Windy Second Round Challenges Full Field At Ouimet Memorial Tournament - MASSGOLF

Defending Champion Downes Leads Championship Division; Johnson & Smith Tied in Women’s Division; Copeland ahead In Lowery

For Immediate Release: July 27, 2023

WATERTOWN, Massachusetts – The winds picked up on Thursday at Oakley Country Club and so did the drama. After two rounds of the Ouimet Memorial Tournament, the Championship, Lowery (Senior) and Women’s divisions all are up for grabs, as nobody was able to fully separate from their respective packs. 

The final two groups of the championship division were called off the course due to lightning in the area at 5:23 p.m. Ryan Scollins (Franklin Country Club) and Shuvam Bhaumik (Thorny Lea Golf Club) were five and two strokes above the cutline, respectively, and will finish the final hole at Oakley at 7:30 Friday morning.

They’ll likely join the low 30 and ties from the championship division who will move on to Friday’s final round at Woodland Golf Club in the Newton village of Auburndale. A total of 13 players advanced in the Lowery Division, with an even 12 making the cut in the Women’s Division. Round 3 begins at 8 a.m. at Woodland, starting with the Lowery players, followed by the Women’s and Championship Divisions. Last tee times are set for 11:51 a.m.

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One of the many reasons why Shannon Johnson (Thorny Lea Golf Club) has been successful over the years has been her ability to adapt in the middle of tournaments. The four-time Anne Marie Tobin Women’s Player of the Year winner was 1-over for the round at the turn but finally got dialed in on the front nine. She shot 33 with four birdies on the front to finish 2-under 69, giving her a share of the lead at 1-over total with 2021 champion Molly Smith. 

“On the first par-3 (12), I didn’t hit a good shot. From then on, I had to hit more punch shots and control yardages from around 50 to 70 yards,” said Johnson, the 2018 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur winner. “Once I could get drives into the fairway, I had some really makable birdies, which gave me a lot of good opportunities.”

Johnson also credited some notes she got from fellow amateur standout Doug Clapp. “He told me how to play hole 9…short of the hill and let it run down.”

While Johnson has won just about everything a mid-amateur golfer can win on the state level, winning a Ouimet title has proved illusive. She hopes to change that Friday.

“It’d be awesome,” Johnson said. “I’m not going to overthink it. It’ll be the same game plan if it’s windy. My coach Dan Boisvert and I have been trying to dial in my swing. If I start missing, we’ve been working on how do I get back into a good routine. I made some great putts today, so I think it’s starting to click.”

Shannon Johnson has a share of the lead entering the final round of the Ouimet Memorial Tournament. (Teddy Doggett)

Mackenzie Whitney (Oak Hill Country Club) bounced her way up the leaderboard in Round 2, to earn a second consecutive trip to Woodland for the final round. But it took a fair share of bounces down the final stretch Thursday.

Whitney, who went all pars on the back nine, birdied holes 3 and 4 to get to 1-under for the round with her tee shot on the third bounding off the left slope and rolling down toward the green, resting inside 5 feet below the flagstick.

“I thought I pulled it, but we saw it bounce toward the hole, and we thought maybe it kicked on, but I was there in the practice round, and it just stayed up there so I’m glad it kicked onto the green this time,” said Whitney, a rising sophomore on the Siena College women’s golf team.

Her finish on holes 8 and 9 were almost disaster. Despite hitting her 8th tee shot off the hosel, she managed to scramble for par. She almost hit out of play off the tee the final hole but still managed bogey to avoid a large number.

All three Smith sisters made match play in the Mass Women’s Amateur Championship last year, and now for the first time, all three have made the cut at the Ouimet Memorial Tournament. Molly, who found out recently that she’ll play in her second consecutive U.S. Women’s Amateur, finished the day with two consecutive birdies en route to a 2-over 73.

Morgan, who won the Women’s Amateur last year, got to 3-under through 12, but found the fescue on the 13th for a nine. However, a birdie on the downhill par-3 15th over the water helped keep her in the mix at third overall. The two sisters will play in the final group Friday.

Madison Smith (MIAA), the youngest of the trio, shot 75 on Thursday, a six-shot improvement from the day prior to finish Round 2 in 8th place (+14).


Defending champion Ryan Downes (GreatHorse) made a run at the course record Wednesday. On Thursday, it was more about defending the lead he had already built. The 17-year-old Longmeadow standout made an early birdie on the second hole but struggled on the front nine, with three bogeys. He shot 1-under 33 on the back nine to finish even par and 6-under for the tournament.

