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BREWSTER, Massachusetts – One couldn’t possibly ask for better weather or a better setting for Day 1 of the Tri-State Matches at Cape Cod National Golf Club. On Tuesday, Massachusetts jumped out to an early lead after morning matches wrapped. But thanks to strong play in the afternoon, Rhode Island (54 points) holds the lead over Massachusetts (51 points) and Connecticut (39 points) heading into Wednesday’s Single’s Matches.
The early success from Team Massachusetts came in the form of 6-point sweeps by the pairings of Brandon Parker/John McNeill, Mike Calef/David Pierce and Andrew DiRamio/Kyle Tibbetts.
In the afternoon, the six Seniors on Team Massachusetts helped keep the team within striking distance of Rhode Island by earning 12 points to Rhody’s 3 1/2 points.
The morning foursome matches saw Massachusetts jump out to a two point lead over Rhode Island and a 14 1/2 point lead over Connecticut. The pairings of Brandon Parker/John McNeill, Mike Calef/David Pierce and Andrew DiRamio/Kyle Tibbetts all swept their morning matches to win the full 6 points available. And the pairing of Nick Maccario/Frank Vana tacked on another 5 1/2 points as well.
The first points to make it onto the scoreboard were the 6 by the pairing of Brandon Parker and John McNeill. Playing foursomes (alternate shot), they pieced together a round of 5-under-par (thru 15 holes) to easily win all 6 points available to them. After winning their front-9 matches, they took it to another level and played about as good as you can possibly play on the back. The pairing made birdie on 5 of the first 6 holes of the back nine to quickly close out the remaining points of the match.
— Mass Golf (@PlayMassGolf) October 12, 2021
Following morning play, competitors broke for lunch before heading back out onto the course for afternoon foursome matches. And during afternoon play, putts refused to fall for Massachusetts. Group after group saw Massachusetts players hitting close approaches, only to see birdie putts skirt by the hole.
On the 18th hole (their 16th hole), Maccario and Calef set themselves up for birdie with two textbook shots, only to have the birdie attempt catch the lip. And for DiRamio and Harney, it was more of the same. Good drives, even better approaches, and some unlucky breaks (or lack of breaks) on the greens.
The good news for Massachusetts was that the Senior players turned in a fine showing in the afternoon. The format of the event pegs the 6 senior players against each other during afternoon play on day 1. The Massachusetts Seniors grabbed 12 of a possible 18 points, while Connecticut won 11 1/2, and Rhode Island snagged 3 1/2.
Of all Massachusetts players, John McNeill was the top point-getter. McNeill won 6 points in the morning playing alongside Brandon Parker. And in the afternoon he won another 4 points playing with David Pierce.
Single’s matches will get started in shotgun format at 9 a.m. on Wednesday. Rhode Island will look to ride the momentum from Tuesday to earn their first Tri-States Victory in 20 years. Massachusetts will need to mount a comeback if they want to make it 16 out of the last 17.
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Each team selected 10 of its top mid-amateur players, plus six of its top senior amateur players. Player selection for Team Massachusetts is primarily based on Mass Golf Player of the Year and Senior Player of the Year Standings.
The championship begins with foursome matches with mixed mid-am and senior teams on Tuesday morning, with mid-ams and seniors paired together in the afternoon. On Wednesday
The format will be “Nassau Style “matches (1 point for winning the front nine, 1 point for the back nine & 1 point (overall match). A competitor’s first 9-consecutive holes will constitute as their “front 9” and their next 9-holes their “back 9”. Halved matches will result in half-points being awarded.
Cape Cod National is an 18-hole championship golf course located in Brewster, Massachusetts. The club retained the services of the well known New England based architectural firm of Cornish, Silva, & Mungeam with Brian Silva being the lead designer and opened for play in 1998.
The course has played host to several USGA Qualifying events along with Mass Golf Championships, Qualifiers and Member Days. The most recent Mass Golf Championship Proper held at CCN was the 2012 Massachusetts Senior Amateur, won by Joe Walker (Dennis Pines GC).
In 2018, U.S. Women’s Open Qualifying was held at CCN and saw Celeste Dao (Canada) & Celine Herbin (France) advance to the championship proper. Dao was 1 of just 15 amateurs to tee it up in the U.S. Women’s Open that year.
The first Tri-State Matches event took place in 1907 when the team from Massachusetts won at the Agawam Hunt Club in Providence, Rhode Island. Ever since 1928, teams from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut have competed for the title over a two-day period to compete for the regional title. Individual amateur golfers are selected each year by their state’s respective golf associations.