Lenox Wins Western Mass Golf Crown

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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GREENFIELD, Mass. -- On a course bisected by a railroad line, the Lenox golf team stayed on track for a run at a state title.
Max Shepardson carded a 5-over-par 77 Tuesday to lead the Millionaires to a dominating team title at the Western Massachusetts Division 3 Championships at the Country Club of Greenfield.
Lenox finished 26 strokes ahead of runner-up Ware.
Ethan Beauchamin of Palmer, playing as an individual, earned medalist honors with a 72.
The Millionaires were the only team to have two players finish in the 70s as Devan Patel carded a 79. The first three scores in the 80s also belonged to Lenox: Max DiGrigoli and Ben Haddad each added to the team score with 81s. Clifford Flynn finished at 82, and Noah Kirby carded a 93.
It was a continuation of the depth that led Lenox to an undefeated season and an eye-popping performance at last week’s Berkshire Classic.
“I think it’s two things,” Shepardson said when asked to explain the top-to-bottom strength of Lenox’s lineup. “I think the coaching is definitely huge because our coaches really help us and keep us together as a team.
“And then, Max [DiGrigoli] and Ben [Haddad] are two really good captains. Having two captains you like and respect, that makes it a lot easier to play well with each other. When you have other people believing in you, it’s easier to believe in yourself.”
Lenox will be joined at next Tuesday’s State Championship by Mount Greylock, which placed third with a 358 behind Ware; the top three teams at the sectional qualified for the state tourney, to be played at Shining Rock Golf Course in Northbridge.
Ben Dingman and Owen Petropulos each carded an 86 to lead the Mounties on a day when the wind and the setup combined to produce some higher than usual scores for much of the field.
Mount Greylock coach Mitchell Spooner appreciated the way his team was able to keep grinding when the scores were less than favorable.
“At that point, you almost have to break it down to a one-hole battle,” Spooner said. “You’ve got to look at the green, play the hole backward, play within yourself, know what you can do. Overall, the condition was the same for everybody, too. To see someone shot a 72, that’s amazing. I thought 77 would be medalist today.”
Shepardson, who started his day on the 16th hole, finished strong down the stretch.
“I played the last six holes really well,” he said. “The par 5, the 12th hole, I went driver, 6 iron to the fringe, putted it to 6 feet and made a good putt. That gave me a lot of confidence. And then I birdied the next one.
“I hit a 6 iron off the tee and had a 105 yards in or something [on the par-4 13th], which is a really good distance for me. And then I hit a wedge up to like 6 feet and made the putt. That was a good hole.”
Shepardson said he started his round struggling on the greens but managed to turn that part of his game around down the stretch.
“I honestly don’t know,” Shepardson said with a laugh. “It might just have been a miracle. I was getting frustrated, and I said, ‘I don’t really know how to change this. I better just hope they start going in now.’ “
Team Scores (top four individuals count in team score)
1. Lenox 318 (Max Shepardson 77, Devan Patel 79, Max DiGrigoli 81, Ben Haddad 81, Clifford Flynn 82, Noah Kirby 93)
2. Ware 344
3. Mount Greylock 358 (Ben Dingman 86, Owen Petropulos 86, Thomas Art 89, Cameron Turner 93, Alexander Axt 93, Cayden Conry 97)
4. Monson 363
5. Montachusett Tech 364
6. Pioneer 368
7. Franklin Tech 369
8. Bay Path 370
9. Pathfinder 416
10. Westfield Tech 451
11. Mohawk 453
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