October 17, 2018 – Osterville, Mass. On a blustery day with white caps showing in the bay just south of the Oyster Harbors clubhouse, Team Connecticut rallied for a dramatic 1-point victory over Massachusetts in the 85th playing of the Tri-State Matches.
Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island were tied at 48 points apiece entering singles play on Wednesday. In the Ryder Cup style match play format, the 16 players from each state were competing for 1 point on the front nine, 1 point on the back, and 1 point for the overall 18 while playing two matches simultaneously against the other states.
Massachusetts jumped ahead early as Frank Vana, their top senior, and one of the best seniors in the country, was the first player to finish, putting the maximum possible 6 points on the board.
Over the course of the next two hours the remaining matches trickled in with varying results. Connecticut got a boost when Pat Griffin and James Sheltman added 5 points each, and Mike Kennedy, Connecticut’s top point earner on Wednesday posted 5.5.
It became a two-team race as Massachusetts began to inch away from Connecticut, and Rhode Island faded. Team Captain Roger Everin stopped pacing long enough to calculate that Connecticut was down by 4 points with just two matches remaining.
And then John Abbott, Connecticut’s 2018 Public Links Champion came in with 5 points to Tommy Parker’s 3.5 for Massachusetts. That left Glen Boggini as Connecticut’s last hope, and he needed to outscore Massachusetts’ Brian Bassett by 3 points if Connecticut was to win the Tri-States for the first time since 2003. A tall order, given that the host site, Oyster Harbors is Bassett’s home course.
When Boggini’s 4 and Bassett’s .5 were posted, Captain Everin and his team had their victory by a final score of:
Rhode Island 83
“We are all so happy for Roger,” said Connecticut Player of the Year, Ben Conroy. He is so passionate, such a great competitor, and he put so much into this. It is a lot of fun to win, but even more so to do it for a guy like Roger.”