Kaley, Wahconah Hand Mount Greylock Its First Loss
DALTON, Mass. – The Wahconah golf team has been nearly unbeatable this fall.
On Wednesday, it avenged its only loss.
Tim Kaley carded a 1-over 36, and Pat McLaughlin finished at 39 to lead their team to a 159-170 win over Mount Greylock at Wahconah Country Club.
The decisive victory came three weeks after the Mounties edged Wahconah in a match that came down to a tie-breaker at Waubeeka Golf Links.
That day in Williamstown, Kaley was 4-over. The reigning Berkshire Classic winner and Division 2 State Qualifier said his game is rounding into form as the regular season winds down.
“It’s just good to get a good score in,” Kaley said. “I’ve been kind of struggling all year, especially my putting, and I made some good putts that I haven’t been making at all this season. Definitely, ball striking is a lot better, and putting is a lot better, too.”
Kaley knocked in a 25-foot putt on the par-3 sixth hole for his only birdie of the day.
“I had that same exact putt yesterday against Hoosac,” he said. “I was in my ball mark from yesterday. I was, like, alright, I know what this putt is doing. I just got the right line, right speed, and it dropped in.”
McLaughlin, who birdied the par-4 fourth hole, and Kaley agreed that Wahconah had been looking forward to getting another shot at Mount Greylock.
“We kind of just didn’t have our best day,” McLaughlin said of the first meeting. “So, during practice, ever since that day, we’ve been grinding hard, and we’ve been playing well in matches. So we kind of came out here and knew if we could do our thing, we should be able to win this match.
“We definitely wanted to get this one back. I mean, it stung a little bit. We didn’t lose one last year, and then we lose early in the season. So, yeah, we definitely wanted to get this one back.”
Sam McLaughlin, who also birdied the fourth hole, and Vincent Scalise rounded out the scoring for Wahconah with 42s on a day when, per usual, all six Wahconah players finished in the 40s or better.
What was a little atypical was the name at the top of the leaderboard. Pat McLaughlin had garnered eight medals in the first nine matches for Wahconah (9-1).
The 39 was nothing to sneeze at, particularly playing from the rearmost tees on Wahconah’s front nine. But he had to play through some frustration to get there.
“It’s tough knowing that you have a couple bad swings and make a couple of bogeys or doubles or something,” McLaughlin said. “But you‘ve just got to grind it out because you know you’re playing for your teammates as well. You can’t be selfish and just get down and have more bad shots.”
The Mounties posted five of six scores in the 40s and four at 44 or better, led by Ben Dingman’s 40. Thomas Art started his day with a birdie on the first hole and finished at 42. Owen Petropulos and Jacob Hillman rounded out the scoring with 44s.
Mount Greylock coach Erik Tiele was disappointed seeing his team take its first loss but not disappointed in the level of play he saw from the team as a whole.
“I mean, 159 is fantastic golf,” Tiele said, referring to Wahconah’s team score. “I’ve always said to my guys: You go to an away course, 170 is a target score. You do that, you’re going to win 90 percent of your matches. And, today, we were in the other 10 percent. Again, 159 is a fantastic score. I can’t take anything away from that.
“We’ve been playing well this year. A couple of the scores were a little bit higher than normal today, but that’s golf at a different place.”
Mount Greylock (8-1) will look to get back on the right side of the scoreboard on Friday when it goes to Berkshire Hills to face Taconic. Wahconah also is on the road Friday, heading to Wyanetnuck to face Mount Everett.
The two teams will not see one another again in a dual match this fall. But they will face off, in a way, one more time.
“We’re going to see them probably at Western Mass,” Tiele said. “So we can call that the tie-breaker.”
The Division 2 Western Massachusetts Championship is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 23, at Crestview Country Club in Agawam.
Wahconah (159): Pat McLaughlin 39; Brady Breitmaier 45; Tim Kaley 36; Sam McLaughlin 42; Vincent Scalise 42; Carter Drake 47.
Mount Greylock (170): Owen Petropulos 44; Thomas Art 42; Ben Dingman 40; Jacob Hillman 44; Will Svrluga 52; Max Easton 49.