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WESTON, Massachusetts – The first day of the 116th Massachusetts Women’s Amateur Championship was held on Monday at Weston Golf Club. With 18 holes of stroke play complete in Weston, Angela Garvin took an early lead with a 2-under par performance.
With a new format in place, 83 golfers took to the course for day one of two playing an 18-holes of stroke play. The stroke play qualifier was expanded from 18 holes to 36 holes, with the low 16 participants advancing from there to the Championship match play bracket. Players who finish from 17-32 will advance to the President’s Cup match play bracket. This is changed from the previous format of a one-day stroke play qualifier, followed by the low 32 participants advancing to a match play bracket.
Due to impending inclement weather for Tuesday’s round, the tee times have been adjusted to an 8:00 a.m. start with golfers starting off of holes 1 and 11. Golfers were re-paired for round 2 based of off round 1 scores.
Fresh off a victory in the Massachusetts Girls Junior Championship, Angela Garvin (The Ranch GC) has carried over her red-hot play into the largest Women’s Championship of the season, the Massachusetts Women’s Amateur. Garvin fired a 2-under 71 at Weston Golf Club Monday, in a round that included six birdies on the scorecard.
“I guess today was kind of different than how I normally play,” said Garvin. “I usually have a ton of pars and just one or two birdies, but today I had six birdies. I think I took advantage of the shorter par fives. I did lose a ball on nine that led to a double, but I didn’t really think about it too much, it was one bad swing.”
Garvin responded to the double bogey with a bogey free back nine, carding three birdies on her way to shooting a homeward 33. Her strategy out there never really changed however, and she doesn’t expect it to if she were able to make it into match play.
“I like match play a lot,” said Garvin. “I’m looking forward to that. But I was still just getting used to the course today too, because yesterday was my first time playing here. There were a couple holes where I think I learned some things today that I didn’t really realize from yesterday.”
Included in Garvin’s prep for the Women’s Amateur and cool down after her Girls Junior win was some typical summer fun at Six Flags. “I went home, and I went to Six Flags three days in a row,” said Garvin. “I went to the range once, but I haven’t really played much in between. I was just pacing myself, giving myself a break.”
On her first-round performance, and also the course in general Garvin said, “The course is really nice. I like how different each hole is because the first couple of holes are flat then all of a sudden it gets hilly and then it’s flat again. It’s been fun to play here so far.”
Finishing second at 1-under par 72 was the 2017 Champion Hannah Ghelfi (Pocasset GC) who carded five birdies on the day. Ghelfi is in pursuit of her second Mass Golf Women’s Championship title of the season after winning the Edith Noblit Baker in June. Morgan Smith (Vesper CC), wrapped up her day in solo third with an even-par round of 73.
At the 116th playing of the Massachusetts Women’s Amateur Championship, the most represented club in the field also happens to be the host club. Six women from Weston Golf Club are in the field for the Championship Proper this week, which is a testament to Weston’s commitment towards their women’s golf program.
“First and foremost, we have a very strong women’s golf program,” said Weston Head Professional Adam Hemeon. “We’re very proud to have that many women representing our club. To be able to compete against a field like this on their home course, I know they were all very excited about it.”
The six women of Weston competing this week include former club champions such as Mary Boyle, Cindy Bersani, Kate Saunders and Sofie Robinson. Also competing in the field are Anne Ryan and Carolyn McCoy. Robinson, a 13-year-old Weston Junior member, is not only a testament to their women’s golf program, but also their junior golf program as well.
“All of our programs have something for everybody. All ages, all abilities, our tournament schedule for women’s golf again has something for everybody. We have great participation numbers. It’s nice to have Sofie in the field as well. That speaks volumes to her personally and her own drive, but it’s also a nice testament to our junior golf program.”
Advantages come aplenty with teeing it up in a championship event on your home course as well. Especially on greens such as Weston’s have tough breaks and are incredibly challenging. During the Monday first round Hemeon remarked the greens were measured as running at a 12 on the stimp meter.
“I hope they make it into match play,” said Hemeon. “Putting would be the number one advantage. They’ve seen all these hole locations before, where to put the ball on the green, the breaks. Our greens are very tricky to read, they’re very fast. That’s where their biggest advantage will come.”
While attention will shift to match play beginning on Wednesday morning, a special ceremony will take place to honor those top performers from the stroke play rounds for both low gross and low net.
In addition to the stroke-play medalist handed out to the lowest stroke play score from the first two days, the Osgood Memorial Cup will be presented to the competitor with the low net qualifying score. After the first round, Linda Goulet (Presidents GC) is looking to stretch the lead in Tuesdays round after finishing with a 9-over par 82 in round 1.
Goulet, who’s net score of 4-under par 69 has her sitting atop the leader board for the Osgood Memorial Cup. A top three finisher at the 2018 Women’s Senior Amateur, Goulet made it to the quarterfinals of the President’s Cup bracket in 2018. A highlight of Goulet’s round on Monday was a birdie (gross) on the 444-yard, par 5 18th hole.
Not far behind Goulet is Mary Boyle (Weston GC) who is quite comfortable playing on her home course. The club champion at Weston fired a gross score of 12-over par 85. Just one back on the net side with 3-under par 70.
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, #MassWomensAm.