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HYDE PARK | DORCHESTER, Massachusetts – The City of Boston and Mass Golf are coming together to ensure that the playing of the 110th Massachusetts Amateur Championship on July 9-13 and then the 115th Women’s Amateur Championship later in the month will be experiences to remember.
What will transpire over a 25-day period represents the first time that both the Massachusetts Amateur and Massachusetts Women’s Amateur will be staged at public/municipal courses – George Wright Golf Course in Hyde Park and William J. Devine Golf Course at Franklin Park in Dorchester.
“We are fortunate to have two premier golf courses within Boston’s city limits, making the sport accessible to a diverse and enthusiastic group of players from a variety of backgrounds,” said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. “I hope every golfer who loves to play a championship layout and also wants to gain a sense of the game’s lore can come play both our venues during this special year.”
The month-long celebration will kick off this Monday – July 9th – with the start of the Massachusetts Amateur Championship, which is open for registration by any individual — male or female — who meet the stated handicap eligibility. A total of 10 qualifying rounds were held from May 30 to June 18 to help determine the 144-player Championship Proper field. All competitors play their first round of stroke play at William J. Devine Golf Course at Franklin Park on day one before George Wright Golf Course serves as the site for the second round of stroke play on day two plus all three days of match play.
“We could not be more excited to bring the state’s two most historic and premier championships to these two courses,” said Jesse Menachem, Mass Golf ’s executive director/CEO. “We hope that golfers across the state and beyond will understand how fortunate this state is to have two first-class golf courses here in the City of Boston. Following next week’s Massachusetts Amateur Championship, we will welcome the Women’s Amateur Championship to George Wright Golf Course the week of July 30.”
While course conditions – which have been bolstered by nearly a decade of restoration work on both layouts – will steal the show, all eyes on Monday will no doubt be on Matt Parziale, the reigning Mass Amateur and U.S. Mid-Amateur champion who will return to the Bay State to defend his title. Parziale is scheduled to tee off in Dorchester at 8:36 a.m. and will be paired through the first two days of stroke play with Matt Cowgill (George Wright GC) and David Spitz (South Shore CC), the 2017 Massachusetts Amateur Championship runner-up and quarterfinalist, respectively.
Since winning his first career national championship last year, Parziale has been on a whirlwind tour of golf which has included stops at Augusta National Golf Club (The Masters), Shinnecock Hills Golf Club (U.S. Open) and Pinehurst Resort (North & South Amateur Championship), to name just a few. With Pebble Beach Golf Resort (U.S. Amateur) in his future sites this season, Parziale made sure to make time to return home this coming week to defend the Massachusetts Amateur title he won one year ago at Charles River Country Club.
He will look to become only the 11th person to win The Massachusetts Cup two straight years. He would join the fine company that includes Arthur G. Lockwood (1904-1905), Francis D. Ouimet (1913-1915), Frederick J. Wright, Jr. (1928-1931), Bill Mallon (1973-1974), Bruce Douglass (1975-1976), James Hallet (1982-1983), Kevin Johnson (1987-1988), Jim Salinetti (1999-2000), Frank Vana, Jr. (2004-2005), and Mike Calef (2012-13).
Staying true to the roots of the host golf courses (click here to read more about how Boston’s two municipal courses will host “the game of the people”), the five-day event is open to the public and free of charge for all. Spectators will enjoy a unique “inside the ropes” experience on two courses that have both undergone a decade-long restoration experience.
“We hope that everyone – whether they are a golf enthusiast or just someone interested in enjoying a great day outside with the family – will join us this coming week,” said Menachem. “You will see the top amateur golfers – from across Massachusetts – on two amazing courses for free in the heart of Boston. A first-time experience we are thrilled to showcase.”
From start to finish, the Massachusetts Amateur Championship will be a celebration that brings tradition together with present-day golf excellence.
The storied event – which stands as the third oldest state amateur championship in the United States behind only the Golf Association of Philadelphia (115 years) and The Metropolitan Golf Association (113 years) – will kick off at 7:15 a.m. when Dennis Rorie, a member of the Boston Police Department and the Director of Public Safety at Boston Public Health Commission, will strike the ceremonial first drive at William J. Devine Golf Course at Franklin Park.
Rorie represents the second person to participate in an opening tee shot in the history of the Massachusetts Amateur Championship.
“Last year, we began this tradition by having former PGA Tour player James Driscoll strike the ceremonial first drive at his home club of Charles River Country Club,” said Menachem of Driscoll who won the Mass Amateur in 1996 and 1998. “We were thrilled when Officer Rorie was willing to continue that tradition.”
Assisting on the first tee that day will be eight representatives from The First Tee of Massachusetts, Mass Golf’s junior golf which brings affordable junior golf programming to young people across the state. Annually, more than 30,000 children are impacted by The First Tee of Massachusetts.
Three years ago, Mass Golf brought The First Tee of Massachusetts to William J. Devine Golf Course. The summer programming is free of charge to all City of Boston residents and begins on July 10 (click here to learn more about the program).
“The young participants will be helping our officials and staff that morning,” said Kyle Harris, the Director of Operations of The First Tee of Massachusetts. “We are so proud of our partnership with the City of Boston and especially through the affordable programming that we bring to the area’s most in need.”
