Headline: 2017 Massachusetts Amateur Qualifying Kicks Off at Two Sites - Bear Hill GC and Townsend Ridge CC; 14 Competitors Advance to Championship Proper

For Immediate Release: May 30, 2017

The first day of Massachusetts Amateur Qualifying was held at Bear Hill GC (top) and Townsend Ridge CC.

Norton, MA — With their Memorial Day barbeques barely digested Tuesday morning, more than 100 competitors at the two host sites took their shot at qualifying for the 2017 Massachusetts Amateur Championship.

At Stoneham’s Bear Hill Golf Club and Townsend Ridge Country Club in Townsend, a combined 13 spots and ties were up for grabs for the MGA’s longest running tournament, which will celebrate its 109th year this July at Charles River Country Club in Newton.

The annual five-day tournament will begin with stroke play on July 10-11 before the top 32 in the field move on to three days of match play, concluding with a 36-hole contest with the remaining two players to crown the 2017 champion.

At Bear Hill Country Club, where six spots and ties were to be had, more than three dozen members from the club lined the patio overlooking the 18th green to watch the competitors sink their putts and hopefully card a low enough score to advance to the Championship Proper, which will be returning to Charles River for only the sixth time, and the first since 1994.

There, competitors required an 18-hole score of 4-over par 75 or better to gain automatic admission into the field. Needham Golf Club’s David Rodgers, a 16-year old from Needham who has been a star on junior golf circuit, shot a day-low 2-over par 73 to lead the seven total competitors who moved on from Tuesday’s qualifiers.

Joining Rogers from Bear Hill were a quartet of competitors who carded 3-over par 74. Jake Peer (Winchester CC), Nick Zolotas (Meadow at Peabody), Michael Reily (Tour Greater Bos) and David Walshe (Nabnasset Lake CC) finished T2.

Norwood CC’s George Ordway and Bellevue GC’s Andrew Gerety rounded out the group of qualifiers after they turned in matching scores of 4-over par 75 to place T6.

CLICK HERE for complete results from the Bear Hill GC qualifying site.

meanwile, 40 miles west, at Tuesday’s second qualifier at Townsend Ridge CC, the seven qualifiers were separated by a mere four strokes to decide who would be moving on to next month’s Championship Proper.

Leading the way was Shining Rock GC member Rob Hirt, who offset his three bogeys with three birdies and finished the day with 12 pars to card an even-par 70 on the day. He was joined by four contenders who finished T2 with 2-over par 72 scores.

Michael Pyne (Foxborough CC), Sean Andrews (Thomson CC), Kevin Reale (The Haven CC) and Mike Powers (Cyprian Keyes GC) will also be added to the Championship Field following Tuesday’s play while Adam Trivilino (Hyannis GC) and Christopher Brewer (Beverly G & TC) were the final two to advance following matching 3-over par 73 cards to finished T6.

CLICK HERE for complete results from the Townsend Ridge CC qualifying site.

In addition, eight golfers from Tuesday’s two qualifiers were named alternates after their scores were within one stroke of the last place qualifier at each respective site. All eight will be added to the priority list per the Alternate Policy, which can be found on the MGA Policies and Procedures Page. Alternates will be decided following the final Massachusetts Amateur Championship, scheduled for June 21 at President’s Golf Club.

While the names of the first 14 competitors were determined on Tuesday, the MGA Amateur Championship qualifiers are far over as Tuesday marked what will be a very busy upcoming month for amateur golfers in the Bay State.

“It’s exciting to begin qualifying for the 2017 Massachusetts Amateur Championship” said Kevin Eldridge, the MGA's director of rules & competition, who was running Tuesday’s qualifier in Stoneham. “As the oldest event run by the MGA, the Mass Am continues to draw the most interest dating back to its inception in 1903. The start of qualifying at today’s sites marked the start of what will be another exciting season for the staff and competitors alike.”

Eight more Massachusetts Amateur qualifiers will be held, beginning at Hatherly Country Club in Scituate on May 31.

Other scheduled qualifying sites include William J. Devine GC (June 1), Willowbend (June 5), Indian Ridge CC (June 7), Waubeeka GL (June 7), Marlborough CC), CC of Wilbraham (June 20) and the finale on June 21 at Presidents GC in Quincy.

For information on tee times, results and highlights for all 2017 Massachusetts Amateur Championship qualifiers and the Championship Proper, check back on mgalinks.org. All information regarding the 109th playing of the Amateur Championship can be found via social media by searching #MassAm..