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Headline: Weather Causes Delays During Day 3 of the 109th Massachusetts Amateur Championship; Play to Resume at 7:45 a.m. on Wednesday
For Immediate Release: July 12, 2017
Billy Walthouse was the lone competitor to advance to the quarterfinals on day 3 of the 109th Massachusetts Amateur Championship
Newton, MA — Mother Nature was not kind on Wednesday as four separate suspensions of play wreaked havoc on the third day of competition at the 109th Massachusetts Amateur Championship, which is being held this week at Charles River Country Club.
The day called for the completion of the round of 32 and the round of 16. However, after delays which totaled two hours and 40 minutes – the first of which came just before 10:57 a.m. – only the round of 32 was completed. Only one round of 16 match was completed when the final suspension of play horn sounded at 6:16 p.m.
CLICK HERE to view the current status of the 2017 Massachusetts Amateur Championship match-play bracket.
109th MGA Amateur Quick Links
“It was a challenging day, but our primary concern in these situations is to ensure the safety of the competitors, officials and spectators,” said Kevin Eldridge, the MGA’s director of rules & competition. “We are fortunate to have a host club that has been extremely supportive, and we will be doing everything possible to get back on schedule on Thursday.”
Play will begin at 7:45 a.m. on Thursday. All rounds will commence from the spot where they left off on Wednesday evening. The goal will be to complete the round of 16, quarterfinals and semifinals. The 36-hole final match was originally scheduled to be completed on Friday.
The only competitor who was able to advance to the quarterfinals on this day was Billy Walthouse (Longmeadow CC), who closed out Matthew Organisak (Nashawtuc CC) by a score of 4 and 2 just before the horn suspended play for the fourth and final time.
“I got lucky with an early tee time in the morning,” said Walthouse. “I got the match in before the first rain delay and waited around and then just getting this one in is pretty big. It’s nice not having to wake up too early tomorrow. It is still going to be early, but not as early as it could have been.”
In his first match of the day against Brendan Ridge (Harmon GC), Walthouse needed just 12 holes to advance. Although the fourth match off the tee, it was the first round of 32 match to be completed.
“This morning I didn’t make any bogies and had three birdies so that was big,” said Walthouse. “Tee to green I was really really good. I didn’t miss many approach shots to green. Just being on the green and having a chance at birdie was pretty big.”
Against Organisak, who had earlier in the day defeated Mathew Naumec (GreatHorse), Walthouse was solid once again as he finished with three birdies and three bogies. Walthouse had a 4-up lead through 13 holes when Organisak chipped into the lead with a birdie. On the very next hole, Walthouse countered with a birdie of his own.
“I had just lost that hole and right away birdied 14 to go back up,” said Walthouse. “I lost some momentum and gained it right back.”
Two holes later, Walthouse made a key two putt from just off the fringe to match Organisak’s birdie to go 3 up with three holes to play. He closed the match out on the 16th hole with the comfort of knowing that he was into the quarterfinals.
“It definitely helps,” said Walthouse. “I think that it’s a little bit of an advantage, but I am going to have the same game plan as I did today. I just have to keep hitting the same shots I hit today, and hopefully the result is what I want it to be at the end of the day.”
Walthouse will play the winner of the Cody Booska (CC of Greenfield) and Steven DiLisio (Salem CC) match. At the time of the final suspension of play, Booska held a 1-up lead through 17 holes.
Between the suspensions of play, there was plenty of action on the course and here are some highlights:
A total of 28 different MGA Member Clubs were represented by the match-play competitors. George Wright GC had the most with three – Stephen Demare, Ben Spitz and Sean Fitzpatrick - while Nashawtuc CC and Harmon Club had two members representing on Wednesday.
Four of the eight past champions who were competing in this year’s Championship Proper advanced to match play. Those past champions included Brendan Hunter (2016), Ben Spitz (2006), Frank Vana, Jr. (2004, 2005) and Brendan Hester (2001).
This year marked the first time since 2012 that match play featured a pair of brothers. Andy Drohen and Bill Drohen both made match play five years ago at Tedesco Country Club, while David Spitz and Ben Spitz advanced through stroke play in 2017. A total of four brother pairs were featured in this year’s field of 144 competitors.
Congratulations to Vic Parziale, a longtime Brockton Fire Captain who plans to retire later this summer. Vic Parziale is a familiar figure at MGA Championships as he reguarly serves as caddie for his son Matt Parziale, who is the reigning and three-time Richard D. Haskell MGA Player of the Year. Matt Parziale is also following in his father’s footsteps as he is a member of the Brockton Fire Department.
This marks the second straight year that two members of the St. Thomas Aquinas College golf team - Brendan Hunter and Kevin Gately – advanced to match play.
Doug Clapp has enjoyed more than two decades of Massachusetts Amateur Championship success. The 50-year-old attorney has advanced to match in 20 of his 22 attempts. His best finish was runner up in 2014 when he fell by a score of 3 and 2 to John Kelly.
