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MARION | MATTAPOISETT, Massachusetts – With the continuation and conclusion of stroke play on Wednesday morning, the 32 seeds for the match-play portion of the 112th Massachusetts Amateur Championship have been determined.
Match play began at 10 a.m. today and will run through Friday at The Kittansett Club in Marion. The Round of 32 and Round of 16 will take place today, followed by the quarterfinals and semifinals on Thursday. The final matchup will take place Friday with 36 holes between the top two golfers to determine a winner.
Chris Francoeur (Amesbury G&CC) and Matt Parziale (Thorny Lea GC) split medalist honors at 3-under, and they’ll be the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, respectively. The top 32 players finished 4-over or better to avoid any playoffs for the final spots.
After two rain delays Tuesday pushed back tee times into the late afternoon, play was suspended at 8:06 p.m. due to darkness with 24 players combined still playing at The Kittansett Club and The Bay Club at Mattapoisett.
The first weather delay took place at 10:42 a.m. (Kittansett) and 10:52 a.m. (Bay Club), with play resuming at 1:50 p.m. However, the horn sounded again and play was suspended a second time from 3 to 5 p.m.
When the second delay began, Owen Quinn (Wachusett CC) and Jack Boulger (Walpole CC) each had putts within five feet on the 18th and had to wait two hours to finish out their rounds. Boulger missed the eagle chance but tapped in for birdie to finish stroke play 78-69–147 for 5-over. Quinn sank his putt to save par, going 74-72–146 (4-over).
“I was trying not to overcomplicate it,” said Quinn, who’s also the son of PGA TOUR Champions player Fran Quinn. “Once we were able to go back out there, I just hit a couple five footers up the hill and then went back out and thankfully knocked it in.”
During the delay, some grabbed a bite to eat, chatted with others, or just sat in the car to relax. But some, like Monday leader Jeremy Meade (Nashawtuc CC), watched a movie inside his Tesla to help pass the time.
After going 5-over through eight holes, Meade made birdie on the 9th, 15th and 18th.
“After the double on the eighth, oddly enough, I think that kind of settled down a bit,” Meade said. “I just sort of relaxed a little bit and made a couple of birdies coming home. The waiting was kind of tough, but I somehow strung it together at the end.”
These chase for the Harry B. McCracken Stroke Play Medal also heated up down stretch Tuesday as Chris Francoeur and Matt Parziale battled back and forth for the lead at The Bay Club. Both are tied at 3-under, but Francoeur finished his round, going 68-71–139 over two days. Parziale is 1-under for his round with two holes to play.
Francoeur made a huge eagle on the 15th to pull ahead by a stroke. After a birdie on 17, he gave it back with a double bogey on 18.
“I feel good,” Francoeur said. “The goal coming into the week is obviously to make match play, and anything can happen from there.”
This year’s medalist will attempt to become only the third competitor since 1999 to win the Amateur Championship as the No. 1 seed. Nick McLaughlin was the last medalist to win the championship as the No. 1 seed, doing so in 2015 at Oak Hill CC. Prior to that, John Hadges captured the 2008 Amateur title at The Kittansett Club as the No. 1 seed.
Schedule of Play
Stroke Play: The remaining stroke play will resume at 7:45 a.m. at The Kittansett Club and The Bay Club, depending on where the players were playing Tuesday. Any playoff will take place around 10 a.m. at The Kittansett Club.
Match Play: All match play will take place at The Kittansett Club. A general numeric draw will be used. For purposes of determining places in the draw, ties in qualifying rounds shall be decided by the order in which scores are returned, except that places of those participating in a play-off shall be determined by performance in the play-off and if necessary, a blind draw.
