114th Mass Open: Boulger Takes Down Course Record At Willowbend - MASSGOLF

Walpole’s Jack Boulger Shoots 64 For Lead In Mass Open, Swampscott’s Steven DiLisio One Back

By: Steve Derderian

MASHPEE, Massachusetts (June 10, 2024) – It’s been nearly a decade since a Massachusetts native has hoisted the Clarence G. Cochrane Memorial Trophy and the $15,000 prize that goes with it. While Walpole native Jack Boulger is still navigating the intricacies of professional golf, he can consider Monday the top moment of his career so far.

In the first-ever Massachusetts Open Championship held at Willowbend, Boulger set a course record with a 6-under-par 64, giving him the overnight lead through Round 1 of the 54-hole championship. Boulger showed near-complete mastery of the hardy and well-manicured Cape Cod layout. His seventh and final birdie was a nifty chip on the island green from the right rough, giving him a 3-footer kick-in putt for the record round and a one-shot lead.

“I’m definitely feeling good after today,” Boulger said. “The putter was pretty hot. These greens are awesome. If you start them on line, you should make them, so I’m looking forward to trying to make more putts the next couple days.” 

While Boulger has the lead, there’s still plenty to be determined, as 2019 Mass Amateur champion Steven DiLisio (Salem Country Club) is within arm’s length at 5-under 65.  The field of 156 will be trimmed to the low 50 scorers and ties and any player within 7 strokes of the lead after Round 2. Players advancing will play in twosomes Wednesday for the final 18 holes, with a sudden-death playoff following, if needed. Round 2 begins at 7:30 Tuesday morning. Admission and parking is open and free to the public.

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Early in his career, Boulger faced bouts where he struggled to close out short putts, leading to unnecessarily higher scores. Now, his putting has become the strength of his game. His best example came on the 9th when he got his birdie bid to drop on an extreme downslope to get to four-under at the turn.

“I was just feeling pretty good,” Boulger said of standing over the putt. “I had a good read, so I thought just to get it to go, and it was pretty quick downhill. I just tapped it and went in dead center.”

In last year’s Mass Open, Boulger used his home course knowledge to his advantage at TPC Boston, finishing the first round in second en route to a seventh-place finish. In the fall, he turned pro and has been getting his feet wet on the various pro circuits. He recently returned from playing on the Asher Tour, California’s mini tour, and has embraced the opportunity to play for real stakes.

“I’m loving it. I think it’s great to get out of the college golf scene. I’ve been doing that for the last six years,” he said. “Being able to be out on my own playing for cash is great. It gives me a little bit more incentive. I’m glad I’m back this summer playing in the Mass Open.”

Jack Boulger is in his first full year as a golf professional. (Mass Golf)

Swampscott native Steven DiLisio was a rising star when he made his Mass Open debut 10 years ago at Weston Golf Club. It would be another five years before he won the Mass Amateur at The Country Club amidst his college career at Duke. And now, five years later, he’s a budding professional trying his luck in tour golf.

After a few years of missing the cut at the Mass Open, DiLisio has had a promising start to 2024. He emerged as the medalist in U.S. Open Local Qualifying at Alabama and was a strong contender in the 36-hole final qualifying in Maryland last week. He then dazzled in Round 1 on Monday, almost equalizing and surpassing Boulger’s earlier record mark. Despite his eagle putt taking a hard left turn, DiLisio made the comebacker for birdie, finishing the day just one off the lead.

DiLisio showed the prodigious poise of a seasoned pro throughout the round. On the ninth hole, after his tee shot bounced off the firm fairway onto the gravel cart path on the right side, DiLisio thinned his next shot over the green. Wanting to get up and down to keep the momentum, he pitched it straight into the hole for a birdie to get to 4-under. “It landed right where I wanted it, and about 10 feet out, felt like it was going to go in, so I was happy to see that go in. You’re stealing one if you chip in,” DiLisio said.

Steven DiLisio awaits his next shot during the first round of the Mass Open on Monday at Willowbend. (Mass Golf)

With another birdie on the 13th, DiLisio was one shot away from getting to 6-under. After three straight pars, he avoided disaster once again on the 17th. Despite tugging his tee shot out of bounds left, DiLisio made a bogey, fist-pumping his caddy to prevent a dreaded double square.

“I saw it was important to keep it in front of you and play to positions, and it’s really easy to make a bogey if you get out of position here, and I kind of find that out on 17,” DiLisio said. “Through the first 16 and on 18, I just kind of kept in front of me and was able to have a lot of wedges and scoring irons in, and I hit the middle of the green a lot, give myself a lot of looks and roll some putts in.”

