Mass Women's Amateur: A Mix Of New & Familiar Faces Advance To Quarterfinals - MASSGOLF

7 Of 8 Quarterfinalists At The Orchards Are Age 20 And Younger

For Immediate Release: August 17, 2022

SOUTH HADLEY, Massachusetts – It hasn’t rained much this summer, and despite a short shower on Wednesday, it didn’t throw off the rhythm of the eight players moving on to the quarterfinals of match play in the 119th Massachusetts Women’s Amateur Championship at The Orchards Golf Club.

The best 32 players from stroke play competed in the Round of 32, with those winners advancing to the Round of 16 in the afternoon. Defending champion Catie Schernecker, a rising sophomore at Harvard University, is among those advancing, but several other rising stars are also looking for a breakthrough victory in Mass Golf’s oldest amateur golf event in the state. In addition to Schernecker, teenage standouts Morgan Smith and Molly Smith are back in the quarterfinals for the second straight year, as is University of Virginia standout Rebecca Skoler.

Megan Buck, the lone mid-amateur (age 25 and over), is back for the first time since 2018.

Meanwhile, high school standouts Piper Jordan and Emma Abramson and Holy Cross rising senior Tate Hadges all picked up their first match play victories in the Mass Women’s Amateur (Championship Division) and find themselves on this stage for the first time.

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Piper Jordan hits a tee shot during her Round of 16 match. (Mass Golf)

The Round of 32 matchup between Feeding Hills’ Angela Garvin and Springfield’s Jaelyn DeBoise featured two of Western Massachusetts’ finest golfers. While neither advanced to the quarterfinals, DeBoise said she was honored to play against Garvin. Even those DeBoise lost, Garvin has been a role model to her.

“I call her the Western Mass hero,” DeBoise said of Garvin, who won the 2019 Mass Women’s Amateur championship. “She’s one of the best players that’s ever came out of Western Mass. I was a little nervous to play her for sure, because that would be a tough one to win, but it was fun.”

What’s more, DeBoise also brought along another Western Mass rising star in Ryley Regan, the 11-year-old Orchards member who played in the first two rounds of stroke play this week. DeBoise said she saw Regan on-site 5 minutes before her tee time, and thought then to invite her to caddie. Without hesitation, Regan asked for a bib.

“She was the best, literally the best caddie I’ve ever had,” DeBoise said. “She knew the putts, and she made these little comments like, ‘you got this!’ She was awesome.”

And now DeBoise might be a role model to somebody else. “To think that there’s a little girl looking up to me, it’s the best feeling.”

Jaelyn DeBoise, right, and Ryley Regan were a team during the Round of 32 on Wednesday.

WHAT’S NEXT

Here are Thursday’s quarterfinal matchups. Semifinal matches will take place in the afternoon. The 18-hole championship match is set to take place at 7:30 a.m. Friday.

7:30 a.m. – Morgan Smith vs. Megan Buck

7:40 a.m. – Catie Schernecker vs. Piper Jordan

7:50 a.m. – Rebecca Skoler vs. Molly Smith

8:00 a.m. – Emma Abramson vs. Tate Hadges

ROUND OF 16 RECAPS

1-Morgan Smith (Vesper Country Club) def. 17-Chelsea Curtis (The Country Club), 5&4

Morgan Smith continued her dominant play in the Round of 16 as she won the first three holes en route to defeating 2005 champion Chelsea Curtis. Smith, who had a 6-up lead through 10 holes, had the putter rolling all day long. She made birdie on the par-3 5th and closed out the match with a birdie putt on the 14th and 15th. 

“I definitely made some putts and got some momentum,” said Smith, who is in the quarterfinals for the third time in four years. “There’s definitely some confidence there, but it’s still match play so I just have to take it one shot at a time.”

Smith will face Megan Buck on Thursday morning. The two were paired together in first round of the New England Women’s Amateur this year.

