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KINGSTON, Massachusetts – The year of firsts for Mashpee native Colin Spencer (Cummaquid Golf Club) has now reached new heights.
Spencer, 17, made his first appearance in the U.S. Junior Amateur and qualified for match play in the Mass Amateur this year. But not settling with just competing on these stages, he delivered his best appearance yet this week and was rewarded with his first-ever Mass Golf individual title.
Spencer made par or better over the final eight holes, including birdies on the 9th and 13th, to defeat Jack Moy (Pleasant Valley Country Club), 3 & 2, in the final match of the 103rd Massachusetts Junior Amateur Championship on warm, sunny Friday at Indian Pond Country Club.
The semifinals and finals were moved to Friday due to heavy rain Thursday.
“It was fun, it was hard, [there were] long days, but it was a blast,” Spencer said.
Colin Spencer‘s steady approach was better than the rest in the field, but when he needed to win a hole, he got it done. Tied with Jack Moy through 10 holes, Spencer won the 11th with a par and never looked back. He really put the dagger in on the par-3 13th (143-yards). In the first round, he hit a nine-iron pin high that rolled off the front of the green. In the final match, he clubbed up and hit a knockdown 8-iron and converted the 5-foot birdie putt to widen his lead.
“It was the right club and a good shot at the right time to do it,” Spencer said.
Throughout the match, Spencer was able to stripe it down the middle and on target, but his putter began to pick up at the end, with key par saves to put the pressure back on his opponent.
“The final match was the best I’ve hit it since stroke play,” Spencer said. “I made a couple more putts in the final match. Jack’s a great player so it was a lot of fun.”
In his first match play appearance in a statewide event, Moy embraced the underdog role. Moy was the No. 14 seed, sitting just one stroke above the cutline, which required a 5-for-1 playoff on Tuesday. Still, he knocked off all higher seeds en route to the final match, including second-seeded Weston Jones (Charter Oak Country Club), an incoming first-year at Rutgers University who will compete in the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship beginning Monday.
“I feel like I probably proved a few people wrong, not that many people were doubting me a lot, but I like that I overachieved from most people’s expectations,” said Moy, who will attend Assumption College in Worcester in the fall.
Moy opened up leads of 3-up or greater in each of his prior three matches, but his luck ran out against Spencer in the final as he lost some accuracy off the tee and wasn’t able to convert putts when he needed them most. Despite winning the 10th with a birdie, bogeys on the 11th and 15th proved costly.
“Colin’s a great kid, so he played very solid [and] he earned it, so respect to him,” Moy said. “I wish I could’ve made a few of the putts, but you win some you lose some.”
Spencer is being recruited by a few NCAA Division I schools, including the University of Connecticut. Asked about the process earlier the week, he said he’s doing his best to just stay focused on the golf ahead. Even a win like this is still settling in for Spencer, who had a laundry list of appreciations to dish out after his win.
“I’m still kind of in shock,” Spencer said. “I definitely want to say thank you to Mass Golf for an awesome event, everybody here at Indian Pond, my parents for driving me around and everything, my friends for coming out and watching, and everybody at Cummaquid Golf Club who supported me throughout everything.”
ROAD TO THE FINAL
Stroke Play: 72-71–143 (Solo 4/No. 4 seed)
R16: Def. Patrick Ginnity, 1 up
Quarterfinals: Def. Sean Dully, 3& 1
Semifinals: Def. Joey Lenane, 2-up
ROAD TO THE FINAL
Stroke Play: 74-74-148 (T12/No. 14 seed)
R16: Def. Aidan Emmerich, 5 & 4
Quarterfinals: Def. Kevin McGough, 3&1
Semifinals: Def. Weston Jones, 2&1
ROAD TO THE SEMIFINALS
Stroke Play: 69-71-140 (T1/No. 1 seed)
R16: Def. Nolan Skaggs, 3 & 2
Quarterfinals: Def. Will Campbell, 4 & 3
ROAD TO THE SEMIFINALS
Stroke Play: 73-67-140 (T1/No. 2 Seed)
R16: Def. Colby Sanville, 3 & 1
Quarterfinals: Def. Raymond Dennehy, 1 up
4-Colin Spencer, Cummaquid Golf Club def. 1-Joey Lenane, Kohr Golf Center, 2-up
Spencer jumped out quickly by winning three of the first four holes against Lenane, who was paired with Spencer and Weston Johnes during stroke play. Lenane tied it by winning holes 9 and 10, but Spencer countered by winning the 11th with a par and making birdie on the 15th. Though Lenane cut it to 1-up with a birdie on the 16th, he ended up with a bogey on the 18th, sending Spencer into the final match.
14-Jack Moy, Pleasant Valley Country Club def. 2-Weston Jones, Charter Oak Country Club, 2&1
Jack Moy saw his 3-up lead through 10 disappear over the next three holes, but the Pleasant Valley club champion regained it by making a birdie on the 14th followed by a par on the 15th to gain a 2-up lead. Both players made par over the next three holes to end the match. Jones will compete in the U.S. Amateur Championship, which begins Monday at Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania.
Though the Junior Amateur often marks the final junior golf event for the oldest competitors, there’s still one more to be played in a couple of weeks. Three of the four semifinalists — Weston Jones, Joey Lenane, and Colin Spencer will compete in the New England Junior Amateur Championship, from August 15-17 at Val Halla Golf Course in Cumberland, Maine.
The remaining players representing the Bay State will be: John Broderick (Dedham Country and Polo Club), Daniel Brooks (Dudley Hill Golf Club), Ryan Downes (GreatHorse), and Ethan Whitney (Oak Hill Country Club), as well as a trio of female standouts: Annie Dai (MIAA), Keira Joshi (Nashawtuc Country Club), and Victoria Veator (MIAA).