Headline: Jim & Bill Drohen Capture Their Second Career Senior Division Title at the 2013 Massachusetts Father & Son Championship

For Immediate Release: August 20, 2013

The team of Jim (right) & Bill Drohen captured the senior division title at the 2013 Massachusetts Father & Son Championship at Indian Pond Country Club.

Kingston, MA — It took one extra playoff hole, but the team of James Drohen (Bradford CC) and Bill Drohen (Brookmeadow CC) captured the senior division title at the 2013 Massachusetts Father & Son Championship at Indian Pond Country Club.

It marks the second time in four years that the Drohens have won this title.

“It is my favorite tournament of the year,” said Jim. “If I could only play one tournament during the year it would be the father and son. We had a good time, win or lose, but it’s nice to win.”

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2013 Massachusetts Father & Son Championship Quick Links

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When all 64 teams had completed the stipulated 18 holes, two teams stood atop the leaderboard with a score of 4-under par 68. The Drohens found themselves deadlocked with Jack Dombek (Twin Hills CC) and Jack Dombek (Twin Hills CC).

“We weren’t making any mistakes at all,” said Bill. “We didn’t have one three putt all day. It was a lot like the last time we won [in 2010] when we had one three putt and never got into too much trouble.”

Trouble eluded them again on the 375-yard, par 4 1st hole… a hole which they made birdie on six hours earlier.  This time around, the Drohens hit strong drives into the fairway off the tee.

The Dombeks – who had also found the fairway on that 1st playoff hole – played their second shot first and young Jack watched his approach sail left and into the greenside bunker.

With the Dombek's off the green, the Drohens decided to have Bill step up to take the second shot.

It turned out to be a very good decision. 

“Bill has been hitting irons good all day so we decided to let him hit the iron and he knocked it to 20 feet,” explained Jim. “They were in trouble and we knew that it would be tough for them to get up and down, so Billy hit to the center of the green and we were able to two putt.”

It took all of 10 minutes, but the satisfaction of this latest victory may never fade.

“If he hit a bad drive maybe I saved him and vice versa,” said Bill. “It was a good ham and egging, western omelet day out there today but it was a blast.”

Their journey to victory began back on that same 1st hole where they made birdie to start their round. After a good drive by Bill off the tee, Jim hit an approach that landed six feet above the hole, which is normally a tough spot given the fast pace of the greens at Indian Pond Country Club.

“If he missed the hole it would have been longer coming back for a par than it was for birdie,” said Jim. “That is how quick those greens were today.”

Bill's putter came through again on the next hole where he drained a 20-foot birdie putt on the 541-yard, par 5 2nd hole. He then hit an approach to six feet on the 355-yard, par 4 2nd hole. Jim made that putt to put them 3-under par through three holes.

“It is always good to get off to three straight birdies,” said Bill. “We weren’t making any stupid mistakes, and we were both putting pretty good.”

Although they suffered a bogey on the 4th hole, they more than made up for that miscue by carding birdie on the 6th and 10th holes.

“Getting off to that good start was important and then we got into more of a protection mode during the last five or six holes,” said Bill. "We didn’t want to make any stupid mistakes or leave long birdie putts short to set up long par putts and it all paid off.”

Helping the Drohens along the way was a fan club that included Bill’s wife Deb as well as Deb’s father Phil Fornaciari and his neighbor who live 10 minutes from the course.

“My wife Deb took the day off to surprise me and then we had Phil and his neighbor come and they had never stepped foot on a golf course before,” said Bill. “When we knew that we had a little audience, we wanted to impress them and show them how it was done. They were really our good luck charms today.”

With their “good luck charms” in tow, the Drohens happily accepted their second Massachusetts Father & Son Championship title.

The Message of the Day

While many teams were focused on taking home the ultimate prize, the mood of the day was inspiring.

Father and son teams showed up in matching shirts, and many played as if they were just happy to be together. In fact, one father was heard speaking to his wife on the phone after a round and said.

"There is nothing better than playing golf with my kid," he said. "It doesn't matter if I shoot 150."

