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IPSWICH, Massachusetts – The final round of the 40th Massachusetts Amateur Four-Ball came down to a clash between two former champions and two young, newfound partners Wednesday at The Golf Club at Turner Hill.
Ultimately, the 17-year-old high schoolers won out as John Broderick (Dedham Country & Polo Club) and Weston Jones (Charter Oak Country Club) became the youngest duo to win the title. A three-birdie stretch with a two-day score of 13-under 131, for a two-stroke edge over Matt Parziale (Thorny Lea GC) and Herbie Aikens (Old Sandwich GC), the 2016 and 2017 champions.
Andrew DiRamio (North Hill CC) and Andy Luther (Boston Golf Club) took solo third at 9-under, while defending champions Mike Calef (Pine Oaks Golf Club) and Nick Maccario (Bradford Country Club) were T4 at 8-under.
Ipswich Country Club also hosted the second and final round of competition.
While John Broderick and Weston Jones have already committed to colleges, Vanderbilt University and Rutgers University, respectively, they’ve still been showcasing their skills on the state amateur stage, and they’re winning.
“There was a goal to win this week and it feels awesome to just to accomplish that goal,” Jones said. “[It’s] a great feeling.”
Broderick and Jones both shot 8-under to tie Matt Parziale and Herbie Aikens the day prior at Ipswich, but were able to pull away with clutch birdie putts down the stretch. Broderick, last year’s New England Amateur Champion and Mass Junior Player of the Year, his team off to a strong start with a birdie on the second.
After going three-under on the front nine, the pair were par or better down the stretch, but two holes helped them put it away. Jones had two approach shots right on target on holes 13 and 14, putting them within 4 and 6 feet. He made both birdie putts to give them enough of an edge to stay ahead of Parziale and Aikens.
“Weston was just hitting great all week, like he always has,” Broderick said of Jones. “We both play a very similar game. I think we hit fairways, greens and I think a lot of times, we would work great together. If one of us didn’t have perfect yardage we kind of played to the side of the green and let the other one take dead aim, and I think we’ve just accomplished that, especially on the back nine today.”
Jones, who advanced through U.S. Open Local Qualifying the week prior, was equally complimentary of his playing partner.
“He’s probably one of the best if not like the best, ball-striking wise,” Jones said. “It’s gonna hit the green fairway on almost every time so definitely takes the pressure off or kind of allows me to play my game.”
Parziale and Aikens, who also won together on their first attempt in 2016, also made the turn at 3-under, but they came up short on the back-nine. After one player was out on holes 10 and 11, they made bogey on the 12th. Even after a birdie on the 13th, they were unable to rally back.
While most of the top groups were playing the final day at Turner Hill, the team of Colin Spencer and Aidan O’Donovan found themselves as close as one stroke off the lead as they were playing their final round at Ipswich Country Club. However, they came up a bit short as they finished T4 with a pair of 68s for the tournament.
After shooting a 4-under at Turner Hill on Tuesday, the high school juniors from Cummaquid Golf Club came out firing Wednesday, making birdie five times on holes 9-18, to move within a stroke of the lead. Though their bogey free-streak ended on hole 2, the pair fought back as Spencer sank a 15 footer for birdie that just fell over the edge. They were especially electrified on the fourth hole when O’Donovan sank a 35-footer from off the green that stayed on its line and fell into the cup.
Unfortunately for the duo, some of the closing holes got the better of them as they finished with bogeys on holes 6 and 9. On the par-5 6th, Spencer hit out of bounds wide right over the water, while O’Donovan had to punch out after hitting his tee shot wide left.
Still, the pair say they’re encouraged by the performance and will use it as motivation for events in recent weeks.
John Sadowski and Kyle Vincze stepped off the course at Ipswich Country Club late Tuesday evening after a difficult round in which they finished 2-over as a team.
But Sadowski, the Director of Agronomy at Turner Hill, didn’t have much time to dwell on it as he was back out on the golf course at 4:50 Wednesday morning to roll the greens and do everything needed to get the course ready for play. About 9 hours later he stepped up to the 18th tee, as he’s done countless times, and hit an ideal shot that retired just 6 feet beyond the flagstick. He then made the putt to cap a round of 5-under-par 67 for him and his playing partner Kyle Vincze. Together they finished T12.
“It’s way better to come back when your own course and shoot a good number,” said Sadowski, who has been at Turner Hill since 2004. (The course opened in 2003.) “I played the par-3s real well, went 2-under on those.”
Sadowski has played in this event when it has come to Turner Hill in the past (2010 and 2014), and though he doesn’t play in as many events as years past, this year was his best two-day score of the three, as he finished with a 141. “This is a sort of exception to the rule obviously when it’s here,” he said.
As for course conditions, “We had it pretty much where we wanted it for, for the weather that we’ve had.”
Set on approximately 700 beautiful acres, both Ipswich Country Club and The Golf Club at Turner Hill are among the many golf courses set within a residential community. Other examples in the Bay State that come to mind are Black Rock Country Club in Hingham, Pinehills in Plymouth and Willowbend in Mashpee.
But Turner Hill has its own unique history. Located 45 minutes north of Boston, the historic site located on Ipswich’s highest hill features an Elizabethan mansion-house constructed in 1900 and fully completed in 1903. Charles Goodnough Rice, president of the U.S. Smelting Refining and Mining Company of Boston, and his wife Anen Proctor and their three children. The clubhouse and its facilities are set inside the mansion.
According to the club’s website, “A young George Patton was a frequent guest of Turner Hill and once entertained party guests from the book ladder in the library.” His original desk is preserved inside the mansion, as are libraries with original books belonging to the Rice family, and original cabinet woodworking in many of the rooms.
The property was solid in 1945 to the Missionaries of Our Lady of LaSalette, which was used as a church retreat and a public gathering spot.
The Turner Hill estate itself was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, and is now the Residences at Turner Hill, a condominium complex with a golf club. In fact, the golf club itself wasn’t opened until 2003 with the addition of about 180 condominium houses.
You may have noticed the club’s peacock logo, which is a constant theme around the property. During Turner Hill’s history, peacocks were among the animals that used to roam the premises. In the original living room, a decorative frieze surrounded the room with a peacock, which in ancient Greek and early Christianity was a symbol of immortality. So when the golf club was formed, it was the natural choice for a destinative logo.
Four-Ball events, both statewide and nationally, will continue in the ensuing weeks.
The Mass Mixed Four-Ball Championship will take place on Monday, May 17 at Twin Hills Country Club in Longmeadow, and the Mass Senior Four-Ball makes its return to the schedule June 1-2 at Foxborough Country Club and Walpole Country Club.
The U.S. Four-Ball will take place May 22-26 at Chambers Bay in Washington State. Several Massachusetts amateurs have qualified and are playing on the following teams: Herbie Aikens & Matt Parziale; Nick Maccario & Mike Calef; Alex Jeffers & Garren Poirier (VT); Rob Owen & Chris Owen (NY); Jonathan Stoddard & James Magner; and Sam Jenkins & Kevin Gately.
The 2022 Mass Four-Ball Championship will take place at Marshfield Country Club and Duxbury Yacht Club.
Visit MassGolf.org and follow @PlayMassGolf on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest information on this week’s Massachusetts Four-Ball Championship at The Golf Club at Turner Hill and Ipswich Country Club. To join the conversation, use the hashtag #MassGolf and #MassFourBall.