111th Mass Open Championship: Day 1 Highlights - MASSGOLF

Two Players tied After Round 1 Suspended Due To Darkness

For Immediate Release: June 14, 2021

FITCHBURG, Massachusetts – Round 1 of the 111th Massachusetts Open got off to a rainy start, but once conditions cleared, the 150 competitors created plenty of excitement, as well as some history, at Oak Hill Country Club.

The day began with Seul-Ki Hawley (Winchester Country Club) becoming the first woman to play in the Mass Open, and wrapped up with professionals Max Theodorakis (Danbury, CT) and Brad Adamonis (TPC Boston) tied for the lead at 4-under.

A lightning delay halted play between 8-10:30 a.m., causing Round 1 to be suspended at 7:51 p.m. due to darkness. Adamonis made it through 17 holes and will be among the 45 players who will finish Round 1 on Tuesday morning.

Competitors are vying for the Clarence G. Cochrane Memorial Trophy that is awarded to the champion as well as a $75,000 purse which is available for all professional entrants. The Massachusetts Open Championship marks the only Mass Golf event that is open to both amateurs and professionals.

The field of 150 will be trimmed to the low 50 scorers and ties and any player within 7 strokes of the lead after Tuesday’s Round 2. Round 3 will feature 18 holes Wednesday, with a sudden-death playoff following, if needed.

ONLINE: CHAMPIONSHIP CENTRAL | ROUND 1 RESULTS | ROUND 2 STARTING TIMES | PHOTO GALLERY

WHAT HAPPENED

Max Theodorakis (Danbury, Conn.) earned his first professional win by capturing some magic at the Connecticut Open last year. For his next act, he’s hoping a win at the 111th Massachusetts Open will be his second career victory.

Max Theodorakis rolls his putt on the 18th green during Round 1 of the 111th Massachusetts Open. (Mass Golf)

“This is a really good tournament,” said Theodorakis, after finishing the day leading the field with a 4-under-par 66. “I’ve only played in it once (2018), but this would be a great one to add to the resume for sure.”

Theodorakis is trying to follow in the footsteps of fellow Connecticut native Jason Thresher, who won the title every year between 2016- 2018. (Thresher is 1-over through 13 holes.)

Theodorakis, 23, knew that accuracy would be key after a morning thunderstorm left the course wet and firm for the remainder of the day. He responded with strong ball-striking and only missing “a couple of greens.” He picked up three birdies on the front en route to a pair of 33s on each nine, and his lone bogey was on the 2nd hole.

“My misses were all in good spots, and I don’t know how many greens I hit, but I only missed a couple so that’s what you got to do out here,” said Theodorakis, who made par on the 5th despite a three-putt.

A Danbury, Connecticut, native, Theodorakis turned pro last year after a successful career at Division I Campbell University. He finished his career 5th on the school’s all-time stroke average list (72.65), participated in two NCAA regionals, and had nine career top-10 finishes.

After spending the winter in Naples, Florida, to train, he’s back in the Northeast looking to string together some victories.

“It’s been fun. I’m doing what I want to do for a living so it’s been good,” Theodorakis said. “It’s a grind for sure but I enjoy it.”

Brad Adamonis (TPC Boston) didn’t quite get through his 18-holes for Round 1, but he still put up an impressive score that vaulted him towards the top of the leaderboard. Adamonis shot 4-under-par through 17 holes. He will begin Tuesday playing hole 18 before moving onto his second round.

“I played the course on Friday and it was really firm,” Adamonis said. “Today, I knew because of the rain, it was going to be a little softer, so it was going to be a little more attackable. I played a little more aggressively, and I putted really well, I had really good speed on my putts, and I hit some good shots, it was a good day so far.”

Through the 17 holes he did play, Adamonis knocked in five birdies. His final stretch of golf included two birdies on the back nine, in addition to the five straight pars to wrap up his abbreviated round.

Adamonis, 48, played on what is now the Korn Ferry Tour from 2002 to 2004, 2006 and 2007 before earning his PGA TOUR card in 2008 and playing in the 2011 U.S. Open.

There’s plenty of more golf to be played, but Adamonis came to Oak Hill with a vision in mind and he’s kept his focus forward for the coming rounds. “I’m trying to win the tournament,” he said. “I’m hoping to shoot three great rounds and hopefully win it, but you never know what’s gonna happen in this game. So far, so good.”

When Adamonis resumes play in round two, he will look to pull into an official tie for first place with Theodorakis, if not take sole possession of the lead himself.

