The 52nd Kirkwood Memorial Golf Tournament was played at Stowe Country Club June 21-23 under sunny skies.
Sunshine each day is rare for this event.
The tournament benefits Stowe Junior Golf, a passion of former Stowe CC head professional Joe Kirkwood, who died in 1970. Each year brings extraordinary golf and memories to treasure, and this year had its share.
The golf is played by two-player teams, divided into flights of eight teams with similar skill. The teams are often lifelong friends, family traditions (brothers and father/son) and a few come from a great distance. Danny Andrade travels from San Diego each year to play with Bob Davison. Baba comes from Japan to play with Scott Buchanan.
The players compete Friday, Saturday and Sunday to produce a flight winner, a runner-up and a “consolation” match winner.
Stu Baraw Jr. played in his 52nd Kirkwood Tournament — yes, every one. He and teammate Tom Brock won the 6th Flight.
Bill Meckert moved from Waterbury to Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., last year but returned to play in the Kirkwood. He and his teammate Harrison Thayer had a sensational tournament. They achieved honors for the Low Medalist round of 68 on Friday morning. Then, they won their three matches over very skilled opponents to win the Championship honors.
Bill told this story at the awards ceremony. Harrison is on the golf team at Holy Cross University. Harrison is the youngest son of his late, very good friend, Rick Thayer. Bill and Rick played together in the Kirkwood often 20 years ago.
Over the years, Bill would invite one of Rick’s boys, Hunter or Harry, to play in the Kirkwood. This spring, Bill’s wife KJ suggested that Bill invite Harrison. Harrison was just 3 when his father died. They made a great team. Bill explained that their golf shots during the tournament were exceptional; in fact, understandably emotional, Bill told us Rick was watching over them each day. And they won big.
The tournament results
Low Medalist — Bill Meckert and Harrison Thayer (68)
Championship Flight — Winner: Bill Meckert and Harrison Thayer; runner-up: Ben Spittle and William Widen; consolation: Tim Davidson and Mike Rozzi
1st Flight — Winner: Scott Holbrook and Jamie Rozzi; runner-up: Charles Brush and John Giebink; consolation: Dale Burgess and Bill Kelk
2nd Flight — Winner: Jeff Menard and Matt Schofield; runner-up: Danny Andrade and Bob Davison; consolation: Rusty Newhouse and Art Shinners
3rd Flight — Winner: Robert Granfors and Jere Pelletier; runner-up: Daniel Keene and Philip Podgorny; consolation: Chris Cain and Mike Corley
4th Flight — Winner: Adam Ashe and John Clark; runner-up: Scot Baraw and Jeff Holleran; consolation: Paul Biron and Roger Biron
5th Flight — Winner: Lynn Altadonna and Chris Altadonna; runner-up: Brent Libby and Mike Priestley; consolation: Kevin D'Arcy and Paul Jones
6th Flight — Winner: Stuart Baraw and Tom Brock; runner-up: Paul Franz and Tom Lamaster; consolation: Joseph DeAngelo and Russell Kramer
Shootout Winner — Jeff Menard and Matt Schofield