It's always tough to defend a championship and Nicki Demakis and Carla Fitzgerald know they're going to have their hands full this week at the 39th Country Club of New Bedford Women's Invitational Fourball, which tees off Monday morning.
Demakis and Fitzgerald, who play out of Steele Canyon Golf Club outside of San Diego, are the only guest-guest pairing in the 30-team field and they return after notching a 4-and-2 win over Sue Sylvia and Reservation Golf Club's Chris Torpey in last year's championship match.
This will be the fourth time Demakis and Fitzgerald are playing together in the event and they will join Deb Hynes and Steele Canyon's Deb Finlon as the team's who will have first-round byes because a full 32-team field fell short.
"We're looking forward to playing well and having a fun week," said Demakis, whose late father, Mike Demakis teamed up with John Wordell to win the 1972 CCNB Men's Invitational Fourball. "It's another tough field and whoever wins is going to have to earn it. We'd love to repeat, but you never know what's going to happen. You have to play well with your partner and you also need to catch some breaks. No matter what happens, it's going to be an interesting week. We've been looking forward to it for a long time."
There are a number of former champions in the field and Inez Mello, who founded the tournament in 1979 with help from the late Dot Koczera, will turn 91 in September.
JoAnn Squillante and Reservation Golf Club's Denise Belanger, who won the 2015 title, are back and so are 2013 and 2014 champs Kim Walecka and Rosemary Zehntner, who plays out of Wannamoisett Country Club in Rumford, Rhode Island. Squillante also finished first in 2008 with Courtney Teser.
Sylvia, who teamed up with Allendale Country Club's Jan Santos to win the 2010 title, is back with Torpey, and 2009 champions Sheila Tierney-Curry and Rosemary LeBlanc are playing with different partners. Tierney-Curry will team up with Hingham Country Club's Cathy Flatley and LeBlanc, who plays out of The Villages in Villages, Florida, is paired with Karen Halloran. Tierney-Curry also won in 2000 with Chris Loud.
Sue Stykowski, who won the championship in 2007 with Montaup Country Club's Elaine Ferreira, is playing with Reservation's Linda Lemieux, and forner champs Sandy Tillett (Reservation) and Donna Doyle (Halifax Plantation Golf Club in Ormond Beach, Florida), who won in 1998 and 2003, are in the tournament with different partners. Tillett is playing with Barbara Grunkemeyer and Doyle is paired with Pat Blanchard.
Hynes won the 2004 championship with Sarah Valentini and Fran Fernandes (PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida), who finished first with Luanne Gonsalves in 1996, is back this week and will team up with Lorraine Duval.
"Last year was the icing on the cake for me, because my goal was to win the tournament at least once," Demakis said. "It's such a great event. The course is always in great shape and it's such a challenging layout. Everybody is excited to get started and see how things play out."
Marilyn Rigby and Carol DeCambra combined to take first place in an AWGA Invitational played at Allendale Country Club in North Dartmouth. Charlene Hochman and Linda Lemieux finished second and the top three was rounded out by a tie between the teams of Randi Arruda and Temple Mitchell, and Val Tower and Sue Sylvia.
Jean Bonneau, Deb Disanti, Angie Gastall and Sue Stykowski teamed up to tale low-net honors in an AWGA Member-Guest Tournament. The low-gross score was carded by Joanne Marshall, Jean St. Gelais, Rigby and DeCambra.
In Ryder Cup action, Greg Sylvia, Gabe Tavares, Gerry Lemieux, John Fryzel, Bob Medeiros, Warren Preti, Chris Strasser, Steve Labonte, Deb Saba and Michelle Chambers finished as the winning team.
The club had two PGA Junior teams do well in the Bristol County League, which included teams from The Acoaxet Club in Westport, The Back Nine Club in Lakeville and LeBaron Hills Country Club in Lakeville.
The A Team finished first and the B Team took second place.
A Team members were Jeremiah Matos, Jacob Grieve, Bianca Ligotti, Matthew Oliveira, Chace Powers, Ryan Farrell, Luke Vigeant, Matthew Vigeant, Calvin Downing, Kyle Farias and Judith Bonneau.
B Team members were Brayden Webster, Caitlin Anderson, Noelle Woods, Kolbey DesRoches, Roger Jackman, Jacob Benoit, Owen Webster, Craig Baptista, Thomas Moreira, Michael Shih and Julianna DeBortoli.
Michael Phaneuf finished with a 147 total to take men's club champion honors at Reservation Golf Club in Mattapoisett. Stephen O'Brien finished second (153) and the top three was rounded out by Dennis Mello (160). Charles Rider (164) took first place in the B Division, finishing ahead of Dave Perry (169). Dick Banat (169) won the C Division by one shot over Timothy Paul (170), and Bob Wunschel (181) notched a six-shot win over James Kalife (187) in the D Division. Nicki Demakis (172) won the women's club championship by four shots over Carla Fitzgerald (176). Demakis and Fitzgerald are the defending champions in the Country Club of New Bedford Women's Invitation Fourball, which gets underway with first-round action this morning.
Little Harbor News
Helen Simmons, Marilyn Burton, Vern Ewer and Jeannine Wales teamed up to shoot a 42 and win a Best Ball Tournament played Aug. 2 at Little Harbor Country Club in Wareham. The team of Dyan Kieltyka, Claire Schell, Wendy Longo and Marion Murphy finished second with a 43 after matching cards. Closest-to-the-pin honors were earned by Kathy Macedo (first hole), Gail Gulino (second), Linda Mowles (11th) and Vern Ewer (14th).
Nicholas Bear and Christopher Oien, who both play out of Poquoy Brook Golf Club in Lakeviile, competed at the 36th Massachusetts Golf Association Amateur Public Links Championship played Aug. 8-9 at Pinehills Golf Club in Plymouth. Playing on the par-72 Nicklaus Course, Bear (77-77-154) tied for 41st place at 10-over-par. Oien (74-83-157) finished in a tie for 53rd at 13 over. Ben Spitz (George Wright Golf Course) won a playoff over Cody Booska (Country Club of Greenfield) after both finished regulation tied at 5-under 139. Spitz put together rounds of 72 and 67, while Booska opened with a 74 and finished with a 65. ... Five players turned in solid rounds at a New England Junior PGA Tour event played Aug. 8 at the par-54 Back Nine Club in Lakeville. Mattapoisett's Brady Weglowski (33-31-64) finished first in the Boys 12-13 Division. South Dartmouth's Julia Lamarre (37-37-74) finished third in the Girls 14-18 Division. In the Boys 14-15 Division, Lakeville's Bradley Gillen 31-30-60) finished fifth and was followed by Mattapoisett's Alexander Wright (31-36-67) in ninth and Westport's Lucas Oliveira (32-40-72) in 11th. ... North Dartmouth's Justin DeBortoli (38-40-78) tied for sixth place in the Boys 16-18 Division at a New England PGA Junior Tour event played Aug. 3 at the par-71 Easton Country Club. New Bedford's Adrian Paul (49-40-89) finished 10th in the Boys 14-15 Division. ... Wright (48-48-96) finished eighth in the Boys 14-15 Division at a New England PGA Tour event played July 31 at the par-70 Wianno Club in Osterville. ... John Paesani (The Bay Club at Mattapoisett) carded rounds of 74 and 70 for a two-round total of 4-over-par 144 to finish in a tie for 12th place at the New England Senior PGA Championship played July 31-Aug. 1 at the par-70 Okemo Valley Golf Club in Ludlow. Tom Rooney (LeBaron Hills) tied for 52nd with a two-round total of 159 after opening with a 74 and finishing with an 85.
The 13th Annual Holy Family/Holy Name Golf Tournament, in honor of Monsignor Thomas J. Harrington, will be played Sunday, Aug. 20, at Allendale Country Club in North Dartmouth. The fee is $110 per golfer. Registration will be held at 11:30 a.m. and the tournament will get underway with a 1 p.m. shotgun start. For more information, contact Tricia Grime at email@example.com. Volunteers interested in working at the tournament can call (508) 993-3547.
Ed Collins can be reached at (508) 979-4469 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @EdCollinsSCT