Mass Amateur: Broderick, O'Donovan Go Under Course Record In Round 2 - MASSGOLF

John Broderick Shoots Course Record 62, While Aidan O’Donovan, James Imai & Ricky Stimets Also Go Low At Essex County Club

For Immediate Release: July 11, 2023

MANCHESTER-BY-THE-SEA, Massachusetts – Essex County Club has seen an incredible amount of history over 130 years, and the second round of stroke play Tuesday most certainly has added another chapter to it.

On a glorious day to enjoy the outdoors, a flurry of players in the afternoon wave made a statement with historic performances in the final round of stroke play in the 115th Massachusetts Amateur Championship.

Wellesley’s John Broderick (Dedham Country & Polo Club) held his putter aloft after dropping a 15-footer for birdie on the 18th. While it wasn’t a match-clinching putt, Broderick couldn’t help but smile — as he had most of the day — as he put a very loud exclamation point on the best stroke play round ever recorded in Essex’s history: An 8-under-par 62. With a mark of 9-under for the tournament, he essentially secured medalist honors for the stroke play portion of the event.

“It was a fun day,” said Broderick after he surpassed the previous competitive course record of 65 held by the late Jack Nies. “I made birdie on nine, and I could feel I was in good shape, and I told my caddie [Sully Kopf], ‘Let’s have a good time on the back nine’ and we did. It’s probably the least nervous I’ve been playing good golf.”

Round 2 was suspended for darkness at 8:19 p.m., with the projected cutline currently at 5-over. Those who haven’t completed stroke play will return at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. Afterward, if there is a tie for the final match play spots, a sudden-death playoff will be held at 8:45 a.m. for the final spots. The first round of match play will begin immediately afterward, with the Round of 16 matches to follow.

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After Round 1 concluded Monday, Broderick was frustrated with his putting and spent time afterward trying to get everything reset. The work paid off, as he made just about every birdie putt he had Tuesday, and even his misses just burned the edges. He got to 3-under with birdies on holes 5, 7 and 9, but turned on the jets on the back nine, going right at pins and converting on holes 10, 12, 14 and 15. As he got to the 18th tee, all he needed was bogey or better for the record.

“These greens are tricky to read for sure,” Broderick said. “I wasn’t putting confidently enough. I wasn’t sure if it was left or straight, but by hole six, I said let’s just commit to every read.”

Broderick wasn’t alone in making it a memorable afternoon. Playing alongside him was Osterville’s Ricky Stimets (Worcester Country Club), who sank a birdie putt from off the green on the 17th to get to 5-under. Had he holed out for birdie putt on 18, he would’ve held the course record for a brief time, before Broderick’s clinching putt.

“When the pairings came out I said this is going to be good,” Stimets said of being in the same group with Broderick. “We’re going to make some birdies and feed off each other and that’s exactly what happened. If it was a best ball, we would’ve shot 58.”

After Broderick and Stimets finished, University of Rhode Island standout Aidan O’Donovan (Cummaquid Golf Club) went under the previous record mark with a 64 (4-under overall), thanks in part to a chip-in eagle on the second hole. Shortly after, Northwestern University’s James Imai (KOHR Golf) came charging up the front nine, making birdies on four of his final five holes to finish with a 65 (6-under overall).

Had it not been for a bogey on 10 for O’Donovan and a double-bogey for Imai on the same hole to start their rounds, they both would’ve been well under the record mark as well.

“After the bogey on 10, I kept it pretty steady and made a bunch of putts,” O’Donovan said. “I didn’t make too many yesterday, but they started rolling in today. If I can keep my tee ball in the fairways, who knows what can happen? Hopefully more rounds like today.”

John Broderick, right, shot a course record 62 Tuesday afternoon at Essex County Club. (Teddy Doggett)

Former Boston College standout Matthew Naumec (Framingham Country Club) never had a practice round entering the week, but had memories of playing Essex 10 years ago in the Massachusetts Junior Amateur, when he finished second in the Junior Division.

Still, the former U.S. Open qualifier putted well and made two key birdies during his final round to finish 1-under over his two rounds of stroke play and likely set himself up for another title run.

“Essex is a treat,” said Naumec, a quarterfinalist last year. “I was trying to keep it around par. I hit a lot of fairways and greens, kept it in front so that’s what you have to do out here.”

