Tasho Duo Captures Senior Division of the Massachusetts Father & Son Championship
Andover, MA — If you didn’t know the father and son duo of Steven C. Tasho and Steven R. Tasho, of North Easton, you would likely think that the two Thorny Lea Golf Club members play together on a regular basis, considering they paired up to fire a 9-under par 63 on Tuesday at the 41st Massachusetts Father & Son Championship.
Given their busy schedules, however, the Tasho duo – winners of the junior division at the 2015 Massachusetts Father & Son Championship – are lucky if they can get out to the course together more than once or twice a month. Except for the occasional four-ball event, the duo, separated by nearly four decades in age, keep their competition on the course to strictly recreational.
That is what made their ascension to the top of the leaderboard on Tuesday at Andover Country Club that much more memorable. The father and son tandem, each with their own stellar playing resumes, picked up their second career victory together in record fashion.
The pair made the turn at 4-under par 32 and then added to their lead on the back nine to set a new tournament-low mark. Their score of 9-under par 63 is the lowest score on record dating back to the inaugural tournament in 1977.
“It feels good.” said the elder Steven C. Tasho, the head coach of the Boston University Club Golf Team who had to wait more than three hours after their round was completed for the victory to become official. “This is icing on the cake. I thought we did pretty good with what we shot with this format. It’s a hard format. You might go nine holes without hitting an iron and then all of a sudden you have to hit an iron. It was fun.”
With a talented field of competitors in the senior division of the tournament, set aside for competitors who are both at least 19 years of age, the Tasho duo held off Winchester Country Club’s Brendan Monahan and his father, Joseph Monahan, III, who placed second overall at 3-under par 69.
On Tuesday, the Tashos got off to a favorable start and never looked back, making birdie on the first three holes and adding an eagle on the 480-yard, par 5 7th hole
“He made a good putt on one to start,” said the younger Steven of his father’s play. “The first few holes were [straightforward.] He hit a good tight chip on the second hole, and we made a good birdie on three. He was hitting them really close all day. We had probably four birdie putts that were three feet and in. It kind of got off to a good start.”
After their eagle in the alternate-shot format on that 7th hole, the two racked up five straight pars to continue building on their early lead, including matching marks on a par-5 and three par-4’s.
“It’s based on tee shots,” explained the elder Tasho on the team strategy coming into the Championship Proper. “We’re hitting a lot of fairways, and it makes it easy. Our play is usually Steven gets the tee shot out there pretty good. He is a lot longer than me. It frees me up for the second shot. When we’re playing good, that is usually how it works.”
Coming off a T8 finish at last year’s event, held at Plymouth Country Club, the two knew what it would take to pull away from the field, something they said they weren’t able to accomplish this time a year ago.
“You want to play better than you did last year,” said son Steven, who will be entering his sophomore season on the Bryant University Golf Team this coming fall. “We played pretty well to start last year, then we faded out and you just come and try to win every tournament you play.”
Knowing what it would take down the stretch from their past experience, the pair finished even stronger, going 5-under par 31 on the back nine to end the day at 9-under par.
On the par 13, the elder Tasho followed a sharp drive by his son with a 7-iron that carried the ball to within 12 feet of the hole, which the younger Tasho tapped in for birdie, a feat that set up three more birdies in each of the next three holes.
“We laid up, and he put it to a foot and we got a birdie there,” said the younger Tasho about his dad. “He had a good iron on the long par-3 to 15 feet and made that. Then I put it on the green on the drivable hole. We made a good two-putt birdie there.”
The two made par on the 17th hole and finished their memorable day by making birdie on the 385-yard, par-4 18th hole.
“On 18, he hit a drive over everything and left me with 100 yards to the pin,” explained the elder Tasho. “I hit it up about 10 to 12 feet above the hole and he made a great putt to dead center. Perfect speed. Just Boom.”
Despite each having their own successes, both say winning this event is by far the best experience.
“It’s a blast. It’s a lot of fun,” said the older Tasho. “When we won a couple years ago, someone asked me because I had previous success, what my best victory was. I said it is this, the Massachusetts Father Son Championship. There’s nothing better than going out and playing with your son or daughter or father. It doesn’t get any better and if you have success, it’s even better.”
Tasho Sr. is a two-time champion of both the Massachusetts Amateur Championship (1981 and 1985) and Massachusetts Four-Ball Championship (1988 and 1994). He was also a victor at the 1998 Massachusetts Mid-Amateur Championship to name just a few of his many victories earned both at the state and local levels.
The younger Steven just last week finished as low-amateur in the Boston Open Championship held at the William J. Devine Golf Course at Franklin Park. He has been a regular in MGA events dating back to his play in junior amateur tournaments.
The Junior Division of the Massachusetts Father & Son Championship will take place tomorrow, August 16, at Andover Country Club.