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Former NK players lend a hand

August 15, 2013

Photo: Evan Crawley

RUMFORD—Senioritis isn’t an actual medical condition but anyone who has walked the halls of a high school during the spring can tell you that it does in fact exist.
Most seniors spend their last few months of high school counting down the days until graduation and once they’re out, they’re gone.
After four years of linoleum floors, detention slips and research papers the last thing any soon-to-be college freshman wants to do is anything associated with high school.
For North Kingstown’s Owen Heath, however, there was still one thing left to do; keep a promise he made many months earlier.
Heath was one of the Skippers’ top golfers this spring but last Wednesday there he was at Agawam Hunt Club, schlepping around clubs and cleaning golf balls for someone four years his younger.
“I promised him during the season and we made a bet,” Heath says of his agreement to caddie for Alex Parente at the 92nd Junior Amateur Championships. “I think it was like a chipping contest or something and I keep a promise.”
“He doesn’t have a great short game,” says Parente jokingly, “so it wasn’t hard.”
Parente was a freshman and Heath a senior on this past spring’s NK golf team but standing in school meant little to these Skippers.
“We’re close,” Heath says. “We like to make our teams close, we like to be a family around our team and I think that means a lot to us.”
That support was certainly on display at Agawam Hunt last week as Heath – who in continuing his playing career in both basketball and golf at Mount St. Mary’s in New York – was not the only former Skipper to contribute.
Work kept Heath from Caddieing on day one Monday but he found a replacement, Adam Southworth, who also just graduated from NK.
Fellow graduate of 2013 Alex Burke helped out some of the other returning Skippers at the Junior Am as well, while senior Alex Gershkoff showed up Wednesday to walk the course with Heath and Parente after he was knocked out in the opening round of match play Tuesday.
“It’s good that they come out and support me,” Parente says. “I’m glad that I made some friends on the golf team this year and I’m glad they can come out and help me out here.”
Parente didn’t disappoint with the entourage of Skippers in tow, kicking off last Wednesday’s quarterfinal round of the Second Division with a 3 and 2 win in the morning session over John Gesualdi of Ledgement County Club.
After a break for lunch Parente returned for the semifinals against Wannamoisett’s Theo Montalbano but could not get anything going through the first seven holes.
The match was all square heading into the par-3 eighth but that’s where Parente started to make his run.
He sunk a long birdie putt on the hole and followed it by scoring points on the next three holes to take a commanding 4-up lead.
Montalbano got one back with a par on No. 13 but back-to-back pars on Nos. 14 and 15 sealed a 5 and 3 victory.
Parente returned last Thursday for the Second Division finals but ultimately fell just short in a 2 and 1 loss to Cranston Country Club’s Alex Greenwood.
In the 17-hole match the players halved just one hole and through eight Parente held a 3-up advantage.
Two straight bogeys allowed Greenwood to cut the deficit to just one but Parente responded by paring No. 11 and bogeying No. 12 to increase his lead back to 3-up.
Unfortunately for Parente he could not hold off the Cranston CC golfer down the stretch as Greenwood carded a birdie, three pars and a bogey to win the next five holes and subsequently the match.

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