DARTMOUTH — Dennis Collins and Ben Vandal used a talked about strategy in the championship match of the 88th Annual Country Club of New Bedford Men's Fourball on Sunday — stay patient and make as many pars as possible.

They were able to do that in a 4-and-3 victory and it was a good thing, because the father-son team of Dr. Jeff Silva (CCNB) and Kevin Silva (Back Nine Club) combined to birdie five holes on the front nine. Despite that, Collins and Vandal rallied to win the eighth and ninth holes to even the match at the turn.

A former PGA mini-tour member for seven years who's played in two U.S. Opens, Kevin Silva was the low-handicapper in the tournament. At plus two, he had to give all of his opponents their regular number of handicap strokes and two more. In Sunday's 18-hole final, Collins (CCNB) received 11 handicap strokes and Vandal (Reservation Golf Club) got eight. That's why it was important for both to stay out of trouble off the tee and focus on making putts for pars.

"At one point, we thought they were going to birdie every hole on the course," Vandal said. "We just hung in there and stayed calm. We were also lucky to roll some putts in."

Starting at the eighth hole, Collins and Vandal reeled off four straight par wins to build a 2-up advantage. The key hole in that stretch proved to be the par-4 10th, where Collins rolled in an eight-footer and took advantage of a handicap stroke to make a 4-net-3 birdie.

Vandal then birdied the par-4 13th to give his team a 3-up lead and the teams halved the par-4 14th before Vandal capped a great week with a match-ending par-3 at the uphill 15th hole.

"(The Silvas) played a great match. They put a lot of pressure on us with all those birdies," Collins said. "Kevin had to make birdies to beat us and he was solid on the front. They're a great team and we knew we were going to have to play our best to win. Both teams played well as a team."

After getting a close-up look at Kevin Silva and seeing firsthand how he plays the game, Vandal came away impressed.

"You can tell just by the way he carries himself that he's a good player," said Vandal, who's looking forward to becoming a father when his wife delivers the couple's first child in January. "He knows what it's like to play against the big boys and he's the most-decorated player I've ever played against. He's got a tremendous swing, he hits it straight and long off the tee and he has a great putting stroke. Plus, he and his father are great guys. It was a pleasure playing with them."

For Jeff Silva, who was gunning for his third championship in his third final (he won in 2006 with his brother Mike Silva and in 2015 with Steve Bastoni), the week was one he'll remember for a ling time.

"It was great to see Kevin having fun playing golf," he said. "It was a job when he was trying to earn his PGA card and every week was a grind. He gave it a good shot, but he decided to walk away and regain his amateur status. That was one of the best things he ever did and it was great to get a chance to play with him as my partner this week."

LITTLE HARBOR NEWS

Michelle Smith finished as the ladies club champion in the gross division and Danielle Holmes was the runner-up. Gail Sim was the low-net winner and Mary Ellen Ryder finished second after winning a tiebreaker.

Betty Ferazzi, Shirley Collins, Vern Ewer and Janet Perkins teamed up to shoot a 37 and take first place in a Best Ball tournament played at the club on Wednesday.

Linda Mowles, Nancy Chase, Addie Burchstead and Audrey Demers finished second a shot back with a 38.

Closest-to-the-pin honors went to Collins (first hole), Saundra Skiesgelas (11th) and T. Lapierre (15th).