Vesper’s Sheedy Tries to Keep Cities Leader Campiola in Sight
LOWELL -- Cam Sheedy’s two previous journeys into the Lowell City Golf Tournament were filled with frustrations.
He readily admits that he let poor shots get the best of him and negatively impact his rounds. It was all part of the learning process for a teenager playing in a prestigious annual tournament that boasts a field loaded with experienced high-level golfers.
Now as an 18-year-old veteran of The Cities, Sheedy has figured out a way to keep his emotions in check and rely on his talent. And that formula has him in serious contention.
Sheedy fired a 2-under 70 at Mount Pleasant Golf Club on Friday in the second round of the 2018 Lowell City Tournament and he’ll be in the final threesome in Saturday’s final round at Long Meadow Golf Club. He’ll be joined in that group by his Vesper Country Club teammates Rich Campiola and George Popp, who both matched Sheedy’s 70 for the low round of the day. The defending champion Campiola (74-70-144) is even-par for the tourney and holds a three-shot lead over Sheedy (77-70-147) and Popp (77-70-147).
Round 1 leader Peter Harrison, of Vesper, shot an 80 after carding a 70 at his home course. He’s six shots back.
“It was about keeping myself calm,” said Sheedy, a Pepperell resident who just graduated from Bishop Guertin. “There were a lot of holes where I could’ve either lost my cool or gotten too excited. I kept it mellow. If I had to single out a part of my game that was working well it would have to be around the greens. My best asset was not leaving myself too many tough putts.”
Sheedy did display some emotion on the 18th. He buried a six-foot birdie putt after an outstanding approach and promptly pumped his arm three times after the ball dropped into the hole. He then gave his caddy an enthusiastic handshake while exiting the green.
Sheedy missed an easy four-foot putt for birdie on the 13th. He also had a bad bogey on the sixth, when he crushed a 10-foot birdie putt five feet past the hole and went on to three-putt. But he didn’t let those mistakes beat him down.
“Last two years in The Cities I would’ve gotten frustrated and followed that up with another bogey,” Sheedy said. “The experience definitely helps but what really showed me that I’m able to play in The Cities was the (Vesper) club championship last year. Campiola won The Cities last year and the club championship the year before that, so being able to duke it out with him for 18 holes and then five playoff holes and keep up with him and end up beating him -- that really showed me that I can play with these guys.”
Being a defending club champion at Vesper speaks to Sheedy’s ability. He’ll continue his career at Limestone College in Gaffney, S.C.
Campiola, meanwhile, wasn’t particularly pleased with his effort on Friday, despite an impressive 33 on the front nine.
“I wish I had played a little better on the back,” said Campiola. “I didn’t feel much pressure, I just left a lot of putts out there. I didn’t make much today, didn’t get much out of the round. But a 70 is a 70, so I’ll take it.”
This is only the second Lowell City Tournament appearance for Campiola. He spends half the year in the Florida Keys and doesn’t play any golf because of his work schedule. The rest of the year he lives in Windham, N.H.
“I’ve gotten to know more of the competitors and that’s always fun,” said Campiola. “They’ve become more friends than competitors. But when the bell rings you always have to show up.”
Popp, also a former Cities champ, played alongside Campiola and had an identical 33 on the front and 37 on the back.
Mount Pleasant’s Jason Howarth (75-73-148) is four shots off the pace. Nabnasset Lake’s Mike Walker (78-72-150), Long Meadow’s Mikey Yfantopulos (73-77-150) and Long Meadow’s Shawn Scott (74-76-150) are also in the mix.
Eight-time champ Phil Smith (80-72-152) is eight strokes back.
Vesper leads the team scoring at 1,693, followed by Nabnasset (1,754), Long Meadow (1,758) and Mount Pleasant (1,780).
Follow Matt Langone on Twitter @MattLangone