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Finley-Booska capture 4-Ball over Miller-Serwa

  • KC Finley chips in for birdie to chalk up one of the shots of the Invitational 4-Ball golf tournament on the par 3 fifth hole Sunday at the Country Club of Greenfield during the Championship Flight final. Finley and Cody Booska beat Troy Miller and Scott Serwa, 2 and 1.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell

    KC Finley chips in for birdie to chalk up one of the shots of the Invitational 4-Ball golf tournament on the par 3 fifth hole Sunday at the Country Club of Greenfield during the Championship Flight final. Finley and Cody Booska beat Troy Miller and Scott Serwa, 2 and 1.
    Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »

  • Cody Booska comes up short on a birdie putt on No. 1 during he and partner KC Finley's 2 and 1 win during the Championship Flight final of Sunday's Country Club of Greenfield Invitational 4-Ball.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell

    Cody Booska comes up short on a birdie putt on No. 1 during he and partner KC Finley's 2 and 1 win during the Championship Flight final of Sunday's Country Club of Greenfield Invitational 4-Ball.
    Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »

  • Troy Miller watches his fairway iron sail toward the green during Sunday's Championship Flight finale of the Greenfield Country Club Four-Ball Tournament, won by KC Finley and Cody Booska, 2 and 1, over Miller and Scott Serwa.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell

    Troy Miller watches his fairway iron sail toward the green during Sunday's Championship Flight finale of the Greenfield Country Club Four-Ball Tournament, won by KC Finley and Cody Booska, 2 and 1, over Miller and Scott Serwa.
    Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »

  • Scott Serwa hits out of the rough during Sunday's Championship Flight finale of the Greenfield Country Club Four-Ball Tournament.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell

    Scott Serwa hits out of the rough during Sunday's Championship Flight finale of the Greenfield Country Club Four-Ball Tournament.
    Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »

  • KC Finley chips in for birdie to chalk up one of the shots of the Invitational 4-Ball golf tournament on the par 3 fifth hole Sunday at the Country Club of Greenfield during the Championship Flight final. Finley and Cody Booska beat Troy Miller and Scott Serwa, 2 and 1.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell
  • Cody Booska comes up short on a birdie putt on No. 1 during he and partner KC Finley's 2 and 1 win during the Championship Flight final of Sunday's Country Club of Greenfield Invitational 4-Ball.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell
  • Troy Miller watches his fairway iron sail toward the green during Sunday's Championship Flight finale of the Greenfield Country Club Four-Ball Tournament, won by KC Finley and Cody Booska, 2 and 1, over Miller and Scott Serwa.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell
  • Scott Serwa hits out of the rough during Sunday's Championship Flight finale of the Greenfield Country Club Four-Ball Tournament.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell

GREENFIELD — KC Finley made history Sunday afternoon.

Finley became the first player to win Invitational Four-Ball titles with a father and son, teaming with Cody Booska to defeat Troy Miller and Scott Serwa of Crumpin-Fox Club in Bernardston, 2 and 1, in the Championship Flight final of the 69th Invitational at the Country Club of Greenfield.

Finley won the 2012 event with Cody’s father, Dennis Booska, who was on hand to watch KC and Cody’s victory (Dennis was forced to withdraw due to an injury).

“It was a very enjoyable weekend all the way around,” said Finley, the reigning club champion at CCG. “We played some solid golf and didn’t make a bogey (today).”

Booska — the third-youngest player to win the Invitational — was still a little amazed at joining the long and distinguished list of champions, a list that includes his father five times.

“I wasn’t expecting this,” admitted the 18-year-old Booska. “I had a little (missing left) going on, and me and dad went to the range between rounds Saturday and he helped me fix it. After that, I felt very confident tee to green.”

Finley and Booska jumped out to a 3-up lead after five holes and were 4-up at the turn before Miller and Serwa began to close the gap at the 470-yard, par-5 12th hole.

Serwa reached the front apron on his second shot and knocked his chip to 18 inches below the cup for a conceded birdie. After Booska left his downhill 18-footer birdie try just short of the cup, Finley rolled his seven-footer past the left edge.

On the 280-yard, par-4, 13th hole, both Miller and Serwa hit their drives just to the right of the front bunker, and Miller nearly holed out his chip and was given the conceded birdie. Finley was pin-high on his drive, but the ball came to rest leaning against a twig, a lie from which he mishit the chip. Booska’s pitch from the left rough stopped 15 feet past the hole, and he was unable to make the birdie attempt, giving Miller and Serwa the hold and cutting their lead to 2-up.

However, Miller hit his tee shot out of bounds and Serwa left his up in the right trees, forcing him to punch out to the fairway and lay up short of the gully.

