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SOUTHWICK, Massachusetts – It was his final Mass Golf Championship Proper of the summer. It is now also his best Mass Golf Championship Proper of the summer too. Holden native Owen Quinn shot a 2-under 70 in regulation Tuesday, then birdied the first playoff hole to win the 37th Massachusetts Amateur Public Links Championship at The Ranch Golf Club in Southwick, picking up first career state title and adding to the long list of Quinn success in Massachusetts State Golf history.
Entering Tuesday one stroke back of the six competitors who finished tied atop the leaderboard after Monday’s first round of play, the 20-year old Quinn found himself looking to get back some strokes that he left out on the course the day prior. Needless to say, he accomplished that feat – if not without a little help from the competition.
“I kind of had a weird day,” said Owen, who was competing in his third straight Amateur Public Links Championship. “I made two eagles, made a bad double in the round, I eagled 13 to get to 3-under for the round and had a couple good looks after that but didn’t make any.”
Quinn, a rising junior on the Lehigh University Men’s Golf team, had to three-putt two of his final three holes, including a missed four-foot par-putt on the par-4 18th that resulted in a bogey, and was forced to wait nearly 30 minutes before learning his fate when the final scorecards from the second round of competition were signed. He has thrilled when he learned his day was not over.
Sean Fitzpatrick, who was one of the six competitors who entered the day tied atop the leaderboard, was six-under for the tournament through 15 holes Tuesday, but tripled – birdied – bogeyed the final three holes to move to 3-under at the conclusion of play and sending him into a tie for first, ensuring that for the third straight year, the Massachusetts Amateur Public Links Championship would be decided in a playoff.
“I was really kicking myself sitting around here, but I was ecstatic when I heard I was going to get a chance,” said Quinn, who spent the time between his finish and the end of regulation practicing his chipping and putting. “I hit two great shots in the playoff. Just a great drive and a good 7-iron from 180 and two-putted for birdie.”
Both Fitzpatrick, who had the honors in the sudden death playoff, and Quinn, were nearly equidistant in their tee shots – hitting it to roughly 180 yards from the green. After his second shot landed about 20 feet left of the hole, Quinn used his first putt to bring the ball to under two feet. He then drained his putt to seal the victory. Fitzpatrick’s second shot had landed well above the hole, and he was unable to sink his second putt that would have forced play to continue.
“It means a lot,” said Quinn on his first Mass Golf Championship victory. “Sean is a great player. He played well these two days and he’s played well this summer, but I got the best of him on one hole. It’s like a coin flip. You never know what is going to happen in a sudden-death playoff.”
He added, “You have a lot of good players. You look at the top of the leaderboard and it’s a lot of the same guys who are playing in the quarterfinals of the state am. It was a great field this year, as it always is.”
In addition to Tuesday’s victory being his first state title, this win also allows Owen to end his summer play in Massachusetts on a high note. After finishing T20 in the 2016 Amateur Public Links and T10 last year, he missed the cut at this year’s State Open in June and was knocked out in his first match of the State Amateur Championship three weeks ago.
He said, “I’ve been playing forever. I’ve played well in my fair share but haven’t really hung around in the last round in all my other ones. Kind of just faltered off or didn’t play as well. I played good for two rounds here this week. I just hit the ball really well and to finally punch one is a good feeling for sure.”
Next week, Owen Quinn will play in the Maine State Open and he’ll follow that up by caddying for his father Fran, the 1990 Massachusetts State Open champion, on the PGA Champions Tour before heading back to school in Pennsylvania.
In addition to Quinn and Fitzpatrick, Jason Cook (Pine Oaks GC), Bill Drohen (Brookmeadow CC) and Michael Beaty (George Wright GC) all finished the tournament tied for third at 2-under 142.
For complete coverage of the Massachusetts Amateur Public Links Championship, visit MassGolf.org or follow Mass Golf on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @PlayMassGolf and by using the hashtag, #MassAPL.