Fraser Wins Berkshire Classic Title
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- After a regular season in which he never finished out of the medalist position, Lee High golfer Thomas Fraser said he did feel like he had a little bit of a target on his back at Saturday’s Berkshire County High School Golf Classic.
But it was all in good fun.
“Yeah, a couple of the guys were heckling me and saying, ‘We’re coming for you, Thomas,’ “ Fraser said as he waited for the final group to finish at the Country Club of Pittsfield.
But just as he has for the last two months, Fraser stayed ahead of the pack.
The Lee High senior birdied his final hole of the day, the 512-yard, par-5 eighth hole, to finish at 76 -- six strokes ahead of the field.
Fraser said he was not putting any pressure on himself teeing off in a group that included his two top rivals for the title: Hoosac Valley’s Derek Alibozek and Mount Greylock’s Ben Gilooly.
“The day was great,” Fraser said. “I just tried to have a lot of fun.The last Berkshire Classic I’m going to play in, so I just tried to have fun and soak it all in.
“I tried to play consistent, make pars and hopefully those birdies would come. It went well.”
Gilooly was the runner-up, carding an 82 that featured a pair of birdies. Alibozek birdied the par-5 14th hole en route to a third-place 84. His Hoosac Valley teammate, Henry Sniezek, finished fourth at 88.
Three players from Berkshire County North Division Champion Hoosac Valley finished in the top seven of the 16-player field.
Both the field and location looked a little different at this year’s Classic. Storm damage at traditional home Stockbridge Country Club forced the event to be rescheduled from its usual Columbus Day Weekend date to the Saturday between the regular season and sectional championships.
The Saturday date cause some individuals to bow out of the event, making for a smaller group of competitors.
One thing that has stayed constant the last four years: the stellar play from Gilooly, who on Saturday took home the runner-up trophy for the fourth time in his standout career.
While he was disappointed to miss on his final chance to win it all, Gilooly was able to keep some perspective on what he has accomplished at the event.
“It’s definitely something that I’ll look back on and be proud of for my consistency,” Gilooly said. “I just look at it like Phil [Mickelson] does with the U.S. Open. He’s had so many close calls to complete the Grand Slam, and he hasn’t done it yet.
“I know it’s my last year here, but I’m not upset with the outcome. In the end, Thomas deserved it. He outplayed me today and kudos to him.”
Gilooly, Alibozek and their teammates from Mount Greylock and Hoosac Valley head to Ludlow Country Club on Monday to compete in the Western Massachusetts Division 2 Championships.
Lee’s Fraser leads his team to Tuesday’s D3 sectional at Waubeeka Golf Links, where they will be joined by teams from Lenox and McCann Tech.
“I’m really excited for Waubeeka, just because we know the course a lot,” Fraser said. “Great course, and I think it suits my playing style a little bit. I’m really excited for the team to go.”
Last year, Fraser won the Western Mass title with a 77 as Lee and Lenox finished third and fourth, respectively.
Thomas Fraser, Lee
Ben Gilooly, Mount Greylock
Derek Alibozek, Hoosac Valley
Henry Sniezek, Hoosac Valley
Connor Champoux, Taconic; Max Digrigoli, Lenox
Liam Fitzgibbons, Pittsfield; Cliff Flynn, Lenox, Hayden Grimes, Hoosac Valley
Cooper Rothvuss, Mount Everett
Ricky Armstrong, Lenox
Caden Frazier, Wahconah
Nate Murphy, Taconic, Owen Petropolus, Mount Greylock
Dan Wilson, Wahconah
Colby Stevens, Mount Everett
Berkshire Classic Champions
2009 - Chad Alibozek, Hoosac Valley
2010 - Jonathan Jewell, Wahconah
2011 - Chad Alibozek, Hoosac Valley
2012 - Chad Alibozek, Hoosac Valley
2013 - Devin Farnum, Mount Everett
2014 - Francois Benistand, Lenox
2015 - Nick Bator, Drury
2016 - Kevin Quinto, Pittsfield
2017 - Michael Kays, Taconic
2018 - Thomas Fraser, Lee