It has been a record-setting few months for Cody Booska. On June 20, the Turners Falls resident posted a course-record round of 8-under par 64 at a Massachusetts Amateur qualifier held at CC of Wilbraham. This past Sunday, Booska finished with a three-round and tournament record score of 13-under par 203 to capture the CC of Greenfield Club Championship.
Brendan Hester, winner of this event in 2001, plays out of Pleasant Valley CC but he has ties to this week’s host club. His brother Shawn is a golf professional who can often be found on the Charles River CC driving range teaching. Hester is a two-time New England PGA Teacher of the Year and was recognized by Golf Digest as the #1 teacher in Massachusetts in 2005 and 2013.
Another institution that features two of its golf team members in match play was the University of Rhode Island. Billy Walthouse, who plans to turn pro later this summer, recently graduated from the University of Rhode Island where he was named – for the second straight season – to the 2017 Atlantic 10 Academic All-Conference team. Chris Francoeur will be enjoying his freshman season with the Rams during the 2017-18 season. The Rams have a long history of developing top golfers. That list includes Dana Quigley, Jim Salinetti, David Smith, Michael Sims and current Taconic GC head golf professional Josh Hillman.
All 32 match play competitors earned an exemption into the 2017 MGA Amateur Championship per category #2 (click here to view all 10 exemption categories). Richard D. Haskell MGA Player of the Year points are also awarded
Match #1: Steven DiLisio (Salem CC) def. Stephen Demare (George Wright GC), 2 up
Despite a hole in one by Demare on the 4th hole, stroke-play medalist DiLisio battled back from a 2-down deficit thanks in part to three straight birdies made on the 14th, 15th and 16th holes. The birdie stretch was much needed after DiLisio, who had made just six bogies through his first 36 holes, carded five bogies through eight holes. Demare, playing in what is his first ever MGA Championship Proper, carded bogey on the last two holes.
Match #2: Cody Booska (CC of Greenfield) def. Chris Francoeur (Amesbury G & CC), 5 and 4
Days after winning the CC of Greenfield club championship by 11 strokes, Booska needed just 14 holes to defeat Francoeur. Following a bogie-birdie start, Booska took advantage of a stretch of holes where Francoeur made five straight bogies to break out to a 5-up lead through nine holes. Although Francoeur made birdie on the 10th hole, it was not enough as Booska closed out the match with a win on the 14th hole with a par.
Match #3: Matthew Organisak (Nashawtuc CC) def. Matthew Naumec (GreatHorse), 2 and 1
Organisak saw his 1-up lead through 10 holes extend to 3 up after making birdies on the 11th and 12th holes. Naumec played 1-under par golf through his next three holes and took advantage of a few miscues by Organisak during that stretch to draw within one with three holes to play. Both players made birdie on the 15th hole, but a bogey on the 16th hole by Naumec led to an eventual 2-and-1 victory for Organisak on the 17th holes where both players made par.
Match #4: Billy Walthouse (Longmeadow CC) def. Brendan Ridge (Harmon GC), 7 & 6
Walthouse played 2-under par golf which was more than enough to defeat Ridge in 12 holes. Walthouse made birdie on the first hole and was 2 up following a Ridge bogey on the 3rd hole. The complexion of the match changed beginning on the 7th hole as Ridge made bogey on five straight holes to give Walthouse a 7-up lead through 11 holes. Walthouse ended the match by matching Ridge’s birdie on the 12th hole.
Match #5: Matt Cowgill (Wayland CC) def. Adam Trivilino (Hyannis GC), 5 and 4
Cowgill was 3-under par through nine holes and was 3 up at the turn against Trivilino. The match continued to go Cowgill’s was as Trivilino began the back nine by carding double bogey and then back-to-back bogies on the 11th and 12th holes. Cowgill lost the 13th hole after suffering a triple bogey, but he was able to capture the victory.
Match #6: Zach Camarra (Worcester CC) def. Dan Cappucci (Boston GC), 2 up
Camarra made four birdies and two bogies through his first nine holes to build up a 4-up lead at the turn over Cappucci, last year’s semifinalist. Cappucci made a run on the back nine as he made birdie on the 10th, 12th and 15th holes to draw within one with three holes left. Bogies made on the 16th and 18th holes, however, allowed Camarra to secure the victory with a par on the 18th hole.
Match #7: David Spitz (South Shore CC) def. Frank Vana, Jr. (Marlborough), 1 Up
Vana rebounded from a double bogey on the 1st hole to pull all square at the turn with Spitz following a birdie on the 9th hole. Bogies made on the 10th and 12th holes gave Spitz a 2-up advantage that he would guard and still hold through the 16th hole. Vana made a late run with a birdie on the 17th hole, but Spitz closed out the match with a matching par on the 17th hole.
