Headline: Marc Forbes and Bill Vine Capture 2016 Massachusetts Senior Four-Ball Championship at Cranberry Valley GC and The Captains GC
For Immediate Release: May 24, 2016
Marc Forbes and Bill Vine captured the 2016 Massachusetts Senior Four-Ball Championship.
Harwich, MA — Marc Forbes (Norton CC) and Bill Vine (Foxborough CC) tapped in their par putts on the 9th green at Cranberry Valley Golf Course on Tuesday afternoon and enjoyed a handshake that they will remember forever.
After all, the friends of more than four decades had just won their first major MGA Championship.
They were 2016 Massachusetts Senior Four-Ball Champions after posting a winning score of 11-under par 133.
Day 2 MGA Senior Four-Ball Quick Links
Forty years of emotions were brimming over as they savored the moment in Harwich.
“Exhilaration,” said Forbes. “It is exhilarating.”
“It is a great feeling,” said Vine. “We wanted to win this very badly.”
They began playing golf together nearly 40 years ago at Heather Hill Country Club. They first played this event together in 2014. One year ago, they finished in second place.
“We are on cloud nine,” said Forbes. “We were fortunate to finish second last year. With such a strong field, we told each other that we would love to move up just one spot and that has been our motto all year.”
They accomplished their simple goal on Tuesday under chilly and cool temperatures.
They entered the second round with a two-stroke lead (they posted a tournament low score of 9-under par 63 on Monday at The Captains Golf Course), but they saw their advantage slip away after playing their first nine holes at Cranberry Valley GC at 1-over par 37.
“We had a talking to on the first tee about what we had to do,” said Forbes. “We figured that we had lost the lead at that point. We didn’t know if we had for sure, but we were going to play like we did. We decided that we had to go out and play 3 under on the final side to give ourselves a chance.”
With Keith Smith (Franklin CC) and Dave Turgeon (Norton CC) waiting in the clubhouse with a score of 10-under par 134, Vine and Forbes delivered on their promise to each other at the turn.
Vine struck first by finding the green on Cranberry’s 490-yard, par 5 2nd hole with his 3 wood approach. He rolled his 30-foot eagle attempt to feet for birdie. Three holes later, he registered his third birdie of the day - on the 401-yard, par 4 5th hole.
“It was an uphill hole and I hit 8 iron and I knew I hit it good,” said Vine. “I just wanted it to get pretty close and when I got there it was there about five or six feet.”
Forbes closed out the day for his team on the 502-yard, par 5 8th hole when he was able to get up and down for birdie.
“We were really pumped up at that point,” said Forbes, who one day earlier sank a 40-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to close out their 9-under par score at The Captains GC. “We had heard that there were 9 unders already in and we were at 10 at that point. We thought that if we were able to birdie 17 at that point it would give us some leeway on [our 18th hole].”
Both players found the green in two shots on their final hole of the championship, and it was then only a matter of time before the longtime friends could enjoy a handshake for the first time as MGA champions.
“It cements us playing together,” said Forbes. “We have complimentary personalities. We are both very positive guys. It’s never “Why did you hit that shot?”. It has always been “Don’t worry. You’ll make four.” We constantly believe that the other guy is going to make the next shot that they need to make so that we can be free and not worry about it.”
And on Tuesday afternoon there was no hint of worry… just exhileration.
While there were many headlines from this week’s tournament, it’s hard to forget the memorable story of one competitor.
In 2005, Steve Terpak (Berkshire Hills CC) was involved in a horrific motorcycle accident that left him comatose at times, bed-ridden for two years and eventually with an amputated left leg from the knee down.
Despite the adversity, Terpak has continued to battle on and play golf… great golf, in fact.
In 2014, Richard Lord of the Berkshire Eagle recounted Terpak’s remarkable story as he prepared to represent the United States at the World Disabled Championship.
CLICK HERE to read that story.
At the age of 56, Terpak is making his MGA Senior Four-Ball Championship debut. He and his partner – Richard Tortolini (Cyprian Keyes GC) – finished with a score of 2-over par 146.
In addition to playing great golf himself – he holds a 4.1 handicap index – Terpak just finished his third season as the men's golf coach for Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
And despite being more than 200 miles from his home this week, Terpak was greeted by many friendly faces here in Harwich including that of Nate Gutmann.
In addition to serving as one of two USGA P.J. Boatwright Jr. Interns for the MGA this season, Gutmann is also part of Terpak’s golf squad at MCLA.
File that under small (and inspiring) world.
Competitors were happy to step up to the tee on the 13th hole at Cranberry Valley GC. After all, the odds of making a shot to remember were clearly better than average.
Over two days of golf, two holes in one were made on that one hole which was playing to 168 yards on Tuesday.
First it was Jim Mahoney (Worcester CC) who made an ace on the par 3 13th at Cranberry Valley GC on Monday. Mahoney used a 6 iron for his ace and played alongside partner Mike Armstrong (Bear Hill GC).
The very next day, Don Anderson (Kittansett Club) stepped up and hit a "perfect" shot right at the flagstick.
“It was perfectly straight and was right at the pin,” said Anderson, the 2004 Massachusetts Senior Amateur Champion. “When we got to the green there was nothing behind or long and there it was in the hole. It was cool.”
Despite being an avid and competitive golfer for years, this marks just the third hole in one for Anderson and the first since high school.
“It was a pretty good seven iron,” said Anderson. “It was perfect, and one of those shots that was just as straight as can be which is a rare ball flight.”
He also noted that it was the first ever ace made in competition although he has carded two double eagles along the way.
“We really needed that today because we started off the round with a bogey,” said Anderson, who was playing this week alongside Claude Hoopes (Kittansett Club). “We were behind the eight ball and that got us going again.”
It has been a busy month of four-ball play both locally and nationally.
Earlier this month, the team of Herbie Aikens (Pinehills GC) and Matt Parziale (Thorny Lea GC) claimed their first career MGA Four-Ball Championship at the host sites of Framingham CC and Hopkinton CC.
CLICK HERE for highlights.
This past weekend, AIkens and Parziale were part of a group of 14 Bay Staters – male and female – who competed at the U.S. Women's Four-Ball Championship and U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship, respectively.
On the women’s side, Sue Curtin (Westwood, MA) ad Pamela Khang (Wellesley, MA) were featured on the USGA web site as one of “Five Groupings to Watch” at Championship Proper which was held at Streamsong Resort in Streamsong, Florida.
Julia Ford (Shrewsbury, MA), a senior at Shrewsbury High School who will attend the University of Virginia next year on a golf scholarship, also competed in the event alongside Mariana Ocano (St. Petersburg, FL).
Competing at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York was a band of 11 Bay State competitors who advanced through sectional qualifying last fall.
Included in that list were the teams of Aikens and Parziale; Ryan Riley (North Easton, MA) and Adam Rubin (Waltham, MA); Benjamin Spitz (West Roxbury, MA) and David Spitz (Weymouth, MA); Sean Fitzpatrick (East Walpole, MA) and Michael Willock (Cohasset, MA); and Bobby Loguidice (Springfield, MA) and David Smith (E. Longmeadow, MA).
John Kelly (East Longmeadow, MA) – the 2014 Massachusetts Amateur Champion – was also in the field and competed with Billy McDonald (West Hartford, CT).
Although no Bay State teams advanced to match play, Kelly and McDonald did finish 36 holes at stroke play on the cut line, but failed to advance to match play in the playoff held on Monday morning.