Hopkinton golf upsets Mascenic, claims first championship in program history

  • The Hopkinton High School golf team celebrates after winning the Division IV championship Tuesday afternoon at Nippo Lake Golf Club in Barrington. With a total score of 333, the Hawks edged Mascenic (343) for the first title in program history. JAY McAREE / Monitor staff

  • Hopkinton’s Daniel Miner watches his tee shot during the Division IV golf championship Tuesday afternoon at Nippo Lake Golf Club in Barrington. Miner was the medalist at 6-over-par 76. JAY McAREE / Monitor staff

  • Hopkinton’s Brandon Borris tees off on the first hole during the Division IV golf championship Tuesday at Nippo Lake Golf Club in Barrington. Boris was one of four Hopkinton players to make the cut for the D-IV Individual Championship. JAY McAREE / Monitor staff

  • Hopkinton’s Larsen Burack prepares to follow through on his putt Tuesday during the Division IV golf championship at Nippo Lake Golf Club in Barrington. Burack helped the Hawks claim the title with a 13-over-par 83. JAY McAREE / Monitor staff

  • The Hopkinton High School golf team poses with the championship plaque after defeating the rest of the field in Tuesday’s D-IV state title match at Nippo Lake Golf Club in Barrington. JAY McAREE / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 10/10/2018 12:36:09 AM

BARRINGTON – Dave Chase started adding up the scores in his head. Soon after, he started planning the celebration.

“I think after we found out that Dan Miner hit the 76 – I knew Larsen (Burack) already had an 83 – I thought that was really going to kind of solidify us for that top three,” said Chase, the Hopkinton golf coach. “And then when my freshman (Kody Dexter) started talking about that he could be at 86, I started doing the math … now it was all about what Mascenic was going to have.”

The answer: not enough.

In a surprising twist Tuesday at Nippo Lake Golf Club, Hopkinton edged heavy favorite Mascenic, 333-343, to claim the program’s first state title and secure its victory parade back into town with a win in the Division IV golf championship.

“I couldn’t be happier. I think that’s our first golf championship ever,” Chase said. “We had four golfers make the cut (for the individual championship), which is pretty cool. So wake up, Hopkinton. You have a golf team now.”

The Hawks also had the medalist on the afternoon in Miner, who paced the team – and the entire field – at 6-over-par 76 in the team tournament, which strays from the regular-season Stableford scoring system and uses stroke play.

Miner didn’t miss many fairways, made good on 11 pars and recorded a birdie on the par-4 No. 8 hole to finish one stroke better than Mascenic’s Anthony Andronaco.

“Everything kind of clicked at the right time I guess,” Miner said. “It all just went together: All the shots were perfect, (my) swing was on time and everything was just right.”

While Miner seemed to do everything right, what helped the first-year golfer for the Hawks the most was actually what he didn’t do.

Playing to his strengths, Miner didn’t use his driver on a single hole during what Chase called the “round of his life.”

“I never touched it. Never even thought about it actually,” Miner said. “I figured just do 5-irons. It’s all you need.”

His teammate agreed.

“I’m just so happy for (Miner) because for him it’s all mental,” said Burack, who shot an 83 and will join teammates Miner, Brandon Boris (88) and Kody Dexter (86) in Saturday’s D-IV Individual Championship at Derryfield Country Club after making the cut set at 90.

“(Miner) has got a good swing and he loves hitting that driver because he can hit it pretty far, but he hits that thing right every time,” Burack said. “(Today) he took it right out of his hands and goes with his trusty 5-iron and look what he did. He’s never tried to play like that before. I’m just so happy for him that he figured it out.”

Burack, meanwhile, wasn’t too far off Miner’s pace. He had a few double-bogeys but was able to make par on eight holes and was happy with a round he took a safe approach to.

“I think it was about where I wanted to be,” Burack said. “I came in and really wanted to work on my putting. I didn’t three-putt all day. It’s probably the first time in my life I’ve ever done that. Other than that, I was hitting the ball well off the tee, my irons were all right. It wasn’t the best but it worked out.”

Not in the top four – which contribute to the team total – for Hopkinton in the match were Andrew Fairneny and Colby Marshall. Fairneny carded a 98, while Marshall finished at 116.

Even with Miner and Burack leading the way, for much of the day Chase and the rest of the Hawks still figured a first-place finish wasn’t likely.

Mascenic went 20-0 in the regular season and was responsible for three of Hopkinton’s five losses on the year. Partly because the Vikings run deep with multiple golfers capable of scoring in the 70s.

“We have four golfers under 88 and we’re playing pretty well. Having competed against all these schools all year long, each of them had a couple of decent golfers. You know the chances of anybody else having four golfers at 88 or below are slim. Mascenic was the one,” Chase said.

“As I walked back up (to the first hole), the Mascenic coach said, ‘You’re going to get us because we had a couple of bad scores.’ I’m thinking, ‘Yeah, right,’ ” Chase said in disbelief. “But when I finally saw it on the board up there, it kind of hit me: state champs in golf.”

(Jay McAree can be reached at 369-3371, jmcaree@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @JayMcAree.)

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