PLAINVILLE – The Attleboro Area Golf Association’s Open Friday qualifying round at Heather Hill Country Club was all about the final three in the field.
Former Seton Hall University hoopster Jim Dickinson and a pair of former Attleboro High Bombardiers, Kris Carrier and Chris Minutoli landed on the North and Middle Courses.
Two-meter tall Dickinson, an AAGA Open veteran, scored a 78 to qualify. Carrier and Minutoli’s scorecards left the rest of the estimated 14 qualifying spots, and then some with bated breath. Rolling in a 6-inch bogey putt at 339 yards, par-4 # 9 hole on the Middle Course, Minutoli thought he was on the verge of his first AAGA Open course on his first time qualifying. Carrier had taken a triple bogey at the 419-yard, par-4 # 15 hole (the # 1 pothole) and thought his fate was sealed.
But in 18th place, Carrier hacked the cup to within an inch to type in a par-putt. When the scorecards were counted, Carrier was in with a round of 81 and Minutoli was out with a round of 82 with one shot.
Had Carrier finished at 82, Minutoli, Peter Inglese, Richard Ringler, Jesse Donohoe, John Brunelle, Jack Rounds and Weeman – all of whom finished at 82 – would have made the field.
“If there’s any consolation, at least I’ve beaten Anthony Pirri (an 84),” Minutoli said of his Rocketeer-Bombardier, neighborhood rivalry.
“At least I was consistent, but my goal was to beat last year’s score,” said Pirri, a former North Attleboro High soccer star, of his two 42s who added up to an 84 in the middle and south courses. and missed the cut by four shots.
In an attempt to qualify for a fifth straight year, Pirri shot an 83 last year and missed the cut by two shots.
“My strategy was pretty simple – meet it and find it,” said the Pawtucket CC member.
Pirri is the new offensive coordinator of the Attleboro High football team from coach Mike Strachan and is leaving Stoughton High after 14 seasons.
AAGA tournament veteran at the age of 73
- Larry Kissell from Norton and Crestwood CCs, is quite content to even get to the golf course and # 1 tee. That said, Kissell underwent laser surgery last week to correct a kidney condition and believed the best remedy was golf.
“I’ve been playing this tournament for over 30 years, I didn’t want to be at home,” said Kissell.
Unfortunately, Kissell shot an 89 on the north and middle course and missed the cut. He did the same last year, with a shot of 82.
“I haven’t lost any golf balls and I feel fine so I think I should at least win the wheelchair class,” he said.
- Bill Gaskinwho lost around 32 pounds due to the pandemic in March 2020 and a month ago.
“I have no strength, I’ll hit three or four extra clubs to get my ball up there,” said Gaskins.
Never hospitalized but ridden home because of his convalescence, “Needless to say, everyone thought I was dead,” he said. “I only started eating solid foods last week.”
Gaskin finished with a 90 in the Middle and South courses but chip-in from 30 yards for a par on the 10 backside hole.
Freshman at Salve Regina University and a graduate of the Moses Brown Academy
, III of North Attleboro had to apologize to his mating group of Jamie Hunt and Dave Weeman for not venturing into the woods with them to look for lost balls.
Shannon had a violent attack of poison ivy that required a steroid injection and medication. Yet he was number 3 on the north and center courses with a 5-over-par round of 76, hitting 14 greens typically.
“I have it (poison ivy) everywhere,” said Shannon, a TPC Boston member, of his misfortune. However, on the course he had 16 pars, a birdie and a bogey.
Incoming North Attleboro High Newbie
- Tyson Laviano could not have imagined a worse start in his endeavor to qualify for the AAGA Open for a second year in a row.
After shooting a 77 in 2020, Laviano hoped to beat that number – just the other way, an 84 that he didn’t like. On the South Course, Laviano started a double bogey, a double bogey, a triple bogey and another double bogey on the first four holes contested.
“It’s a tough course, it’s tight,” said Laviano as he walked off the fairways.
He has participated in seven summer tournaments so far and won the NEPGA Junior Tournament in Rockland.
Another rising star, North Attleboro High Junior
- Jake Gaskin, qualified for a second year in a row, shooting a 78.
Gaskin was the worst scorer last year with 72 on the south-north courses, but missed the AAGA Open-Cut 2020 after 36 holes. He just drilled a birdie putt, a sixty footer.
- Justin Guimond Figures that he won the jackpot, won the lottery without qualifying for the AAGA Open, despite a medal-winning round for the second time. After overcoming drug and alcohol addiction,
Guimond and his bride Sheri are expecting a child in another month.
“I relapsed last year,” said Guimond. “I was dead eight days, I was in a coma. Now life is good and I also play good golf. “
Peter Gobis can be reached at 508-236-0375