Beaulieu captures Commissioners’ Cup title at Gardner Municipal


GARDNER – During that long, hot summer 44 years ago, Mike Beaulieu, at age 15, played golf for the first time. Baseball, because of a chronic sore arm, was over for him.

But, thanks to his uncle Gerry Arsenault, an avid golfer, Beaulieu found a new, favorite sport.

“At first I used to caddy for my uncle Gerry, and then I started playing golf myself. He helped me so much in learning how to play the game, ”said Beaulieu, who at age 59, is still one of the best players at Gardner Municipal.

And the 92-year-old Arsenault, a former senior GMGC champion, who plays just about every weekday morning, is still helping his nephew.

On Saturday in a scheduled 36-hole final match against Alek Dernalowicz, Beaulieu, with Uncle Gerry as his cart caddy, captured his second Commissioners’ Cup crown and third major at Gardner Municipal, with a 5 and 4 victory.

“I’m very happy to win this again, and it was so nice to have my uncle at my side,” said Beaulieu, whose quest for his second Commissioners’ Cup crown began two months ago when he fired a 1-under-par 70 to win medalist honors in the qualifying round, setting up a series of matches culminating in the 36-hole final against the always-in-the-hunt Dernalowicz, who made the finals in this event for the first time.

“There was a stretch where Mike made some birdies and I made bogeys and I ended up being down by 3 after the first nine,” said the 38-year-old Dernalowicz, who bolted to an early 2-up lead in the match, with a trio of 3’s including birdies on the first two holes.

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Beaulieu rallied to even the match by the fifth hole with a birdie, added birdies on holes six and nine to shoot a 32 on the front and the 3-up advantage. He maintained a solid lead for the rest of the match.

After falling behind by five holes after 15 holes, Dernalowicz fought back and won holes 16 and 17 to cut the lead to 3-up, but Beaulieu, who carded a 3-under-par opening 68, stuck his second shot on the 18th to within a foot for a birdie to go 4-up entering the second 18 holes.

Both golfers played well during the afternoon front nine, Beaulieu with a 1-under 34 and Dernalowicz with an even-par 35. Still, Beaulieu’s lead became insurmountable and it was over on the 14th after both players parred the par 3.

In the end, a combined 15 birdies through 32 holes were made by the finalists – Dernalowicz with eight and Beaulieu with seven.

“I would get way down and come back, and kept doing that, but eventually it was too late to come back,” said Dernalowicz, who will be teeing it up Tuesday at Westover CC after qualifying for the Mass. Amateur Public Links Championship.

“Dern was a very tough competitor as he always is. I’ve lost in the finals of this three times, twice in extra holes when 36 wasn’t enough, ”said Beaulieu, who won the Comm Cup two years ago and the club championship in 2008.“ But today, I really played well and I putted especially well, making a lot of 10- to 12-foot birdies. ”

LeBlanc, Noyes also Comm Cup champs

Brenna LeBlanc won the women’s Commissioners’ Cup with a 2 and 1 victory over Terri Krieger. Dave Noyes edged John McMahon in the handicap division on the final hole. Both match play events were scheduled for 18 holes.

Catlin makes the HOF at Oak Hill

Joanne Catlin, who grew up near the old Winchendon Golf Course, then known as Toy Town Country Club, was inducted last weekend into the Oak Hill Country Club Hall of Fame.

Catlin, who joined Oak Hill in 1978, has won 22 women’s club championships at the historic course in Fitchburg. She even won the 1983 crown while in her ninth month of pregnancy. The talented Catlin, one of the best women amateur players in the state for decades, has also won six senior women’s club titles at Oak Hill.

TGN sports match Jay Gearan

During a break from Oak Hill, she joined Gardner Municipal and won five straight women’s club championships by huge margins. Catlin, who has qualified for numerous Mass Golf and USGA events over the years, was honored along with Tom Bagley, another former Oak Hill champ who is writing a book about the course and club. Former Oak Hill champions Jim Shea and Arthur Peterson were inducted posthumously.

Chip shots

Congratulations to Bill Walker, Denis Houde, Mike Murphy and Cathy Matthews for winning the Gardner High School Class of 1970 Reunion Golf Tournament last week with a 7-under-par total.

Also, congrats to longtime GMGC member Ann Twohig, who eagled the par-5, 11th hole on Aug. 6, her third shot dropping right into the cup from 120 yards out. Watching the rare eagle was her playing partner Sharon Ialenti.

The latest ace

Congratulations to Robert Campbell of Fitchburg for carding his first career hole-in-one last week. While playing with Sonny Smith and John and Ed Feeley, Campbell aced GMGC’s sixth hole.


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