BROOKLINE, Mass – On the first day of match play at the 111th Massachusetts Amateur Championship, a combined 18 matches were completed at The Country Club July 17 before the tournament was suspended due to inclement weather conditions, and the biggest story of the day involved a match between the No. 1 seed – Herb Aikens – and the No. 32 seed – Matt Parziale.
Both players are in the prime of their golf careers, both are friends and frequent partners, but only one advanced into the quarterfinals.
Brockton’s Matt Parziale, defeated Gloucester’s Mark Turner in a playoff to capture the final slot to be seeded No. 32, after shooting a combined 6-over 148 in the first two rounds of stroke play.
The epic, heavyweight battle between Aikens and Parziale, who together won two Massachusetts Four-Ball championships in 2016 and 2017, resulted in a 3 & 1 victory for Parziale, the 2017 U.S.G.A. Mid-Amateur Champion.
After squeaking into the final spot of the field by way of a playoff this morning, Matt Parziale took the momentum and ran with it. After losing his first hole to Aikens with a bogey, Parziale won holes 3, 4, 5 and 6 to take a 3-up lead after six holes. Aikens responded with wins on seven and eight to pull back within one, but Parziale was able to regain control with wins on holes 9 and 11. Aikens wouldn’t go quietly, winning the 14th to get within two, but a par on 17 was able to seal the match for Parziale.
Then in the afternoon session and before heavy rain showers drenched historic The Country Club, Matt Parziale continued his string of match play success by controlling his Round of 16 match against Cody Booska.
Parziale was on fire. He won six of the first seven holes of the match and birdied five of them. After going 7 up with a par on ten, Parziale tied the next two with Booska to close out the match.
With three more wins in the next two days, Parziale, who won the prestigious crown in 2017, is the new champion and it will mark an unprecedented 11th title for a Thorny Lea Golf Club member.
The complete Round of 32 scores are listed below:
16) CODY BOOSKA DEF. (17) COLIN BRENNAN, 2&1
After remaining even after the first two holes, Colin Brennan, the low-amateur at the 2019 Massachusetts Open Championship, recorded the match’s first score change. After both parring the 4th hole, Booska brought the match back to even on the par-4 fifth hole before birdying the par-4 sixth hole. Booska added another birdie on the 11th hole to move to 2-up in the match, parred the 13th and 14th holes to extend his lead to 4-up and despite Brennan winning the 15th and 16th holes, Booska held on to capture the match, 2&1.
(8) WESTON JONES DEF. (25) DAVID SPITZ, 3&2
Weston Jones took his first lead on the first hole and never looked back, moving to 2-up by the third hole and 4-up by the seventh hole of his Round of 32 match. Spitz got one hole back with a birdie on the 12th, but Jones, a rising junior at Lincoln-Sudbury High School and the youngest competitor in the field, parred the 13th hole to extend his lead to 4-up. David Spitz took advantage of Jones’ bogey on the 15th hole but after both competitors made par on the 16th hole, Jones was victorious, 3&2.
(9) STEVEN DILISIO DEF. (24) SEAN FITZPATRICK, 1-UP
Starting the day strong, Steven DiLisio won three of his first six holes to rocket out to a 3-up lead on Sean Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick hung around all morning and then struck with four holes remaining, as he won holes 15, 16 and 17 to even the match going into 18. DiLisio, a rising senior at Duke University, was able to put the match away on 18 with a par, as Fitzpatrick bogeyed the finishing hole.
(4) JACK BOULGER DEF. (29) JORDAN BURKE, 3&2
Losing the first hole of the day had no help in stopping Jack Boulger in advancing to the next round of match play. Boulger evened the match on the Par-4 fourth hole with a clutch birdie, then went on to win holes 8, 11, 13 and 15 while only losing out on the 12th to secure a victory through 16 holes.
(13) ANDREW O’LEARY DEF. (20) TIMOTHY UMPHREY, 1-UP
After jumping out to a quick 2-hole lead through the first four holes, Andrew O’Leary was in for a back and forth affair the rest of the morning. After losing out on holes five and six O’Leary answered with a birdie on eight to regain the lead. After a bogey on ten, O’Leary found himself back to even for the match with Umphrey, but pulled away for good after a birdie on the Par-5 14th.
(28) MIKE CALEF DEF. (5) DILLON BROWN, 2&1
After a front nine that yielded an even match, Mike Calef took control on the back side. The two-time former Amateur champion Calef won three of his first four holes on the back nine, by way of a Par on 10, and birdies on holes 12 and 13 to take a three-hole lead over Brown. Brown won 15 to get back within striking distance at down two with three holes to play but was unable to overcome the deficit.
