AGOSTINI: Oakdale golfer's pitching prowess displayed with three shots into raft

ragostini@modbee.comSeptember 3, 2013 

Vince Boschetti, a golferfor more than 60 years, has scored six holes-in-one.

Incredible feat, right? He's got one better than that, folks, and it concerns a raft, a reward and the mayor of Oakdale.

File the following under "Golf's version of a fish story." Only it's true.

Boschetti, 79, and his wife Nancy moved to Oakdale about five years ago to be closer to their children. He tees it up five days a week at Oakdale Country Club. To him, a day without golf is, well, not much of a day.

The Oakdale CC Senior Invitational, held last week, brought together Boschetti and his friends for the annual tournament. All was in place, including the raft.

No more than five feet wide, the raft is stabilized in the middle of a pond in front of the tee at Oakdale's par-4 second. It's used as a separate fund-raiser during most tournaments at OCC, and it goes something like this: Purchase three balls for fill-in-the-blank dollars, and try to hit the ball onto the raft from 92 yards.

So Boschetti paid his $10 and took his three shots — and wedged all three of them onto the raft, like dropping golf balls down a mineshaft. That reportedly never has been done in the half-century history of the club.

"Three great shots, one on top of the other. It looked like a bucket down there. It was a greater accomplishment than the aces," Boschetti said. "I understand a few people have hit two onto the raft, but never three. I still don't believe I did it."

Verification, you ask? Standing at the tee was the tournament's official witness: Mayor Pat Paul.

There is a backstory.

Boschetti, born and raised in Connecticut, served as a plant manager of a hydraulic company. He sought a second career after he moved to Southern California and found it in golf. He became an assistant pro for 13 years at Rolling Hills CC in Palos Verdes, a nice private club despite one little quirk — a practice range no longer than 100 yards.

Hence, Boschetti became a nifty wedge player.

"I got pretty good at that distance," Boschetti. "I guess it paid off."

He also worked as a committee man for the PGA before the move to Oakdale. His handicap index is 16.1 today, a number that dipped much lower years ago.

"He's a golfer's golfer," said Bosch Boschetti, Vince's son. "He's always loved the game."

His accomplishment has become a conversation piece in the Oakdale golf community. It certainly took the tournament by surprise.

Boschetti and two others struck successful raft shots that day, and the payoff was $100 apiece. One problem: No one knew how to reward a golfer who hit the trifecta.

"The committee informed me last week that I'll get another $100," he said. "I don't care. I was just happy with the fact that I did it."

Yes, $200 will spend quickly, but Boschetti's raft story lives forever in Oakdale.

THE SHAG BAG — Cal State Stanislaus' Trevor Clayton warmed up for his sophomore season Monday by winning the 15th Outlaw Cup at Riverbend near Madera. Clayton, a graduate of Clovis High, shot 69, 69 and 72. Last year, he placed fourth in the same event. Last spring, he tied for 37th — the Warriors' second-best finish — at the NCAA Division II Championships. ... Brooke Riley of Manteca scored three straight victories last month and vaulted to the top of the Junior Golf Association of Northern California girls points list. The East Union High lefty, who captured overall titles at Turlock CC and Micke Grove, shot a 71 to win the State Fair Junior at Haggin Oaks in Sacramento. Oakdale's Mabel Wong, a member of the Northern California team in the Junior America's Cup, North/South and the Mary Cave Cup, is ranked ninth. ... Anthony Bonales of Ceres is ranked second behind San Jose's Shintaro Ban in the JGANC boys point standings. The Central Valley High senior assisted his NorCal teammates to a fourth-place finish in the Hogan Cup competition in Portland, Ore. Landon Azevedo of Hilmar is ranked third and Teo Chiesa of Hughson is 10th.

HOLES-IN-ONE — Jane Findarle, Modesto, 162-yard seventh at Spring Creek CC, Ripon, 6-iron. ... Sheree Niles, Oakdale, 122-yard 12th at Oakdale CC, 7-wood. ... John Dennis, Modesto, 140-yard 16th at Jack Tone Golf, Ripon, 9-wood. ... Mike Porter, Ripon, 132-yard fourth at Jack Tone, pitching wedge. ... Tom Jackson, Manteca, 157-yard 14th at Jack Tone, 6-iron. ... Sharon Busser, Manteca, 80-yard second at Escalon, 7-iron. ... Robby Fouts, Oakdale, 71-yard third at Escalon, wedge.

Bee staff writer Ron Agostini can be reached at ragostini@modbee.com or (209) 578-2302. Follow Ron via Twitter, @modbeesports.

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