The celebration will then continue with two rounds of stroke play and then three days (weather permitting) of match play which will feature 32 competitors. The five-day event will culminate in the 36-hole final match on Friday which will be immediately followed by an awards ceremony – featuring representatives from both Mass Golf and the City of Boston – and then a free live acoustic music performance at George Wright Golf Course.
The performances on July 13 will feature Sam Robbins (@samrobbinsmusic) and Jos Vincent (@josvincentmusic) as part of the 2018 Summer Concert Series at George Wright Golf Course.
Click here to learn more about the 2018 Summer Concert Series at George Wright Golf Course.
Admission for all Mass Golf events – including the Massachusetts Amateur Championship – is free of charge for the general public. Spectators are welcome to attend and enjoy a special “inside the ropes” experience.
An event that has been contested since 1903 is rich in history and memorable moments. Here are helpful resources about the current and past events.
This year marks the 110th 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 was held every year except for 1917 and 1918 and 1942-45 due to WWI and WWII, respectively.
The Massachusetts Amateur Championship is the third oldest state amateur championship in the United States behind only the Golf Association of Philadelphia (115 years) and The Metropolitan Golf Association (113 years).
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 1, 2018 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.
The individual (or individuals) who post the lowest cumulative score following the 36-hole stroke-play portion of the Massachusetts Amateur Championship will be awarded the Harry B. McCracken, Jr. – Stroke Play Medalist Award.
Entries: Mass Golf accepted 692 entries for the 2018 Massachusetts Amateur Championship. The most entries received in the past decade was 887 in 2010 when the championship was hosted at The Country Club. Three years ago, Mass Golf accepted a total of 737 entries when the Championship Proper was held at Oak Hill Country Club, while 682 entries were received when the Championship Proper was held in 2016 at Taconic Golf Club. Last year’s event at Charles River Country Club drew 720 entries.
Sectional Qualifying: Sectional qualifying, played over 18 holes, was conducted at 10 sites across the state between May 30 to June 18. CLICK HERE for highlights from each qualifying site.
Championship Field: The starting field of 144 golfers will be cut after 36 holes to the low 32 scorers who will advance to Match Play on July 11. A tie for the final qualifying places shall be determined by a hole-by-hole playoff.
Schedule of Play: Eighteen holes of stroke play are scheduled each day on Monday, July 9 at William J. Devine Golf Course and Tuesday, July 10 at George Wright Golf Course. A tie for the final qualifying places shall be determined by a hole-by-hole playoff.
Match Play: 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.
In the event of a tied match, (a) the winner shall be decided immediately by a hole-by-hole play-off, and (b) the stipulated round is deemed to extend to as many holes as are required for a match to be won.
A Look Back at 2018: Nine years had passed since Matt Parziale (Thorny Lea GC) had competed in the final match of the Massachusetts Amateur Championship. He lost in 2008, but in 2017 Parziale prevailed and raised The Massachusetts Cup high following an impressive 4 and 3 victory over Matt Cowgill (Wayland CC) at Charles River Country Club. Read More
Past Champions in the Field: The following competitors have been victorious at this event in the past and are a part of the 2018 Championship Proper field.
Par and Yardage: William J. Devine Golf Course will be set up at approximately 6,013 yards and will play to a par of 34-36–70. George Wright Golf Course will be set up at approximately 6,495 yards and will play to a par of 35-35–70.
William J. Devine Golf Course
George Wright Golf Course
Most Victories: 6 (Frederick J. Wright, Jr. – 1920, 1926, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1938)
Most Times as a Host Club: 10 (The Country Club & Brae Burn Country Club)
Last Competitor to Defend: Mike Calef (2012-13)
Youngest Players to Win: Ted Adams & James Driscoll (Adams – 1939; Driscoll – 1996… both were 18 years old)
Oldest Players to Win: Ed Fletcher (53 years old in 1995); Ted Bishop (48 years old in 1961)
Largest Age Differential Between Finalists: 39 years (1956 – Fred Wright (58) and Charles Volpone (19)).
Longest Final Match: 40 holes in 1993 (Flynt Lincoln def. Jason Kissell at Essex County Club
Shortest Final Match: 25 holes in 1922 (Francis Ouimet def. Clark Hodder, 12 and 11, at Kernwood Country Club)
Most Appearances in Championship Proper: 32 (Frank Vana, Jr. (1984-85; 1988-2017))
Most Consecutive Appearances in Match Play: 22 (Frank Vana, Jr. (1991-2012)
Most Appearances in Match Play: 26 (Frank Vana, Jr. (1985, 1988, 1991-2012; 2015; 2017))
Average Age of the 2018 Field: 31.5
Most Common Name in the 2018 Field: Matthew/Matt (9)
Youngest Players In the 2018 Field: Will Campbell (15)
Oldest Player In the 2018 Field: Doug Crawford (68)
Total Number of Mass Golf Member Clubs Represented: 84
Most Represented Mass Golf Member Clubs: George Wright GC (9); Oakley CC (7); Nashawtuc CC (5); Thorny Lea GC (5); Brae Burn CC (3); Ferncroft CC (3); Indian Ridge CC (3); Marlborough CC (3); Pine Oaks GC (3); Plymouth CC (3)
Total Number of Towns Represented: 98
Most Towns Represented: Boston (13), Hingham (3); Longmeadow (3); Needham (3); Weston (3); Westwood (3).
For complete coverage of the Massachusetts Amateur Championship, visit MassGolf.org or follow Mass Golf on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @PlayMassGolf and by using the hashtag, #MassAm.