Poirier

Rutland Country Club’s Garren Poirier holds the award after wrapping up his fifth Vermont Mid-Amateur win last summer in Manchester.

BRANDON — The 2020 Vermont Golf Association Mid-Amateur championship begins competition Thursday morning at Neshobe Golf Club.

Five-time Mid-Amateur champion Garren Poirier, of Rutland Country Club, is back and looking to defend his crown. Poirier comes in as winner of the tournament in four of the last five years.

Poirier went into last year’s round of 32 as the No. 15 seed, following a 4-over stroke play qualifying round at Manchester Country Club. He battled through a tough bracket and eventually topped Country Club of Barre’s Eric Lajeunesse 2-and-1 in the match play final.

Poirier and Lajeunesse are joined by Rutland’s Frankie Sanborn, who was the top qualifier in stroke play last year. Their qualifying group is finished off by Raymond Bostock. They tee off at 8:10 a.m.

Champlain Country Club’s Bryan Smith, a semifinalist last year, tees off at 9 a.m. Lakeside Golf Club’s Nicholas Ouellette, Burlington’s Chip Ward and Dorset Field Club’s Taylor Mattingly join him in that group.

Other notable tee times are: Evan Russell, Taylor Bellemare, 8; Brett Grisby, William Hadden, Nicholas Murphy, Zach Dukette, Stephen Waite, 8:20; John Franzoni, Devin Knight, 8:30; Jonathan Gicewicz, Peter Duncan, 8:40; Walker Allen, 8:50; Glen Boggini, 9; Jake Eaton, Mitchell Evans, 9:10; Brian O’Grady, Peter Mittendorf, Bill Evans, 9:20; Dominick Maniery, Bryan Laselle, 9:30; Greg Birsky, 9:40; Michael McKinney, 9:50; Bill Crossmon, Cameron Wood, 10.

The top 32 of finishers in Thursday’s stroke play qualifying make it to match play on Friday. The tournament wraps up on Sunday.

T-Road shuffles scheduleBARRE — Thunder Road officials have announced a series of schedule changes and adjustments for the final month of the season.

These include a new date for the 100-lap finale of the Myers Container Service Triple Crown Series as well as the addition of the Labor Day Classic to the “King of the Road” chase.

Both changes stem from the cancellation of the 2020 Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic. The event was originally slated for May 25, before being postponed due to the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak.

Due to the compressed season calendar and the assortment of big late-season events both at Thunder Road and at other tracks around the region, officials were unable to find a suitable make-up date for the Memorial Day Classic despite their best efforts. The decision was thus made to cancel the 2020 edition and resume the Memorial Day tradition in 2021.

“It’s an unfortunate situation, but one we ultimately couldn’t do much about,” said Thunder Road managing partner Cris Michaud, in a track press release. “Every option we had either risked burning out our fans and teams with too many events in a short time or was on the same weekend as a lot of other big late-season events. We held out hope as long as we could, but in the end, we just couldn’t make it work with everything else going on.”

A trio of moves were made to help fill the schedule void. The 100-lap Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tiger event that was slated for Memorial Day weekend was rescheduled for Barre Granite Association Championship Night on Friday, September 18.

The event will be the finale of both the Myers Container Service Triple Crown Series and the weekly Flying Tiger championship.

The Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models will also have extra distance that night with a 61-lap feature to celebrate Thunder Road’s 61st season. Post time has been moved up to 6:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, the Optical Expressions Berlin Labor Day Classic 200 on Sunday, September 6 will now count for both American-Canadian Tour (ACT) and Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Model championship points. This was done to replace the point-counting event that Thunder Road Late Model competitors lost due to the Memorial Day Classic cancellation.

Finally, Mekkelsen RV Sales & Rental has been named the presenting sponsor of Milk Bowl Friday on October 2. Their participation ensures the long-time Thunder Road partner still has a major presence this year. Mekkelsen RV will present a four-division card that includes the Pro All Stars Series Super Late Models, PASS Modifieds, Honey Badger Bar & Grill Street Stock Series and North East Mini Stock Tour.

Thunder Road is back in action Thursday for North Country Federal Credit Union Night.

The second annual Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warrior Challenge highlights the card with a 50-lap, $500-to-win clash. The night also includes championship action for the Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models, Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers and Allen Lumber Street Stocks.

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