HYDE PARK, Mass. – One-hundred forty-four players, 36 holes, two golf courses, two steamy days in the City of Boston and now the field is dwindled down to 32 players, who will enter the match play portion of the contest Wednesday June 11, in search of the Bay State’s most cherished amateur title – Massachusetts Amateur champion.
For the first time in Massachusetts Golf Association history, which dates back to 1903 a whopping 115 years, a public golf course – George Wright Golf Course and William J. Devine Golf Course at Franklin Park – is hosting the prestigious and historic tournament. Historic for many reasons but mostly because of the recognizable names of past winners and their huge impact on the game in the Bay State. Also, the Massachusetts Amateur Championship is the third oldest state amateur championship in the United States behind only the Golf Association of Philadelphia (115 years) and The Metropolitan Golf Association (113 years).
“We could not be more excited to bring the state’s two most historic and premier championships to these two courses,” said Jesse Menachem, Mass Golf ’s executive director. “We hope that golfers across the state and beyond will understand how fortunate this state is to have two first-class golf courses here in the City of Boston. Following this Massachusetts Amateur Championship, we will welcome the Women’s Amateur Championship to George Wright Golf Course the week of July 30.”
What You Need to Know
Andrew O’Leary (Pawtucket CC) and Jackson Lang (Nashawtuc CC) are co-medalists, which means nothing when you have a rich field of talent including three former winners Billy Drohen (2009), Mike Calef (2012 and 2013) and defending champion Matt Parziale, ranked among the world’s top 20 amateur players. Both Calef and Parziale are reinstated amateurs, with short unsuccessful pro careers.
O’Leary and Lang finished the stroke-play portion of the 110th Massachusetts Amateur Championship with a score of 4-under par 136, which earned them a share of the Harry B. McCracken, Jr. Stroke Play Medalist Award, which is reserved for the individual or individuals who post the lowest cumulative score following the 36-hole stroke-play portion of the Massachusetts Amateur Championship.
Parziale is the 800-lb. gorilla in this test of physical endurance, mental clarity, quality shotmaking, handling pressure situations and of course, the No. 1 requirement to win – exceptional putting. Parziale may have trouble winning in the match play format at the rather short (6495-yards) George Wright layout, a Donald Ross design in 1938. The winner may not have to be a long bomber off the tee but rather a good wedge player that has a hot putter!
Parziale shot uneventful rounds of 70-70-140, even par, to finish seeded at No. 9 and will square off against Salem Country Club’s Steve DeLisio at 8:30 am.
Rave Reviews for the Course
After the completion of Tuesday’s round at George Wright Golf Course, Dennis Roache, Director of Administration of Boston Parks & Recreation Department at the City of Boston, stated that hosting the state’s top amateur championships at the City of Boston golf courses is a great opportunity to display the hard work done over the past decade.
“I think this is kind of the exclamation point on what we’ve done,” explained Roache, one of the key individuals responsible for bringing the amateur championships to the City. “This just shows it to a whole new group of golfers. The impact of hosting this kind of event, the press that it has received and the reaction that you see from the people who walk off the golf course is very pleasing. We are literally being compared to private country clubs in terms of conditions and things like that.”
Not only is hosting the Massachusetts Amateur a great way to showcase Boston’s two historic courses, but Roache believes it serves a much greater purpose.
“It’s great for us, but it’s just a great thing in general for municipal golf,” said Roache.
Despite the unique change in venue during the course of the championship, Roache states that players have had nothing but praise for the conditions of the course.
“Everything has been extremely positive,” said Roache. “A lot of these guys out here play at private country clubs. They’ve remarked to us both here and at Franklin Park about the conditions of our course, our greens in particular, saying that a lot of them are playing as good or better than their courses.”
Live Scoring by Mass Golf
Admission to the Massachusetts Amateur Championship is free of charge for the general public. Spectators are welcome to attend and enjoy a special “inside the ropes” experience.
A scoreboard area will be set up outside of the George Wright GC clubhouse so that all spectators and players can follow all of the action. There will also be an electronic scoreboard set up inside the clubhouse.
Mass Golf officials will track of all the action throughout the remaining three-day event which includes two 18 holes matches on Wednesday and Thursday and a 36-hole final scheduled Friday at 8 am.
To keep up to speed on the action, follow Mass Golf on Social Media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @PlayMassGolf and by using the hashtag, #MassAm
(Photo Credit: David Colt Photography)