119th Mass. Women’s Am: Pelham’s Anna Casagrande gets back to work

  • Pelham’s Anna Casagrande hits on No. 2 during the 119th Massachusetts Women's Amateur Championship on Tuesday at The Orchards Golf Club in South Hadley. FOR THE GAZETTE/DAN LITTLE

  • Amherst Regional graduate Anna Casagrande finishes up on the No. 9 green during the 119th Massachusetts Women's Amateur Championship on Tuesday at The Orchards Golf Club in South Hadley. FOR THE GAZETTE/DAN LITTLE

  • Amherst Regional graduate Anna Casagrande, right, and her father Jim Casagrande, the head professional at Northampton Country Club, scout their shot on No. 3 during the 119th Massachusetts Women's Amateur Championship on Tuesday at The Orchards Golf Club in South Hadley. FOR THE GAZETTE/DAN LITTLE

  • Amherst Regional graduate Anna Casagrande chips onto the No. 18 green during the 119th Massachusetts Women's Amateur Championship on Tuesday at the Orchards Golf Club in South Hadley. FOR THE GAZETTE/DAN LITTLE

  • Amherst Regional graduate Anna Casagrande, right, and her father Jim Casagrande, the head professional at Northampton Country Club, walk the fairway on No. 3 during the 119th Massachusetts Women's Amateur Championship on Tuesday at the Orchards Golf Club in South Hadley. FOR THE GAZETTE/DAN LITTLE

  • Amherst Regional graduate Anna Casagrande watches a chip shot at the 119th Massachusetts Women's Amateur Championship on Monday at the Orchards Golf Club in South Hadley. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Amherst Regional graduate Anna Casagrande watches a tee shot at the 119th Massachusetts Women's Amateur Championship on Monday at the Orchards Golf Club in South Hadley. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Amherst Regional graduate Anna Casagrande putts at the 119th Massachusetts Women's Amateur Championship on Monday at the Orchards Golf Club in South Hadley. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Amherst Regional graduate Anna Casagrande, right,  and her father Jim Casagrande, the head professional at Northampton Country Club, assess an approach shot at the 119th Massachusetts Women's Amateur Championship on Monday at the Orchards Golf Club in South Hadley. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Amherst Regional graduate Anna Casagrande reacts to a putt at the 119th Massachusetts Women's Amateur Championship on Monday at the Orchards Golf Club in South Hadley. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Jim Casagrande, the head professional at Northampton Country Club, right, and his daughter Amherst Regional graduate Anna Casagrande assess a green at the 119th Massachusetts Women's Amateur Championship on Monday at the Orchards Golf Club in South Hadley. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Amherst Regional graduate Anna Casagrande, right, and her father Jim Casagrande, the head professional at Northampton Country Club, discern the speed and slope of a green at the 119th Massachusetts Women's Amateur Championship on Monday at the Orchards Golf Club in South Hadley. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

Staff Writer
Published: 8/16/2022 8:05:15 PM

SOUTH HADLEY – Anna Casagrande smiled despite her putt curving just wide of the cup.

The Amherst Regional product did not have the start she wanted at the 119th Massachusetts Women’s Amateur Championship on Monday at The Orchards Golf Club. Casagrande, a Southern New Hampshire University graduate, shot a 15-over 87 that tied her for 37th on Monday. She managed a birdie on the par 4 ninth hole, her last of the day after starting on No. 10, but that didn’t balance the rest of the round.

“Not great, could have done better,” she said.

Casagrande struggled again Tuesday with a 23-over 95. That put her at 39-over for the tournament and in 52nd place, below the top 32 that advanced to Wednesday’s match play portion of the event. The cut line landed at 25-over.

But the result was secondary for Casagrande. Monday and Tuesday’s rounds were among the few she played all summer. She spent most of it working an internship at CliftonLarsonAllen, an accounting firm in Boston. Between that time commitment and the relative difficulty of accessing courses in and around Boston, she didn’t find time to play. Casagrande will enter graduate school at Bryant University this fall and golf for the Bulldogs.

“She’ll get back in the swing of it,” said Jim Casagrande, her father, caddie, and the club pro at Northampton Country Club.

Anna Casagrande has played in the last few Massachusetts Women’s Amateur championships and missed qualifying for match play (top 32 players after two day of stroke play) by a handful of strokes last year. She tries to bring her dad on the course as often as she can.

“It’s fun coming out here with him and nice to share that experience with him and play with him,” Anna Casagrande said.

Jim Casagrande looks forward to caddying for Anna more than playing in his own events. He taught her the game at Northampton CC and even competed against her when he coached the Northampton High School boys team while she was on Amherst Regional’s squad.

“This is the most enjoyable thing in the world for me now,” he said. “Nothing better than carrying a bag for your kid.”

Anna Casagrande appreciated being able to participate in such a prestigious event so close to home at a relatively familiar course. Amherst played at The Orchards while she was a Hurricane, and Casagrande has a round under her belt since then.

“It’s nice having people come and watch like my friends and family... makes it extra special,” she said.

It also provides an opportunity to connect with other Western Massachusetts golfers and show the strength of competitors from the area.

“It’s nice to have that sense of community out here,” Anna Casagrande said.

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at kgrabowski@gazettenet.com. Follow him on Twitter @kylegrbwsk.
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