When Kittansett last hosted the Mass Amateur in 2008, the cutline was an eye-popping 11-over. This year the cut was +4, with each competitors playing one round at both The Kittansett Club & The Bay Club. This year’s cutline ties 2018 for the lowest one in the past decade at the Mass Amateur. Here is the history of the cutline dating back to 2008:
|2019: +6||The Country Club||2013: +8||Longmeadow CC|
|2018: +4||George Wright GC/William J. Devine GC||2012: +7||Tedesco CC|
|2017: +7||Charles River CC||2011: +7||Wyantenuck CC|
|2016: +5||Taconic GC||2010: +7||Myopia Hunt Club|
|2015: +6||Oak Hill CC||2009: +8||The Country Club|
|2014: +8||Kernwood CC||2008: +11||The Kittansett Club|
A Family Legacy
Raymond Dennehy IV (Oak Hill CC) said his first tee shot at The Kittansett Club was the hardest. Standing just right of the tee box and in front of the pro shop is a rock with a statue on top that reads, “In Memory Of Ray Dennehy, who devotes his life to Kittansett as teacher and friend from 1927 to 1973.”
That Ray Dennehy was Dennehy IV’s great-grandfather, the first head golf professional who served at the club from 1927-1973. This year was Dennehy IV’s shining moment, as he made his first appearance in the Mass Amateur.
“I don’t usually get nervous, but I definitely felt something different,” said Dennehy IV, a rising senior at St. John’s High School (Shrewsbury). “It definitely one of the harder tee shots I’ve had because the Mass Amateur is probably one of the better tournaments I’ve played in and there’s a family legacy here.”
Dennehy, a previous junior champion at Kittansett, was previously a standard-bearer in 2015 when the tournament took place at Oak Hill. This year, he shot 7-over 78 on both days.
“I always looked at this like, ‘wow, this is like really cool and to play in it at Kittansett surreal,'” Dennehy IV said.
If the 18.5-inch tall bronze statue at Kittansett looks familiar, it’s because it’s a replica of the Bobby Jones sundial that has been at Augusta National since the 1970s.
Edwin E. Codman, the American artist, made the original sundial in the late 1930s. In the 1960s, Pete Pascale, of Erie, Pennsylvania, found a damaged sundial at a junkyard in Rochester, New York, and repaired it. It was passed around a few times before finally being presented to Augusta in 1972.
Only two courses — Corning CC in New York and The Kittansett Club — have obtained replicas. After Augusta National obtained a copy, one of its members asked to remove the sundial in the offseason so a copy could be made at Kittansett and Corning, his two summer retreats.
Stimets Enjoying Reinstated Amateur Status
Ricky Stimets (Barnstable Golf) is playing in his first Mass Amateur since 2012, just over a year after regaining his amateur status in June 2019. After two strong finishes early this year, Stimets is on the verge of making match play, capping a 2-under 69 Tuesday at Kittansett with a birdie on 17 and an eagle on 18.
Stimets, 29, who now lives in Osterville, played on several development tours for about four years. However, in his last official tournament, a European Tour qualifier in 2017, his car broke down over a bridge in Portugal, and he needed to take a taxi to the course. Despite arriving on the course exactly at his tee time, he received a two-stroke penalty for not being there when the clock struck 1:05 p.m.
To make matters worse, he missed the cut by two strokes.
“I wish I could tell you I was making that up,” Stimets said. “It was a tough one.”
Before this week’s Mass Amateur, Stimets got edged out in heartbreaking fashion at this year’s Amateur Invitational at New England CC. Needing a 4-footer to force a playoff, his putt bounced off the hook on the flagstick that allows golfers to remove balls from the cup with their putters, not their hands. He finished 68-71–139 and then tied for 23rd at the Providence Open last week.
Overall, Stimets said he’s glad to be working in medical sales and being able to play recreationally.
“The blood was pumping, and it felt good to have that feeling again,” Stimets said.
Men In The Air
Aside from school age and college players, the Mass Amateur field is filled with players who work in fields like finance, sales, insurance and technology.
But two men, in particular, make their living in the air. Jack Kearney, 65, is a pilot for Delta Airlines. He plays out of Westover GC in Granby but lives in an Atlanta suburb. Kearny, the defending Mass Senior Amateur champion, attended Air Force Academy, making a career in the air a natural choice.
