STOCKBRIDGE -- A birdie on the par-5 15th saved the day for Hoosac Valley’s Chad Alibozek at the Stockbridge Golf Club.
As Alibozek double bogeyed the 12th, 13th and 14th holes, his lead was quickly evaporating. The senior was losing control for the first time all season and desperately needed to find a way to get it back.
"The par 5 was big to have after those three doubles," Alibozek said. "I just smashed. I drove it down the left hand side and only had to use a pitching wedge to get it in there for the par 5. I threw it in about 12 feet [from the hole], and then I two-putted for birdie. I really wanted the eagle."
He shot a 1-over-par 37 on the front nine and then a 41 on the back nine. The total score of 78 was enough to win the Berkshire County Classic. He was the only one to break 80 on the day, winning by three strokes over Lee’s Devyn Olds on the par-71 course.
"I played 15 great holes, and three just terrible -- worst that I’ve ever shot," Alibozek said. "Overall, I think I played pretty solid. My short game was really good."
It was the third Berkshire County Classic title of his high school career. He won it as a freshman at Stockbridge and won at Berkshire Hills Country Club in Pittsfield last season. As a sophomore, he finished in second place at Stockbridge.
After regaining his focus on Sunday, Alibozek was able to cruise to the finish. His only mistake the rest of the day
"I kind of lost my head today, which I haven’t been doing this year," he said. "This course will beat the hell out of you if you’re not playing well and not focused."
Drury’s Matt Lawrence finished sixth in the tournament with an 83. He shot a 41 on the front nine and a 42 on the back nine. Nick Bator finished in 12th place, shooting a 44 and a 43 for a total of 87.
"I started with a triple [bogey] and ended with a double [bogey]," Lawrence said. "In between I played fine. I’d get a par and then I would bogey. I was just kind of flat, but I didn’t shoot terribly bad."
Teammate Alex Boulger had a little bit tougher of a day, finishing 23rd overall. He started out strong on the first six holes, before he ran into trouble. He shot a 10 on the par-5.
"Mentally I was just gone after that," Boulger said. "Usually, I can bounce back, and that’s one thing I need to emphasize for [Western Mass.]."
Drury and Alibozek -- the only Hoosac representative-- will be back at Stockbridge on Oct. 22 for the Western Massachusetts Division II tournament.
Matt Wiseman was the top finisher for Mount Greylock. He finished 21st overall by shooting a 94. He started the day off on the 13th hole, as did Mike Strizzi who shot a 96. Aaron St. Martin rounded out the Greylock finishers, shooting a 102 for 24th place.
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