Five Massachusetts Two-man Teams Will Vie for the 8th U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship at the Kiawah Island club
For Immediate Release: May 18, 2023
NORTON, Massachusetts – Massachusetts will be the seventh most represented state at the 2023 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship, with five teams of Bay Staters in the 128 team field. The event gets underway on Saturday, May 20th. There will be two rounds of stroke play, after which the field is pared down to a 32 team match play bracket.
The headliner is the formidable duo of Matt Parziale (Thorny Lea GC) & Herbie Aikens (Old Sandwich GC), who have qualified for this event five times in its eight year history. Though their best finish was in the quarterfinals back in 2019 at Bandon Dunes, they are no strangers to the winner’s circle, having claimed back-to-back Massachusetts Four-Ball Championships in 2016 and 2017. Parziale already has a coveted USGA Championship to his name (2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur).
Parziale & Aikens qualified by emerging from a four team playoff last August at GreatHorse in Hampden, MA. The team of Mike Dunham (Concord CC) & Jackson Kingman (Concord CC) also survived the playoff to make their first-ever appearance at the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball. While Dunham, a former NHL goaltender, is no stranger to the spotlight (he has also competed in two U.S. Mid-Amateurs), Kingman will be getting his first taste of the national stage. “I was telling Jack, tournament golf is different. And whether you succeed or not, it’s still fun. But tournament golf is different than what you play on a regular basis. You’re just focused more,” said Dunham.
Ben Grant (Foxborough CC) & Michael Pyne (Foxborough CC) took medalist honors at last summer’s qualifying round at Point Judith Country Club in Narragansett, RI, with a 4-under round of 67. Pyne is looking forward to his team’s first U.S. Four-Ball appearance: “Playing in the U.S. Four-Ball for the first time is a big deal. There are so many good players, so making match play would be a dream. We are going to enjoy it.” Michael Philipp (Button Hole GC) & Kevin Silva (Montaup CC) birdied the third playoff hole at Point Judith to punch their ticket to South Carolina.
Rounding out the slate of Bay Staters is the pair of Daniel Cappucci (Boston GC) & Jeremy Meade (Nashawtuc CC). For them, a spot in a USGA Championship field has been a long time coming. “It took 26 years of trying,” Cappucci said, to which Meade added, “I’ve been around for 41 years, and this is my first one.” Their breakthrough occurred at Waubeeka Golf Links in Williamstown, MA, where 9-under 62 was good enough for second place at qualifying.
Notes & Notables
CBS NFL analyst Tony Romo is in the field. Romo quarterbacked the Dallas Cowboys to a career 2-4 record in the playoffs.
The average age of the field is 32.2. The youngest competitor is Blades Brown (15) and the oldest is Marc Apps (63).
The field features 11 USGA Champions, including Matt Parziale.
There will be four sets of brothers and one father/son pairing.
Starting Times & Schedule
Matt Parziale (Thorny Lea GC) & Herbie Aikens (Old Sandwich GC)
Round 1: Cassique | 11:12 a.m. ET || Round 2: River | 7:48 a.m. ET
Mike Dunham (Concord CC) & Jackson Kingman (Concord CC)
Round 1: River | 11:24 a.m. ET || Round 2: Cassique | 8:00 a.m. ET
Ben Grant (Foxborough CC) & Michael Pyne (Foxborough CC)
Round 1: River | 8:24 a.m. ET || Round 2: Cassique | 11:48 a.m. ET
Michael Philipp (Button Hole GC) & Kevin Silva (Montaup CC)
Round 1: River | 1:12 p.m. ET || Round 2: Cassique | 9:48 a.m. ET
Daniel Cappucci (Boston GC) & Jeremy Meade (Nashawtuc CC)
Round 1: Cassique | 1:24 p.m. ET || Round 2: River | 10:00 a.m. ET
Saturday, May 20 (18 holes, stroke play)
Sunday, May 21 (18 holes, stroke play)
Monday, May 22 (Round of 32, match play)
Tuesday, May 23 (Round of 16/Quarterfinal matches)
Wednesday, May 24 (Semifinal matches/Championship match)
About The Kiawah Island Club
The Cassique course was opened in 2000 and designed by Tom Watson. It’s no surprise that Watson, a five-time Open Champion, sought to bring elements of links courses into his design. The par-5 fifth was designed with the 16th hole at Turnberry in mind, where Watson won the 1977 Open. The 4th, 8th, and 9th were all inspired by Ballybunion. The 5th green was modeled after the “Dell Hole” at Lahinch, while the bunkers on the 6th borrow from the 14th at Carnoustie, the site of Watson’s 1975 Open victory. Though half as deep, a bunker on 15 was inspired by the “hell bunker” at St. Andrews.
The River course was opened in 1995. The Tom Fazio design stretches out to 7,004 yards, playing as a par 71.
ABOUT THE U.S. AMATEUR FOUR-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP
The U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship and U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship are among the newest national championships to be conducted by the USGA. The two Four-Ball Championships replaced the now-retired U.S. Amateur Public Links and U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championships, which were conducted for the final time in 2014.
Eligibility states that each member of the side cannot have a Handicap Index® exceeding 5.4.
At the 2022 Championship, two Massachusetts-based teams were among the top-32 and advanced to Match Play. Nick Maccario (Bradford CC) and Mike Calef (Pine Oaks GC) advanced to the Round of 16 before falling to the top-seeded team. And the duo of Joseph Lenane (KOHR Golf) & Aidan O’Donovan (Cummaquid Golf Club) also won their opening match to advance to the Round of 16 before bowing out.
ABOUT MASS GOLF
Mass Golf is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to advancing golf in Massachusetts by building an engaged and inclusive community around the sport.
With a community made up of over 110,000 golf enthusiasts and over 360 member clubs, Mass Golf is one of the largest state golf associations in the country. Members enjoy the benefits of handicapping, engaging golf content, course rating and scoring services along with the opportunity to compete in an array of events for golfers of all ages and abilities.
At the forefront of junior development, Mass Golf is proud to offer programming to youth in the state through First Tee Massachusetts and subsidized rounds of golf by way of Youth on Course.