Naumec perhaps had gutsiest shot of the day as he finished up Round 1. After hooking his drive in the fescue on the left edge of the scenic downhill par-4 18th, he had a tree obstructing his view of the green. He planned to go over the trees, but instead hit through them, with his ball retiring on the left edge of the green. He nearly made the birdie putt, but settled with par.

“I caught it heavy, and it went through about 2 feet of room on the left side,” Naumec said of his approach. “I got lucky and made a good putt that almost went in, but it was a nice finish with a par. ”


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No matter if Molly Smith (Vesper Country Club) qualifies for match play, she is determined to try to play this event for many years to come. As the first female to compete in the Mass Amateur, Smith finished stroke play with rounds of 74 and 75 for 9-over, currently 4 strokes back of the current projected cutline.

“Anytime you can play in a field like this and golf course like this, you’re going to have a good time,” Smith said. “It was cool, a little disappointed with how I finished up, but lots of positives from being here.”

Smith said she was able to hit driver on most holes, including on the par-4 1st which she birdied in the second round.

“I was excited to get a birdie on the first, but I only made three total, not a good enough number, but I just kept trucking. I hit driver everywhere because my driver is not getting to a point where it’s in trouble like a lot of women’s courses.”

When asked if she’s going to try again next year, “That’s the goal,” she said.



Here are some other tidbits from Day 2 at the Massachusetts Amateur Championship. 

  • John Broderick also shot a competitive course record of 8-under 64 at Berkshire Hills Country Club during U.S. Amateur Qualifying on June 28.
  • Ricky Stimets has shot 73 in the first round of the Mass Amateur for the past three years, but each time he had shot three strokes or more better in the second round.
  • Derek Ducharme made the third hole-in-one of his life on Tuesday, the only one to do so in this year’s championship. After making birdie on the iconic 165-yard, par-3 11th on Monday, Ducharme pulled 6-iron and hit to the right slope of the green, and it rolled into the cup. It’s an ace 20 years in the making as his last one came as a member of the Methodist University golf team. Despite going 3-under on the 11th over two days, Ducharme finished 9-over through two rounds and will likely be on the outside looking in for match play. Over the weekend, however, he shot a 63 at Whitinsville Golf Club, another Donald Ross gem, to match the course record.
  • Teddy Doggett who took Tuesday’s photos at Essex County Club will caddie for Aidan O’Donovan during match play. Doggett has grown up as a caddie at Essex.
  • While the cutline won’t be known until Wednesday, here is what it has been relative to par over the past decade: 2022: +8 Concord Country Club; 2021: +4 Brae Burn Country Club; 2020: +4 The Kittansett Club/The Bay Club; 2019: +6 The Country Club; 2018: +4 George Wright Golf Course/William G. Devine Golf Course; 2017: +7 Charles River Country Club; 2016: +5 Taconic Golf Club; 2015: +6 Oak Hill Country Club; 2014: +8 Kernwood Country Club; 2013: +8 Longmeadow Country Club.
  • Of all the challenges Essex offers, most golfers cited the greens as the most difficult. The rainy conditions leading up to Tuesday left them rolling at about 11.5 this morning, according to Director of Grounds Eric Richardson. He said he plans to have them up to about 12.5 for the start of match play.


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  • We play golf everyday together. He’s been on my bag for all the big tournaments. There’s not really any stressful moments when he’s on the bag. — John Broderick on his appreciation for his caddie Sully Kopf.
  • I think this course fits my game well, I just have to get hot. I’ve been playing well all summer, I just had to trust it and execute the shots. — Ricky Stimets
  • It’s unbelievable. I was on the 15th hole, and Molly [Smith] was teeing off on the 2nd hole, and I paused to watch her. She has an unbelievable move. She smokes it. It seems like she’s doing well. It’s a tremendous feat. — Matthew Naumec on Molly Smith being the first female to play in the Mass Amateur.
  • That third hole is a beast. It’s 630 yards into the wind, so you’re hitting driver, 6-iron and 6-iron, and to have 6-iron into a par-5 is unusual. But it’s a tough hole. It was a nice momentum mover to birdie that. — Matthew Naumec, on making birdie on both par-5s (3 and 5) during his second round.
  • Yesterday I hit a 5-iron and saw the ball kick left and made a birdie. Today it was closer up, so I hit a 6-iron, knew the slope on the right, and then I saw the ball disappear and some guys up on the hill said ‘It’s in!’ Playing it 3-under for two days it’s probably my favorite hole out here. You get a little high after that, and it takes you a little while to come down. — Derek Ducharme, on his hole-in-one Tuesday at Essex County Club. 


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