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NORTON, Massachusetts – Much like the early-morning mist Tuesday at TPC Boston, figuring out who will earn the title after 36 holes at the 113th Massachusetts Open Championship is far from clear. Too many players have sniffed the lead for there to be any evidence of a runaway victor.
The top of the leaderboard heading into Wednesday’s final round has its fair share of almost-wons, including current leader David Pastore. After finishing T2 a couple years ago at Oak Hill Country Club, the Stamford, Connecticut, pro has taken the overnight lead at 10-under 134 after knocking down a 5-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th.
Vanderbilt University’s John Broderick (Dedham Country and Polo Club), of Wellesley, struggled on the 18th, but an early four-hole birdie stretch got him to solo second at 8-under, one ahead of 2011 champion Kyle Gallo, as well as past contenders Mike Van Sickle (Wexford, PA) and Rhode Island native Brad Adamonis.
A total of 53 players made the cut at 2-over 146. Play resumes Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. for the final 18 holes. A sudden-death playoff will follow, if needed.
— Mass Golf (@PlayMassGolf) June 14, 2023
David Pastore may have started his round Tuesday with a bogey, but the rest was smooth sailing. He answered with four birdies on the front nine to get to 7-under total and added another on 12. With about 220-yards to go after his drive on the 18th, Pastore hit a beautiful iron into the green, leaving him with a makable eagle putt to finish out the round.
John Broderick was champing at the bit entering this year’s Mass Open after redshirting his first year at Vanderbilt University.
Starting on the front nine, he looked like a golfer unleashed. He made birdie on holes 2-5, setting himself up with tap-in birdies on holes 4 and 5 to get to 8-under early in his second round, which he said helped take off some of the pressure.
“I could freewheel a bit, which was awesome,” said Broderick, winner of both the 2022 Mass Junior Amateur Championship and 2020 New England Amateur Championship.
Broderick, currently the low amateur, got his lead to 10-under by the time he reached the 18th, however, he sliced his drive into the woods on the left side of the closing hole. Taking backline relief to the 17th fairway, Broderick hit his recovery into the first cut of rough and then miss the green short on his fourth stroke, eventually settling for double-bogey. Still, Broderick chalked it up as a learning experience.
“I haven’t played a golf tournament in a while, and I think it was great,” Broderick said. “Down the back nine I felt more nerves. I kind of failed the last three holes, but it was good experience, and I think I’ll be just right for tomorrow.”
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Journeyman pro Berk Harvey (San Jose, CA) also had some trouble with 18 but recovered in tremendous fashion to keep his title hopes alive. Hitting a 4-iron into the closing green, his second shot came up short, but retired on the top of the rough patch placed in the middle of the bunker. Playing a tough lie below his feet, he got it to land right on line, and it trickled into the cup for an eagle, getting his score to 5-under total.
“I landed it right where I was looking,” said Harvey, a former Santa Clara University standout. “I knew it was going to be close, but I didn’t think it was going to be in.”
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Those following along Wednesday would be wise not to count out 2011 champion Kyle Gallo, 48 of Berlin, Connecticut, or Brad Adamonis, 50, a Rhode Islander now living in Florida. A three-hole deficit is hardly anything Gallo will fret over. After all 12 years ago, he overcame a 4-hole deficit with five remaining to earn the title at Oak Hill.
“I’ve won tournaments my whole life, it’s just a matter of getting in the situation and being in the hunt the last 3-4 holes, then it’s anybody’s game,” said Gallo, after saving par with a 15-footer on the closing 9th Tuesday.
Gallo, who is priming up for senior events in the next couple years, started strongly with an eagle on the 12th and a birdie on the 13th, making up for a double he made on the latter the day prior. Though he plays sparingly, Gallo said he likes how his game has come together over the past couple days.
“Everything seems to be clicking,” Gallo said. “I’m familiar with being in these situations. The golf course is pretty much right in front of you, and I’m putting well. A lot is going to happen, and there will be ebbs and flows. When there was an issue, I got it and was able to come right back.”
Adamonis, who has five top-10 finishes over the past decade, knocked down six birdies Tuesday, and despite stumbling in with a pair of bogeys still has a puncher’s chance, as do many others in the field.
Round 3 begins at 7:30 Wednesday morning. Admission and parking is open and free to the public.
From long snapping in the #NFL to caddying, it’s #nice to see Tyler Ott (@ottomatic82) at the #MassOpen this week. He’s on the bag for Liam Friedman here at TPC Boston. #MassGolf pic.twitter.com/FaWUixjaFI
— Mass Golf (@PlayMassGolf) June 13, 2023
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