GLOUCESTER, Mass. – A little local knowledge is always helpful on the golf course, and that advantage was even more pronounced on the tricky, 6,000-yard par-69 layout at Bass Rocks Golf Club at the New England PGA Pro-Senior Invitational on Wednesday. Jake Kramer (Bass Rocks) and his amateur partners posted a bogey-free 62 on their home course, winning the tournament by three shots at 7-under par in the one best-ball of four format.
The group opened with birdies on the first two holes and went back-to-back again with birdies on the 8th and 9th to make the turn at 4-under par. Three more birdies on the 12th, 15th and 16th holes got the group to 7-under for the day.
“The local knowledge is huge. On top of that, you look at the length and think it’s a short course, but there’s a lot of fescue, there’s always wind, and the greens are always perfect and fast,” Kramer said. “It seemed like if someone was out of the hole, there was always someone with a putt for par. There were a lot of clutch putts that were made and when we needed to make a putt or when we needed to make a shot, at least one of us was there.”
The Cyprian Keyes squad, led by Rick Durocher, PGA, held the clubhouse lead for much of the afternoon at 4-under par 65, and finished second. The group made consecutive birdies on holes 3, 4 and 5 and got as many as 5-under par after birdies on 10 and 12 before finishing 4-under after the team’s lone bogey of the day on the 15th hole.
The Lake Winnepesaukee team, led by Jason Sedan, PGA, recorded six birdies en route to a 3-under par 66, good for a third-place finish.
Rick Karbowski, PGA (Auburn Driving Range) was the low individual professional, shooting 1-under par 68 with two birdies and a bogey. Durocher finished second in the professional division at 2-over par, followed by Sedan, Dan Gillis, PGA (Nabnassett Lake), Todd Scarafoni, PGA (Bass Rocks) and Chris Carter, PGA (Hillview CC) who tied for third at 4-over. Gillis, who grew up on the course, took advantage of his experience on the course to shoot 73.
“I’ve learned how to play here,” he said. “You have to hit it straight, you have to know where it’s going. You have to be able to chip and putt. A lot of the game right now is hit it as far as you can and go find it and hit it from there. But here, you really have to know where it’s going, so it’s a little different.”
Thank you to Bass Rocks Golf Club and PGA Professionals Peter Hood, Todd Scarafoni and Jack Sullivan for hosting the tournament.