Watch: Five Big Things From Round 1


  • Boulger’s opening score of 64 at the Mass Open matches that of Michael Kartrude and Ethan Whitney from two years ago at Longmeadow Country Club (also par-70). Kartrude went on to win the title, while Whitney played in the final group in the final round.
  • Only seven players have won both the Mass Open & Mass Amateur: Francis Ouimet, Jesse Guilford, Charles Volpone, Jim Hallet, Kevin Johnson, Fran Quinn (in the field), and Rob Oppenheim. DiLisio has an opportunity to become the eighth.
  • Jack Boulger and Chris Wiatr (Juno Beach, FL) previously played for the UConn men’s golf team. Wiatr, who finished the morning wave in second place at 3-under, was a two-time team co-captain and graduated in 2015. Boulger played for UConn before transferring to University of Southern California to finish his college years.
  • Speaking of former UConn Huskies, Hopkinton native Jimmy Hervol is back in Massachusetts after spending the first half of 2024 competing on the PGA Tour Americas. With the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and PGA TOUR Canada merged together for the first time this year, Hervol competed throughout South and Central America in the first half of 2024 and will soon shift North of the Border where he’s been playing the past few years. Fellow Mass Golfer Xavier Marcoux, who was born in Quebec City, may soon join him. The former Rutgers standout shot 1-under 69 on Monday and is contending for conditional status for the Canadian events. With one more qualifier this week, Marcoux will officially find out on Friday if he’s in the field of 156.
  • Fran Quinn teed off at Willowbend less than 24 hours after competing in the Champions Tour’s American Family Insurance Championship at the University of Wisconsin’s course. Quinn finished 5-over overall, tied with 2021 Mass Open champion Rob Labritz. On Monday, the 1990 Mass Open winner shot even-par 70, matching his son Owen.
  • Golfers often lick their chops opening with a par-5, with hopes of starting off the round with a birdie or better. However, that proved the opposite for many, as there were more squares than circles on the opener on the Bay Course. Kyle Puchol, a Mashpee High School graduate, had the honors of hitting the opening tee shot. It wasn’t exactly a dream start, as his first shot hit off the toe, off a tree 15 yards from the tee and carried about 200 yards. However, the Assumption University standout shook off two early bogeys to finish 3-over 73.
  • Several players make their Mass Open debut every year, but it was a special one in particular for First Tee Massachusetts alum Kyzar Joshi. Kyzar and his twin sister Keira, who was on the bag, completed the highest level of the First Tee program, which introduces golf and life skills to kids and teenagers. Both siblings attend and play for Division III Hamilton College in upstate New York. Joshi shot a respectable 5-over 75, putting him just one shot outside the potential cutline. 
  • Three years ago, brothers Max, Christian, and Aidan Emmerich of Kernwood Country Club all qualified for the Mass Open at Oak Hill Country Club, but only two of three competed. All three were in the field this year, making them the first brotherly trio to compete in the Mass Open and Mass Amateur. On Monday, Christian led the way among the trio at 3-over 73. Aidan and Max shot 80 and 81, respectively.
  • Another pair of brothers made their mark on the event. Sean Magarian had arguably the shot of the day on the 18th. Going for the island green in two, his second landed in the left greenside bunker. Using his wedge, he hit it right at the flagstick with pace, and it dropped right into the hole for an eagle, putting him at 2-under at the turn. His brother, Zach Magarian, of Worcester Country Club, was the last player to get into the field, gaining a spot as an alternate on Monday. Sean shot 75, while Zach carded a 78.


Kyzar Joshi chips to the green during his Mass Open debut on Monday at Willowbend. (Mass Golf)


  • Hopefully nobody breaks it these next few days. I’m glad I didn’t know that going up there [on hole 18]. — Jack Boulger on finding out he set the course record after the round.
  • Mass Golf is awesome. I remember playing my first Mass Amateur with my brother when I was 13. From college golf to professional golf, I’ve played so many different tournaments all around the country, all different golf courses and Mass Golf is awesome. You come back here, and it’s a championship event. It’s run so well every year. You see so many familiar faces, and everybody’s happy to see you. You’re always looking forward to come back and playing Mass Golf events, so I’m excited to be here this week. — Steven DiLisio on returning to play the Mass Open.
  • It’d be awesome to get my hands dirty. College golf prepared me well. I matured a lot. Even today, I didn’t hit it well but scrapped it around and go in at a decent number. I’m very excited for pro golf, and I think all I need is an opportunity, and if I can get one, who knows where it can take me. It’d be nice to spend the summer up in Canada, just learning to play pro ball. — Xavier Marcoux on contending for a spot on PGA Tour Americas.
  • I’ve hit this shot multiple times, but obviously this was not the best of the bunch. I pushed it off the toe and pushed it so not a great start. I was aiming left and trying to hit a draw anyway, but obviously the bush didn’t help. But after I birdied three, I settled down. — Kyle Puchol, on hitting his opening tee shot.

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