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PLYMOUTH, Massachusetts – Only two players were supposed to earn spots into the U.S. Amateur on Wednesday. However, thanks to severe weather on Tuesday, six players earned a trip to Oakmont CC at three different Qualifiers across Massachusetts.
In the early morning at Crestwood CC (Rehoboth) play wrapped up quickly. A pair of RIGA regulars earned the two spots – Davis Chatfield and Brad Valois. Chatfield protected his sizable lead, easily capturing Medalist Honors while Valois made a pair birdies (his only 2 holes of the day) to close out his round and grab the second qualifying spot.
Just before noon Xavier Marcoux (Nashawtuc CC) buried a 25-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole to move to -7, and would hold on to earn Medalist honors at Longmeadow CC. The last player on the course, Bo Andrews (Raleigh, NC), matched the -6 of Ryan Kohler (Chesterfield, NH) and would go on to defeat him on a second playoff hole for the second spot up for grabs at Longmeadow.
And late in the afternoon, the duo of Weston Jones (Charter Oak CC) and Andrew DiRamio (North Hill CC) advanced through Qualifying of a USGA event for the second time this season. Earlier this year, Jones and DiRamio both advanced through U.S. Open Local Qualifying at Eastward Ho!
In Plymouth, Weston Jones shot a sizzling 68 in the hot afternoon sun to earn Medalist Honors. After a morning 73, Jones stepped on the gas, making 4 birdies with no blemishes in the afternoon. This marks the first time he has qualified for the U.S. Amateur, and he battled the elements to do so. After cramping up from dehydration following his morning round, Jones ran to his car to get a Theragun in at attempt to loosen up for his afternoon round. Safe to say, it worked.
It was 12 years ago that Andrew DiRamio missed out on a trip to the U.S. Amateur, losing in a playoff for the final spot at a Qualifier held at Maplegate CC. On Wednesday, a morning 69 put DiRamio in the driver seat to make the U.S. Amateur for the first time in his career. Thanks to the lead he built in the morning, DiRamio was able to shake off a missed putt from just over a foot on his 34th hole. With the help of caddie Mike Power, DiRamio correctly read his tricky par putt on the 8th hole (his 35th hole) and rattled it home. That coupled with a textbook par on his closing hole earned him a trip to Oakmont.
Colin Spencer (Cummaquid GC) posted an afternoon 70 to get to +1 for the day and finish as 1st Alternate. Kevin Gately (Harmon GC) outlasted 4 other players in a playoff, winning on the 2nd playoff hole to finish as 2nd Alternate.
LONGMEADOW QUALIFYING (Continued from Tuesday)
At the Longmeadow Qualifier, severe storms on Tuesday caused play to be halted for the day at 3:59 p.m. On Wednesday morning, play resumed at 9 a.m. with 17 players returning to finish their second round. Understandably, a number of players did not return, finishing as WDs. Xavier Marcoux began Wednesday atop the leaderboard at (-6) through 7. One shot back of Marcoux was Ryan Kohler at (-5) and one back of that was Bo Andrews at (-4).
Marcoux had 11 holes left to play on Wednesday, beginning with hole 8. On Tuesday, in his morning round, Marcoux played those same 11 holes at 4-under-par. He made a couple of pars to start his day before making birdie on the short par-5 10th hole. A bogey on 11 dropped him back to -6, but he steadied the ship with 4-straight pars.
On the par-3 16th hole, Marcoux hit a beautifully flighted shot just right of the pin. However, due to heavy rains softening the greens, his ball spun back down to the lower level of the two-tiered green. After getting a read from his playing partner who had a similar putt, Marcoux stepped up and drained the 25-foot birdie putt to get him back to -7 and allowed him to play for par on the final two holes. Those final two pars clinched his spot.
“I was hitting it so good yesterday, it was kind of tough having to reset and re-warm up today. I felt like the nerves got to me a bit today but my golf swing held together nicely.” said Marcoux. “I made a nice bomb on 16 which gave me a little cushion coming down the stretch”
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Bo Andrews was in the final group left on the course. On Wednesday he played his 11 holes at 2-under par to force a playoff with Ryan Kohler for the final spot. On the first playoff hole, Andrews dodged a birdie bid from Kohler. After Kohler hit his tee shot under a tree on the second playoff hole, Andrews split the fairway and went on to make a stress-free par. The par was enough to punch his ticket to the U.S. Amateur for the third time in his career. Massachusetts golf historians might remember Bo’s name, as he shot a 63 to set the course record at Charles River CC during stroke play at the 2011 U.S. Amateur Championship.