#family

A Lesson in Foursomes Format

The Player Information Sheet states that all teams this week will play "18 holes stroke play" and a format that is a "modified foursome".

What does that mean exactly?

Well, each team member will hit a tee shot after which the better of the two balls will be played into the hole in alternate shot format.  It is also important to note that penalty shots do not affect the order of play. For example; Player A hits his ball into a water hazard. Player B would drop a ball as prescribed under 26-1 and play the next shot.

While the Massachusetts Father & Son Championship is a foursomes event that is played in stroke play, foursomes is commonly played as match play, with each hole being won by the team that completes it in the fewest shots. This form of golf is often played in team golf competitions such as the Ryder Cup, Solheim Cup and the Presidents Cup.

Brief History Lesson

The Massachusetts Father & Son Championship was introduced in 1977 when the team of Addison and Flynt Lincoln captured the title at Essex County Club. The duo went on to win the first two titles.

The event originally featured only the father and son club champions from each MGA Member Clubs. Due to overwhelming popularity, however, the format was changed in 2009 to allow any father and son team – which met the eligibility requirements – to compete in Championship Proper. No longer did they have to win the father and son championship at their home club to qualify. To accommodate the large number of applications, the MGA introduced a Senior and Junior division that is contested over a two-day period.

What’s In An Age, Anyway?

On Wednesday, the largest age difference – between father and sons – was 41 years between Michael Korpita (Southampton CC) and son Dan Korpita (Southampton CC). Dan will turn 24 years old in October, while Michael is 64 years old.

On the other end of the spectrum, there is only 20 years between father Chris Tilo (Hyannis GC) and his son Zach Tilo (Hyannis GC), who turned 28 years old in July.

The oldest competitor in the field was Frank Vana, Sr. (MGA Links) who turned 75 years old in June. He is just one year older than Paul Evans (Duxbury YC), who is also an MGA Past President. Evans served that post from 1992-1993.

The honor of youngest competitor went to Matt Lennon (Wampatuck CC), who turned 18 years old on June 14. There were five 18-year-old competitors in this year's field, but Lennon was the youngest by 17 days.

Volunteer Salute

The MGA Championship season would not be possible without the dedicated support of its more than 100 volunteers who assist the Championship Department throughout the season. From May through October, these men and women – many of whom are nationally recognized for their proficiency in the Rules of Golf – provide on-course assistance and ensure that all events are run smoothly and according to the stated policies and procedures. Today's on-course officials were Bob Dufresne, Phil O'Sullivan and Allyn Sullivan.

In addition to the on-course volunteers working the event on Wednesday, there were also a handful who took a day off to enjoy a round of golf with their sons. Included in that list of past and current volunteers/participants are Bob Tribou (Pocasset GC), Bob Kingman (Cummaquid GC), Jesse Cunningham (The Country Club), Frank Vana, Sr. (MGA Links) and Paul Evans (Duxbury YC).

MGA Champions In the House

While the name of the game today is “team”, there are many past individual MGA champions in the Senior Division field. Here is a rundown on their individual successes (team event titles are not included below).

  • Bill Drohen – 2009 Massachusetts Amateur Champion; 2004, 2006-07 Massachusetts Amateur Public Links Champion
  • James Drohen – 2003 Massachusetts Senior Amateur Champion
  • Patrick Frodigh – 2012 Massachusetts Junior Amateur Champion; 2012 Christopher Cutler Rich MGA Junior Player of the Year
  • Brian Higgins – 2008 & 2009 Massachusetts Mid-Amateur Champion; 2008 & 2010 Richard D. Haskell MGA Player of the Year
  • Jim Ruschioni – 1985, 1991 and 1997 Massachusetts Mid-Amateur Champion; 2006 & 2011 Massachusetts Senior Amateur Champion;  2003-06 George M. Cohen MGA Senior Player of the Year.
  • Aaron Siekierski – 2003 Massachusetts Junior Amateur Champion
  • Frank Vana, Jr. – 2004 & 2005 Massachusetts Amateur Champion; 1999-2003 & 2005-06 & 2012 Massachusetts Mid-Amateur Champion; 1994-95 & 2001-07 Richard D. Haskell MGA Player of the Year

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