Spitz Sinks 66-Foot Putt To Capture Mass Amateur Public Links Title - MASSGOLF

Ben Spitz’s Winning Putt Provides Dramatic Finish At Olde Scotland Links

For Immediate Release: August 8, 2023

BRIDGEWATER, Massachusetts – If Monday was a “walk in the park” for Milton’s Ben Spitz (George Wright Golf Course), Tuesday was very much like taking the dog out in the rain. No matter what the elements were, you just had to bear down and get the job done.

Spitz overcame two rain and lightning delays at Olde Scotland Links and was overtaken late in the final round by Old Scotland member Joe Powers, but the 39-year-old never wavered. He equalized on the final two holes before sinking the most incredible championship-clinching putt in the 42-year history of the Massachusetts Amateur Public Links Championship.

After hitting his tee shot onto the cart path of the 18th hole on the first and only playoff hole, Spitz landed his approach one pace onto the uphill green. Needing two putts to win, he only needed one, as he proceeded to find the perfect line for his eagle putt of over 60 feet, which dropped smoothly into the center of the cup. With the flagstick still in, it was a befitting finish to the annual public golfers showcase.

“Any win is a good win,” said Spitz, after winning his second APL (first 2017 at Pinehills) with a two-day total of 68-71–139 (-5), plus a dramatic walkoff. “There’s good golfers in this state, so you still have to hit it good and get your mind right. It means a lot that I could do it and get through the long day and finish it off.”

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Spitz has considerably dialed back competitive golf this year, but it didn’t show this week. The former Massachusetts Amateur champion (2006) hit all but one green in regulation over two days. Early this year, he made it back to U.S. Open Final Qualifying, and his familiarity of playing in “golf’s longest day” proved valuable. His morning tee time was 9:40 a.m., but courtesy of the weather delays, he didn’t walk off the course with the victory until about 7 p.m. 

“Today was a hard day,” said Spitz, who will try to qualify for the U.S. Mid-Amateur on August 22 at Connecticut National. “It was hard to get into a rhythm.”

With a two-shot lead heading into the final round, Spitz got to 7-under total at the turn, but the birdie train began to decelerate. He gave one back with a 3-putt on the 13th, interrupted by the second weather delay. He then three-putted again on the 15th, despite an incredible second shot from the natural area flanking the water on the right fairway that hooked and landed on the front of the green.

During that time, Joe Powers was making it a two-man race. And there was nobody better suited to chase down Spitz than the lifetime member and former Springfield College walk-on who learned the ropes from his father Joseph Powers who was on the bag all day.

“We know every inch of this place, so it was a lot of fun to have him on the bag,” said the younger Powers, who finished 5th place last year.

After a birdie on the 11th got him back within two strokes of Spitz, he made a 25-footer breaking right to left on the 13th to get within a stroke. He then pulled ahead on the 15th after hitting a damp approach shot right on target and making the birdie putt.

“My dad gave me a great read, and then I kept going from there,” Powers said.

Powers held a two-stroke lead hitting his final tee shot, seemingly in a favorable position to ice it. Hitting fairway metal into the green, he had a short pitch into the final pin, but it checked up short and rolled off the front, eventually settling for bogey. Spitz, meanwhile made birdie on the 17th to equalize again and after hitting a 70-yarder inside 10 feet, was able to make par and force a sudden-death playoff back on the 18th.

Back on the closing hole, Powers was in the right rough, but his second shot found standing water that filled the bunkers like pools from the torrential downpours. Powers took relief, but his third shot bumped and didn’t run, and he missed the birdie putt, setting the stage for Spitz to make bring the championship to a thrilling close.

“I guess I was due for a long one,” Spitz said. “I wasn’t expecting to make it, just trying to two-putt. It was nice to make it. It was awesome. It was great.”

After the finish, Powers emphasized that Olde Scotland Links held its own with some of the state’s best bona-fide public golfers.

“Olde Scotland Links is a good test of golf,” he said. “The scores weren’t too low. If you haven’t played here, I think you should come out and give it a shot. Everything Mass Golf does is great, and can’t wait to get here next year.”



  • The last Amateur Public Links Championship to go to a playoff was in 2018 when Owen Quinn edged out Sean Fitzpatrick at The Ranch Golf Club in Southwick. Quinn made a two-putt par in his sudden-death matchup to earn the victory.
  • In addition to Power’s performance, another Olde Scotland member Ryan Derosier, of Bridgewater, finished T12 at 3-over-par total (73-74). The former Allendale Country Club pro shop worker made birdie on the final two holes to total three birdie in his final round.
  • Out of the 51 players who finished both rounds, George Wright Golf Course and Cyprian Keyes Golf Club each had four players among them.
  • Bill Drohen (Bradford Country Club), the 2020 champion, finished T3 (72-70) to match David Falcucci (Cyprian Keyes Golf Club), who shot 1-under 71 in both rounds. Defending champion Zachary Miller (Quail Ridge Country Club) finished T8.
  • Ledges Golf Club in South Hadley has been selected as the host of the 2024 Massachusetts Amateur Public Links Championship for the first time. The municipal track in Western Massachusetts has a distinguished balance of link-styled holes, others threading through the rolling hills and woodlands of the site. It also offers several drivable par-4s. To view all future sites, CLICK HERE


This year marks the 42nd playing of the Massachusetts Amateur Public Links. The APL is often called The Public Golfers Championship, and for good reason. The event is open to amateur golfers who have an active Mass Golf Membership at a public golf course with a Handicap Index® not exceeding 12.0 (at the time of registration).

Players who have playing privileges at any private club are ineligible, with the exception of:

a.) Players competing on a school golf team, provided those privileges are limited to scheduled practices and competitions; or

b.) Players employed by a private club, provided their playing privileges…Are limited in nature; Are consistent with those offered to other employees; Do not allow participation in any club tournaments; Players employed by a private club must obtain an active Mass Golf Membership at a public golf course.


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