- Golfer Benefits
WAYLAND, Massachusetts – The lead after the first round of the 41st Massachusetts Amateur Public Links Championship is split between a current and former college golfer.
Marlborough’s Liam Gill (Highfields Golf & Country Club), a sophomore at Seattle University, and Conway’s Nathan Patterson (Northampton Country Club), a former Rhode Island College and Franklin Pierce University golfer, both shot 2-under to lead the pack after 18-hole of stroke play at Sandy Burr Country Club. Sandy Burr member Owen Elliott, of Cambridge, is one stroke back at 1-under 69, where five other golfers are after the opening round.
Out of 126 starters, 61 made the cut at 4-over 74 and are advancing to Thursday’s final round, which begins at 7 a.m. All players will tee off from hole one, with the leaders going off last.
Established in 1982, the Massachusetts Amateur Public Links is open to amateur golfers who maintain a handicap index not exceeding 12.0 and who are bona fide public course players at a public Mass Golf Member Club, a course/club that provides playing opportunities for the general public seven days a week.
There was a certain comfort in playing in this year’s Amateur Public Links for Liam Gill. Not only did Gill grow up in Wayland, he had a junior membership to Sandy Burr Country Club, where began his journey into competitive golf and played home high school matches.
That comfort was on full display as Gill made birdie on the 1st and 9th holes and finished out the rest of the round with all pars, including a pair of clutch 2-putt to finish out the round.
“I didn’t hit as many putts as I like, but I gave myself a lot of good looks,” Gill said. “A bogey-free 68 is not a bad thing.”
Not bad indeed, especially when you consider Gill got his start in golf around age 14 when friends of his introduced him to caddying at nearby Weston Golf Club. Eventually, he tried the game himself at Wayland and in that six-year journey has established himself as a top-level amateur golfer from Massachusetts. Last year, he qualified for the U.S. Amateur after earning medalist honors in the Maine qualifier, and during his first season of college golf made 10 tournament appearances with a low score of 71.
For now, he’s focused finishing the summer strongly, and a win would certainly boost some confidence before trekking back to the Pacific Northwest.
“I just feel excited for tomorrow, and hopefully I can hit more putts and give myself an opportunity to win,” Gill said.
Nate Patterson is feeling some of the nerves just like old times. The 24-year-old Western Mass native got a solid start by going 1-under through 9 holes. The front nine provided a little more exciting as Patterson sank four birdies to counter three bogeys and keep him in the red numbers entering Round 2.
“I kept it loose all day,” said Patterson, who is playing in this championship for the first time since 2019. “All around, my driver was working, and I was setting myself up in good spots. It was pretty nervy coming down the last few holes, but we got it done.”
Patterson also had high school accolades as he was the named the Daily Hampshire Gazette’s Golfer of the Year in February 2014 earning medalist honors and leading the Frontier Regional High School squad at the 2013 Western Massachusetts Division 2 Tournament. A win this week, though, would certainly be his biggest to date.
Chuck Edler (Cold Spring Country Club) shot 1-under to lead the morning wave of competitors, as birdies on holes 14, 15 and 17 got him to a 69. Edler, the former assistant golf professional at Longmeadow Country Club, reached the par-5 17th in two and was able to 2-putt from about 20 feet for birdie. Despite hitting his approach shot over the green on the 18th, he was able to get up-and-down to stay at 1-under.
Former Masconomet Regional High School standout Hadyn Kornusky is 2 strokes back at T9 as he was one of 14 players to shoot even-par or better. Kornusky sank a 30-birdie putt on the par-3 7th and made birdie again on the par-5 17th. Despite a three-putt bogey on the 18th, he’ll definitely be in contention in the final round.
“Overall we’ll take even par for the day; I’m definitely happy with it,” said Kornusky, who will play for the Endicott College men’s golf team this fall. “I’m usually not down the stretch with a chance to win like this typically, so I mean, it’s something I’ve been working for, and I’m excited to get to it tomorrow.”
Hey hey hey, whatta ya say.
Hadyn Kornusky’s birdie on 17 helped him shoot an even-par 70 in the opening round of the Massachusetts Amateur Public Links Championship. Afternoon wave is now on the course. #MassGolf#MassAPL Live Scoring: https://t.co/CV0mTv9Oit pic.twitter.com/CAe5yQs6CP
— Mass Golf (@PlayMassGolf) August 10, 2022