Round of 32: Three Intriguing Matchups At Dedham C&PC - MASSGOLF

Three Intriguing Matchups To Begin Stroke Play At Dedham C&PC

DEDHAM, Massachusetts — A field of 70 that began the week has now been cut down the last 32 as we enter match play. Wednesday is the longest day of the championship at Dedham Country & Polo Club, with a total of 24 matches set to take place between the Round of 32 and Round of 16.

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Here’s a look at three intriguing Round of 32 matchups:

15-Amy Lyon vs. 18-Christine Mandile (9 a.m.)

It’ll be an all-Winchester clash in the opening round as these former high school teammates and current members of Winchester Country Club clash in the morning.

Mandile, a perennial women’s club champion at Winchester Country Club, has plenty of match play experience at this stage having made it into match play each of the past four years. At Dedham, Mandile had a solid first round of 77 that included a 36 on the back nine. She’s also been rocking the red and blue of the University of Richmond, where she’s found success, including a top-20 finish in her first Patriot League Championship. Mandile was also runner-up in this year’s Mass Women’s Stroke Play Championship for the Baker Trophy.

Lyon may be three years younger than Mandile, but when it comes to this week there hasn’t been much daylight on how they’ve played Dedham so far. Like Mandile, Lyon shot 77 in the opening round, and while her score also went up in the second round, she never made worse than bogey in that stretch. Pars and bogeys may very well be enough to win several holes this week. Lyon was selected to represent Junior Inter-City Team in 2022. 

Amy Lyon will face her fellow Winchester member in the first round of match play. (David Colt)

8-Emma Abramson vs. 25-Reva Machanavajhula (7:50 a.m.) 

It’s hard not to watch Reva Machanavajhula compete and not be impressed. The 13-year-old Billerica native has poise beyond her years and a practiced swing, both proving effective as she competes in her first Mass Golf Women’s Amateur Championship. Machanavajhula made just one birdie in two rounds, but has had a deft ability to get up and down to avoid big numbers.

Abramson, the bubbly incoming first-year at Williams College, made it to the semifinals last year defeating one of the oldest remaining players in the field. Now she’ll have to go up against the youngest, but she certainly has the potential to get back there once more. She closed out stroke play on Tuesday with a perfectly-stroked birdie putt on the 18th, only one of three players to do so on the closing hole. Earlier this year, Abramson also played in the U.S. Girls’ Junior Amateur Championship and won the Mass Women’s Stroke Play Championship for the Baker Trophy.

7-Morgan Smith vs. 26-Mackenzie Whitney (9:10 a.m.)

Morgan Smith, the defending champion, will not only have a tough opponent, but the Smith and Whitney families have grown close over the years via playing in similar events. This DI college showdown pits a dog on dog matchup with Smith the Georgetown Hoya (Bulldog) taking on Whitney the Siena Saint (Bernard).

Last year, Smith explained how the recruitment process provided fuel to compete on a high level. But even though she’s now committed to a top-level college program, it hasn’t slowed her down. Smith won the New England Women’s Amateur for the second straight year and played in the U.S. Women’s Amateur for the first time last week. On Tuesday, she sank four birdies total, and if that continues, she’ll be a tough person to eliminate over these next three days.

Whitney has had several high finishes this year, including fourth in the Ouimet Memorial Tournament and fifth in the Mass Women’s Stroke Play Championship for the Baker Trophy. Whitney also won the Oak Hill Country Club women’s club championship coming into this week.

In the group behind them will be another Vesper CC vs. Oak Hill CC match as past runner-up Tracy Martin will take on Abby Stone in the Round of 32.

Mackenzie Whitney will try to knock off the defending champion Morgan Smith. (David Colt)


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