Shelter Harbor GC & The Misquamicut Club
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By Paul Kenyon
CHARLESTOWN - John Jackopsic made his first appearance in a Rhode Island Golf Association event a memorable one Thursday when he surged from behind over the final nine holes and won the 16th John P. Burke Memorial Tournament.
Jackopsic, who just finished his junior year at Boston College, was 4-under in his last four holes at Misquamicut to shoot 68. Combined with his opening 73 Wednesday at Shelter Harbor, that gave him a 36-hole of even-par 141. That tied him with two-time defending champion Bobby Leopold of Wannamoisett. Leopold had a 72 at Shelter Harbor.
Jackopsic then drove down Route One to Shelter Harbor for the playoff. He and Leopold both birdied the par-5 first hole, Jackopsic by sinking a 10-foot putt. Jackopsic then parred the par-4 second hole while Leopold miss the green and bogeyed.
Mike Douillette, the superintendent of the Firefly golf course, was third at 144.
Jackopsic had a 31 over his final nine at Misquamicut just to get into the playoff. He eagled the par-5 17th and birdied the 215-yard closing hole to get to 1-under for the day. Jackopsic hit a four-iron from 240 yards within four feet to set up the eagle on 17, then drilled a six-iron within six feet on the final hole.
``When the day started, I thought if I could be even on the day I’d have a chance,’’ Jackopsic said. ``I ended up doing one better.’’
He was four shots behind beginning the day. But he was the only contender who played Shelter Harbor in the first round and then Misquamicut on Thursday. The RIGA seeds the field based on past performance, so that all the other top players were at Shelter Harbor on Thursday. Since Jackopsic had never played in an RIGA event previously, he was not placed with the higher seeded players.
Jackopsic lives in Connecticut but his family has a summer home in Misquamicut. He has joined Meadow Brook to earn playing privileges in RIGA events.
Leopold was still on the course when Jackopsic finished. He had a one stroke lead with five to play. He finished with four pars and a bogey on the 17th to tie Jackopsic at 141.
Jim Mahoney of Point Judith won the Senior Division at 153.
The day included a hole-in-one by Steve Lukin of Wannamoisett on the 160-yard eighth hole at Misquamicut.
Dave Deverell of Triggs will remember his finish. He birdied each of the last two holes for an 85. It was what happened on the par-5 16th that made the finish so wild. Deverell took a 10 on the 523-yard par-5. With the two birdies to finish, it meant he was 3-over on the tough finishing stretch. A number of others also were 3-over but did not do it the way Deverell did.
The event raises money for the Burke Fund, the state’s scholarship program. It is expected the event will raise more than $20,000 this year, said Bob Ward, the RIGA’s executive director.
| burkefund.org |