Hughes Defeats Algie 1 up to Claim Fourteenth City Championship

WATERTOWN — In between the morning and afternoon sessions of the 36-hole Watertown City Golf Championship final, Bob Hughes was frustrated about his lack of consistency and not being able to string together a few good shots in a row.

The longtime mainstay of local golf managed to get the shots he needed as he edged Rick Algie, one-up, to claim his 14th city championship on Sunday at Watertown Golf Club.

Hughes continues to add to his legacy as he holds the most city crowns, including three of the last four titles.

Winning the event has become almost second nature to Hughes, but he enjoys the thrill of it.

“Each one is a little different, but they are all satisfying,” said Hughes, who won his first city title in 1981. “The process of getting here is still fun and I enjoy playing.”

Hughes was one-up after the first 18 holes, but was concerned about his consistency early in the round.

“I just never seemed to hit two good shots in a row,” said Hughes, who won the event the last time it was held at Watertown Golf Club in 2014. “I just couldn’t get any momentum.”

Algie, a former standout at South Jefferson, gave Hughes all he could handle by matching him shot-for-shot and even grabbing the lead after 23 holes. The first-time finalist was pleased with his effort despite the loss.

“I went 36 holes in an up-and-down match,” said Algie, a former two-time Frontier League tournament champion. “I’m going to use it as a learning experience and will move forward with it.”

Hughes had nothing, but praise for his opponent after the hard-fought victory.

“I played him a last year at Ives Hill, and I knew what to expect from his game,” Hughes said.

Hughes won that match over Algie in last year’s quarterfinals, 4 and 3.

The championship came down to the last hole with the match all square.

Algie’s tee shot went into the right rough, while Hughes hit one of his textbook drives right down the center of the fairway.

Algie managed to get himself out of trouble and hit a shot in front of the green.

“I knew it was going to be hard to get to the green from where I was, so I just wanted to get a decent pitch onto the green,” Algie said. “I figured if I got it there, I’d be in the front where it would be great.”

He had a chance to force sudden death, but his put rolled wide to the right of the cup.

After halving the first three holes on the second 18, Algie won two straight holes to take the lead by one. He had a chance to go two-up, but his ball stayed on the lip of the cup and didn’t go in.

The veteran Hughes then ran off three straight wins in as many holes to lead by two after 28 holes. Hughes regained his two-hole lead after Algie got within one-up on the next hole.

“I finally hit consecutive good shots and made a couple of putts,” Hughes said.

After halving the 31st hole, Algie won the next two holes to even the match, including a tricky birdie putt at 15 to square the score. The former Jefferson Community College golfer, who is now an assistant coach for the school’s golf team, made it a habit of rallying throughout the week.

“This tournament has been like that all week,” Algie said. “I’ve had three matches where I had to come back to win.”

Hughes won $500 for winning the championship flight, while Algie took home Algie took home $240. Semifinalists John Bufalini and Tim Phillips each earned $80.

Last year’s city champion Brian Phillips rebounded to win the first flight title on Sunday, while Josh Woodward won the second flight championship and Anthony Burgess took the third flight crown.

credit: watertowndailytimes.com