Erik Robinson (Sandwich Hollows) works for United as a flight attendant, but it was a back-up career choice. Robinson, who grew up on Cape Cod, previously worked as a PGA Assistant Golf Professional at both Morris County Golf Club in New Jersey and Wollaston Golf Club in Milton.
But then he said he needed a change of pace.
“I was just looking for something else to do. I was gonna do anything,” Robinson said. “It’s a cool job, you get to see the world and make your own schedule.”
Robinson said Frankfurt, Germany, and Geneva, Switzerland were among his favorite places to travel. He’s also gotten to fly to Ireland to play some golf.
Though he’s furloughed, Robinson said it has given him the chance to play these last few days.
“I didn’t think I’d ever miss work, but I kind of miss it a bit,” Robinson said.
The Mass Golf Family would like to extend their deepest sympathies to the loved ones of Joseph Kane, who passed away Saturday at the age of 90.
Mr. Kane, a former Kittansett Club member, was a staple at both his home course and in the New England golf scene. He was instrumental in bringing high profile events to many of the clubs he was associated with and will be sorely missed.
“Everybody knew Joe,” said Mark Milhench, Director at The Kittansett Club. “He was your classic greatest generation, told you what he thought, looked you in the eye and he absolutely loved golf. He was all class.”
Kane also served on the US Senior Amateur Golf Committee and played a key role in getting the U.S. Senior Amateur scheduled to be played at Kittansett in 2022.
“It was a beautiful coming together of an event that Joe had poured his heart and soul into for many years with the USGA,” Milhench said.
The average age of players in this tournament is just shy of 30, but there are over 30 players in the field who currently play in college or are entering their first year this fall.
Chris Francoeur was selected to the Division I PING All-Region Teams and was selected as the New England Player of the Year. He was also featured in the summer edition of Mass Golfer.
Several seniors this year are also getting an extra season after the spring season was canceled due to COVID-19. Defending champion Steven DiLisio (Salem CC) said he’s getting an extra year of eligibility at Duke, as is Lehigh University’s Owen Quinn.
“It’s an opportunity that I didn’t see coming when I started,” said DiLisio, who’s currently at 5-over overall with three holes to play at Kittansett. “It’s still the same plan for after I finish, just excited to have another year.”
Xavier Marcoux (Nashawtuc CC) and James Imai (George Wright) just finished their first year at Rutgers and Northwestern, respectively, and will both make match play.
Here’s a list of all current college who have competed in this year’s Mass Amateur field.
|Name||College||Incoming Year||Home Club||Hometown|
|Kevin Allard||Assumption||Sophomore||Longmeadow CC||Longmeadow|
|Jack Boulger||UConn||Senior||Walpole CC||Walpole|
|Dillon Brown||Maryland||Junior||CC of Halifax||Halifax|
|Matt Conti||Southern New Hampshire||Sophomore||Walpole CC||Walpole|
|Brendan Cronin||Lafeyette||Senior||Blackstone GC||Sutton|
|Nick Cummings||Boston College||Sophomore||Marlborough CC||Hanover|
|Steven DiLisio||Duke||Grad Student||Salem CC||Swampscott|
|Jonathan Elkins||Villanova||Freshman||Springfield CC||South Deerfield|
|Christian Emmerich||Holy Cross||Sophomore||Kernwood CC||Swampscott|
|Max Ferrari||Elon||RS-Senior||Framingham CC||Framingham|
|Jonathan Farrell||Assumption||Junior||Springfield CC||Feeding Hills|
|Chris Francoeur||Rhode Island||Senior||Amesbury G & CC||Amesbury|
|Danny Frodigh||Hartford||Sophomore||Dedham C & PC||Westwood|
|James Imai||Northwestern||Sophomore||George Wright GC||Brookline|
|Alex Jamieson||Notre Dame||Senior||Marshfield CC||Duxbury|
|Eric Lifson||Kenyon College||Senior||Nashawtuc CC||Sudbury|
|Brendan Locke III||St. Michael's||Sophomore||Tedesco CC||Marblehead|
