Sunday Tournament Honors Brochu
by Patrick Hussey
GREENSBORO – The final chapter of a tribute season dedicated to longtime league member Richard Brochu was written this past Sunday at Mountain View Country Club (MVCC) as a very competitive season-ending tournament was followed by the unveiling of two new league trophies purchased in Brochu’s honor.
Brochu, who passed on June 1, was a popular league member for over 30 years and left behind countless league contributions, generous donations and an unforgettable personality. Many of Brochu’s family members were on hand Sunday at the close of play to help christen the new trophies and crown the 2022 champions.
Brochu, who was coined The Mayor because of his extensive knowledge of Hardwick and its citizens, was memorialized with a new league cup trophy as well as a perpetual plaque, listing all past Tuesday Night Champions dating back to 2001. The league began around 1985 by its founding foursome, Scott Calderwood, Robbie McKay, Tom Berd and Richie Ohlrogge.
Brochu’s wife Marsha did the honor of unveiling the new Italian silver cup trophy, called the Mayor’s Cup and dedicated to Brochu. The league on Sunday also instituted a new league tradition: the newly crowned champions have to drink a freshly opened 12 oz. Budweiser from the cup at the tourney’s conclusion.
Marsha Brochu poured the cold libation into the silver cup, then passed it to the new league champions to drink. Receiving the cup, after a tight battle, were the 2022 Tuesday Night League Champions, the fivesome of Mike Clark, Pat Hussey, George Gattone, Rowdy Doyon and Jeremy Kaufmann.
Brochu’s brothers Charlie, Larry, Bernie and his wife Nancy, along with Brochu’s daughter Bridget, presented the new plaque, which lists past league champions dating back to 2001. Brochu is on the plaque as a past champion in 2008, 2010 and 2017.
Sunday’s tournament at MVCC began at 10:30 a.m. under sunny skies and cool temperatures as 39 golfers showed up for the 18-hole scramble. Cool weather with a few mists of rain moved in during the afternoon rounds.
A draft was held to create equal teams and out of that came four fivesomes and five foursomes. Last year’s champions, Aaron Molleur, Karl Ferland, Dan Mencucci and Ian Drown, played together in hopes of defending their 2021 title.
After the opening nine holes Sunday, three teams were tied for first place with rounds of four-under par 31. Included in that group were the eventual champions. They were only two-under coming into the ninth hole, but Rowdy Doyon ignited a team rally with his high arching, 89-yard approach shot that hit five feet in front of the pin, took two hops and dropped into the hole for an eagle two. Doyon won Shot of the Day with that eagle chip-in.
After the turn, the now inspired champions got another birdie on the tough fourth hole when Clark hit an approach to five feet. Then on the seventh, Kaufmann, who was the team’s best putter, stroked a dead straight putt to the hole that came in hot, but hit the back of the hole, bounced up high in the air, landed on the green and spun backwards into the cup. The team could feel a win coming and were now screaming out “Richard” on every good break.
They got to shout “Richard” one last time on eight after Gattone got them inside 10 feet with his approach, then drained the final birdie putt that would secure the championship. Their 32 on the back nine gave them a winning score of seven-under par 63. They never carded a bogey.
Two teams were just one stroke back and tied for second place with rounds of 64. The foursome of Andy Hunt, Dan Gauthier, Dan Rogers and Hazen Union golf team member Xavier Hill began their rounds on the second hole and also took the turn at 31. They birdied their first hole on the back nine and their last hole in shooting a 33. They also had no bogies.
Tying them for second place was the fivesome of Colton Niemi, Dan Miko, Kip Doyon, Roger Boone and Dennis Pudvah. They were two strokes back with a 33 after the turn, but posted the day’s best score on the back nine, a four-under 31. After a par to start, they pounded out three consecutive birdies on nine, one and two, and then got another birdie on their last hole, the seventh.
The defending champs had a strong front nine and seemed poised to defend their title with their 31. Karl Ferland set them up for another birdie on three on the back nine. They posted yet another clutch birdie on eight to get to six under par with one hole to play, but carded an unfortunate bogey on nine and had to settle for a 65.
Back in fourth place with a 67 was the fivesome of Matt Kiley, Dan Hudson, Mike Nixon, Andy Lemieux and Dean Rogers. In sixth with a 69 were Nate Brown, Tim Bellavance, Adam Whitney, Doug Allen and Dave Rogers.
Closest to the pin winners on the front nine were Aaron Molleur on three, getting to 13 feet, three inches, George Gattone on five, hitting to nine feet, five inches, Pat Hussey on eight, chipping to within seven feet, four inches and, of course, Rowdy Doyon on nine, as his eagle chip-in was a league-first zero inches from the pin.
On the back nine, Karl Ferland got closest on three, driving to five feet, nine inches, Molleur won again on five, leaving his drive five feet, eight inches away, Shayne Carr chipped to within 10 feet, three inches to win on eight and Dan Miko hit an approach to two feet, two inches to get closest on nine.
The Tuesday Night League experienced one of its most successful years ever, averaging 40 golfers per night for the first time. A record high of 60 golfers came out on June 28, Richard Brochu’s tribute evening. A total of 97 golfers played at least once during the season, another league record. The 22-week season ended Tuesday, Sept. 27.