- Golfer Benefits
NEWTON, Massachusetts – For the second time this year, two USGA® Qualifying events were held on the same day at the same venue. The Monday morning wave of play at Charles River Country Club featured U.S. Senior Amateur Qualifying, and the afternoon saw players competing for a spot in the U.S. Senior Women’s Open.
Roger Hoit (Eastward Ho!) birdied his first hole of the day, his last hole of the day, and five more in between to shoot 69 (-3) and earn medalist honors in the morning.
And in the afternoon, both Lisa McGill (Philadelphia, PA) and Anna Morales (Peru) overcame a double-bogey start to finish as co-medalists.
MORNING PLAY: U.S. SENIOR AMATEUR QUALIFYING
While the first of three spots into the U.S. Senior Amateur was grabbed quickly by Roger Hoit, the final two spots took five playoff holes to decide. Frank Vana Jr. (Marlborough CC) got up-and-down for par on the fourth playoff hole to nab the second spot, while Don Foberg (Plymouth CC) drained a 12-foot birdie putt on the fifth playoff hole to advance to a USGA Championship for the first time in his career.
Anyone good enough to win 19 club championships at Eastward Ho! certainly knows how to play golf in the wind. The wind, which gusted up to 25 mph, was nothing but a light breeze for Roger Hoit, who made an impressive seven birdies on the day.
“My caddie Mike Greeley (a Charles River CC caddie) did an unbelievable job. We made a lot of key putts. I don’t know what it was, it was definitely over 100 feet. So just I’ve been waiting for that day to happen, just waiting for one of the days to really have a click on the greens,” said Hoit after his round.
And click it did. Among his long list of putts made was one on the first, which made him the only player in the field to birdie the difficult par-4 opener. He seemed most proud of his putt on the ninth, his final hole of the day, from well outside the normal make zone.
“That birdie on nine was special,” he said. “I had 30 feet, not the easiest putt to hole, so it felt really good to see that go in.”
Qualifying for a championship so close to home added a little more excitement for Hoit.
“It’s always an honor to play in USGA event, I think particularly to be close to home,” he added. “These qualifiers are the most important tournaments that we all play a year. Kudos to Mass Golf for alway holding these tournaments at top quality courses.”
A playoff was forced to decide the other two spots into Kittansett. Five players teed it up in the playoff after shooting 71 (-1): Vana, Foberg, Steve Tasho (Thorny Lea GC), William Prescott (Oyster Harbors Club) and Doug Clapp (Old Sandwich GC).
On the first playoff hole (10th hole, par-5), Tasho, who made eagle on the hole during regulation, was eliminated after he was unable to make birdie.
On the second playoff hole (18th hole, par-4), the greenside bunker proved too much for Prescott. His bogey eliminated him from the playoff, but put him into one of the two alternate positions for the championship proper.
With U.S. Senior Women’s Open Qualifying also out on the course, the playoff continued on the 18th hole for the remainder of the play.
Frank Vana, Jr., a Mass Golf Hall of Famer, looked frustrated to still be in the playoff after having eagle and birdie putts burn edges. His distance off the tee and precision ball-striking was noticeable in the playoff but it was his short game that finally got him through. A beautiful up-and-down for par on the 4th playoff hole made Vana the second player to qualify for a spot at Kittansett.
That left Foberg and Clapp for the final spot. The 18th hole at Charles River caused fits for Foberg throughout the day. He four-putted in regulation for a double-bogey, which put him into the playoff to begin with. Then, on the fourth playoff hole, he 3-putted from just outside 10 feet.
Fast forward to the fifth playoff hole, with Foberg standing over yet another 12-footer for birdie, from a similar line.
“The one (on the fourth playoff hole) was a little higher on the green and a little more downwind and broke a lot more. So I just saw the line doubled and tripled it in the wind did the rest.”
With the wind blowing in from the left, the ball was pushed right, and into the bottom of the hole for birdie. A birdie that clinched Foberg a spot in his first ever USGA Championship.
“My first reaction is (that I) finally qualified for one of these things at my ripe old age of 68. And then I think back to Kittansett, and three Mass Am’s, so I’m a little familiar with the place. Hopefully they don’t play from the tips, but they probably will.” He added “It’s 45 minutes from home, so you can’t beat that.”
AFTERNOON PLAY: U.S. SENIOR WOMEN’S OPEN QUALIFYING
As the day went on, the wind picked up at Charles River CC, making the course play long and difficult. And those who were able to “stick with it” are now heading to the U.S. Senior Women’s Open.
For the medalists, Anna Morales and Lisa McGill, the ability to put an opening double-bogey behind them was key. And for qualifiers Catherine Panton-Lewis (Scotland) and Helene Chartrand (Canada), seizing the moment when it mattered most has them heading to a national championship.
