- Golfer Benefits
TOWNSEND, Massachusetts — The notoriously narrow fairways at Northern Spy Golf Club challenged most during the second round of competition at the Massachusetts Junior Amateur Championship Powered by KOHR Golf on Wednesday, but they didn’t seem to have much of an effect on Kernwood Country Club’s Aidan Emmerich.
Emmerich sailed to a 4-under 66 on Wednesday that made him 7-under overall, which secured the Swampscott native Stroke-Play Medalist Honors by a 6-stroke margin.
In the Pre-Junior Division, Josiah Hakala (Northern Spy Golf Club) posted an even-par 70 on his home course Wednesday to win the Joseph M. Batchelder Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the lowest pre-junior finisher at the conclusion of stroke play. Hakala will also compete in match play.
The remaining 16 players will begin match play at 8 a.m. Thursday. The Round of 16 and the Quarterfinals will be played with all matches being 18-hole contests. Four players will advance through to the semifinals and Championship Match scheduled for Friday.
Here are Thursday’s Round of 16 matchups:
8:00 a.m. – Aidan Emmerich (Kernwood Country Club) vs. Alan Rose (Oyster Harbors Club)
8:10 a.m. – Pieter Hartman (Orchards Golf Club) vs. Markus Pierre (The Kittansett Club)
8:20 a.m. – Andrew teDuits (MIAA) vs. Ryan Fay (Dedham Country & Polo Club)
8:30 a.m. – Ryan Scollins (Franklin Country Club) vs. Zach Pelzar (Weston Golf Club)
8:40 a.m. – John Broderick (Dedham Country & Polo Club) vs. John Pagano (Worcester Country Club)
8:50 a.m. – Galen Fowles (The Ranch Golf Club) vs. Emil Nielsen (Weston Golf Club)
9:00 a.m. – Colin Spencer (Cummaquid Golf Club) vs. Ryan Keyes (MIAA)
9:10 a.m. – Josiah Hakala (Northern Spy Golf Club) vs. Nick McCabe (Cohasset Golf Club)
Emmerich played a relatively error-free round on Wednesday, making par or better on every hole he played and finishing with birdies on holes 5, 7, 12 and 13. The performance was a continuation of what the incoming Michigan State University golfer accomplished on Tuesday, where he recorded his only bogey of the entire championship thus far.
“I feel good,” Emmerich said. “You just drive the ball on the fairway here. I mean, it’s pretty easy, 90 yards every hole, and par-5s, if you’re in the fairway as well, you don’t even have to be, they’re short. The place is short, and my wedge game was the strength.”
While much of the field’s anecdote to Northern Spy was to back off the driver, Emmerich took the opposite approach.
“I just keep playing aggressive,” he said. “I’ve been hitting driver all over this place and a lot of people are shooting 2-irons. I think that’s why I have 90 yards in and all that. And I drove 6 green today, three-putted but, I mean, I’m just playing aggressive, that’s how I came out this week with a game plan.”
Emmerich’s Wednesday score was more than enough to keep him in first place, but he still felt that he could have improved his putting.
“For a place I’ve never seen, I guess it’s not bad, but there’s definitely some putts that should fall,” Emmerich said. “I thought I could have gone a lot deeper today, but save the putts for match play hopefully.”
Emmerich admits that match play isn’t his strength, but he hopes that his experience at the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at Bandon Dunes last week, where he won his Round of 64 matchup, gave him the spark he needs to go deep into match play at the Mass Junior Amateur.
John Broderick (Dedham Country & Polo Club) finished second with a 1-under 139 after shooting an even-par 70 during the second round. The incoming Vanderbilt University freshman was 2-under through his first three holes after making birdie on holes 10 and 12, which he credited with setting him up for a successful morning.
“It’s really good because out here, you can make doubles quick, which I actually did,” Broderick said. “But being 2-under through 3 kind of takes the pressure off a little bit and you can have room to make bad swings. It’s always good to be under par in the round as well.”
Broderick feels his putting has been solid thus far, but still has room for improvement heading into match play.
“I’m putting it great,” he said. “I mean, on the back nine and probably the back 12 holes, I had a lot lip out. So it was just like, probably not the best reads wasn’t really matching the line speed right, but I’m rolling it great and I’ve actually liked these greens so I expect to kind of match them up a little better the next days and roll them in better.”
The Wellesley native, who reached the Round of 16 at the U.S. Junior Amateur last week, says he looks forward to the start of match play tomorrow.
