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FITCHBURG, Massachusetts – Family ties in the Massachusetts Open is a tradition that goes back to the event’s beginning in 1905. Brothers Alex Ross and Donald Ross were the lone individuals to win it the first eight times it was contested. In more modern times, brothers Fran Quinn, Jr. (1990), Kevin Quinn (1999), and Brian Quinn (2003) have each won it.
While fathers and sons from multiple generations have competed, now siblings from dedicated golf families are getting a chance to compete among the region’s best amateur and professional golfers. And for the first time in event history, three brothers from the same family are all competing at the same time.
Scroll down to learn more about some of the sibling bonds on the course during the 111th Massachusetts Open at Oak Hill Country Club.
Playing at Oak Hill on Monday brought back a lot of memories for Patrick Frodigh (Dedham Country & Polo Club). During the 2015 Mass Amateur at Oak Hill, Frodigh was the No. 31 seed out of 32 in match play, yet made it all the way to the final match where he came up short to Nick McLaughlin.
His first return to Oak Hill as a competitor on Monday was also a special occasion as he joined his brothers Will Frodigh and Danny Frodigh, also from Dedham C&PC, to collectively become the first trio of siblings to compete in the same Massachusetts Open. For Will, it was his second time, and it was Danny’s first.
“It’s unbelievably special,” said Patrick, 26, who regained his amateur status last year. “Being older and having them look up to me for a while, now I’ll have to be careful because they’re right behind me. It’s just been fun to push each other since they’ve been home.”
Patrick competed for Louisville and the University of Denver before eventually playing for and graduating from Elon University. He now lives in Boston and works in finance, while Will, 23, and Danny, 22, compete for Elon and the University of Hartford, respectively.
And they all competed well on Monday. Will was the leader of the morning round on Monday at 2-under-par 68, making birdie on three of his last four holes to shake off bogeys on holes 17 and 18. Patrick finished even-par 70, while Danny, 22, shot a 3-over 73.
“It’s good to see us get off to a good start,” said Patrick, the only left-handed player of the group.
Will, who once played with Patrick at Elon, said his older brother’s advice on attacking Oak Hill was extremely helpful. “He said stay below the hole and be patient,” Will said. “He said the front nine’s a little different from the back , so if you make a couple bogeys, you come back.”
After qualifying ended June 1, it wasn’t certain all three would get to play in this together. Patrick was exempt through his 2018 Mass Amateur win, but Will and Danny were alternates. However, both moved up from the alternate list and eventually got to the call to compete in the Championship Proper.
“It’s fantastic, I’m so proud of them,” said Peter Frodigh, the father of the Frodigh clan. “It’s something to look forward to. You know they all want to support each other, but they all want to beat each other, too.”
Brad and Roger Tufts have played a lot of golf together over the years. For all the rounds they’ve played, they shared a first on Monday. It was their first time competing in the Mass Open.
“I’ve been at it for a long time because we’re separated by eight years in age,” Brad said. “So, I played in a lot of these things, and to have Roger involved is pretty awesome.”
The two gained entry to the Open in different ways. Roger played his way into the Championship Proper by shooting a 2-over-par 72 at the Kernwood Country Club qualifier on May 17. At the same event, Brad earned alternate status and ended up getting the call to make the trip to Fitchburg.
For the Tufts, getting into the Open is a testament to years of dedication towards the game of golf in the family. “We are fourth-generation Tedesco members, with my kids being fifth-generation Tedesco members,” Brad said. “We actually had two grandmothers that play, too. Golf has always been a thing to do for our family forever, we never really had any low handicap family members until now, but if one thing starts, it leads to the other, it’s pretty neat.”
The family affair held true on Monday with the brothers’ parents both making their way to Oak Hill. Their mother Merry watched the action from the clubhouse and around the course, while their father Dana was a bit more involved.
“I had my dad on the bag today, so that was fun,” Roger said. “He got to share the battle with me out there today, so that was good. They’ve been super supportive of both of us, so I think they were psyched when we both got in.”
“It’s always fun to have them around, especially at Club Championship time and stuff at home. It’s nice to have a few people that are supporting just you,” Brad added.
Despite playing golf together for all of their lives, there was no sibling rivalry that existed for Brad and Roger going into the Open. “We have lots of friendly matches and stuff, but when it comes to playing in these events, I think we’re both just kind of rooting for each other,” Roger said.
When qualifying for the Mass Open ended June 1, all three of the Emmerich brothers from Swampscott were set to compete after they qualified at their home course of Kernwood Country Club.
While the oldest, Max, had to withdraw, Christian and Aidan are still in the field and have been preparing to compete together through tournaments and various practice sessions.
“It’s good to travel together, practice together and get us together. It makes it more comfortable,” said Christian, who just completed his sophomore year at Holy Cross.
Both brothers had success in top amateur events last year, highlighted by Christian’s fourth in the New England Amateur, and Aidan, at 16, becoming the youngest player to make match play at the Massachusetts Amateur Championship and winning Kernwood’s men’s club championship.
On Monday, the course got the better of them as they both shot 7-over 77.
As one can imagine, the brothers are well aware of the other’s accomplishments and use that to try to motivate one another.
“You got something going every tournament round,” Christian said. “You kind of keep track of where we’re at, who beats who, and tally it up. I got the lead right now so I’m hoping to improve upon that.”
Aidan will be a senior at St. Mary’s High School this fall, with the University of Kentucky on the top of the list for schools he wants to go to most. While he’s among the youngest in the field, he’s confident that his game will size up well.
“I haven’t seen most of these people out here, but I think I’m good enough to pull something off,” Aidan said.
For more information on the Mass Open, visit MassGolf.org or Follow @PlayMassGolf on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To join the conversation, be sure to use the hashtag #MassGolf and #MassOpen.