Bay State Ballers
Giacchetto and Thibodeau sail to victory at inaugural Bay State Cup
Tough greens and a charging field couldn’t stop Andrew Giacchetto (Canton, MA) and Lauren Thibodeau (Hampstead, NH) from rolling to victory at the New England PGA Junior Tour’s inaugural Bay State Cup Invitational.
Giacchetto went wire-to-wire, shooting a four-over par 73 on the final day at Plymouth Country Club to finish at one-under par 210, claiming a five-shot victory over runner-up Dillon Brown (Halifax, MA). Thibodeau shot a seven-over par 76 for her final round, besting Elizabeth Lacognata (Scarborough, ME) by eight strokes and finishing 16-over par 229 for the tournament.
Entering the day with a five-shot lead, Giacchetto knew he just had to hold serve over the talented field behind him. The 2019 graduate was able to do just that as he minimized mistakes and avoided big numbers to get through the final round. With the win, Giacchetto was rewarded with 2 AJGA Performance stars and an exemption into the 2018 Jr. PGA Championship. The wire-to-wire victory was highlighted by a six-under 66 on the second day at LeBaron Hills Country Club that separated him from the field.
Brown was able to match Giacchetto at Plymouth, shooting a four-over par 73, but had too much ground to make up, finishing at four-over par 215 for the tournament. For his runner-up efforts, Brown earned an exemption into this year’s IMG Academy Jr. World Florida Challenge on December 14-16 in Sarasota, FL.
Thibodeau entered the day with a two-shot lead and was nothing but consistent throughout her three rounds, going 76-77-76, to earn her exemption into the 2018 Jr. PGA Championship. After trailing by a stroke in round one, Thibodeau’s five-over par 77 at LeBaron Hills CC was a turning point for her. Having never played both Fall River Country Club and LeBaron Hills CC for rounds one and two, Plymouth CC was a familiar track that helped her cruise to an eight-shot victory.
For her runner-up finish on the girls’ side, Lacognata also earned an exemption into the IMG Academy Jr. World Florida Challenge after shooting 24-over par 237 for the tournament.
Thank you to Fall River CC, LeBaron Hills CC, and Plymouth CC for all lending their beautiful golf courses for the first year of this competition! As always, thank you to TaylorMade for their yearlong support of the Junior Tour and helping support a great event!
Giacchetto and Thibodeau hold lead in the inaugural Bay State Cup
Entering the day with a slim one-shot margin, Andrew Giacchetto made his move on the second day of the New England PGA Junior Tour’s inaugural Bay State Cup Invitational. Giacchetto shot a blistering six-under par 66 at LeBaron Hills Country Club to extend his lead to five shots over Dillon Brown heading into the final round.
Giacchetto shook off some early nerves on the front nine, shooting even-par through the first eight holes with a pair of bogeys. However, on the ninth hole, Giacchetto made a strategy shift that made everything click. He then reeled off four birdies in a row, propelling him into a back-nine 31.
“I hit a bunch of irons off the tee,” Giacchetto said of his switch. “I wedged it tight all day and then made a few longer putts. I think I hit all nine greens on the back and then made some putts.”
Giacchetto enters the final round at five-under par for the tournament, in great position to win at Plymouth Country Club.
“I’m just looking to find another score and go out and shoot that score,” Giacchetto said of the final round. “Not really trying to focus on the leaderboard, just go out and shoot that score.”
Brown and Tyden Wilson each also had stellar rounds of the day, shooting matching two-under par 70s. Brown was able to play the back nine in two-under after shooting even on the front nine. Entering the day in a tie for second, Brown was able to hold serve and get himself into the last pairing in the final round at Plymouth CC, while sitting alone in second on the leader board at even-par 142 for the tournament.
Wilson was able to escape the clutch of LeBaron’s tough fescue and avoid big numbers for the day. Wilson’s best stretch was holes 5 through 8, where he recorded three birdies in the four holes. After an opening round 78, Wilson now sits in fourth place at six-over par 148.
On the girls’ side, Lauren Thibodeau shot a five-over par 77 to have the low round on the day and claimed the lead by two strokes over Elizabeth Lacognata going into the final day at Plymouth. Thibodeau used a birdie-birdie stretch on holes 10 and 11 to vault herself into the 36-hole lead. After playing Fall River CC and LeBaron Hills for the first time, Thibodeau is looking forward to a familiar track in Plymouth for her final round.
“It’s definitely hard to play blind.” Thibodeau said of the first two rounds. “I really like (Plymouth CC) and I played it last year, so those good shots I hit there last year will definitely help me tomorrow.”
The final round of the Bay State Cup Invitational goes off tomorrow at 1 p.m. Follow along on the NEPGA Juniors’ social media accounts for more updates and live scoring as the day goes along.