MARBLEHEAD — The Tedesco Cup, a member-guest better ball tournament at Tedesco Country Club, has always been a big event on the calendar for the club, but this year’s event is bigger (and quite possibly better) than ever before.
The 54th edition of the annual tournament teed off early Friday morning, with 192 participants registered to compete. And while the weather was nearly perfect for a round of golf, it was the course conditions that stole the show on the opening day.
“The golf course is in great shape, we’re very happy with the conditions,” said Bob Green, the head golf professional at the club. “This is a great couple of days every year, but even more so this year because of all the changes to the course.”
This year’s tournament is a bit of a coming out party for the new-look course at Tedesco. Over the winter the club gave the course a fairly significant facelift, expanding 11 greens and adding roughly 40 percent more sand to the course by either expanding bunkers or building new ones altogether. The club also allowed the fescue beyond the rough to grow even longer than normal, adding both a bigger challenge and better aesthetics to the course.
“We just completed a major, long-range improvement plan on the course and rebuilt every bunker out there. We moved some, took some out, added some, expanded some of the greens, so it’s almost like a new golf course out there,” said Green. “Several of the players who are guests in this tournament play here every year, so we’re anxious to see what everyone thinks of the layout. So it’s exciting for us and it’s exciting for them, and obviously the membership is very proud of the work that was done and can’t wait to show the golf course off.”
It didn’t take long for the verdict to come in. As players from the morning wave brought in their scorecards, rave reviews about the look and playability of the course were coming in left and right.
“It’s great, it’s fair and the greens are perfect,” said Bill Collins, a longtime Tedesco member who has played the course since he was a preteen. “The course couldn’t be in better shape. I’ve been around here since I was 11 years old and I love this place, and I think the changes are fabulous. (Course superintendent) Peter Hasak did an amazing job, and it was a treat to play.”
“The course is just in phenomenal shape,” added Bill’s brother, Tom Collins, also a member. “The new setup is just so good. There’s a lot of subtle things that were changed that just make the course more fun and more challenging at the same time.”
Green agrees that the course plays a bit tougher with the new setup, and he adds that the club will be getting re-rated by the USGA this August.
“It’s kind of tough to move the needle on that scale,” Green said of the USGA’s rating system. “But I think the addition of all the sand will make a difference.”
The tournament will conclude this evening, with prizes given to the overall champions in gross score and net score as well as daily prizes given for a variety of accomplishments on the course.
“It’s a fun couple of days, and numbers-wise it’s our most popular tournament,” Green said. “We have more players playing in this tournament than in our invitational fourball tournament (in August), so it’s something people like coming out and competing in.”
After the first round of the Tedesco Cup, there is a four-way tie for first place in team gross score. The teams of Matt Sachar and Brian Oppenheim, Michael Zemetrovich and Andy Drohen, Nardi Suydam and Steve Thompson and Brad Tufts and Ryan Simper are all tied with gross scores of 71. There is a three-way tie for fifth place, as the teams of Mike Eruzione and Hank Newman, Wayne Pettee and Steve Roy and Jim Katsos and Nick Katsos all shot a gross score of 72.
In team net score, the team of Eruzione and Newman holds the top spot with a score of 61. Jim and Nick Katsos are in second place with a score of 62, while the team of Ralph Colantuno and Hap Brakeley is in third with a score of 63. There is a three-way tie for fourth place, with the teams of Sachar and Oppenheim, Bob Jackson and Tyson Dion and Conrad Rousseau and Robert Van Tuyl all shooting scores of 64.