Morgan Smith, right, hits from the rough during her Round of 16 match. Her younger sister Maddie, who also competed in match play, caddied for Morgan. (Mass Golf)

8-Megan Buck (Thorny Lea Golf Club) def. 24-Christine Mandile (Winchester Country Club), 4&3

Megan Buck advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2018 as she rode her steady play past University of Richmond standout Christine Mandile. Buck, the 2020 New England Women’s Amateur champion, lost the first hole to Mandile, but took over the match by winning the 6th, 7th and 8th holes with pars and the 9th with a birdie. 

“That stretch was good where I was just keeping it out of trouble,” Buck said. “I just hit fairways and greens and just kept the pressure on.”

As for making it back to the quarterfinals, “All 32 players who make match play are good, so there are no easy matches,” she said. “I’ve definitely learned that the past few years, so I did good staying patient and kept grinding all day.”

At 34, Megan Buck is the lone mid-amateur remaining in the field at the Mass Women’s Amateur. (Mass Golf)

13-Piper Jordan (Boston Golf Club) def. 29-Madalin Small (Brookline Golf Club), 1-up 

Piper Jordan got up-and-down by making a long, sloping 60-foot birdie putt on the second hole and won the next two, giving her enough breathing room to hold off Butler University’s Madalin Small and continue her first-ever run in match play at the Mass Women’s Amateur. 

Jordan saw her lead down to 1-up on the 18th hole. Despite missing the green short-left on her approach, she hit her chip shot inside 5 feet of the hole and made it to close out the match.

“I was very nervous,” Jordan said of playing the 18th. “I was just hoping to get my chip kind of close, and then my heart was definitely racing on that little putt, but it was good to make.”

Jordan said she’s proud to have taken down a pair of college players and will try to ride that wave of confidence into her next match and beyond.

“It’s cool to see what you can potentially become and kind of learn from them as well,” Jordan said.

5-Catie Schernecker (The Country Club) def. 12-Mackenzie Whitney (Oak Hill Country Club), 5&4

Defending champion Catie Schernecker kept the putter rolling well in the afternoon as she sank difficult birdie putts on the 6th and 11th holes, the latter putting her up 4-up in the match. The rising sophomore at Harvard won seven holes, with Whitney only earning wins on holes 2 and 3.

2-Rebecca Skoler (Pine Brook Country Club) def. 18-Keira Joshi (Nashawtuc Country Club), 6&4

Rebecca Skoler is back in the quarterfinals for the fourth straight year as she shot an even-par 36 on the front nine, making a birdie on the 8th and a par on the 9th to take a 5-up lead and won three of the last five holes to close out the match.  

7-Molly Smith (Vesper Country Club) def. 23-Julia Imai (KOHR Golf), 6&5

Molly Smith needed the fewest holes to get to the quarterfinals, winning both of her matches in 13 holes on Wednesday. Smith, who made it to the semifinals last year, won the first three holes and moved to 3-up with a birdie on the 9th. Smith then needed just 13 shots to win the last three holes and close out the match.

14-Tate Hadges (Thorny Lea Golf Club) def. 3-Angela Garvin (The Ranch Golf Club), 2-up

Holy Cross standout Tate Hadges knocked off University of Maryland’s Angela Garvin to reach the quarterfinals for the first time. Hadges got the putter going in the second round, and it carried her to victory.

“I definitely was making some longer putts that I haven’t been making in a while,” Hadges said. “I don’t know what clicked, but it was definitely way better.”

This featured a thrilling back-and-forth contest over the final nine holes. Tied through nine, Hadges won the next two before the sides alternated hole victories. Garvin cut the deficit in half by winning the 16th, and after tying the 17th, Hadges left herself a par putt, while Garvin had to chip down from the top of the green. Her shot rolled down to the bottom shelf and couldn’t hold the green, and Garvin conceded after her putt missed wide.

“It was not the picture-perfect finish I wanted, but it worked out,” Hadges said. “It’s definitely a new situation, going to the second round of match play. I’m used to 36 holes, I’ve done it before in college, so endurance-wise it was fine. The nerves were there, but I was able to keep it under control.”