Both Finley and Booska hit drives in the fairway and laid up, then Finley stuck his approach to 10 feet and Booska stopped his inside of three feet. Once Serwa had flown the green on his fourth shot and failed to hole out on the fifth, he and Miller conceded the hole and it was back to 3-up.

“We thought we were right back in the match (after 13), but then we couldn’t get off the tee (on 14)” said Serwa. “It was our Achilles’ heel all day.”

Serwa atoned for his errant tee shot on 14 by stuffing his tee shot to eight feet on the par-3 15th. After everybody else had attempted their longer birdie tries, Serwa rammed his putt off the back of the cup and in for the birdie to get it back to 2-up.

All four players reached the green in regulation on the par-4 16th, and Miller was closest at about 10 feet. After the others were unable to convert their birdie chances, Miller and Serwa took a minute to study the break on Miller’s putt. Miller stepped up and made a solid stroke but just pulled it slightly and it drifted by the left edge much to his disbelief.

Needing just a tie to win it, Booska hit a laser down the middle of the fairway of the 387-yard, par-4 17th hole, then nearly put his second in the hole as it rolled by the right edge and came to rest nine feet from the cup, after Finley knocked his approach shot from the left rough to 18 feet behind the hole. Serwa was in trouble off the tee and was unable to reach the green. Then Miller hit his second shot from a downhill lie in the left rough to the front fringe.

Once Miller’s birdie try just rolled past the left edge, he and Serwa walked over and exchanged handshakes to congratulate Finely and Booska.

“They just didn’t make the mistakes we made,” said Serwa afterward. “We had trouble getting off the tee and paid for it. I don’t think they played their best, either, but they played well enough to win.”

Added Miller: “I’m pretty much speechless about it. ... We played so great all weekend, and to make that many bogeys (today), it was kind of hard to take. If we could have gotten off the tee a little bit better ...”

Finley and Booska caught breaks on Nos. 2 and 3 to take an early 2-up lead. Booska had safely two-putted for par on the par-3 second hole, and Serwa three-putted and Miller was unable to get up and down from behind the green.

On the par-4 third, Booska stuck his approach to 8 feet but missed the birdie try and settled for a par. After Serwa chipped to 15 feet and missed his par putt, Miller’s birdie try from the fringe rolled four feet past and his par try lipped out.

After both teams parred the fourth, Finley came up with the shot of the match.

Booska stuck his tee shot on the 180-yard, par-3 fifth four feet behind the cup, Serwa was on the right fringe 25 feet away and was 40 feet left of the cup.

Finley came up well short on his tee shot, leaving it in the rough, short of the front right bunker, 10 feet below the putting surface. Finley punched the shot onto the front of the green, then the ball hit the flag stick and dropped in for the improbable birdie. Neither Miller nor Serwa were able to convert their birdie tries, and Finley and Booska were suddenly 3-up.

Finley and Serwa both made short birdie putts on the sixth, then Miller hit a big drive on the par-4 seventh and knocked his chip to within a foot of the cup for a conceded birdie. Booska (from 20 feet) and Finley (12 feet) both missed their birdie tries, cutting into the margin.

Finley got it right back to 3-up on the par-5 eighth when his third shot the front left fringe came to rest six inches from the hole for a conceded birdie and Serwa (30 feet) and Miller (18 feet) couldn’t make from birdie tries. Then on the par-4 ninth, Finley and Booska both reached the green in regulation and their opponents conceded after Serwa needed four to reach the green and Miller was out of the hole after a lost ball in the swampy left rough that likely plugged and couldn’t be found.

“We gave them a couple too many,” said Serwa. “If they’re going to win a hole, you want to make them work for it, and there were a couple where we didn’t make them work for it.”

Finley and Booska had beaten Tom Bergeron and Gary Burt in their Saturday-morning quarterfinal and defending champions Dave Kennedy and Nate Burdick in the Saturday afternoon semifinal, both by a 2 and 1 count, to advance to Sunday.

Miller and Serwa posted a 2 and 1 quarterfinal win over the host club’s Matt Eaton and Jared Ewart, then rolled to a 6 and 5 verdict over Garrett Cousineau and Chris Bourbeau in the semis.

4-Ball Notes: Booska and Miller, who were partners the last two years, were teammates at Franklin County Technical School. ... Finley and Booska, who had played just nine holes together before the tourney, made only one bogey in 89 holes. ... It’s been a bittersweet season for Finley, whose father Charles passed away in February. However, his wife Stephanie and sons Owen and Nicholas made the drive up from Feeding Hills to watch him win Sunday. “Nicholas was first one I hugged, so that made me cry,” said Finley. ... The gallery grew as the round went on, and Finley was impressed — and not only with the volume. “They have to work their way around the course, but they were excellent,” said Finley. “There have been years where we’ve had awful galleries.” ... A complete list of weekend results for the Championship Flight, plus championship and consolation finals for the other nine flights can be found on today’s Scoreboard Page.

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