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Mount’s Brad Auclair: Ruler of the links

May 10, 2012

Mount St. Charles senior Brad Auclair was the star of the show, carding a best-ever, four-under 31 on the front nine. Auclair eagled the first hole before birdying the second and sixth as MSC swept its tri-match with Northern Division foes Burrillville and Lincoln. PHOTO BY ERNEST A. BROWN.

LINCOLN -- When senior Brad Auclair checked his text messages at Mount St. Charles on Thursday morning, he found one particularly intriguing – and funny.
“My father (John) likes to give me some advice before every match, and he said something like, ‘Swing smooth, relax, just go out and have fun,’” Auclair explained. “He also said, ‘Hit the ball solid’ and to think my way around the course, where I should leave each shot. He closed it with ‘Go out and shoot 32 again.’
“When I read it, I was thinking, ‘Yeah, right,’” he added. “I just wanted to be around par.”
Auclair seemed stunned in the clubhouse after firing a remarkable four-under 31 – courtesy of an eagle, two birdies and six pars – on Kirkbrae Country Club’s front side Thursday afternoon. In the process of producing his finest-ever nine-hole tally, he led the Mounties to an easier-than-anticipated 154-172 triumph over previously-undefeated Northern Division foe Lincoln, not to mention a 154-186 thrashing of Burrillville.
“I don’t think I ever shot under par on the front here,” stated Auclair, a Kirkbrae member with his family. “I may have had a (one-under) 34 once, but I don’t think so. I know I had a 33 on the back side when I played here with my dad during April Vacation, but it was nothing like this.
“I just got a couple of lucky breaks (Thursday).”
After Auclair cinched medalist honors, senior Ryan Berard manufactured a four-over 39, lefty sophomore Tom Crudele a six-over 41 and sophomore Devin Votta 43 for the Mounties, who not only broke the Lions’ unbeaten streak but raised their record to 12-1.
Lincoln fell to 11-1, as it registered a 172-186 victory over the Broncos (4-6). Senior Zack Regine and sophomore Val Dumont paced the Lions as both shot 42, while Dumont’s classmates, Jon Wahl and James Isabella, recorded 43 and 45, respectively.
For the Broncos (4-6), junior Matt Morse notched a 41, senior Nick DeSalvo a 43 and freshmen Joe White and Pat McConnell a 50 and 53.
When asked what he thought of Auclair’s masterful round, Mount head coach Mike Masterson deadpanned, “It’s about time!” then laughed.
“Honestly, I’ve been coaching here for 20 years, and I’ve never had a kid shoot 31,” he added seriously. “I had one, Dave Marino, and he was a fantastic golfer who ended up on scholarship at ‘Ole Miss’ (the University of Mississippi). Dave was a two-time interscholastic state champion, and he was never that low. I think his low match in a round was 32-33. I’d have to double-check my records, but this is a first.
“On the flip side, Brad’s got all the tools, and he works very hard on his game. (On Wednesday), an employee here had to throw him off the driving range. He kept telling him, ‘Go home! It’s getting dark!’”
Offered Auclair: “I was just trying to straighten my drives out.”
He opened his round by driving the 337-yard, par-four first hole, then sunk a six-foot eagle putt. On the 369-yard, par-four second, he canned a 22-footer from the right fringe for birdie. His six-footer for birdie on the par-five third lipped out, then manufactured “routine” pars on the fourth and fifth.
As for the 445-yard, par-four sixth, “I got lucky,” Auclair noted. “I missed the green on my second shot, but was pin-high on the right. I hit the chip too hard, but it took a bounce about a foot from the cup, then hit the flagstick. It just rolled down and into the hole.”
With the birdie, he was four-under. He parred the seventh and eighth with fours, then a hit a wedge to within 12 feet on the 158-yard, par-three ninth. When he missed the putt by perhaps 10 inches, he looked at first-flight partners Regine and Morse and sighed, “If I hit it, I had it.”
Stated Morse as he strolled from the green: “That was crazy! I’m glad to see him do it, though.”
When asked why, he grinned, “Because I’ve never seen it done before. We played Mount at Glocester Country Club on Monday, and he had a 40. I actually beat him by two. We come here, and he crushes me by nine. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
John Auclair, who played at then-Bryant College with former PGA linksman Jim Hallet and has captured the Kirkbrae club championship a whopping 11 times, strolled down the stairs while his son sat at a table with the three coaches. He asked Brad how he had done, and Masterson chuckled, “31.”
The elder Auclair said, “You’ve got to be kidding me!” then told his kid, “You’ve got to go out and play the back. Even if you screw up, you’ll shoot 69.
“I’m so proud of him,” the father said. “He’s got a good head for the game.”
No kidding.

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