2024 U.S. Senior Open Qualifying - Franklin Country Club - MASSGOLF

Fran Quinn Qualifies For Fourth U.S. Senior Open; JEFF Martin & Carl Pelletier Survive Playoff To Earn Spots At Newport CC

By: Steve Derderian

FRANKLIN, Massachusetts (May 21, 2024) – Tuesday belonged to the pros at Franklin Country Club. While players basked in the sunny spring conditions, the historic course, which is celebrating 125 years in 2024, provided a gnarly test throughout. Only three talented professionals (plus one amateur) shot better than par to earn one of the coveted spots into the 2024 U.S. Senior Open at Rhode Island’s Newport Country Club.

Massachusetts legend Fran Quinn, who played in the 2022 U.S. Open at age 57, qualified for his fourth U.S. Senior Open, capping off medalist honors with a birdie on the 18th. Quinn has twice placed in the top 20 in this championship, his best being T14 in 2019.

Quinn’s playing partner Jeff Martin, an Attleboro resident and head golf professional at Wollaston Golf Club, also made birdie on the 18th to finish 1-under, but seven hours later, finally hoisted his first ever USGA certificate by winning the second of two playoff holes. Canada’s Carl Pelletier, a teaching professional at a golf club outside Quebec City, won the first playoff hole following a furious rally for three birdies on the final four holes.

Tuesday coincided with U.S. Senior Open Media Day at Newport Country Club, which is hosting this event for the first time June 27-30, giving it five USGA championships all time. A founding club of the USGA, Newport hosted the inaugural U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur in 1895. Tiger Woods won the 1995 U.S. Amateur, and Annika Sorenstam captured the 2006 U.S. Women’s Open at the historic venue.

Online: Results | U.S. Senior Open Qualifying Home | Mass Golf Home


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Fran Quinn was exempt for the 2020 U.S. Senior Open at Newport Country Club. Unfortunately for him, COVID-19 wiped that event off the schedule. Since then he has received massive adoration, especially through his U.S. Open appearance. Just like in Brookline, he expects there to be a solid fanbase around locals like himself.

“It was kind of bittersweet because I wanted to play at home too, and now having the opportunity to play at Newport is going to be great,” Quinn said after his round. “Between Billy Andrade and myself, I think we’ll have some good local support, with fans rooting on the New Englanders.”

Quinn managed the course well early, avoiding big numbers on early holes that can spoil a round before it gets going. He finally kicked it into high gear around the turn with consecutive birdies on 8 and 9, as he played the final 11 holes at bogey-free 3-under.

It was important to get off to a good start, and all day long, I think I missed maybe two greens all day, so I put myself in a position to succeed,” Quinn said. “It was really very important to know where I should hit the ball and where I should not hit the ball. And the greens are very difficult and tricky, so it was definitely a plus being able to see it a few times.”

Prior to his practice round, Quinn’s first memory of Franklin goes back to 1981 when the then-16-year-old caddied for his father, Fran Sr., in a Mass Amateur qualifier. The elder Quinn not only advanced but played his way into the 36-hole championship match at Taconic Golf Club, coming up short to Steve Tasho, who was in the field today.

“My dad hadn’t played golf in a while, and he said, ‘You know I’m gonna go try to qualify for the Mass Amateur,'” the junior Quinn recalled. “He ended up getting beat at the finals, but it was a great run. It’s something I’ll always remember.” 

Between the end of his round and the playoff, Jeff Martin decided to drive to his home in Attleboro and pass the time with a nap. While we can’t be sure what exactly he dreamt of, what transpired next turned out to be what he was dreaming of all along.

Despite a wayward tee shot left during the first playoff hole (5th), Martin managed a two-putt bogey to bring it to a second playoff hole with Joseph Iaciofano (Jupiter, FL).  Moving to the par-5 18th, Martin had exactly 116 yards into the green with a middle pin. While he had worked all day long to keep the ball below the pin, his strike into the green with the 56-degree sand wedge landed above it, but it spun perfectly, giving him a 7-footer for birdie. After Iaciofano missed his long birdie bid, he stepped up with Schauffele-esque poise, and like the new major champion, Martin earned his first bid into a USGA Championship, and shared warm embrace with his son and caddy Cam.

