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Headline: Wilbraham Native Matt Naumec Leads the Way at U.S. Open Local Qualifying; Three Advance at Crumpin-Fox Club
Matt Naumec captured medalist honors at U.S. Open Local Qualifying held at Crumpin-Fox Club.
For Immediate Release: May 16, 2017
Bernardston, MA — Three more hopefuls looking for the opportunity to advance to the 2017 U.S. Open Championship learned their fate on Tuesday at the Crumpin-Fox Club, the second of two local qualifiers hosted by the MGA in the past five days.
With their eyes set on Wisconsin’s Erin Hills, the site of this year’s U.S. Open Championship, Matt Naumec, Liam Ainsworth and Jonathan Elkins each continued their journey, qualifying for the 36-hole sectional qualifier to be held at New Jersey’s Canoe Brook Country Club on June 5. The 117th playing of the U.S. Open will take place from June 15-18.
CLICK HERE to view full results from Crumpin-Fox Club.
A second local qualifier was also held on Tuesday at Rhode Island’s Newport Country Club and hosted by the Rhode Island Golf Association.
A total of 40 players from Massachusetts were in the starting field and when the final scorecards were signed three of the four qualifiers were Bay State products. Qualifying at Newport CC were amateurs David Spitz (Weymouth, MA), Michael Dunham (Concord, MA) and Steven Dilisio (Swampscott, MA).
CLICK HERE to view full results from Newport CC.
At the Crumpin-Fox Club, the host site for the 2012 MGA Senior Four-Ball Championship and the club named after the former beverage company that employed much of the area beginning in 1853, it was a 20-year old amateur Naumec who earned medalist honors and officially booked his ticket to the next stage of this year’s Championship.
The 2014 Massachusetts Junior Amateur Champion, a sophomore on the men’s golf team at Boston College, fired a 4-under par 68 on the 7,000 + yard course for the top spot on the leaderboard. He edged out professional Liam Ainsworth (Dade City, Florida) and 16-year old amateur Jonathan Elkins, a member at the Crumpin-Fox Club. All three will be moving onto the next round of competition.
Naumec, a Wilbraham native and member at GreatHorse, is set to compete at the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship next week at Pinehurst. He now adds another accomplishment to his playing resume with Tuesday’s top finish. If he were to advance to the U.S. Open Championship, it would be the third USGA Championship that the he would compete in dating back to 2015.
“I came out to Crump today just expecting to play one shot in front of the other and ended up playing well,” said Naumec, who registered five birdies and an eagle in Tuesday’s 18-hole local qualifier. “I was able to play high school here for a couple rounds so I felt pretty comfortable coming out here. I knew the course and knew that it kind of fit my game. It felt like a good solid round.”
Playing the course more like a seasoned veteran than an infrequent visitor, Naumec used the knowledge carried over from his time as a student and two-year captain at Willbraham & Monson to dominate the field. That wasn’t more evident than on the back nine, where he carded two of his birdies, in addition to an eagle on the par-5 14th hole.
“I had an eagle on the back nine that jumped me towards the finishing stretch” said Naumec after his round. “I put my drive in a little trouble on the left hand side then chipped out to 132. I put the ball behind the hole and used a slope that kind of went in from 132.
“On the next par-three (Hole No.15), I hit a good shot to 1-and-a-half feet and I was able to follow the eagle up with a birdie. It was a nice little boost to get me towards 16, 17 and 18.”
For Naumec, who will be advancing to his second straight U.S. Open Sectional qualifier (he advanced to the Woodmont Country Club sectional qualifier in 2016), the opportunity to be back competing for another USGA Championship opportunity feels great.
“It’s the U.S. Open. I can’t get too far ahead of myself but it’s nice to have a second chance now knowing what to expect” said Naumec about falling at last year’s sectional qualifier. “I just have to have the right mindset and believe in my game. It’s golf. Anything can happen. It would be great to play on the greatest stage – the U.S. Open.”
In addition to the three qualifiers, a playoff between three players who shot 1-over par 73 was held to determine first and second alternate. Troy Evans, an amateur and freshman for St. John’s University captured the first alternate spot while Alejandro Soto, who on Monday led the field of competitors at Belmont Country Club to qualify for the Massachusetts Open Championship, finished as second alternate.