(12) BENJAMIN SPITZ DEF. (21) STEVEN TASHO, 5&4
A wire-to-wire victory was what Benjamin Spitz found himself with after winning his first hole of the day with a par. Spitz remained in control of the match, finishing his front nine with a three-hole lead after wins on holes three and nine. Spitz would then win holes 11 and 14 on the back to end his match after 14 holes.
(2) JIMMY HERVOL DEF. (31) CHARLIE DUBIEL, 4&3
Two birdies in his first three holes propelled recent UConn graduate Jimmy Hervol to a victory in his Round of 32 match this morning. Back-to-back birdies on holes two and three, Hervol found himself quickly two up for the match. Wins on holes five and nine and giving a hole back on number seven saw Hervol begin his back nine with a three-hole lead over Dubiel. Dubiel, a rising junior on the Cornell golf team, would answer back winning hole 11 but was unable to fully back through with Hervol taking the reins back by winning holes 13 and 15 to end the match.
(18) ALEJANDRO SOTO DEF. (15) JAMES PLEAT, 5&3
Winning three of his first four holes, Colgate University’s Alejandro Soto found himself in the driver’s seat for his matchup against James Pleat. Pleat brought the match back within two at the Par-5 11th with an eagle, but Soto quickly answered with a birdie on 12. Wins on 13 and 15 had Soto ending the match the way he began it, taking three holes in a stretch of four.
(3) CHRIS FRANCOEUR DEF. (30) CHRISTOPHER BORNHORST, 7&5
Chris Francoeur continued his hot week at The Country Club so far with a dominating performance in his Round of 32 match. Things got started for Francoeur on hole five, as he made par to take a one-hole lead over Christopher Bornhorst. Francoeur then went on to win six of his next eight holes, including birdies on holes six, nine and 12. Francoeur was also able to eagle the Par-5 11th hole. A bogey on 13 was good enough to seal the victory.
(7) NICK MACCARIO DEF. (26) JACOB ZARANEK, 1-UP
In what was a tight match all day, Nick Maccario was able to grind out a victory to advance to the Sweet Sixteen in match play. After a double bogey on hist first hole that found himself one down quickly, Maccario regained his composure with wins on holes five and six. Zaranek and Maccario then traded wins on holes seven, eight and nine to even the match through their front nine. Maccario started his back nine hot with wins on 10 and 11, but gave them back and then some, as Zaranek rattled off three straight wins on holes 12 through 14. A win on 15, and another on 17 saw Maccario back 1-up going into 18. Both competitors parred the iconic finishing hole, leading to a 1-up victory for Maccario.
(10) NICK MCLAUGHLIN DEF. (23) NICHOLAS CUMMINGS, 20 HOLES
One of two playoffs of the morning went in favor of 2015 champion Nick McLaughlin, as he was able to pull out a victory after twenty holes of match play. After losing three of the first seven holes, McLaughlin found himself in early trouble. A win on hole eight stopped the bleeding enough for him to get settled into the round. McLaughlin took hole 12 from Cummings and sat at just one back with six holes left. Cummings regained his two-hole advantage the very next hole, but a birdie on 14 and par on 15 for McLaughlin squared the match for the first time all day. Both competitors birdied 16, and parred 17, 18 and 1 to remain even with each other. However, McLaughlin won the playoff with a three on hole two, to move on.
(19) BRENDAN CRONIN DEF. (14) AENGUS MCALLISTER, 2&1
Brendan Cronin came out on fire for his first round of match play. Cronin went Birdie-Par-Par in his first three to take a 3-up advantage over Aengus McAllister, the lone representative of The Country Club in the field. Cronin also won holes five and seven on the front and cruised in to the sweet sixteen of match play.
(6) MATTHEW ORGANISAK DEF. (27) GREGORY PLACZEK, 3&2
Matthew Organisak won four holes outright on the front nine, and he needed it. Withstanding a three-hole run from Gregory Placzek on holes 4 through 6, Organisak was able to make the turn with a 1-up lead. Wins on 11 and 15 allowed him to move on from the Round of 32 with a 3&2 victory.
(11) BRETT KREKORIAN DEF. (22) KYLE VINCZE, 19 HOLES
The second playoff of the morning, and last match of the Round of 32 had a flair for the dramatic as Brett Krekorian defeated Kyle Vincze on the first playoff hole. Krekorian won three holes on his front nine to take a 1-up lead over Vincze to the back. After winning the 13th Krekorian was set up well with a two-hole lead with five to play. Vincze immediately got one back with a win on 14, brining their match back to a one-hole difference. A clutch birdie make on 18 got Vincze one more hole of life, but that’s all it would do, as Krekorian was able to win the first playoff hole with a par.
CREDIT: Mass Golf Staff