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CANTON, Massachusetts – For a second consecutive year, qualifying rounds for both the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship and the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship were held on the same day at the same club.
Blue Hill Country Club, which served as host to the 2017 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Sectional Qualifier, welcomed some of the region’s top mid-amateur talent – male and female – for the 18-hole sectional qualifiers.
By day’s end a total of ten competitors (four male and six female) earned a spot in the USGA Championships Proper on September 14-19. The U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship will be contested at Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colorado, while the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship is set for Forest Highlands Golf Club in Flagstaff, Arizona.
The day was capped off by the awarding of medalist honors to Alex Snickenberger (Boston, MA) and Megan Buck (Norton, MA) on the women’s side. For Snickenberger, this will be his first career appearance at a USGA Championship Proper.
Alex Snickenberger (Wellesley CC) is all too familiar with the course at Blue Hill Country Club having played it as student-athlete while at Boston College. Snickenberger fired a 5-under par 67, two strokes better than his closest competitors.
“I started the round off with a bogey but I always tell myself that all great rounds start with a bogey,” said Snickenberger. “I did a good job of keeping the ball in play and played solid all day. I hit a bunch of wedges close all day long and really just made the putts that I needed to.”
A first time qualifier, Snickenberger is excited to be active in the Massachusetts golf scene again. “My wife and I were living in New York City for four years after college and being back here for a couple of years now it feels good,” said Snickenberger. “I’ve been trying to get back into tournament golf so qualifying for the Mid-Am right now feels pretty good.”
With six birdies on the day, Snickenberger’s exceptional play earned him the medalist honors. Not far behind Snickenberger were the three remaining qualifiers, Tommy Parker (Boston, MA), Herbie Aikens (Kingsont, MA), and Alex Jeffers (Watertown, MA), who all carded 3-under par 69 respectively.
Megan Buck (Thorny Lea GC) will be making her fourth career appearance at a USGA Championship Proper after posting a 1-under par 71. The former Northern Arizona University golfer made quick work of the course leaving the rest of the field five strokes back.
“It was a rough start knowing that some bad weather was in the area and there was a potential for play to be suspended,” said Buck. “During the delay I had to stay focused and once we were able to get back out there I knew I had to remain positive.”
A veteran to these qualifiers, Buck knew that a steady round of golf would be what she needed to secure one of the six qualifying spots. With three birdies on the day and only two misfires for bogies she would produce the only under-par round.
“I knew that if I just stayed consistent and made pars that it would be enough to get there,” said Buck. “I had my friend Lorraine on the bag so she keeps me comfortable and we just have fun out there. We wanted to play boring golf and that’s what we did.”
Buck will be returning to her old stomping grounds in Arizona for the Championship proper with some friends in tow.
“Last year was the first year that I played in the Mid-Amateur and it was a lot of fun,” said Buck. “This year is even more exciting for me with the event being in Flagstaff where I went to college. It’s a course that I played in college so know that kind of added a little extra pressure today, but now I can relax. I’m so excited to go up there and play again in my college town.”
Buck was able to celebrate her qualifying round into the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship with four other Massachusetts golfers. Mary Mulcahy (Scituate, MA) and Sue Curtin (Westwood, MA) both shot a 4-over par 76, Pamela Kuong (Wellesley Hills, MA) finished with a 6-over par 78, and Megan Place-McAfee (Boston, MA) rounded out the group with a 9-over par 81. Joining them in Arizona as well is Hilary Hall (Ireland) who shot a 6-over par 78.
Mass Golf will provide coverage of its Massachusetts competitors competing in the 38th U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship at Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colorado from September 14-19, and the 33rd U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship at Forest Highlands Golf Club from September 14-19. Visit MassGolf.org and follow @PlayMassGolf on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest information. To join the conversation, use the hashtags #MassGolf , #USMidAm , and #USWomensMidAm.