BEVERLY -- For the first time all season, Chad Alibozek struggled with his putting.
The Hoosac Valley senior shot a 77 on the par-70 course to tie for eighth place in the Division II State Tournament. Drury’s Alex Boulger shot an 89, and finished in the middle of the pack.
Both had rough starts to their rounds. Alibozek missed a two-foot putt on his first hole, the 15th. It set the tone for the rest of his day.
"My putting was just horrendous," he said by phone. "Right off the bat I missed a two-footer. I had several three-putts, I was missing short putts. I mean that’s just something I didn’t do all season. It’s very disappointing, I just unraveled."
He said he was driving and chipping better than he had all season long, but just couldn’t seem to find the same putting prowess he had throughout the year.
"During [the regular season] I didn’t even think twice about a six- to seven-foot putt," Alibozek said. "But, if you miss a short putt to start, it just stays in your head all day."
Boulger also had a tough start to the day. He started on the 10th hole and parred it. Things went down from their, however, as he shot a 50 on the back nine to start his tournament. He triple bogeyed the 11th hole, then double bogeyed the 12th before tripling the 13th.
"I started on the 10th and it was just so cold, it was 30 degrees at 9:30 [a.m.]," Boulger said. "Once the warm weather hit I got loose and started to shoot well."
He saved his game by shooting a 39 on the front nine, including a birdie on the eighth hole. The birdie came on a 571-yar par-5.
"The toughest hole on the course and I birded it," Boulger said. "I just hit four perfect shots."
Boulger did meet his expectations for the day, however.
"I wanted to stay in the 80’s," he said.
The Lenox High School golf team was the top Western Mass. finisher in state Division III Golf Tournament at the Red Tail Golf Club, shooting a 356 for the day. St. Mary’s of Westfield, the team that edged out the Millionaires for the Western Mass. crown, finished at 396, a whopping 40 strokes behind Lenox.
That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is that Lenox finished 13th out of 15 teams in the tournament. Westwood won the state title with a team score of 319, with Weston finishing second at 320.