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PITTSFIELD, Massachusetts – Vermont amateur golfer Jared Nelson and professional Mark Purrington, of Dartmouth, Mass., each shot matching 3-under 69’s at Berkshire Hills Country Club in Pittsfield on Tuesday to earn co-medalist honors and advance to the 36-hole sectional round of U.S. Open qualifying taking place on June 3. The two competitors edged out Killington, Vermont’s Garren Poirier by one stroke in the 18-hole qualifier – the second of three being contested in Massachusetts this week.
Jared Nelson (Vermont) – Co-Medalist / Low Amateur Honor
Mark Purrington (Dartmouth, Mass.) – Co-Medalist
Garren Poirier (Vermont) – First Alternate
Nick Antonelli (New Hampshire) – Second Alternate
New Hampshire’s Nick Antonelli, a golf instructor at Atkinson Resort & Country Club, secured second alternate status following a three-for-one playoff.
In the midst of completing his freshman year for the Siena University Men’s Golf Saints squad, Rutland’s Jared Nelson registered a birdie on the par-5 second hole and an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole to quickly jump out to an early 3-under mark on the leaderboard. He would make the turn at even-par after a trio of setbacks on holes five, seven and nine on the way out, but registered back-to-back birdies on Holes 11&12 and another on 15 to return to his top-spot.
For 32-year old Mark Purrington, of Dartmouth, a professional golfer and part-time drummer, had a tale of two-rounds on Tuesday. In his first nine, he registered one birdie to two bogeys to make the turn at 1-over 36, but opened up his second nine with three straight birdies on his way in – carding a four on the par-5 10th hole and a pair of three’s on the subsequent par-4 11th and 12th holes, to back in the red on the leaderboard before registering his fifth birdie of the day on the par-5 18th hole to claim rights to a medalist position and avoid a possible playoff scenario.
Hopkinton native Jimmy Hervol, a longtime Mass Golf competitor and a current senior on the UConn Men’s Golf Team, advanced from U.S. Open Local Qualifying on Monday, May 6, at Lyman Orchards Country Club in Middlefield, Connecticut. Hervol shot a 2-under par 70 and earned the low-amateur medal, finishing one stroke behind Gilford, New Hampshire’s Chris Houston for the top-spot. A total of four competitors advanced from the local qualifier, which was conducted by the Connecticut State Golf Association. A T6 finisher at the American Athletic Conference Golf Championship, Hervol will advance as an individual to the NCAA Regionals beginning on Monday, May 13, at the University of Louisville Golf Club – the first UConn Huskie to earn that feat since 1992.
Tuesday’s two qualifiers join fellow Bay Staters Billy Walthouse, Eric Barlow, Jim Renner, Matt Parziale, Jimmy Hervol, and Rich Werenski who have now advanced to sectional qualifying, either by advancing through the local qualifying round or via exemption. Wellesley resident Michael Thorbjornsen, the reigning U.S. Junior Amateur champion, is automatically exempt into the Championship Proper at Pebble Beach as a result of his national championship victory last summer.
Mass Golf will be conducting one additional U.S. Open qualifier this week. On Thursday, May 9, at Pinehills Golf Club in Plymouth, five competitors will advance to the sectional round of U.S. Open qualifying stage. The qualifier will be contested at 18-holes.
Mass Golf will provide coverage for the remaining U.S. Open local qualifier being contested in Massachusetts on May 9. Visit MassGolf.org and follow @PlayMassGolf on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest information. To join the conversation, use the hashtag #MassGolf and #USOpen.