Metacomet’s Valois joins elite company with fourth State Amateur golf title

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EAST PROVIDENCE — Brad Valois, playing out of Metacomet Country Club in city, posted an impressive run of results recently, winning his fourth Rhode Island State Amateur Championship then finishing second in the New England Amateur.

Valois’ run started in early July as he defeated another noted player with local ties, Wannamoisett’s Charlie Blanchard, 4-and-3 in the 36-hole match play finale of the 108th State Am played at North Kingstown’s Quidnessett Country Club. The game was a rematch of the 2007 championship contest when Valois defeated Blanchard, 5-and-3, for the title at Warwick C.C.

This time around Valois was pretty much in command throughout, building as large as a six-hole lead before Blanchard, a former two-time State Am, won three holes in a row midway into the final 18 holes to make things a bit interesting. Valois, however, eventually clinched the championship with a par of the 33rd hole.

The 2013 title is added to Valois’ other State Am wins in 2006, 2007 and 2011. It also puts him into very select company as a four-time winner, joining only four others and becoming the first to accomplish the feat since Cameron Quinn did so by winning his fourth State Am in 1967.

Quinn went on to become a five-time champ with his victory in 1971, a distinction he shares with two others — Robert Allen and Daniel Fairchild. RIGA legend John P. Burke is the other four-time winner.

Valois actually has a very good chance of chasing down the all-time record of six State Am titles which, coincidentally, is held by another Metacomet-linked player, Fairchild, who won a half-dozen championships between 1907 and 1921.

Stroke Play

Newport Country Club’s Johnny Hayes IV shot a final round 5-under at nearby Crestwood to finish with a three round total of 11-under and win the 30th playing of the RIGA Stroke Play earlier this week, July 29 and 30.

Hayes’ total was one better than Ledgemont’s Bobby Leopold, who finished solo second. Jamison Randall and Dave McNally finished T-3 at 5-under. Valois, Paul Quigley and Brendan Lamp shared fifth at 4-under.

Blanchard and Wannamoisett cohort Mckinley Slade finished T8 at 1-under. Metacomet’s Jeff Ray was one of four players to share 10th at even par.

New England Am

Played at Green Mountain C.C. in Killington, Vt. later in July, Valois finished with a three-round total of 4-under, 208 to come up a stroke shy of Evan Russell, who won the New England Am in his home state at 5-under.

U.S. Am qualifying

At Metacomet, Branden Chicorka shot rounds of 65 and 69 (6-under) to earn medallist honors at sectional qualifying for the 113th U.S. Amateur Championship. He along with Rhode Islander James Randall and Ryan Riley earned their way to the next qualifying stage at the Country Club in Brookline, Mass. Valois finished fifth to to earn the second alternate spot.

Four-Ball results

The Pawtucket Country Club tandem of Kyle Hoffman and Ryan Pelletier shot a two-round total of 7-under par, 135 to capture the 64th Four-Ball Championship played Pt. Judith C.C. in late May.

That total was three strokes better than the second-place score posted by Meadow Brook’s John Kelly Jr. and Bill McDonald.

Wannamoisett’s Ben Tuthill paired with Leopold to pace the local contingent with a fourth-place finish at 140. The Metacomet team of Darren Corrente and Eugene DiSarro finished in a tie for fifth at 142.

Senior Four-Ball

Barrington’s Tom Acciardo, playing out of Agawam Hunt in city, and Dr. George Pirie paired to win their second Ed Perry Senior Four-Ball Championship last week at Metacomet in city.

Acciardo and Pirie finished their two rounds with a 5-under par combined score of 135, including a birdie on the 16th hole in the second round to take the lead for keeps.

The RIGA’s all-time winningest player, Barrington’s Paul Quigley, and his partner, past State Amateur champ Mike Soucy, finished one stroke behind in second.

Burke results

Leopold defended his Gross Division title in the RIGA Major Tournament season-opening John P. Burke Memorial played at Carnegie Abbey and Wanumentonomy in early May.

Leopold erased a three-stroke deficit on the back nine of the second round to finish with a 1-over total of 142 before defeated Pawtucket’s Austin Eaton on the first hole of a playoff.

Wannamoisett’s Blanchard finished solo third at 5-over. John Costa III, playing out of Crestwood, and Valois shared fourth at 6-over.

Dr. Pirie, tied for 11th overall at 11-over, defeated Rhode Island’s David Patrick (T16) by two strokes to win the Senior Division championship.

State Am qualifying

The field is set for the 108th Amateur after qualifying rounds were played at three sites around the state.

At Fenner Hill, Wannamoisett’s Brenden Smith shot a medallist score of 3-under par 69 to pace the field. Tuthill and Wannamoisett club mate Dave Apuzzo also punched their tickets to the Amateur at Fenner as did Metacomet’s Michael Pirri. Foster’s Chris DeLucia shot 1-under 71 to take the top spot locally at Swansea C.C.

Wannamoisett’s Dylan Edwards, Ethan Zexter, Mike Pierard and Jeff Kern also earned their spots in the Am at Swansea as did Metacomet’s Patrick Welch, Andrew Fiorenzano, Jason Kalin and Vincent Battista.

City resident Jim Rose, playing out of Swansea, also qualified for the State Am, which takes place July 9 to 13 at Quidnessett.

At the Cranston C.C. qualifying, players with local ties including Dan Blessing, Marc Sorel, McKinley Slade, Norbert Oliveira, Robert Rainville, Ted Turnbull, Owen Lynch, Philip Krause and Jackson Walsh earned their way into the field.

High School notes

David Kraunelis was the individual medallist and he and his Barrington High mates added to their record haul of titles as the Eagles captured the 2013 Rhode Island Interscholastic League Championship Memorial Day week at Cranston C.C.

Kraunelis shot a two-round total of 147 to best Portsmouth’s Jake Bauer by two strokes to win the solo state crown. Barrington was also far and away the winner in the team championship race, posting a five-player combined score of 606 to defeat runner-up Hendricken by 23 strokes. The title was the 24th all-time for the Eagles, who hold the record for most state championships by a school.

In the girls’ state event held at its annual home of Pt. Judith, Prout’s Nicole Scola won her fourth consecutive title by carding an 83, four strokes better than Moses Brown’s Caroline Farber.

Bay View’s Gianna Quillen (92) finished in a tie for sixth. Rumford’s Lily Zexter, playing for Moses Brown, finished solo eighth (93) and Bay View’s Daria Delfino placed ninth (95) alone.

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