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NEWTON, Massachusetts – It was all sunshine and birdies on day one of the 36th Massachusetts Mid-Amateur Championship, which is being held this week at Brae Burn Country Club. After the first 18 holes only two competitors would card under-par scores for the day with one of those scores being a course record setting 8-under par 64. Nick Maccario (Bradford CC) would only falter once through the round on his way into the record books with a total of 10 birdies.
Coming off of his strongest season to-date, having competed at the U.S. Amateur last month, Maccario set the course on fire with a record setting round. A key component to the round being the strong finish that he pieced together with text book approach shots on the difficult par-3 17th hole and par-4 18th hole, before knocking both putts in for birdies.
“I was just talking to someone at my home course. I shot the course record there last year and someone asked if it was my only course record. Bizarrely I was like yeah of course it was.” said Maccario when asked if he knew that he just shot the course record. “To break another course record, that’s pretty cool.”
Before his group reached the 17th tee box, only one birdie had been recorded on the day. After backing off his tee shot to guage the wind, Maccario would step up and deliver, firing his shot within six feet of the pin. His playing partner Frank Vana Jr. (Ferncroft CC) would follow him, also dropping a beautiful shot within eight feet, just behind Maccario’s. Vana would make his birdie, and Maccario would follow the lead, pouring in his birdie as well.
“I didn’t get a practice round in here, so I had to borrow one of my friend’s notes from a previous event. On 17, I actually didn’t have any notes from the tee box we were playing from, but I was able to judge my club off of his notes from a different location.”
In shooting his 8-under par 64, Maccario only had 21 putts, making almost everything he looked at. He got off to a solid start and was 1-under through his first 3 holes. On the 4th Maccario would make his only mistake of the day, a double-bogey, but would bounce back with a birdie on 5. He followed that up with a pair of birdies at 7 and 8, closing out the front at 2-under. On the back, Maccario birdied both par-3’s and all three of the par-5’s. His closing birdie on the par-4 18th hole would give him the Brae Burn course record of 64.
In the afternoon wave, Shuvam Bhaumik (Thorny Lea GC) played a flawless round of golf, shooting a 3-under 69. He made birdies on 1, 9 and 13 while paring every other hole on the course.
“I just plotted around the golf course, you know, this is a traditional golf course where we have to keep it below the hole, and I’m fairly straight off the tee,” said Bhaumik. “When I got out of position, I got myself back into position where I could make par easily. I hit a lot of greens and made a lot of two putts.”
Bhaumik would get one good break on the 11th hole. “My, my tee shot was hooking left, and it hit the base of a tree and bounced back into the middle of fairway, and I made par so I saved two shots there.”
Past Champions: A total of eight past champions are competing this week in Newton. Defending champion Frank Vana, Jr. holds the record for most titles won with a remarkable ten. He captured the championship from 1999 through 2003 and then again in 2005, 2006, 2012, 2013, and 2018.
Returning from the U.S. Mid-Amateur: Mass Golf welcomed back several of its competitors who were in Colorado last week for the 39th U.S. Mid-Amateur at the Colorado Golf Club. Herbie Aikens, Micheal Beaty, Alex Jeffers, and Tommy Parker are all in the field this week at Brae Burn. Aikens was one of two Bay Staters to make it to the Round of 64 before falling in match play.
Playing for the Tri-States: A handful of competitors have extra special motivation to do well this week. The Massachusetts Mid-Amateur Championship represents one of the final events that will be used to determine the team that will represent the Bay State at the Tri-State Matches scheduled for October 15-16 at Kirkbrae Country Club. Team selection is based on the Richard D. Haskell Mass Golf Player of the Year point standings for the mid-amateurs and George M. Cohen for the senior amateurs. Each team from the three states – Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut – includes 10 mid-amateur and six senior amateur competitors. The Bay State has won the last 14 titles within the last 15 years.
Representing Brae Burn: Six competitors are representing the host club in 2019. David Currey, Sean Deale, Jim Duffy, Bill Jenks, Kyle Kelly, and Jeffrey Supko are all members of Brae Burn.
Oldest in the Field: Past champion, Jon Fasick (New England CC) celebrated his 67th birthday this past month making him the oldest competitor in the field. The champion from the 1990 Massachusetts Mid-Amateur is one of seven competitors in the field that are are 61 years of age or older.
Age Breakdown: Here is a breakdown of the field by age:
For complete coverage of the Massachusetts Mid-Amateur Championship, visit MassGolf.org or follow @PlayMassGolf on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Interact with us throughout the tournament by using #MassMidAm.