Mass Amateur: Round 1 Off To Blazing Start At Framingham CC - MASSGOLF

John Broderick, Matt Cowgill Share Lead; Patriots Punter Bryce Baringer Makes Championship Debut

By Steve Derderian

FRAMINGHAM, Massachusetts (July 8, 2024) – Blazing heat blanketed the historic Framingham Country on Monday, serving as both a stern test for the state’s best amateur players and a reminder of how the Massachusetts Amateur Championship excels on so many levels.

While New England Patriots punter Bryce Baringer (TPC Boston) captured many of the headlines for his first-ever foray in this prestigious championship, there was great enthusiasm around the club, particularly for the six Framingham members represented in the field of 144 of the state’s best amateurs.

There were also several prominent opening scores at Framingham, a first-time host of this event. Wellesley’s John Broderick (Dedham Country & Polo Club) and Weston’s Matt Cowgill (Granite Links Golf Club) both shot 4-under-par 68 in the morning wave to lead the pack through 18 holes. In total, 30 players shot even-par or better in the two-day pursuit of one of 32 spots to reach match play.

Round 2 begins at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday. If there is a tie for the match play cutline, a sudden-death playoff will be held after the conclusion of stroke play.

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Matt Cowgill had a major case of FOMO last year when he wasn’t able to play in the Mass Amateur. The former pro from Weston made the final round of the 2017 Mass Amateur, but after a year hiatus from this event, he made good on his return. Cowgill shot bogey-free 3-under on his opening nine, and aside from a bogey after the turn, he was in control of his play most of the day.

“I love this event so much,” Cowgill said. “I missed it last year, and I was following along the whole way, so I’m happy to be back. Some of my best memories are with this tournament.

“It was easy, it was comfortable, and no wind, so the conditions were scoreable,” he added. “That’s what you want to do on the first day.”

John Broderick’s best golf is typically playing loosely and playing quickly. Over the last six weeks, the Vanderbilt University standout said he’s been struggling to find that rhythm, but on Monday, he seemed to rediscover it. Broderick also played the back nine bogey-free, tacking on a birdie on the tricky par-3 17th to finish with a share of the lead. Broderick was stroke-play medalist and the No. 1 seed in match play last year, and though he won a New England Amateur title in 2020, he’s determined to add a Mass Amateur title to his resume.

“It’s eight rounds if you go all the way, so it’s exciting,” Broderick said. “This is my biggest tournament of the year. The Mass Amateur means the most for me, and I’m going to keep playing until I win this tournament.”

As for Bryce Baringer, his round got off to a promising start as he made birdie on the par-5 1st hole, playing straight up the hill on the clubhouse side of the street. He made the turn at even-par but was able to make just one birdie on the back nine en route to a 77.  Baringer’s qualifying round of 69 at Stockbridge Golf Club on June 18 was his first competitive round since high school, and he said he was more nervous during that round than he was today. However, his appreciation for the state’s talent continues to grow.

“It was cool. Coming from out of state, I really had no idea that the golf out here was this good,” said Baringer, a 2023 6th-round pick in the NFL Draft. “Some of the guys probably showed it for what they posted.”

Baringer is hoping to have a better read on the greens on Tuesday. He’s teeing off at 8:47 Tuesday morning as he tries to rally back into match play., “I just have to see putts fall,” he said. “I don’t think I had a single one putt today.”

Shuvam Bhaumik (Thorny Lea Golf Club) turned in the only bogey-free round at Framingham. The standout mid-amateur knocked in birdies on the 1st, 8th, and 14th holes, putting him in a logjam with five golfers at 3-under with Bryant University’s Ty Dupuis (Grafton/Highfields Golf & Country Club), Joey Lenane (Dedham/George Wright Golf Course), and Worcester Country Club standouts Brandon Parker (Boston) and Jake Mrva (Shrewsbury).

Oddly enough, in the three times Bhaumik has made match play in the past six years, he’s been the No. 19 seed in match play each time. If he keeps it up, he will likely earn a higher seed this time.