“I wasn’t hitting it as well today, but I was able to keep it in play and hit as many greens as possible,” said Downes, this year’s Mass Amateur winner. “It’s probably the hardest wind since the Mass Amateur at Concord last year. I didn’t three-putt much. I’ll take even-par in these conditions.”

Downes hit one of his only drivers on the 18th on Thursday, but he’ll have much more freedom to do so Friday at Woodland.

“It’s more open which will suit my game more,” Downes said. “I also love those greens there, and I putted well last year. To be here in this situation again, I’m excited. Hopefully I can win it again.”

Will Campbell (Bass River/Bayberry Hills) shot 64 without playing Oakley previously on Wednesday, and on Thursday proved that his performance wasn’t a one-and-done.

While it wasn’t quite the same birdie-fest, Campbell rode a solid short game to avoid three-putts (except for hole 17) and finish 1-over, one stroke off the lead from Downes. He almost finished with a bang, as his final birdie bid broke 6-7 feet and was about one rotation from falling into the bottom of the cup.

“I’m super psyched,” said Campbell, who made four birdies in his round. “I played blind yesterday and shot 64, that was a dream, and I had to fight all afternoon today.”

“It was tough to get in position A off the tee today,” he added. “You’re trying to get somewhere where you have a good chance to get down in two and get out with a par. The greens got a lot faster and firmer, and it really made the course play 3-4 shots harder.”

Campbell said he’s been appreciative of the support from his brothers — including Charlie, a Ouimet scholar and Methodist College teammate — the entire way.

“I call them both after every tournament,” Will said. “We’re a close family. We love golf, and love each other.”

Will Campbell, who earned a special exemption into this year’s Ouimet Memorial Tournament, is one stroke off the lead in the championship division. (Teddy Doggett)

Aidan Emmerich (Kernwood Country Club) and Matt Williams (Boston Golf Club) are nipping at the heels of the leaders at 4-under. Williams shot 67-69, joining Weston Jones (Charter Oak Country Club) as the only player to shoot under-par both days (68-69). Emmerich’s older brother Christian Emmerich (Kernwood Country Club) led all scorers at 4-under and is three strokes off the lead.

Oakley men’s club champion Rugo Santini also snuck into the final round at 7-over. Santini made three birdie on the front nine, and despite stumbling in with a double bogey, was able to get to the final round at Woodland.


Add Scott Copeland (Old Sandwich Golf Club) to the list of players seeking their first Ouimet Memorial Tournament victory. The 2022 U.S. Senior Amateur qualifier was the steadiest of the Lowery Division (ages 55+) with his morning round Thursday consisting of all pars, except for two bogeys and a birdie on the par-5 4th hole.

In four of the past five years, the leader after Round 2 of the Lowery Division has gone on to win the title. Keith Smith (Franklin Country Club) broke that streak last year when he rallied from two back to shoot 67 at Woodland and win the tournament for the first time.

Smith was unable to make the cut this year, but past champion Frank Vana, Jr. (Marlborough Country Club) did with rounds of 74-73. He’ll need to dig back from a six-stroke deficit, but the Hall of Famer has shot 3-under 68 at Woodland twice in the past five years and will likely need a comparable round Friday to have a shot at victory again. In an increasingly-competitive senior division, that’s easier said than done.

“It’s a great group of guys who keep turning 55, and you have to keep playing well otherwise they run you over,” Vana said. “It’s one of the great events, and it’s one I look forward to every year.”

Jim DiBiase (Woodland Golf Club), the 2017 Lowery champion, will have his club behind him Friday as he will be in the final group at three strokes off the lead. Rick Santilli (Oakley Country Club) has played Woodland several times, but this will be his first in a Ouimet Memorial Tournament. The respected Oakley member shot 72-74 to get within five strokes of the lead.

Scott Copeland is leading the Lowery Division by three strokes. (Teddy Doggett)


2024 Ouimet Site Announced

Mass Golf is excited to announce that Indian Pond Country Club in Kingston has been selected to host the first two rounds of the 2024 Ouimet Memorial Tournament for the first time in its history. It’ll be the first time the event will take place on the South Shore since Boston Golf Club hosted in 2019.

Indian Pond, which opened in 2001, has been a gracious host of Mass Golf championships, tournaments, and events, most recently the 2021 Massachusetts Junior Amateur Championship, the 2022 Massachusetts Girls’ Junior Amateur Championship, and the 2023 Massachusetts Mother Son Modified Scotch Tournament. It has also been a supporter of the Mass Golf Member Day program.

As part of its agreement to host these championships and events, Indian Pond will also play host to the Mass Open Championship for the first time in 2025.

To see the full list of future sites, CLICK HERE

A view of the iconic bridge on the back nine at Indian Pond Country Club. (David Colt, file)


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