Women's Stroke Play Championship Makes Ceremonious Return To Cummaquid GC - MASSGOLF

College Standout Morgan Smith Takes Early Lead At Windswept Cummaquid Golf Club

By Steve Derderian

YARMOUTH PORT, Massachusetts (June 5, 2024) – When the Women’s Stroke Play Championship for the Baker Trophy was last held at Cummaquid Golf Club in 1972, the beloved Edith Noblit Baker, aka ‘The Boss’, beamed with pride, looking out down the 18th fairway. Her enormous presence loomed there as groups finished up play in a tournament named in her honor.

Baker, a past president of the Women’s Golf Association of Massachusetts and a five-time Mass Women’s Amateur champion, surely would be impressed by the collective acumen and accomplishment of the players in the 74th playing the championship played in her honor. She’d also have to be clinging tightly to her hat as the breezy Wednesday marked the event’s long-awaited return to Cape Cod’s oldest organized private golf club.

Georgetown University standout Morgan Smith (Vesper Country Club) played her first event back in Massachusetts this year to take a two-stroke lead at even-par 71 in the Championship Division (5,750 yards). Meanwhile, it’s a two-way tie in the Tournament Division (5,250 yards) between 2022 division winner Joanne Catlin (Oak Hill Country Club) and first-time Baker competitor Irene Haley (Ferncroft Country Club).

Online: Round 1 Scores | Round 2 Starting Times | Past Champions | Event Homepage

Morgan Smith will try to capture the Women’s Stroke Play Championship for the first time. (Mass Golf)

Smith’s last appearance in the Women’s Stroke Play came in the fall of 2020, just as she was an emerging star for Westford Academy’s golf team. Now coming off a stellar first college season, the Big East Freshman of the Year said she was excited to be back playing with friends in a Mass Golf event.

She showed flashes of brilliance early with a birdie on holes 6, 7, and 9. With an increasingly roaring wind as the day went on, she minimized the damage and walked away with a two-stroke lead.

“I think the front nine, in general, was a little bit easier,” said Smith, seeking her first victory in the event. “The wind picked for the last stretch, so my first six holes were pretty solid. “And then kind of the last six holes were probably just like more of a grind and make sure to hit better shots, but I just didn’t get anything.”

Smith traded the lead early on with Harvard University’s Catie Schernecker. The 2021 Mass Women’s Amateur winner has been limited in competition due to injuries but looked to be in prime form in the beginning. She made birdies on three of the first four holes and finished the round at 2-over 73 for a four-way tie for second with 5-time champion Shannon Johnson, 7-time winner Tara-Joy Connelly, and junior standout Amanda Adams.

“I think I had very low expectations today. I haven’t been able to play much recently, so I just enjoyed being out here,” Schernecker said. “I think putting felt good all day. I hit a few irons close early on that kind of fell off later in the round.”

Irene Haley made it a memorable first Women’s Stroke Play Championship. Haley tied Catlin with a score of 79, hitting the green in two to set up a two-putt birdie on the par-5 14th and adding another birdie on the par-3 16th.

“I just tried to stay calm,” said Haley, who is married to national-recognized LPGA Instructor Cathy MacPherson. “A lot of times in these events, I tried to do too much, so I just tried to have a good routine, take calm swings, and get some luck.”

As for experiencing the event the first time, “It’s a wonderful group of ladies in all the divisions. It’s a lot of fun. I know it’s going to be fun competition. A little tense, but still fun.”

Round 2 resumes at 7:30 a.m. Groups will be paired based on their Round 1 scores.

Irene Haley holds a share of the lead in the Tournament Division. (David Colt, file)


  • Karen Ammerman is fresh off giving rulings for some of the best players in the world. Over the weekend, she was a Rules Official at the U.S. Women’s Open at Lancaster Country Club (PA), her fourth time serving in that capacity. She wasn’t a first-hand witness to Nelly Korda’s disastrous 10 in the first hole, however she said there was plenty of radio chatter about it. Ammerman and fellow Rules Official Christine Veator also officiated NCAA conference tournaments. 
  • Ashland twins Kyzar and Keira Joshi will be spending plenty of time of the golf course together these next few weeks. Kyzar was on the bag for his sister during the Women’s Stroke Play Championship, and the two will switch roles on Monday when Kyzar makes his debut in the Mass Open at Willowbend. The twins, who finished the First Tee Ace Level program, just finished their first year at Hamilton College.
  • Kylie Eaton (New England Country Club), a University of Illinois commit, made the lone eagle of the day, completing the par-5 9th in three shots. She shot 79 and sits in a tie for 10th overall.
  • Joanne Goodwin won the 1972 Women’s Stroke Play Championship at Cummaquid, just one of her many accolades that earned her a spot in the Massachusetts Golf Hall of Fame.
  • Cummaquid members Erica Quirk & MaryLou Neagle finished with rounds of 90 and 94, respectively. Both are playing in the Tournament Division. On the Fourth of July in 2020, Quirk recorded an ace at her home club using a 5 hybrid.


Maya Gaudin, who won the 2023 Drive, Chip & Putt National Final at Augusta National, made her debut in the Women’s Stroke Play Championship on Wednesday. (MassGolf)

Watch: Five Big Things From Round 1

About Cummaquid Golf Club

Cummaquid Golf Club is part of the early fabric of golf in Massachusetts, and has long been a club built exclusively for the purposes of golf.

Formed in 1895 along the scenic Route 6A byway that snakes through Cape Cod’s northern shore, Cummaquid is the oldest private golf club on Cape Cod and among the first 100 clubs in the U.S. that are still in existence today. Herbert C. Leeds, who laid out the course at Myopia Hunt Club and Joe Lloyd, the first golf professional at Essex County Club and the 1897 U.S. Open winner, are both credited with laying out the first nine holes, stretching about 3,000 along previously untamed land.

“The land … was very rough and uncultivated with plenty of blackberry vines and the outlook for fairways and putting greens was not very promising. Different lots were enclosed by stone walls,” described one report in 1899.

The name Cummaquid comes from a tribe that was a sub-group of Wampanoags. The name roughly translates to land on the other side, a reference to Sandy Point, the nearby 6.5-mile-long barrier beach with 4,700 acres of dunes, maritime forests, and marshes. The club’s arrowhead logo supposedly is a reference to arrowheads discovered along the beach.

The club remained 9-holes until 1970 when Henry Mitchell (also designed Dennis Pines) was brought in to add 9 more and give the club a layout of about 6,300 yards. In 2015, the club debuted a new 14,200-square-foot clubhouse, creating a new backdrop overlooking the 18th fairway. This replaced the old clubhouse which opened in 1945 and was about 5,000 square feet shorter than the new one.

Read the final round recap on Thursday to learn more about the giant boulder resting in the 18th fairway at Cummaquid Golf Club. (Mass Golf)

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