Tate Hadges rode a hot putter to the quarterfinals for the first time. (Mass Golf)

6-Emma Abramson (The Ridge Club) def. 22-Jacqueline Gonzalez (Charles River Country Club), 6&5

Emma Abramson’s solid summer continues as she had her best performance yet with a convincing victory over former Holy Cross standout Jacqueline Gonzalez.

Abramson, a rising senior at Sandwich High School, has added more distance off the tee from last she played in the Mass Women’s Amateur, and that paid off as she won holes 3-6 and made birdie on the 8th to take a 4-up lead. Another birdie on the 11th put it to 6-up, and Abramson closed it out on the 13th to make the quarterfinals for the first time.

“At this course, being a little longer off the tee definitely helps with a little bit of wider fairways and little uphill holes,” she said.

“I’m really proud how I hit it during the second round,” she added. “The approaches were right on target, I made some good putts, and I’m ready to get back at it tomorrow.”

ROUND OF 32 RECAPS

1-Morgan Smith (Vesper Country Club) def. 32-Amy Lyon (Winchester Country Club), 5&3

Morgan Smith, the 2022 New England Women’s Amateur champion, only gave up two holes in her win against Amy Lyon. Smith brought the match to dormie after draining a 20 foot putt on 14 and followed that up with a birdie for the win on 15.

17-Chelsea Curtis (The Country Club) def. 16-Sue Curtin (Boston Golf Club), 1-up

In a matchup of U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball partners, Chelsea Curtis rallied from 3-down early, making par on 9 and 10 to tie it. Curtis took the lead for good with a birdie on the 14th, and got up-and-down for par on the 18th to clinch the match.

8-Megan Buck (Thorny Lea Golf Club) def. 25-Maddie Smith (Mount Pleasant Golf Club), 5&3

Megan Buck made a birdie on the 2nd and led the rest of the way to reach the Round of 16 for the fifth consecutive year. Though Smith won the 5th and 7th, both par-3s, with birdies, Buck put the match away with a string of pars on the back nine. 

24-Christine Mandile (Winchester Country Club) def. 9-Isabel Brozena (Indian Ridge Country Club), 4&3

University of Richmond standout Christine Mandile led wire-to-wire to earn her first match play victory in the Mass Women’s Amateur. Mandile won the opening hole, and though Brozena won the 8th with a birdie, Mandile birdied the 11th and 13th to put the match away. 

29-Madalin Small (Brookline Golf Club) def. 4-Mekhala Costello (Blue Hill Country Club), 1-up

Madalin Small held off a late rally by the Low Net winner to earn her first match play victory in the Mass Women’s Amateur. Small lost the first hole but led 4-up through 10 holes. Costello made third birdies on the back nine, reaching the green in two on the par-5 16th to cut it to 1-down, but both players tied the last two holes to end the match.

13-Piper Jordan (Boston Golf Club) def. 20-Erin Sullivan (Walpole Country Club), 2&1 

In a matchup of first-time match play contestants, Piper Jordan snuck by Bryant University commit Erin Sullivan. Jordan made birdie on the 12th to go 3-up, and though Sullivan won the next two holes, Jordan won the next hole with a birdie, and Sullivan couldn’t convert a birdie putt below the hole on the 17th to extend the match.

5-Catie Schernecker (The Country Club) def. 28-Mary Chamberlain (Cummaquid Golf Club), 5&3

In a rematch of last year’s matchup in the Round of 16, Catie Schernecker emerged victorious again. The defending champion lost the opening hole but got back on top with a birdie on the 4th and pulled ahead with pars on the 6th and 8th. Schernecker closed out the match with a conceded birdie on the 15th. 

12-Mackenzie Whitney (Oak Hill Country Club) def. 21-Phoebe Chamian (Nashawtuc Country Club), 3&1

The current college student beat the future college student as Siena College rising sophomore Mackenzie Whitney led the entire way to hold off Holy Cross commit Phoebe Chamian. Whitney made birdie on the par-5 9th and 13th holes and then 2-putted for par on the 17th to close out the match. 

