NORTH ATTLEBORO -- For the second consecutive year, recent Rocketeer graduate Marcus Costa from North Attleboro High School saw his name atop the leaderboard, taking medalist honors in the 16-18 Division of the Attleboro Area Golf Association's annual Junior Tournament played Monday at the Chemawa Golf Course.
Costa drilled a birdie putt at the No. 8 hole and chipped in for an eagle at the No. 18 hole to finish with a 3-over-par score of 72 to successfully defend his title.
Xaverian High sophomore Spencer Dumas of Plainville, who plays out of the Franklin CC, and Attleboro High sophomore Brendan Raymond, who plays out of the Segregansett CC, also both attested to 3-over-par rounds of 72 on their scorecards to share top honors in the 13-15 Division.
Dumas then captured the overall AAGA Junior Tournament medalist honor and entry into the AAGA Open by winning on the first "sudden victory" hole of a playoff, with Costa and Raymond two-putting for a par at the No. 1 hole.
Playing in his third AAGA Junior Tournament and matching his 72 scorecard of 2018, Dumas is back on the links after suffering a broken hip, which occurred during the winter as a member of the Xaverian High basketball team.
"I didn't swing a club for a while, and fortunately there are no problems," Dumas said after having a wild round that included just six pars, but five birdies. "I played nine times last week to get ready for this," the six-foot Dumas said, including a practice round at Chemawa on Saturday.
Dumas drilled a 20-foot birdie putt at No. 2, two-putted for a birdie at No. 7, banged in a 15-foot birdie putt at No. 9 and a 20-foot birdie putt at No. 15. He finished with another birdie putt at No. 18, from three feet out.
Dumas did not miss a fairway and hit 12 greens in regulation, but he also had two three-putt greens and a double bogey at No. 13.
Then on the first playoff hole with Costa and Raymond, Dumas calmly rolled in two putts from 14 feet away for the medalist crown. Costa nearly drove the green on the 334-yard No. 1 hole and had a birdie chance too, but three-putted.
Costa, who will be attending the University of New England in Maine and will become a member of the golf team there, matched his score of 72 in the 2018 AAGA Junior Tournament. "I'll take it, I've been working hard on just playing one hole at a time," Costa, a top-10 finisher at the Hockomock League Championship Tournament said.
Costa, a member at the Ledgemont CC in Seekonk, is a practice devotee -- spending four hours on the driving range and another two hours on the putting greens.
He played in a Challenge Cup event at the New England CC in Bellingham last week and plays in the R.I. Junior Amateur at the Kirkbrae CC in Lincoln, R.I. next week. "I like my swing where it is," Costa said of being on a golf course or a practice range every day since leaving Wil Whitty Way.
"Like when I'm at the range, I warm up and work on whatever I think that I need to work on that day," Costa said, living five minutes up the road from Chemawa. "I do spend a lot of time with my wedges."
Costa turned in his Odyssey putter that he had been using for six years for a Taylor Made edition. "I just felt that it was time to move on; I'm wicked specific about my clubs," he added.
Oddly enough, en route to his second successive 16-18 Division championship, Costa did not hit the ball well off of the tee, nor did he hit many greens in regulation -- all the more placing value on his chipping and putting.
"It was a tough day off the tee for me," but he concluded his tour of the course by chipping from against the fence adjoining the parking lot from some 20 yards out at the No. 420-yard No. 18 hole for an eagle. "It was a good round, but you can never be good enough."
In the 12-and-under division, 11-year-old Drew MacLeod, a sixth-grader at the North Attleboro Middle School who plays out of the Wannamoisett CC in East Providence, R.I. captured first place with a round of 44. MacLeod, buoyed by a breakfast of oatmeal and chocolate milk, parred the No. 6, 7 and 9 holes in his AAGA debut.
In the first-ever High School "Shootout" event, coinciding with the AAGA Junior Tournament, Raymond's 3-over-par round of 72 sparked the Attleboro High team to first place with a four-member score of 226, 11 strokes ahead of second-place North Attleboro High. Joe Castelli, Ethan Johnson and Jack Handy were also members of the title-taking Bombardier team.
Raymond cornerstoned the AHS team with a round that included three birdies and a brilliant 2-under-par backside score of 31 -- draining a five-foot birdie putt at No. 12 and a 15-foot birdie putt at No. 13.
"My front side was not too great," Raymond said of bogeys at No. 2 and 3 and a double bogey at No. 4. But Raymond caught fire when he lipped out on a 20-foot eagle putt at No. 8, for the first of his three birdies.
"I've been hitting the ball well and I hit a lot of greens in regulation," the Bombardier added, just the fourth time that he has played Chemawa. Raymond improved his scorecard by some 27 strokes, having a 99 in the 2018 AAGA Junior Tournament. "After that front nine, I just told myself that it's a new round!"
Attleboro Area Golf Association Junior Tournament
Played at the par-69, 4,950-yard Chemawa Golf Course, North Attleboro
Drew MacLeod 44
Gavin Walsh 48
Spencer Dumas 35-37--72*
Brendan Raymond 41-31--72
Maxwell Jackson 37-36--73
Jared Curran 43-33--76
Matt Costello 42-38--80
Logan Letourneau 52-43--95
Jack Walsh 60-45-105
Neil Dalple 71-78--149
Marcus Costa 38-34--72
Ethan Johnson 38-37--75
Jillian Barend 36-39--75
Nate Morrealle 40-36--76
Aidan Ryan 41-36--77
Jack Handy 41-38--79
Nate Ihley 42-40--82
Jack Hastry 43-40--83
Ray Mullin 42-46--88
Justin Strom 47-43--90
Sam Gallagher 47-44--91
Joe Castelli 47-51--98
High School Shootout
1-Attleboro High 226 (Joe Castelli 98, Brendan Raymond 72, Jack Handy 79, Ethan Johnson 75); 2-North Attleboro High 237 (Sam Gallagher 91, Justin Strom 90, Jillian Barend 75, Marcus Costa 72); 3-King Philip High 241 (Jack Hastry 83, Nate Ihley 82, Jared Curran 76, Ray Mullin 88)
* won low medalist title on No. 1 playoff hole with Marcus Costa, Brendan Raymond.