Headline: 18 Amateurs and 14 Professional Competitors Advance at 2017 Massachusetts Open Qualifying Held at Belmont CC and Cohasset GC

Belmont CC (top) and Cohasset GC hosted MGA Open qualifiers on May 15.

For Immediate Release: May 15, 2017

Norton, MA — Monday’s Massachusetts Open Championship qualifiers at Belmont Country Club and Cohasset Golf Club were the first MGA qualifiers of the season, and like usual, the field did not disappoint as the mix of professional and amateur players competed for their respective spots in the 108th Championship Proper.

The annual three-day event will take place from June 12-14 at TGC at Sacconnesset in East Falmouth for what is the only MGA event of the championship season with a professional purse.

In total, 32 players from the two qualifier sites advanced from Monday’s rounds. Of that group, 18 were local amateur competitors, while 14 currently compete competitively.
At the Belmont site, it was the likes of amateur golfer Alejandro Soto who was leading the charge by firing a score of 1-over par 72 to make his way to the top of the leaderboard.

The 19-year old from Newton, a freshman for the Colgate University Men’s Golf Team, finished the day at 1-over par after making two of his three birdies on his second nine, including one on the 565-yard par-5 9th hole, the longest hole on the course.

Soto, who plays out of Blue Hill CC, was part of the last group to tee off from the 10th tee at the 9:57 timeslot. His three birdies tied for the second most of the entire field, while his 11 pars placed him in a tie for fourth most on the day. Monday’s qualifier marks the second straight year that Soto will have qualified for the MGA Open Championship Proper.

Zachary Potter, a professional from Cocoa Beach, Florida, netted the second lowest score on the day with a 2-over par 73 mark, which also ranked him the top scorer amongst all professionals in the field. He made two birdies - on the 3rd and 12th holes - to go along with his 12 pars on the day.

The rest of the field to qualify from Belmont are as follows: John Ezekowitz (a), Victor Galvani (a), Thomas Stirling, Daniel Woodbury (a), Hal Jacobs, Rob Corcoran, Steven Veydt (a), Nicholas Cummings (a), Michael Souliotis (a), John Flaherty, Burgess Houston, Matthew Paradis (a), Austin Smith (a), Ronnie Coiro (a), Chris Poli (a) and Eric Lifson.

South of Boston at the Cohasset GC qualifier, Robin Byrd of Satellite Beach, Florida topped the leaderboard with a 1-under par 69 to lead all competitors on the course Monday. The 56-year professional, who went to Marshall University and competed in the 2014 U.S. Senior Open at Oak Tree National, made bogey on two of his first six holes, but then bounced back to record par or better on the remaining 12 holes.

Camrin James, who holds his handicap index out of Ferncroft CC, placed second in the field with a 1-over par 71 score. After a tough start where he made three bogeys over the span of his first four holes, the former New Hampshire State Golf Association Junior Player of the Year carded two birdies and 13 pars over the remainder of his round for the final score.  

Local product Nick Arthurs, Cohasset GC’s Assistant Professional, finished T3 after shooting a 2-over par 72 on Monday while amateurs Mike Dunham, Tommy Parker, Kevin Gately and Adam Whitfield each matched his spot at 72 to advance to June’s Championship Proper.

The rest of the field to qualify from Cohasset are as follows: Nathan Davis, Jared Winiarz (a), Lucas Cromeenes, Patrick Ross (a), Alex Jamieson (a), Alexander Frankel and Peter Ruymann.

All alternatives on the list will be placed on a priority list which can be found on the MGA’s Policy and Procedute webpage.

“Monday’s scores reflect the deep field of competitors who are looking to gain entrance into this year’s MGA Open,” said Kevin Eldridge, the MGA's director of Rules and Competition. “Even with less than favorable weather conditions, scores from those who qualified reflect a talented pool of competitors. We expect the same results from our four additional qualifiers over the span of the next nine days.”

Additionally, 52 players earned exempt status and will advance directly to this year’s Massachusetts Open Championship.

Four more qualifying rounds are scheduled ahead of the Massachusetts Open Championship, beginning with GreatHorse on Wednesday, May 17, followed by Tedesco Country Club, Taconic Golf Club and Eastward Ho! from May 22-24.

For information on tee times, results and highlights of all 2017 Massachusetts Open Championship qualifiers and Championship Proper, check back on mgalinks.org. All information regarding the Open Championship can be found via social media by searching #MassOpen.