|Sean Magarian||Assumption||Freshman||Pleasant Valley CC||Worcester|
|Matt Mackin||Bentley||Senior||Cape Club Of Sharon||Westwood|
|Xavier Marcoux||Rutgers||Sophomore||Nashawtuc CC||Concord|
|Andrew McInerney||University of Richmond||Senior||Charter Oak CC||Natick|
|Jack O'Donnell||Michigan||Freshman||Boston GC||Cohasset|
|Connor Phillips||Holy Cross||Senior||Longmeadow CC||Longmeadow|
|Owen Quinn||Lehigh||Grad Student||Wachusett CC||Holden|
|Riley Rohlfs||York (PA)||Sophomore||Nabnasset Lake CC||Westford|
|Jack Tegan||Berry College||Sophomore||TPC Boston||Northborough|
|Jack Tobin||Siena||Sophomore||Marlborough CC||Southborough|
|Michael Walsh||Lafayette||Freshman||Sankaty Head GC||Shelburne, VT|
|Tyden Wilson||Queens University||Sophomore||Nashawtuc CC||Boston|
|Alex Yun||Claremont Mudd Scripps||Sophomore||Brae Burn CC||Weston|
|Jacob Zaranek||Fairfield||Senior||CC of Greenfield||South Deerfield|
• If Matt Parziale wins medalist honors, it’ll be a tremendous turnaround from last year when he advanced to match play via a playoff. The winner of the medalist will be honored at The Kittansett Club at the start of match play.
• Caddies will be permitted during the match-play portion of competition, but not during any playoffs needed. Caddies and bag handlers are allowed, provided social distancing is maintained, cloth face coverings and gloves are worn, and hand sanitizer is used. Caddies and bag handlers are encouraged to wipe down clubs and other equipment after each use.
• As a qualifier for the match-play portion of the Massachusetts Amateur Championship, the 32 competitors are automatically exempt from qualifying into next year’s Amateur Championship. The 2021 Massachusetts Amateur Championship will be held at Brae Burn Country Club in West Newton.
• The Frodigh Family was spread out at three different golf courses Tuesday. Patrick Frodigh, the 2018 Mass Amateur Champion and his younger brother Dan Frodigh were playing the second round of the Mass Amateur at the Bay Club. Meanwhile, their father, Peter, was a rules official at The Kittansett Club, raking the sand surrounding the third green. At Wedgewood Pines GC in Stow, Judy Frodigh and her son Will Frodigh, the middle child of three, played in the Mother Son Tournament.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Spectators have previously been allowed to attend the Massachusetts Amateur free of charge. However, due to the Massachusetts COVID-19 Guidelines for Outdoor Competitions & Tournaments, NO SPECTATORS will be permitted to attend the event this year.
To help individuals follow along, Click to view Wednesday’s starting times.
ABOUT THE AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP
This year marks the 112th playing of the Massachusetts Amateur Championship. The first Massachusetts Amateur, played in 1903 at Myopia Hunt Club, was conducted for a total of 54 golfers. The championship has been conducted every year except for 1917 and 1918 and 1942-45 due to WWI and WWII, respectively. It is the oldest of Mass Golf’s Championships. Only the Massachusetts Women’s Amateur (est. 1900) has been contested for longer.
Eligibility: Entries are open to amateur golfers who have an active Mass Golf/GHIN Handicap Index at any public, private, semi-private, municipal or non-real estate Mass Golf member course/club not exceeding 4.4 (as determined by the May 21, 2020 Handicap Revision), or who have completed their handicap certification.
Prizes: The Massachusetts Cup and a gold medal will be presented to the Champion. Merchandise certificates will be awarded to the 32 Match Play Qualifiers and are only redeemable at the host site.
Par and Yardage
The Kittansett Club is set up at approximately 6,934 yards and will play to a par of 35-36–71. The Bay Club at Mattapoisett is set up at approximately 7,008 yards and will play to a par of 35-36–71.
The Kittansett Club
The Bay Club at Mattapoisett