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SOUTHWICK, Massachusetts – U.S. Mid-Amateur Qualifying was held at The Ranch GC on Wednesday, and three players broke par to advance to the Championship Proper. In just over a month, all three players will make their return to Nantucket for the 40th playing of the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.
Glendon Sutton (Belmont CC), Kyle Vincze (GC at Turner Hill) and George Ordway are all quite familiar with Nantucket Island and after being the only three players in the red on Wednesday, they’ll become a little more familiar with the island in the coming weeks.
Glendon Sutton earned medalist honors with the round of the day. His 68 (4-under) was made possible by outstanding ball striking throughout the round, leading to 7 birdies over the 18 holes played.
“I just gave myself good chances, and gave myself good looks. In making the seven birdies, every putt was within 10 feet. And some of them were tap-ins. I felt shaky with the driver but my irons into the greens, I felt like I could control them and get the number right. And then, yeah, you have to make the putts.”
Sutton, who vacations on Nantucket with family, spoke passionately about what it means to advance to the Championship Proper.
“I’m fortunate enough to have a house out there, my wife and kids spend the summers there so this is always one that I wanted to get since they made the announcement two years ago. It’s a dad’s dream, it’s something I worked for. But you get busy with work and family life and you only get so many swings. It’s gonna be fun.”
Kyle Vincze has had a busy summer that has kept him off the golf course. Based on his play Wednesday, you’d never know it. Vincze started the day with an eagle (1st hole, par 5) and never looked back.
“It’s a little shocking because obviously I had the first hole jitters. But I hit a nice four-iron in there (on his approach shot) and made a good putt. So, it settled me down. And then from there, I just played golf.”
And play golf he did. Vincze poured in another four birdies on the day and avoided any big numbers.
Talking about advancing to Nantucket, Vincze added “It’s funny because we used to summer down in Nantucket, as a family. So it will mean a lot having everyone come and watch.”
Being in the penultimate group on the course, George Ordway didn’t have to wait long to see his 71 hold up and earn him a spot in the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship. He too has summered on Nantucket. And like Sutton, talked about ball-striking being the key to his round.
“It was just consistent ball striking which is usually not the strength of my game. I had a lot of 10 to 12-foot birdie putts and made a few of them. I thought the course played really well and it played fair. It was exciting.”
Ordway was able to avoid disaster on his final hole of the day after topping his tee shot on the par-4 18th. “I still felt fine after making bogey on 17. And then honestly, I topped a driver to the forward tees on 18. But luckily I made five from there, so it was alright.”
The two alternates were decided in a playoff, with Anthony Vecchiarelli (Springfield CC) taking the first spot and Damon Lusk (Meadow Brook GC) grabbing the second.
By all accounts, Vecchiarelli had the shot of the day, which helped put him in position to earn the alternate spot. After hitting his tee shot OB on the 15th hole, Vecchiarelli was forced to re-tee. His second drive (3rd shot) left him just 70 yards into the green. And from that spot, he holed-out for a round-saving par.
Qualifying for the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship will also take place at Bayberry Hills GC on August 25.
U.S. MID-AMATEUR QUALIFIERS (Names; Cities)
Glendon Sutton (Boston, MA); (-4); 68
Kyle Vincze (Wakefield, MA); (-3); 69
George Ordway (Orono, MN); (-1); 71
ALTERNATES (In Order)
Anthony Vecchiarelli (Suffield, CT); (E); 72*
Damon Lusk (Reading, MA); (E); 72*
*Won in playoff
For those in Massachusetts, the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship will be a special event in 2021. The event is heading to Nantucket and will be contested at Mass Golf Member Clubs, Sankaty Head GC and Miacomet GC. The event will be held from September 25-30. This is the first time the championship proper will be played in New England since 2002, when it was held at The Stanwich Club in Greenwich, CT.
Brockton’s Matt Parziale (Thorny Lea GC) famously won the U.S. Mid-Am in 2017 which earned him invites to The Masters Tournament and the U.S. Open in 2018.
U.S. Mid-Amateur Eligibility: Open to any amateur golfer who has reached their 25th birthday as of Sept. 12 and whose Handicap Index does not exceed 3.4.
Situated in Southwick, just minutes from the Connecticut border, The Ranch Golf Club is widely regarded as one of the top golf courses in the state of Massachusetts. Being a public course, The Ranch has made its way onto many ‘Must Play’ and ‘Best Public Courses’ lists from respected golf publications like LINKS Magazine, GolfWeek and Golf World.
The course was opened in 2001, and is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. It was designed by Damian Pascuzzo who is most known for his work on west coast courses like La Quinta CC (La Quinta, CA). Pascuzzo does have a small collection of east coast designs that includes another Mass Golf Member Club, Indian Pond CC.
The Ranch has played host to many USGA and Mass Golf events during its young history. In 2014, Qualifying for this same event (U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship) was held at The Ranch. In that Qualifying event Garren Poirier (Killington, VT), John Kelly (East Longmeadow, MA), Brad Valois (Warwick, RI) and Jeffrey Santora (Millbury, MA) all made it through. Mass Golf’s Amateur Public Links Championship was held at The Ranch in 2018. Owen Quinn won the APL by making a birdie on the first playoff hole to defeat Sean Fitzpatrick.
Visit MassGolf.org and follow @PlayMassGolf on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for the latest information on Mass Golf championships and events. To join the conversation, use the hashtag #MassGolf.