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HARWICH, Massachusetts – The last eight spots for match play in the 102nd Massachusetts Junior Amateur were filled in the second and final 18-hole, stroke-play qualifying round Tuesday at Cranberry Valley Golf Course. The low eight scorers Monday earned a spot in Bracket A of match play, while the low eight Tuesday earned spots in Bracket B. Match play begins at 7 a.m. Wednesday with the Round of 16 and Quarterfinals and the Semifinals and Championship Match take place Thursday.
On Tuesday, Aidan Emmerich (Kernwood CC), a match-play qualifier at this year’s Mass Amateur, earned medalist honors with a 4-under-par 68, making five birdies and just one bogey. In the Round of 16, he’ll face A.J. Gilpin (Boston GC), who won a four-way playoff to earn the final spot into match play.
Here are the Bracket A quarterfinal matchups, which will begin at 7 a.m. Wednesday:
Match 1 (7 a.m.): 1-Max Hutter vs. 8-Owen Egan
Match 2 (7:10 a.m.): 4-Jack O’Donnell vs. 5-Raymond Dennehy IV
Match 3 (7:20 a.m.): 2-Spencer Dumas vs. 7-Ethan Whitney
Match 4 (7:30 a.m.): 3-John Broderick vs. 6-Brian Glennon
Here are the Bracket B quarterfinal matchups, which will begin at 7:40 a.m. Wednesday:
Match 5 (7:40 a.m.): 1-Aidan Emmerich vs. 8-A.J. Gilpin
Match 6 (7:50 a.m.): 4-Matt Epstein vs. 5-Dan Brooks
Match 7 (8:00 a.m.): 2-Joseph Lenane vs. 7-Shan Syed
Match 8 (8:10 a.m.): 3-Ben Catudal vs. 6-Evan Giggey
A.J. Gilpin (Boston GC) was back in school by the time last year’s Junior Amateur Championship began. In his final junior amateur tournament before he heads to Lehigh University, Gilpin got himself into match play in thrilling fashion, surviving a four-person playoff for the eighth and final spot.
Gilpin, Teddy Freking (MIAA), Boomer Jenks (Brae Burn CC) and Tim Picard (Mount Pleasant GC) all tied at 1-under 72. The players went to hole 18, and all four missed the green in regulation and finished with a bogey. Jenks had a short par putt for par that just missed.
On the par-3 17th, Gilpin hit his tee shot to four feet, the closest of the rest, and after everybody missed their birdie bids, he sank his putt to advance.
“It means a lot,” said Gilpin, who missed the cut by four strokes two years ago. “I was pretty proud of the way I was able to grind it out.
“Now the fun starts.”
Emmerich, a rising senior at St. Mary’s (Lynn), made match play at the Junior Amateur for the first time, missing the cut by two strokes last year. He said the key to a low round was being aggressive.
“You have to go at pins when you can and just attack,” said Emmerich, who made the Round of 32 at this year’s Mass Amateur. “I knew I had to shoot something under par.”
Joseph Lenane (KOHR Golf), who finished third at last week’s Ouimet Memorial Tournament, shot 3-under, as did Ben Catudal (Milton-Hoosic Club). Lenane made the quarterfinals last year, and despite shooting 1-over on the back nine to begin his round Tuesday, he rallied by making birdie on the 2nd, 5th, 6th and 8th holes. Catudal was even on the back nine, but an eagle on the second hole helped carry him into the next round.
Matt Epstein (Hopkinton CC), who will attend William & Mary in the fall, and Dan Brooks (Dudley Hill CC), both shot 2-under to make match play for the second consecutive year. Evan Giggey (Renaissance) made two birdies and an eagle to fire a 2-under, matching Shan Syed (South Shore CC), who made birdie five times.
PRE-JUNIOR DIVISION HIGHLIGHTS
Catudal earned a share of the Joseph M. Batchelder Memorial Trophy as he was Tuesday’s low scorer in the Pre-Junior Division. The Pre-Junior Division recognizes golfers aged 14-15. Markus Pierre (The Kittansett Club) shot a 1-over 73 on Monday to earn his share of the Pre-Junior Division.
Thomas Murdough (Nashawtuc CC) made birdie five times on the front nine, but he finished even par with four bogeys on the back to finish runner-up in the division.