2-Rebecca Skoler (Pine Brook Country Club) def. 31-Rio Pearlstein (KOHR Golf), 5&4

After making six birdies over 36 holes in the stroke play portion of play, Rebecca Skoler rolled in five in a 14-hole victory in her opening match play contest. Skoler led wire-to-wire and was steady throughout the round. Pearlstein, who played in President’s Cup match play in 2020, made birdie on the difficult par-3 10th, but Skoler made birdie on the next two holes. 

18-Keira Joshi (Nashawtuc Country Club) def. 15-Allison Paik (The Cape Club of Sharon), 5&3

Keira Joshi had her best round of ball striking and ran away with her first victory in match play. Joshi won the first two holes with pars but birdied the par-3s on 7 and 10 to prevail against the 2020 Mass Women’s Amateur champion.

7-Molly Smith (Vesper Country Club) def. 26-Alia Godek (Agawam Municipal Golf Course), 6&5

Molly Smith won the first three holes and never looked back in her opening victory over Alia Godek, a rising senior at Franklin Pierce. Smith, who made the semifinals last year, moved to 3-up with a birdie on the 9th and then closed out the match with birdie on the 11th-13th holes. 

23-Julia Imai (KOHR Golf) def. 10-Annie Dai (MIAA), 3&2

Julia Imai won her first-ever match play contest against fellow junior golfer Annie Dai. Dai won the first hole and then made birdie on the 9th and 10th, but Imai won the 11th with a par and never lost a hole after that. 

3-Angela Garvin (The Ranch Golf Club) def. 30-Jaelyn DeBoise (Springfield Country Club), 2&1

In a showdown of Western Mass friends and competitors, Agawam’s Angela Garvin rallied back late to hold off Springfield’s Jaelyn DeBoise in the opening round. DeBoise tied the match with a par on the 11th and then took the lead with a par on the 12th and birdie on the 13th. Garvin made a clutch birdie on the 14th and then won the next three.

14-Tate Hadges (Thorny Lea Golf Club) def. 19-Elise Keane (Marshfield Country Club), 3&2

Tied through 10 holes, Tate Hadges dialed in her putting and won the next four holes with scores of four and advanced to the Round of 16. The rising junior at Holy Cross closed out the match with a par on the 16th. 

6-Emma Abramson (The Ridge Club) vs. 27-Stacy Freda (Andover Country Club)

In the most back-and-forth match of the morning, Emma Abramson held off the Stacy Fred, a first-time match play contestant and Plymouth State University Hall of Famer. Abramson trailed by a hole through 12, but she parred the 13th and birdied the 14th to take the lead for good. She closed out the match with a par on the 16th.

22-Jacqueline Gonzalez (Charles River Country Club) def. 11-Lillian Guleserian (Blue Hill Country Club), 6&4

Former Holy Cross standout Jacqueline Gonzalez won the first three holes en route to making it through to the Round of 16 for the first time. Gonzalez won the 8th and 9th with pars to take a 4-up lead at the turn and closed it out with a birdie on the 14th. 

WATCH: ROUND 3 RECAP

NOTABLE

Here are some other tidbits from Day 3 at the Massachusetts Amateur Championship. 

  • Half of the quarterfinalists — Tate Hadges, Emma Abramson, Molly Smith, and Morgan Smith — all represented Team Mass Golf on the 2019 Girls’ Junior Inter-City Team.
  • James Imai drove all the way up from New Jersey last night to caddie for his sister Julia in her two match play contests. James competed in the U.S. Amateur at The Ridgewood Club the past two days but came up short of making match play. Kyzar Joshi  also caddied for his sister Keira Joshi, and after losing her opening match, Maddie Smith hopped on the bag for Morgan Smith.
  • Rebecca Skoler is attempting to become the first person since Shannon Johnson (2018) to win the Mass Women’s Stroke Play Championship for the Baker Trophy and the Mass Women’s Amateur in the same year.
  • Isabel Southard (2014, 2015) is the last person to repeat as champion of the Mass Women’s Amateur.

 

From left, Tate Hadges, Emma Abramson, Molly Smith and Morgan Smith, all competed together in the 2019 Girls’ Junior Inter-City Matches. (Mass Golf)

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