Kohler entered Wednesday with 6 holes left to play (holes 4-9). Like Marcoux, Kohler played brilliantly on Tuesday on the stretch of holes he was set to face Wednesday. In his first round on Tuesday, Kohler birdied holes 4, 6 and 7 while making par on 5, 8 and 9. On Wednesday he played bogey-free over the six holes with a birdie sprinkled in on the par-3 seventh to get him to (-6) total.
Andrew O’Leary (Walpole CC) entered Wednesday at (-1) with six holes left to play. He made three birdies over his final six holes to earn the second alternate spot.
— Mass Golf (@PlayMassGolf) July 7, 2021
CRESTWOOD QUALIFYING (Continued from Tuesday)
The Crestwood Country Club (Rehoboth) qualifier, hosted by the Rhode Island Golf Association (RIGA), also resumed Wednesday morning after a play was suspended Tuesday due to dangerous weather in the area.
Attleboro’s Davis Chatfield (RIGA), who made it to the Round of 16 in the 2020 U.S. Amateur, earned medalist honors by finishing (10-under) through 36-holes. Chatfield fired a bogey-free 8-under 63 in the first round that included six birdies on the back nine. He then cruised in with a 69 in the second round.
Cohasset’s Jack O’Donnell (Boston Golf Club) earned first alternate spot, falling one spot short of the second qualifying spot. O’Donnell, who recently completed his first year at the University of Michigan, finished 5-under with rounds of 69 and 68, but Brad Valois (RIGA) birdied his final two holes Wednesday to finish 6-under and grab the second spot.
Amesbury’s Chris Francoeur (Amesbury Golf & Country Club) finished 4-under to earn the second alternate spot. The Louisville transfer finished with rounds of 70 and 68.
PINEHILLS QUALIFIERS (Names; Cities)
Weston Jones (Sudbury, MA); (-3); 141
Andrew DiRamio (Boston, MA); (-1); 143
ALTERNATES (In Order)
Colin Spencer (Mashpee, MA); (+1); 145
*Kevin Gately (Pembroke, MA); (+2); 146
*Won in playoff; 2nd playoff hole
LONGMEADOW QUALIFIERS (Names; Cities)
Xavier Marcoux (Canada); (-7); 133
*Bo Andrews (Raleigh, NC); (-6); 134
ALTERNATES (In Order)
Ryan Kohler (Chesterfield, NH); (-6); 134
Andrew O’Leary (Norfolk, MA); (-4); 136
*Won in playoff; 2nd playoff hole
CRESTWOOD QUALIFIERS (Names; Cities)
Davis Chatfield (Attleboro, MA); (-10); 132
Brad Valois (Warwick, RI); (-6); 136
ALTERNATES (In Order)
Jack O’Donnell (Cohasset, MA); (-5); 137
Chris Francoeur (Amesbury, MA); (-4); 138
The U.S. Amateur is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious championships in golf. It is the oldest USGA Championship and was created in 1895. Since the inaugural event, the U.S. Amateur has enjoyed an illustrious history of great champions, including Bob Jones, Phil Mickelson, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods.
In 1930, Jones completed his Grand Slam by winning the U.S. Amateur at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennslyvania. Woods, in 1996, became the first to win three consecutive Amateur titles.
This year’s event will be the 121st of its kind and will be contested at Oakmont CC from August 9-15 in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. The last USGA Championship held at Oakmont was the 2016 U.S. Open won by Dustin Johnson. Longue Vue Club in Verona, Pennsylvania, will serve as the stroke-play co-host venue.
The field will include 312 players, 57 of which are exempt into the Championship Proper. Michael Thorbjornsen (Wellesley CC) is on the list of Currently Exempt Players thanks to his play at the 2020 U.S. Amateur, where he advanced to the quarterfinals.
Pinehills Golf Club (Plymouth, MA) has been a staple when it comes to USGA Qualifying in Massachusetts. The course has hosted 8 U.S. Open Local Qualifiers over the past decade. It also played host to Mass Golf’s Father-Daughter Tournament in 2020 and Amateur Public Links Championship in 2017 won by Ben Spitz.
Pinehills GC is set on over 300 acres of rolling hills and boasts two 18-hole championship courses designed by Rees Jones and Nicklaus Design. The club was created to rival the country’s most prestigious golf clubs, bringing world class, daily fee golf to New England.
On Wednesday, competitors played the par-72 Jones Course from the black tees at approximately 7,000 yards. The 18th hole is among the most picturesque on the course. A 574 yard par-5 that is protected by a pond short-right of the green. While it does have danger lurking, it still gives players one last chance at birdie.
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