Match #8: Sean Fitzpatrick (George Wright GC) def. Andrew O’Leary (Pawtucket CC), 1 up
Fitzpatrick made bogey on his very first hole, but that would prove to be the only time that he would trail in his match against O’Leary. Fitzpatrick went on to make birdie on five of his next eight holes to play the first nine holes at 4-under par. At the turn he held a 3-up lead over O’Leary who had played that first nine holes at 1-under par. O’Leary was able to close the gap to 1-down through 16 holes and then made a birdie on the 17th hole to draw all square. Fitzpatrick came through with a birdie – his seventh of the match – to win by a score of 1 up.
Match #9: Jackson Lang (Nashawtuc CC) def. Brendan Hunter (Shaker Hills CC), 4 and 3
A 3-under-through-three-hole start proved not enough for the defending champion Hunter to advance to the round of 16. Lang played 1-under par golf on Wednesday morning and Hunter struggled through a stretch of eight holes where he was 6-over par. Hunter made his final birdie of the day on the 14th hole to draw within four but it proved not enough. Lang closed out the match on the 15th hole with matching pars.
Match #10: Ben Spitz (George Wright GC) def. Jack Boulger (Walpole CC), 6 and 5
The two competitors were all square through four holes after both making birdie on the 2nd hole. Beginning on the 5th hole, however, Boulger carded six bogies and one double bogey which opened the door for Spitz to finish off the match in 13 holes. Boulger was 4 down at the turn and then made bogey on three of his next four holes.
Match #11: Nick Maccario (Bradford CC) def. Brian Bassett (Oyster Harbors), 4 and 3
Maccario made his first birdie of the day on the 6th hole to take an early 1-up lead over Basset. The lead grew to 2 up for Maccario after Basset suffered bogies on the 10th and 11th holes. Maccario then made his final move of the match by making birdie on the 12th, 14th and 15th holes to earn victory in 15 holes.
Match #12: Herbie Aikens (Pinehills GC) def. Maxwell Campion (Woods Hole GC), 2 up
Aikens began his round with a bogey but then made three birdies through his next five holes to build a 3-up lead over Campion at the turn. Campion would draw within two through 10 holes (thanks to a birdie on the 10th hole) and then again on the 17th hole after Aikens carded back-to-back bogies on the 16th and 17th holes. On the deciding 18th hole with Aikens 1 up, Campion could not reach the green in two and conceded the match to Aikens who found the green easily in two.
Match #13: Matt Parziale (Thorny Lea GC) def. Patrick O’Leary (Wollaston GC), 2 up
O’Leary took an early 1-up lead through three holes but then fell back against Parziale after making bogey on the 7th and 9th holes. Beginning on the 6th hole, Parziale played 1-under par through the end of the match. Key birdies for Parziale came on the 15th hole and then on the 18th where his third shot was conceded by O’Leary.
Match #14: Mark Turner (Bass Rocks GC) def. Doug Clapp (Old Sandwich GC), 20 holes
The match was all square through nine holes before Turner made two bogies – on the 10th and 11th holes – to give Clapp a 2-up advantage. It was a lead that Clapp would hold through 14 holes when he carded a bogey on the 482-yard, par 5 15th hole. Turner made birdie on the next hole to even the match and then he took a 1-up lead when Clapp made bogey on the 17th hole. On the 18th hole, Clapp evened the score with a par to force extra holes. The players both made par on the first extra hole before Turner was able to execute and make birdie on the second playoff hole for the victory.
Match 15: Charlie May (Ferncroft CC) def. Michael Souliotis (Haverhill CC), 4 and 3
Following a roller-coaster first six holes where he made two birdies, one bogey and one double bogey, May managed to right the ship and played his next five holes at even par. Souliotis managed one birdie – on the 4th hole – but bogies carded on the 5th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th holes proved to be costly as he was 4-down through 11 holes. He managed to get one back after a May bogie n the 12th hole, but May closed out the match with three straight pars.
Match 16: Kevin Gately (Harmon GC) def. Brendan Hester (Pleasant Valley CC), 5 and 4
It was not until the 12th hole when Hester made his first birdie. By that point in the match, Gately had built a 5-up lead after a start which saw Hester play 5-over par golf through his first four holes. On the 9th hole, Gately made par for a front-nine score of even par. Hester, meanwhile, made his seventh bogie of the day and was 6 down through 9 holes. He would get as close as 4-down, but Gately closed out the match on the 14th hole with a birdie.
Due to the suspension of play on Wednesday, below is a revised summary of play and coverage through the final 36-hole match on Friday.
Round of 16 – hole-by-hole scores for remaining 7 matches
Quarterfinals – hole-by-hole score & on-course Twitter updates
Semifinals – hole-by-hole score & on-course Twitter updates
Final Match - hole-by-hole score & on-course Twitter updates and hole-by-hole descriptions