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Plus fours a stylish hole-in-one; Oak Hill duo pay homage to greats.

Byline: Jay Gearan

FITCHBURG - This was the 2009 Autumn Invitational Golf Tournament at Oak Hill Country Club.

Sartorially speaking, however, from head to toe, for the two 18-hole rounds, Joe Sova and Pat Cronin were in 1929 retro splendor, dressed in plus four trousers, over-the-calf socks, long-sleeved shirts, sweater vests and tam o'shanter caps.

And let's not forget the matching plaid bow ties. Yes, they used to play golf while wearing ties many years ago.

"Pat and I really love golf, and we really liked the look of the old days with the plus fours," said Mr. Sova, who noted that the name for the golf pants comes from its standard length: four inches below the knee.

Mr. Sova and Mr. Cronin did not win the tournament, but if the Autumn Invitational held best-dressed awards, they would have easily taken first place.

Throughout the two-day tournament, the duo received lingering looks and compliments.

Mr. Sova said he was inspired by watching old news clips of golf greats Gene Sarazen and Bobby Jones, plus popular golf movies set in the past such as "The Legend of Bagger Vance."

The golfers purchased two separate outfits, one for each round. In the opening round, their maroon sweater vests matched Oak Hill's classic logo colors.

Swinging the club comfortably in their old-style outfits during the opening round, Mr. Sova and Mr. Cronin were tied for low net. Their scores rose a little the next day.

In the Tiger Flight of Oak Hill's Autumn Invitational, Marc Bingham and Mark Rosenthal captured the gross top prize with a 66. Rob DeNault and Hunter Gelinas won the net top honors with 58.

"We had a great time," said Mr. Cronin, adding, "It was fun for the two rounds renewing the tradition of the game relative to the wardrobe of so many years ago."

Mr. Cronin pointed out that golf, especially in the past 20 to 30 years, has changed so much because of advances in technology. "Everything has changed, and we've seen the evolution in equipment and golf course design," he said.

"What we did was a throwback to the old days before all the changes," Mr. Cronin added.

In keeping with modern times, however, and in the interest of speedier play, Mr. Sova and Mr. Cronin made one exception from their tribute to bygone days. From shot to shot, hole to hole, they rode around the Oak Hill layout in golf carts.



CUTLINE: (1) Pat Cronin puts while Joe Sova holds the flag at the Oak Hill Autumn Invitational in Fitchburg. (2) Joe Sova, left, and Pat Cronin pose in their 1920s golfing outfits at Oak Hill Country Club.
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Oct 8, 2009
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