- Golfer Benefits
NORTON, Massachusetts — The month of four-ball competition continues for several golfers from Massachusetts, only this time it’s on a national stage. Beginning Saturday, May 14, 11 amateur golfers from the Bay State will be competing in the 7th annual U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship taking place at the Country Club of Birmingham (East & West Course) in Alabama.
Massachusetts players advanced to the Championship Proper through qualifiers that took place last summer and fall. All 128 sides (teams) are guaranteed two rounds of stroke play, before match play, exclusively at the West Course, begins for the top 32 sides on Monday, May 24.
In four-ball, matches are played in pairs (a player and a partner, called a side, against another player and partner), with each golfer playing his or her own ball on each hole. At the end of each hole, the player with the lowest score wins that hole for the side. In stroke play, the low score is the side’s score for that hole.
Starting times for each player or team from Massachusetts are listed below.
Mike Calef and Nick Maccario, who won the Mass Four-Ball together in 2019, came within three strokes of making the cut for match play last year. Last fall, Maccario made a run to the semifinals in the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship on Nantucket and is hoping to make a strong run at this USGA® event and others this year.
“I’m excited to play this week with Nick,” Calef said. “We were at the golf course Wednesday, and it is spectacular. Nick is playing great and riding high after getting through the U.S. Open local qualifier, and I’ve been very happy with where my game is at as well. We will need good breaks like you do in any event, but we are expecting to play well and have a strong showing.”
Kyle Tibbetts (Framingham Country Club) and Brandan Parker (Worcester Country Club), who played a practice round with Calef and Maccario on Thursday, enter this event with momentum. Though they played with separate partners at the Mass Four-Ball, they each finished in the top three, with Parker and Taylor Fontaine (Worcester Country Club) finishing one stroke off the lead.
“We’re feeling good coming off of last week,” said Tibbetts, who is experiencing his first USGA event. “The greens will dictate things. If you can make putts you can make match play, so hopefully our putters can get hot.”
Daniel Koerner (Merrimack Valley Golf Club) & Michael Mottola (Andover Country Club), who were teammates on the St. Anselm College golf team, are also playing as a team in the U.S. Four-Ball for the first time. Mottola may appreciate this opportunity more than most as 8 years ago, he was diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma. After he underwent stem cell surgery a year later, he’s since credited golf to his recovery.
The pair entered last year’s qualifier with no expectations, but found themselves in the hunt on the closing stretch. They then made birdie on the final two holes to get above the cutline and avoid a playoff for the final spot.
“It’s once in a lifetime opportunity for us so it’s definitely something we are cherishing,” Mottola said. “We’re prepped to give it our best, and we’ll see what happens. The USGA and the folk at Birmingham have been great. They told us to feel comfortable like we’re members for the week.”
A teenage pair has won the U.S. Four-Ball three of the last four times, which may be promising for Joseph Lenane (KOHR Golf) & Aidan O’Donovan (Cummaquid Golf Club). Lenane, who will attend North Caroline State University in the fall, will team up with O’Donovan, who committed to the University of Rhode Island.
Another young pairing will be Liam Gill (Marlborough Country Club), who is competing in his first season at Seattle University. He will play alongside his college teammate Federico Gutierrez as the pair qualified together last September out in Washington.
Patrick O’Leary (Wollaston Golf Club) is playing alongside his former University of Pennsylvania teammate Ben Cooley, a former Korn Ferry Tour caddie who lives in Pennsylvania.
Following weeks of mid-50s and windy conditions, O’Leary said he’s glad to be down south where it’s between 80-90 degrees and the ball is traveling farther.
“I was struggling the last few weeks, but I played OK at the US Open qualifier at Foxborough, and Ben’s game seemed good,” O’Leary said. “If we keep it in the fairway and have chances at birdie, we’ll be OK.”
Liam Gill (Wayland, Mass.) & Federico Gutierrez (Mexico)
Round 1: Tee 1 | 8 a.m. ET (East) || Round 2: Tee 1 | 11:24 a.m. ET (West)
Brandon Parker (Worcester, Mass.) & Kyle Tibbetts (Boston, Mass.)
Round 1: Tee 1 | 9:36 a.m. ET (West) || Round 2: Tee 1 | 1:00 p.m. ET (East)
Joseph Lenane (Dedham, Mass.) & Aidan O’Donovan (Somerville, Mass.)
Round 1: Tee 1 | 11:48 a.m. ET (East) || Round 2: Tee 1 | 8:24 a.m. ET (West)
Daniel Koerner (Pepperell, Mass.) & Michael Mottola (Andover, Mass.)
Round 1: Tee 1 | 12:24 p.m. ET (West) || Round 2: Tee 1 | 10:00 a.m. ET (East)
Kevin Gately (Pembroke, Mass.) & Sam Jenkins (Charlotte, N.C.)
Round 1: Tee 1 | 1:12 p.m. ET (East) || Round 2: Tee 1 | 9:48 a.m. ET (West)
Nick Maccario (Haverhill, Mass.) & Mike Calef (West Bridgewater, Mass.)
Round 1: Tee 1 | 1:36 p.m. ET (West) || Round 2: Tee 1 | 10:12 a.m. ET (East)
Patrick O’Leary (Milton, Mass.) & Ben Cooley (Phoenixville, Penn.)
Round 1: Tee 1 | 2:00 p.m. ET (East) || Round 2: Tee 1 | 10:36 a.m. ET (West)
The Country Club of Birmingham was founded 1898 and in the 1920s was moved to its current location at Mountain Brook. Donald Ross was retained to design two championship courses. Measuring at over 7,144 yards, the West Course is a much greater challenge and has been modified over the years by Robert Trent Jones and Pete Dye. All the par-5s on the West Course are challenging, including the 610-yard 15th. The 431-yard par-4 18th is also a challenging closing hole.
Birmingham hosted the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur, and in 1986, the club served as the stroke-play co-host for the U.S. Amateur at Shoal Creek.
PAR AND YARDAGE
The West Course, which will host stroke play and match play, will be set up for 7,144 yards and will play to a par of 35-36–71. The East Course, which will serve as the stroke-play co-host course for the two days of stroke play, will be set up at 6,611-yards yards and will play to a par of 35-35–-70.
CC OF BIRMINGHAM WEST COURSE HOLE BY HOLE
Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total
Par 4 4 4 5 3 4 4 3 4 35
Yards 378 448 426 547 213 418 483 189 400 3,502
Hole 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Total
Par 5 3 4 3 4 5 4 4 4 36
Yards 550 180 339 189 450 610 438 455 431 3,642
CC OF BIRMINGHAM EAST COURSE HOLE BY HOLE
Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total
Par 4 4 3 4 4 5 3 4 4 35
Yards 413 312 167 424 454 480 202 412 419 3,283
Hole 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Total
Par 4 5 4 3 4 3 4 4 4 35
Yards 389 563 440 195 450 188 306 393 404 3,328
(NOTE: Yardages subject to change.)
Mass Golf will have updates on the 2022 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship on MassGolf.org and across its social media platforms. Follow @PlayMassGolf on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest information. To join the conversation, be sure to use the hashtag #USFourBall.