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Headline: Belmont's Austin Smith Advances to 2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship Following a Qualifier Held at Framingham Country Club
For Immediate Release: August 28, 2017
Austin Smith earned the right to compete at the 2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.
Framingham, MA — Another Massachusetts native advanced to the 2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship on Monday as Belmont’s Austin Smith shot even par 72 at Framingham Country Club, increasing the total number of Bay State competitors who will play in October’s Championship Proper to four.
He joins medalist John Hayes (Portland, Maine), who fired a field low 1-under par 71, and Francisco Sojo (Buenos Aires, Argentina), who matched Smith’s even par 72, who get to compete at the Capital City Club in Atlanta Georgia for the 37th USGA Mid-Amateur title from October 7-12.
Click here for complete results from the Framingham CC qualifier.
The final qualifying spot was claimed by Barrington, Rhode Island’s Matthew Broome, who beat out Concord’s Mike Dunham and former Haverhill native Nick Maccario in a two-hole playoff.
“This is the first USGA Championship that I have qualified for. I’m very excited,” said the 26-year old Smith, who plays out of Concord Country Club.
Less than a week after advancing to his first Massachusetts Mid-Amateur Championship from the Weston Golf Club qualifier, Smith, who grew up in Sudbury and now lives in Belmont carded birdie on two of his first three holes which paced him the rest of the way.
“It was nice,” said Smith, a 2013 Gettysburg College graduate and member of the Men’s Golf Team on jumping out to a good start. “Once you get a little under par early, you’re almost playing with house money. It takes the pressure off a little bit. I made a bogey a few holes later and it’s alright because I still had a good round going. I wasn’t trying to fight back. I just felt no pressure after getting off to a good start.”
After carding birdie on the respective par-3 and par-5 11th and 12th holes, which were among his first three holes following his 10th tee start, Smith settled in and made seven straight pars before adding another pair of back-to-back birdies on his second nine.
The 2015 and 2016 Concord Country Club club champion, Smith credited his short game as the difference maker at Framingham Monday.
“Putter. Absolutely the putter,” he said. “I missed a five-footer for par on my last hole, but other than that, I could not have putted any better. All the way around, I made everything. I think the putter has held me back for a while but now that it’s going well, I’m hitting the ball well and I feel that I can go down there and hopefully take it from there and see what happens.”
Dunham was named first alternate and Maccario second alternate following Monday’s qualifier, which featured 68 Massachusetts natives in the field. He joins Mansfield’s Ryan Pelletier, who qualified last Monday at Fairfield Country Club (Connecticut) and the duo of Tommy Parker (Boston) and Kevin Silva (New Bedford), who both advanced from last Wednesday’s US Mid Am qualifier at Berkshire Hills Country Club.
Monday’s qualifier at Framingham Country Club was the 30th of 64 scheduled between August 15 and September 14.
Entries for the US Mid-Amateur Championship are open to amateur golfers who will have reached their twenty-fifth birthday by October 7, 2017 and have an up-to-date Handicap Index® based on ratings for men not exceeding 3.4 under the USGA Handicap System™. A Handicap Index must be issued from a “golf club” (as defined in the USGA Handicap System Manual) which is licensed to use the USGA Handicap System. The USGA accepts an up-to-date handicap issued from the international body of golf that would be equivalent to a USGA Handicap Index® within the prescribed limit for entry into the Championship.
For more information on the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, visit USGA.org.