter Reporter

Sadly the days of toll booths along the Massachusetts Turnpike being manned by humans has given way to the electronic scanning of devices, meaning we miss out on the colorful exchanges with the lovely people who would work them.  The 2019 FU Open marked the annual pilgrimage from Boston to Worcester (about an hour west) to play the fabled Green Hill Golf Course.  The addition of a central Massachusetts venue happened several years back, to try and appease a small contingent of members who had to travel east to most events.  In a bizarre way of saying thank you, the Commish’s generous gesture of good faith was met with a grand total of zero participants from the Worcester area this year.

The course underwent some major renovations since our last visit, adding a driving range and re-routing much of the back 9.  In the past, Green Hill was known for its drastic elevation changes, high winds, and lightning fast greens.  This course is at the top of the most challenging in the Boston MGA tournament rotation.  But, would the newly renovated course hold up its reputation? A group of 19 medios, including some fresh new faces, made the trek to find out.

From the get go, it was clear the course did not have the same teeth it normally did.  We’re still tallying the total number of meagles, which will certainly be an FU Open record, if not a Boston MGA record.  “Wild Hog” Andrew Southgate was clearly disappointed in himself for NOT DQ’ing at the easy MGA venue, as he thrashed the course and finished with a 78, thus removing himself from contention.  

The other Andrew (Gordon), sick of finishing 2nd or 3rd, played lights out shooting an 82 on his way to his first FU Open victory (and proud owner of a couple new penalty strokes).  

Longtime veteran John Scully continued his impressive year shooting 87 to finish tied for 2nd place with Michael Halbach.  Scully also picked up a penalty stroke as a parting gift.  

Derek Peabody extended his red key-aided roller coaster season finishing 5th, updating his finishes this season to Last/3rd/Last/5th

Christos “Papadapolous” had a career best 6th place finish, inching ever closer to breaking the 90 barrier. 

Padraic Lacey put on an impressive driving display, taking home the Long Drive on both the front and back, while also driving the 2nd green (not a long drive hole) leading to a meagle.

It wasn’t all rainbows and lollipops, as many players did not find the new course layout as friendly, exemplified by an impressive (not in a good way) display of the final group playing the 18th hole with a full gallery behind the green.  The group of two veterans (Ferraro & The Black Widow) playing alongside two newbies (Bill Cronin – transplanted from DC & Matt Brown playing in his first MGA event), strolled up to the 18th tee well after the group ahead of them had putted-out.  Many factors (excuses) affected the sluggish pace including excessive heat and the new course layout which included a number of blind shots; but watching the group attempt to even reach the 18th green explained everything.

  • Widow pulled his tee shot into the trees and after some exploring, chipped out to the fairway, only to slice his next shot into the trees on the right.
  • Ferraro, also in the trees on the left, played back into the fairway (after a swing & miss) and proceeded to chunk a number of attempted approach shots.
  • Cronin had a decent drive, but pulled his 2nd shot into oncoming traffic, which unfortunately for him is out of bounds.  Fortunately, for all of us really, he didn’t hit the approaching Mercedes; so none of us were required to run away.
  • Brown made it to the fringe, about hole high (I’m not sure how many shots it took to get there, we were too busy laughing commiserating at the rest of the group’s attempts to get there).  To the galleries astonishment, many of whom audibly stated their opinion “what’s he doing?”, Brown pulled wedge instead of putter.  He proceeded to nearly miss and the ball moved about an inch. Brown turned to the crowd, which was now in hysterics, and introduced himself “Hi guys, I’m Matt”. Defiantly, he tried again, with much a much better result leaving just a tap-in.  But, serving to reinforce his original decision of not putting from the fringe, he missed the short putt to finish out.  Welcome to the MGA indeed.

The new faces had themselves a busy day, with visiting Cajun competitor Victor Benintende taking closest to the pin; despite a 2AM wake-up call to make the 6hr drive from upstate New York.  DC-transplant Bill Cronin finished in the money in his first Boston MGA event.  

We’ve all met Matt Brown, who’s finish on the 18th hole clinched both the Meltdown award and the Key to the Red Tee.  Awaiting the announcements, Mark Moriarty was certain his back 9 meltdown of 15 strokes was a lock for the stress relief ball.  Awkwardly, we was already standing and walking to the front when the Commish announced that Brown had produced an astonishing 16 stroke meltdown to take it away.

Next up for the Boston MGA is the Bratish Open, at the short and wide-open Wayland Country Club.  Generally the Jugs are won by someone shooting in the low 80s.  With both Dan Morse (in Canada for the FU Open… not very American…) and Andrew Gordon expected to be playing from the blues, and a number of players carrying penalty strokes, this year’s event is wide open.  Let’s just hope it doesn’t turn out to be the monsoon we dealt with last season.

Event Results

1.Andrew Gordon82$1.35
2.Michael Halbach87$0.83
2.Jonathan Scully87$0.83
4.Nat Gordon89$0.68
5.Derek Peabody91$0.60
6.Christos Christopoulos 92$0.53
7.Terry Boland93$0.45
8.Matt Boland97$0.34
8.Gregory Gagnon97$0.34
10.Vin Ferraro98$0.19
10.Victor Benintende98$0.19
12.Justin Limoli100$0.08
13.William T. Gergits101$0.07
14.Padraic Lacey103$0.05
15.Ryan Park105$0.04
16.Bill Cronin111$0.02
17.Mark Moriarty115$0.00
18.Matt Brown120$0.00
19.Andrew SouthgateDQ$0.00