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Birdie binge does trick for Frontier’s soph Patterson

WILBRAHAM — Some players have a tendency to start well; other finish strong.

For Frontier Regional School’s Nathan Patterson, it was all about how well he played in the middle of his round.

Patterson, a precocious sophomore, went on a tear that any golfer dreams of when he birdied six consecutive holes from Nos. 7 through 12 en route to a 2-over 74, good for a five-stroke victory in the Western Massachusetts Division II Golf Championships on Monday at the Country Club of Wilbraham.

The blanket of fallen leaves on the course posed no threat to the third-year player, who was able to record seven birdies on the day.

“It feels awesome to win this,” said Patterson with a smile and sigh of relief. “I’m going to work hard and play a lot of golf for the next week,” in preparation for the state tournament.

Patterson was one of two area players to advance to the states. Mahar Regional School’s Zack Adams will also head to Blackstone National Golf Club in Sutton after he carded an 80 to tie for third overall.

Patterson started the day at No. 1 in the shotgun-start format and wasted little time earning a par and following up with a birdie. He was as cool as the shadows cast by the towering pines edging the fairways by the time he reached No. 7 and unlikely started his birdie barrage. Four of his birdie putts came inside of 10 feet.

“(Making) six birdies in a row is just incredible,” said Frontier coach Steve Sakowicz.

Frontier, which finished with a team total of 341, qualified for the states along with WMass champion Drury High School (336). But it wasn’t without a little bit of controversy.

After the team scores were originally tabulated at the course, Frontier and Cathedral High School were tied at 341, but tournament officials discovered a discrepancy with one of the Cathedral player’s individual scores.

About two hours later, officials ruled that the player signed an incorrect scorecard and was disqualified, Cathedral’s recalculated team score was 346, and the Red Hawks earned the state tourney berth.

“They made the decision quickly, and I believe they made the right decision,” said Sakowicz, who received a call from athletic director Marty Sanderson informing him of the officials’ ruling.

Sakowicz said his Red Hawks exceeded his expectations for the season.

“At the beginning, I knew we were going to make it here,” he said. “(But) to be in the running for a berth to the state tournament, I had never dreamt it.”

Frontier’s Ben Ruddock also finished in the top 10 overall, as he took eighth with an 83. Cam Blair (91) and Torsten Nelson (93) completed the Red Hawks’ team scoring.

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