Also in the hunt are a pair of amateurs, Will Frodigh (Dedham Country and Polo Club) and Will Grady (Haverhill Golf & Country Club), who are just two strokes off the lead. Frodigh made birdie on three of his final four holes, while Grady is 2-under through 12.

Frodigh played alongside his two brothers, Patrick and Danny, on Monday, and said advice from his older brother (Patrick) was key to his success. Patrick played in the 2015 Mass Amateur final at Oak Hill and said the key was to keep it below the hole and be patient.

Michael Martel (New Ipswich, NH) finished his round 1-under 69 to begin his title defense. Martel last won the title in 2019 at Vesper Country Club. Martel tallied four birdies, but he was hampered by two bogies late in the round on Holes 13 and 16. Six other players are tied at 1-under, including Patrick Kilcoyne (Woodland Golf Club), who will finish his round Tuesday.

MARTEL LOOKING FORWARD

Last time the Mass Open was contested in 2019, Michael Martel (New Ipswich, NH) was the champion after a dramatic surge in the late holes. On Monday, he teed off at Oak Hill hoping to recapture some of that same form from two years ago. 

Michael Martel hits his approach shot during Round 1 of the Mass Open. He ended the day three strokes off the lead. (David Colt)

He got off to a strong start shooting a 1-under-par 69 in his opening round of play. Martel tallied four birdies, but he was hampered by two bogies late in the round on Holes 13 and 16. 

“The course was in great shape, considering all the rain we got this morning, it played pretty good,” Martel said of Oak Hill. “There were some wet areas, but not bad, the ball still rolled well. My approach didn’t really change per se, I just made sure I stayed below the hole all day, that kind of thing.”

Oak Hill can be a tough course for new comers, but Martel had some experience. He estimated he’s played the course 8 to 10 times, with his most recent round coming this past May. That familiarity helped for his first round and he tried to focus on the present, rather than think about successes of the past.

“I try to get rid of that out of my mind and just focus on the day, rather than what happened two years ago,” Martel said. “But, it was good to be back, I missed playing it last year. It’s nice to be back.”

Overall, Martel kept himself in a competitive position through one round. He credited his short game for the success on the day. “I was solid putting inside 10 feet,” he said. “I made a lot of good par saves to kind of keep the round going. I made a couple of birdies early on the back nine to get me to 3-under. I wanted to keep it going, but the last few were playing tough. You got to go for the ball on the back nine.”

Martel will tee off at 2:15 P.M. on Hole 2 for his second round of play.

NEWS & NOTES

CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION: Oak Hill Country Club is celebrating its centennial anniversary this year. Founded in 1921, it has hosted the Mass Open seven times, tied with Worcester Country Club and Oyster Harbors for the most ever. In 1935, Gene Sarazen won the Mass Open at Oak Hill, just a couple of months after winning the Masters.

HISTORY FEAT FOR HAWLEY: Seul-Ki Hawley, a PGA Professional at Winchester Country Club became the first woman to compete in the Mass Open.

OH BROTHER!: Four sets of brothers are competing in the Mass Open. Patrick Frodigh, Will Frodigh, and Danny Frodigh, all from Dedham Country & Polo Club, all began play from hole 10 on Monday. Meanwhile, Christian Emmerich and Aidan Emmerich both qualified at their home club of Kernwood Country Club; and Roger Tufts and Brad Tufts, of Tedesco Country Club, both made their debut in the Mass Open.

PARZIALE BACK HOME: Matt Parziale, from Thorny Lea Golf Club a six-time Mass Golf Player of the Year, is competing in the Mass Open for the first time since 2017. In 2018 and 2019, the Brockton native competed in the U.S. Open. In the past, he has finished T2 twice in the Mass Open (2014 and 2015) and finished 5th in 2016.

LAST-MINUTE ENTRIES: Jacob Finard, of Pine Brook Country Club, Rick Karbowski, of Wachusett Country Club, and Alex Landry, of Indian Ridge Country Club, were all added to the Mass Open on Sunday following three late withdrawals from the tournament.

AMATEUR INCREASE: There are 72 amateurs playing in the event, an increase of 10 from when the Mass Open was last contested in 2019.

REPRESENTING OAK HILL: Ethan Whitney, 18, an incoming first-year student-athlete at Temple University, is the lone player representing the home club during the Mass Open. Whitney’s low score at Oak Hill was a bogey-free 65 he shot last May, but in his Mass Open debut, he finished with a 7-over 77.

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