“It’s position golf, and that suits me,” who credited his improved lag putting for his success. “I’m not a bomber, but you don’t need to be one here. If I saw tucked pins, I hit middle green; if I saw center pins, I tried to be more aggressive. You have to take advantage of the par-5s here.”

Watch: Five Big Things From Round 1


Here are some other tidbits from Day 1 at the Massachusetts Amateur Championship. 

  • Among the six Framingham members in the field, three-time men’s club champion Kyle Tibbetts is leading the way. Tibbetts, who has made match play three of the past four years, shot 2-under 70 with six birdies, good enough for T8 at the moment. Matthew Naumec, the 2023 runner-up, shot 1-over 73, matching 2023 champion Ryan Downes, of GreatHorse. Victor Galvani, who grew up in a house by the 16th green, shot 76, one ahead of Mark O’Sullivan, who got into the field as a last-second alternate for the 7:41 a.m. group. Jesse Zorfas also shot 77, while Lawrence Dore III finished with an 82.
  • Also spotted on site today was Ray Wright, the 1990 Mass Amateur champion and a member of Framingham Country Club. Wright won his title at The Kittansett Club, which most recently hosted this event in 2020, by defeating Jon Fasick in the final match, 6&5. Both men now compete on the state senior circuit.
  • For the second straight year, Westford native Molly Smith (Vesper Country Club) competed in the Mass Amateur. In 2023, Smith became the first female in event history to compete. Smith, the 2023-24 Big 12 Freshman of the Year out of the University of Central Florida, shot 78 on Monday, knocking down a late birdie on the 16th near the end of her round. Smith missed the cut last year, but will try to battle her way back into match play Tuesday.
  • There were nine past champions in the field, including Nick McLaughlin (Far Corner Golf Club) and Patrick Frodigh (Dedham Country & Polo Club), who won in 2015 and 2018, respectively. McLaughlin won the Mass Junior Amateur title at Framingham back in 2009, played the front in a bogey-free 34 on Monday. Frodigh shook off an opening bogey with birdies on holes 2 and 3 as he tries to set up another run into match play.
  • The front and back nine were built several decades apart, but each provided a stout challenge on day one. The stroke average on the front was 37.68 and 37.98 on the back. There were 10 eagles total, including a chip in on the 1st for Downes, the defending champ, however, none of them came on the 532-yard par-5 18th. The par-3 11th played the toughest with just five birdies and 66 pars.


  • I didn’t hit it in bad spots. Judging the conditions, with it being so hot today, I thought the greens would firm out a little bit and not be as soft, and it bit me a couple of times.Bryce Baringer reflecting on his first round.
  • The past six weeks, I still turn in a lot of good scores and shoot under par, but it’s been more grindy and not really John Broderick golf. I think I missed 1 or 2 greens and played a lot more like myself. This course is a bunch of wedges; it’s going to be hard to make putts, though. — John Broderick, last year’s stroke-play medalist, on his opening round.
  • I was going to hit some balls at 7:45, and I said, ‘I heard there was traffic on the Mass Pike.’ All of a sudden, I was in the gym at the club, and [head golf professional] Graham Cunningham called me and said, ‘Mark, you’re on.’ I ran out; I had his club in my office; he got my trolly out, I put my shoes on, and went to the first tee. I didn’t hit the greatest tee shot, but I made a 5. — Mark O’Sullivan, a Framingham member, on finding out he was in the field Monday.
  • It feels a lot more matured. Today I kind of blew out this round, but I feel like my rounds have been consistent. And even when I’m not playing well, I’m able to fight out lower numbers than in years past. — Molly Smith on her improvement since joining the college ranks.
  • He taught me something I probably should have known. It was opening and closing of the club face and the setup, and he’s a putting guru. He knows what he’s talking about. He kept it very simple with me. Focus on the backstroke and grip pressure, and that’s all I did today. He’s a phenomenal coach. I get why players come to him. I’m hesitant on change, but Patrick doesn’t want to change anything. He sees what you got and tries to work with him. I stopped getting technical and worked on those two things. — Shuvam Bhaumik on his putting lesson with Framingham golf professional Patrick Bigelow, who instructs several players competing this week.

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