At the end of the day it was four players who regularly enter USGA Qualifying held in Massachusetts that advanced.
Last year, Morales qualified for the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur at Marshfield CC. This year, she was quick to run after finding out she qualified for the U.S. Senior Women’s Open, as she had a ferry to catch. Among the 5 birdies she made on the day, two of them would have won her skins. Her birdie on holes 7 and 17 were the only ones posted from the field on Monday.
McGill was overtaken by excitement upon finding out that she was through. She too has experience qualifying for USGA events in Massachusetts, as she finished as medalist during U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur qualifying in 2017 at Haverhill CC.
Talking about her reason for selecting Charles River CC, McGill said, “It’s just a great golf course. My friend Pam (Kuong) is a member and it’s really fair. It was really timing too.”
McGill also talked about staying with it after a tough start to the round. “We started out with a double, and it just goes to show that if you hang in there and then can happen, you just got to think positive.”
She finished by crediting, Michael Swiderski, a Charles River caddie, for helping her navigate the difficult greens at The River.
Catherine Panton-Lewis made the putt of the day on the first playoff hole. From just over 25 feet away, she knocked home an improbable uphill putt to shock everyone in the group and punch a ticket to Ohio.
“I kind of had that putt in (regulation), and I left it a little bit short, so I was just trying to get the pace and just sort of get it better. And it went in.”
She also had glowing things to say about Massachusetts golf, as she always tries to qualify for USGA events through Bay State qualifiers.
“When I played in the LPGA, I played at Ferncroft CC, and it’s only a six hour flight from London, so it’s not very far. And I love coming to Boston because it’s very European, and the courses are quite British, if you don’t mind me saying so.”
Helene Chartrand hits the ball a mile. And that paid off on the first playoff hole, where she was able to easily reach the fringe of the 10th green. A cozy putt up the hill left her a tap-in for birdie and another trip to a USGA Championship. For Chartrand, this one means a little bit more, after being stuck in Canada for the last three years due to travel restrictions.
“I haven’t missed any qualifying here as well for the U.S. Seniors. And it’s my second try for the open. I’ve been successful again,” she added. “I always pick this place (Massachusetts), I love the people, and we always play great courses.”
For the seven players who advanced on Monday, we will see them all in their respective national championships this August.
U.S. SENIOR AMATEUR QUALIFIERS (Names; Cities)
Roger Holt (Delray Beach, FL); (-3) 69
Frank Vana, Jr. (Boxford, MA); (-1) 71*
Donald Foberg (Pembroke, MA); (-1) 71**
ALTERNATES (In Order)
Doug Clapp (Manomet, MA); (-1) 71**
William Prescott (Jupiter, FL); (-1) 71***
*Advanced with par on 4th Playoff Hole
**Advanced with birdie on 5th Playoff Hole
***Earned spot on 5th Playoff Hole
****Earned spot on 2nd Playoff Hole
U.S. SENIOR WOMEN’S OPEN QUALIFIERS (Names; Cities)
Anna Morales (a) (Peru); (+3) 77
Lisa McGill (a) (Philadelphia, PA); (+3) 77
Catherine Panton-Lewis (Scotland); (+5) 79*
Helene Chartrand (a) (Canada); (+5) 79*
ALTERNATES (In Order)
Danielle Lee (a) (Concord, MA); (+5) 79
Julie Piers (Stuart, FL); (+6) 80
*Advanced with birdie on 1st playoff hole
The 2022 U.S. Senior Amateur is being contested at The Kittansett Club in Marion, Massachusetts. The event will be played from August 27-September 1 with 156 players in the field. Qualifying was open to any golfer who is 55 years of age as of August 27 and whose Handicap Index® does not exceed 7.4. This is the fourth time the U.S. Senior Amateur is being held in Massachusetts: 1960 (Oyster Harbors Club), 1977 (Salem CC), 1996 (Taconic GC).
The 2022 U.S. Senior Women’s Open is being contested at NCR Country Club in Kettering, Ohio. The event will be played from August 25-28 with 120 players in the field. Qualifying was open to any female professional or amateur who is 50 years of age on or before August 25 and whose Handicap Index does not exceed 7.4. NCR CC also hosted the 1986 U.S. Women’s Open, won by Jane Geddes.
Charles River Country Club is one of the most storied clubs in all of New England. As golf courses grew in population during the 1920s, members of nearby clubs decided Newton could manage another golf facility and retained legendary architect Donald Ross, a Newton native himself, to build the course along the banks of the Charles River. Since then it’s been considered by many to be a “Donald Ross masterpiece.”
As part of its centennial in 2021, Charles River hosted the first two rounds of the Ouimet Memorial Tournament as well as the Mass Golf Annual Meeting & Hall of Fame Induction Celebration.
Here are some quick facts about the history and accomplishment of the members at Charles River:
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