“It’s a pretty special moment,” said Martin, whose previous golf professional stints include Rhode Island’s Point Judith Country Club and Shelter Harbor Golf Club.  “I just turned 50, and this was on my list of things to do this summer. I grew up in Portland, Maine, but moved to Rhode Island in 2000, so I have lots of friends in the state. It should be fun.”

If the USGA is seeking a suitable pairing for Carl Pelletier in Newport, they’ll group him with Vijay Singh and Tom Lehman in Newport. Two years ago, Pelletier was an alternate at Saucon Valley Country Club and despite waiting at the tee all day, never got his name called to step into the field. However, Pelletier fondly recalled his nine-hole practice round in with the two major champions.

Two years later, his spot is now guaranteed.

“For me it’s a great accomplishment because I’m a passionate player,” said Pelletier, the head golf professional at Club de golf du Lac St-Joseph outside of Quebec City. “I started to play at eight years old with a small-nine hole course in the backyard build by my father. The members and my friends back home will be very happy for me.”

Pelletier caught fire on the final four holes. Following a bogey on the 14th, Pelletier birdied the 15 and then stuck a six-iron to 2 feet to get to 1-under. “That was the great shot of the day,” he said.

A bogey on the 17th, necessitated a birdie on the par-5 closer to earn a playoff spot. Playing his second shot 60 yards out, Pelletier hit his approach within 4 feet, and his fellow Quebecers shouted in excitement when Pelletier sank the birdie putt to get back to 1-under.

In the playoff, Pelletier was in position A off the tee, hit his second to the front of the green, and two-putted his way into a spot at Newport.

Canadian professional Carl Pelletier, right, celebrates after winning the first playoff hole at Franklin Country Club to advance to the U.S. Senior Open. (Mass Golf)


QUALIFIER (Names, Cities; Score)

Fran Quinn, Holden, MA; (-2) 69

*Carl Pelletier, Canada; (-1) 70

**Jeff Martin, Attleboro, MA; (-1) 70


a-Joseph Iaciofano, Jupiter, FL; (-1) 70

***Charles Blanchard, Warwick, RI; (E) 71

a- Denotes amateur

*Advanced in a playoff (par on first playoff hole, No. 5)
**Advanced in a playoff (birdie on second playoff hole, No. 18)
***Advanced in a playoff (birdie on first playoff hole, No. 18)

About Franklin Country Club

Separate and distinguishable are two words that come to mind when describing Franklin’s layout.

Playing through natural terrain, deep gullies, constantly lurking streams, and unrelenting, challenging greens, Franklin gives you 18 holes of everything you can handle. There are three par 5s and four par 3s, but no matter the length, each hole could spoil a scorecard. To start, the opening hole alone is a par 4 playing between 390 and 421 yards, with a brook lining the entire right side and out of bounds on the left, leading toward a sloped, elevated green and a deep greenside bunker.

While recent tree work has cleared out 80% of “clutter” to improve sightlines, Franklin very much keeps you focused on the task ahead rather than drawing your attention to the totality of the property.

Founded in 1899, the club is celebrating 125 years since it was established as a simple farmland layout. To read more about the club’s history in the Mass Golf 125 Series, CLICK HERE


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About The 2024 U.S. Senior Open

  • The 2024 edition of the United States Senior Open Championship will mark the 44th playing of the event. The Championship Proper will be contested at Newport Country Club in Newport, Rhode Island from June 27-30.
  • 3,019 entries accepted by the United States Golf Association (USGA). This year’s entry total surpassed the 3,000 mark for the fifth time and is the third-highest in championship history.
  • Eligibility: Open to any professional and amateur golfer who is 50 years of age as of June 27 and whose Handicap Index® does not exceed 2.4.
  • Eleven champions, including two-time winner and defending champion Bernhard Langer, are among the competitors
  • The championship winner earns the Francis D. Ouimet Memorial Trophy.
  • Qualifying is being conducted over 18 holes at 33 sites across the United States between May 13 and June 5. There are qualifying sites in 22 states, including five in California, four in Florida and three in Texas. Additional places in the 156-player field are reserved for eligible winners of official PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions events in the weeks remaining before the 2024 U.S. Senior Open.


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