A Great Day on the Course at the 2023 Rocky Golf Classic
Jul 19, 2023
After a very rainy start to July in New England, mother nature turned off the faucet on Monday just in time for the 2023 Rocky Raven Golf Classic. Temperatures soared into the upper 80s and humidity came out to play at Northern Spy Golf Club, but so did over 120 golfers who didn't let the warm weather slow them down.
Players poured in around 8:30 AM, registering and swiftly moving down the line to a table decked with raffle prizes. More than 20 jars sat in front of the donated items ranging from Franklin Pierce University swag to tickets to see the New England Revolution play at Gillete Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
At 9:10, the 31 teams were addressed by Franklin Pierce University President Kim Mooney, head golf coach Tyler Bishop and a course official. The first message was to keep the golf carts on the path as the weeks of rain had softened up the grounds. The second message was simple, a thank you to the participants and sponsors then direct orders from the President to have fun.
Dozens of carts scattered as teams were divided up among the 18-hole course. Though morning dew covered the fairways early on, the sunshine dried out the greens which sped them up as the day went on.
The club house became a popular pit stop during the tournament, not only to grab a bite to eat and refreshments, but also to take part in the "Monster Putt Challenge" which lived up to its name this year. Coach Bishop picked the placement; a 40-footer spanning from one side of the practice green to the other.
Franklin Pierce head volleyball coach Eric Roderick and Assistant Director of Athletic Communications David Tuttle ran the event. Their job was to take down names of whoever hit the putt and enter it into a 50/50 raffle for a cash prize. Group after group passed through and not a single person had their name taken down. After hours of golfers reading the "Monster Putt" and missing, Bryce Salo stepped out of his cart and took on the challenge.
At $5 dollars per put, Salo bought four. However, it wasn't any four putts, he was the last contestant of the day. It was not easy read, the line broke both left and right depending on how hard the golfer hit the ball. Like the many players before him, Salo missed once, then twice, and a third time. His fourth shot was both his last and the final shot of the day. He lined up his feet, drew back the putter and let it fly. First came the sound of the ball hitting the putter, then silence full of anticipation and finally "plunk", Salo sunk it. Four putts worth $20 helped him walk away with $375 in his pocket.
After about five hours of drives, chips, and putts, golfers filed into the club house and score cards were counted. Coach Bishop took to the center of the dance floor to announce the winners.
The first award was handed out to the golfers who unleashed the longest drives. The competition took place on the 400-yard second hole. For the women's category, Christine Guerard brought home the gold, as for the men's side Shaun Millerick took home the top prize.
Next came the closest to the pin on hole 15. From the Red Tees 120 yards away, Linda Harris hit a shot that landed 2' 2" from a hole-in-one. Then from the Silver Tees 122 yards away, Greg Walsh hit a shot landing just 4' 8" from the pin.
The final announcement was for the top three teams of the day which came down to the wire. The third-place team was made up of Lars Traffie, Zach Traffie, Will Hackler, and Keegan Hackler, who shot a 29-28—57.
The first-place winner was where things got tricky. The scorecards read:
Team: (Franklin Pierce Women's Golf)
After both teams came back with a final score of 55, a deep dive into the score cards had to be made.
"We matched cards and the team with the lowest score on the hardest hole won," said Coach Bishop.
Running over the numbers, Franklin Pierce Women's Golf earned the better score and brought home the victory. Though the match came down to a last-minute decision for first place, the teams and golfers who took part finished the day applauding and congratulating one another.
Awards and Finishes:
Men's: Shaun Millerick
Women's: Christine Guerard
Closest to the Pin:
Men's: Greg Walsh
Women's: Linda Harris
Monster Putt Challenge: