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FALMOUTH, Massachusetts – Don Foberg (Plymouth CC) got to play alongside two-time defending champion Dave Houghton (Captains GC) in the first round of the 6th Annual Massachusetts Super Senior Amateur Championship on Wednesday at Woods Hole Golf Club. After birdying four of his first six holes on the front nine, Foberg has put himself him in position to become the next champion, shooting a 1-under par 70 to lead the entire field by four strokes.
The final round of the championship will take place Thursday with the top 70 competitors and ties playing another 18 holes. The cut was 12-over-par 83. Tee times range between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.
Foberg, who turned 65 in May, has been playing solid golf since winning the Hornblower Senior Championship on his home course in August.
After making birdie on the par-4 1st hole on Wednesday, he also birdied the par-3 3rd and made back-to-back birdies on the 5th and 6th. He didn’t make another birdie after that, missing a tap-in for birdie on the 14th, but he played steady enough to stay on top of the leaderboard.
“It feels good,” Foberg said. “On the front nine, I was hitting it good, and putts were going in. On the backside, I still hit it good, but no putts went in.”
Foberg followed up a first-round 74 with a 71 to tie for fourth at this year’s Massachusetts Senior Amateur Championship. In last week’s Massachusetts Mid-Amateur Championship, he shot a 78 in the first round and a 74 in the second round en route to finishing tied for 13th.
“Most of the time my first rounds have been pretty poor and I play well after that,” Foberg said. “So, I’m happy to have a good first round, and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”
Houghton made the cut despite four double bogies and only two birdies. His best shot came on the par-4 15th, sticking his fairway shot a foot from the hole for an easy tap-in. He finished with a 9-over 80.
Dana McMaster (Framingham CC) and Rich Monaghan (Cape Cod National) both carded a 3-over 74 to tie for second place. They’ll tee off with Foberg at 10 a.m. Thursday as the final group.
McMaster was at the top of the leaderboard for the morning wave. He started on the back nine and was 4-over through six holes, but he broke the skid with a birdie and sank two more on the front nine.
However, he said the course was more windy, and therefore more difficult, when he played a practice round a few weeks ago.
“This was really one of the first rounds I played where things felt solid through the whole thing,” McMaster said.
FASICK ACES 17
Just before the rain began to pour late Wednesday afternoon, Jon Fasick (New England CC) made a big splash of his own.
Fasick stepped up and sank a hole in one on the par-3, 132-yard 17th hole. He hit a pitching wedge to the front of the green, and it rolled in from there. Fasick played with Houghton and Foberg, who both hit their tee shots long before Fasick’s perfect shot.
“I took a lot off of a pitching wedge and just kind of chipped it down there, and I got lucky,” Fasick said. “If I was hitting first, I would’ve hit it to the back of the green.”
Fasick said it’s his fifth hole in one he’s ever made, but it’s also his first since he made one at the Country Club of Greenfield in 1998.
This ace helped boost him into a five-way tie for fourth place with Glenn Kelly (Sankaty Head GC), Robert Linn (Berkshire Hills CC), Gary Palmer (Segregansett CC) and Tom Fox (Farm Neck GC).
NEWS & NOTES
SUPER SENIOR HISTORY: The Massachusetts Super Senior Amateur Championship began in 2014 and continues to be the top championship for Massachusetts players aged 65 and older with an active Mass Golf/GHIN Handicap Index of 12.0 or better. The Super Senior used to be a separate division of the Senior Amateur Championship, but demand grew for a separate championship for players 65 and older. Cohasset Golf Club hosted the first Massachusetts Super Senior Amateur and had 111 finishers in just one round of play.
QUALIFYING: Three sectional qualifiers for the Super Senior Amateur took place between August 15 and August 29. Meadow Brook Golf Club in Reading, Reservation Golf Club in Mattapoisett and Wayland Country Club were the host sights. There were 47 players who qualified, while the rest in the total field of 120 got in as alternates or through exemptions.
PAST CHAMPIONS: All four past champions are competing this week in Falmouth. Dave Houghton is the two-time defending champion. Last year, he became the first player to the win New England Super Senior title and the Massachusetts Super Senior title in the same year. All champions are exempt from qualifying for the next five years.
DID YOU KNOW?: Ryan Walsh, the Woods Hole Golf Club Superintendent, was selected to go to the Ryder Cup last year as one of 10 golf course superintendents picked from the United States. He earned the opportunity after winning a contest run by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. Walsh was assigned to the “Practice Team,” helping manage the practice putting greens, driving ranges, short game areas and other practice settings. While there, he said he chatted briefly with U.S. captains Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker but mostly spoke with and learned from others superintendents. “It was a great networking opportunity,” Walsh said. “You meet so many guys throughout the world who are doing what we do. You know their struggles and what they’re up against. So it was it was really neat.”
RETURNING FROM NEW ENGLAND SENIOR AM: Paul Murphy (Charles River CC) finished second in the Super Senior division and fifth place overall at the New England Senior Amateur Championship, held on September 17 and 18 at Biddeford-Saco Country Club in Saco, Maine. Murphy shot a 1-under 70 on the first day, but shot a 77 in the final round and lost to Dave Szewczul (Connecticut) by a stroke. David Pomarico (Poquoy Brook GC), Robert Linn, Jon Fasick and Don Foberg all were top 10 for the New England Super Senior and are playing in this week’s Massachusetts Super Senior Amateur.
OLDEST IN THE FIELD: Alexander Lindsey, 80, of Nahant Golf Club, is the oldest player in the field. He shot two strokes under his age, a 7-over-par 78, to make the cut. Every other player is 78 years old or younger. Out of 120 total entries, 19 are 65 years old.
HAPPY (ALMOST) BIRTHDAY: Bobby Beach (Heather Hill CC) will turn 72 on Thursday. He missed the cut after shooting a 20-over 91 on Wednesday.