“This is a great match play course,” Broderick said. “I think having the honor is gonna be big, just being able to put it in the fairway, put pressure on your opponent, but I love match play you really got to think having the honors can be big, just being able to put it in the fairway put pressure on your opponent but I love match play and any opportunity you have to play again, it’s great. I think I’ve got a lot of experience in it and I’m just looking forward to kind of using that as well as my good ball striking to my advantage.”
View this post on Instagram
There was a four-way tie for third between Hakala, Andrew teDuits (MIAA), Colin Spencer (Cummaquid Golf Club) and Ryan Scollins (Franklin Country Club) at a 2-over 142.
Spencer, the defending Massachusetts Junior Amateur Champion, ended the first round of stroke play on Tuesday feeling like he had left a lot out on the course. That wasn’t the case Wednesday, as he changed his approach to the tough course and walked away with a 2-under 68 that put him at 2-over for the championship overall. Spencer’s second-round performance included five birdies, which he made on holes 5, 6, 12, 14 and 18.
“I hit a lot less drivers today than I did yesterday,” Spencer said. “I didn’t get a practice round out here, so yesterday was kind of my practice round. It didn’t go too well, I had lots of balls in the water. Today, I hit a lot less drivers and was able to kind of be more aggressive when I was in certain spots. Yesterday, it kind of felt like I forced it a bit, so today I tried not to force as much, just trying to hit greens and if I’m in trouble, just trying to get it to the front of the greens, it was just a lot better and made more putts. Pretty much everything was better today, it was just much more enjoyable.”
teDuits said the course has also posed a challenge for him, and that his focus has remained on simply staying somewhere around the fairway. He added that Thursday will be a new test since he doesn’t have much match-play experience.
“I’m pretty excited,” teDuits said. “I haven’t really been a part of a tournament like this before, so it should be fun. I’ve been kind of not really into tournament golf until this past year and I thought I’d try and qualify and it happened to work out and I’m playing pretty well lately.”
John Pagano (Worcester Country Club), Alan Rose (Oyster Harbors Club), Noah Farland (Andover Country Club) and Alex Landry (Indian Ridge Country Club) all ended stroke play at 7-over, requiring a playoff to determine which golfers would fill the last two spots in match play.
Farland was eliminated on hole 1 after missing a short putt. On the 9th hole, the second of the playoff, Rose found the green after driving far up the hill on the right side and later secured his spot with a clutch, mid-length putt. Pagano ended up in favorable position on the green on his approach and missed a putt that would have secured his spot automatically, but sank a 4-footer moments later to nab his spot.
15-year-old Hakala recovered from an up-and-down start that included three bogeys on his first six holes to finish even-par on Wednesday after making birdie on holes 2, 3 and 6 near the end of his round. Hakala took home his first Pre-Junior Division win after besting the rest of his pre-junior competitors by 7 strokes or more.
“Feels great,” Hakala said. “Had a nice back nine today hopefully, can keep that play going tomorrow, game plan is not gonna change much, play my game and see what happens.”
Coming in behind Hakala were Matthew Oliviera (Allendale Country Club) and Savar Bhasin (Pleasant Valley Country Club) at a 149 after both rounds of stroke play.
Hakala was enthusiastic to see the support of his home club while he was out on the course.
“It’s been awesome,” he said. “I want to thank everybody for coming out for sure. It’s great seeing all my buddies come out and watch me. It really shows that they care about me and what person I am, which is really awesome to know.”
A Big Number: Galen Fowles (The Ranch Golf Club) shot a 3-under 67 during the second round to safely send himself to match play after making birdie on holes 2, 8, 9 and 17 and making par on 13 of the 14 other holes. The mark was a 9-stroke improvement for Fowles, the biggest improvement of all qualifiers between rounds 1 and 2. The Northampton native carded a 76 on Tuesday.
Most Improved: The most significant improvement out of the entire field came from KOHR Golf Center’s Druv Campanella, who shot 18 strokes better on Wednesday to post a 79 after shooting a 97 during the first round of stroke play.
Previous Winners in the Mix: There are three former Pre-Junior Division champions in the field — Broderick, Markus Pierre (The Kittansett Club) and Ben Catudal (The Milton-Hoosic Club). Broderick and Pierre will vie for a Championship Division title in match play.
Course Stats: The 412-yard, par-4 4th hole again played as the most difficult on the course, with players requiring an average of 4.85 strokes to complete the hole. The hole produced just 11 birdies during the two rounds of stroke play, and 60 golfers needed two strokes or more above par to move on. The 305-yard, par-4 hole 13 also posed a challenge, with 21 golfers requiring 7 or more strokes to finish it.
Visit MassGolf.org and follow @PlayMassGolf on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for the latest information on Mass Golf championships and events. To join the conversation, use the hashtag #MassGolf.