PHOTO BY DAVID COLT
Matt Parziale, shown putting in the Mass Four-Ball Championship earlier this year.
NEWTON — Matt Parziale ended the championship dreams of two North Shore golfers today in the 109th Massachusetts Amateur tourney at Charles River Country Club. The Thorny Lea member ousted Charlie May (Ferncroft CC) 4&3 in the morning, a continuation of Wednesday’s Round of 16 match halted by bad weather. In today’s early Round of 8 match, Parziale eliminated Mark Turner (Bass Rocks GC), 1-up. Turner had beaten Kevin Gately of Harmon GC 1-up earlier today, in their Round of 16 match.
Nick Maccario (Bradford CC), who had beaten Herbie Aikens (Pinehills CC) 2&1 this morning, was ousted by Jackson Lang (Nashawtuc CC) in their Round of 8 match.
Swampscott’s Steven DiLisio (Salem CC) lost to Cody Booska (CC of Greenfield) 1-up in the continuation of their Round of 16 match today.
There are four golfers still alive in the championship. Parziale and Lang are going head-to-head now, with Parziale 3-up through nine holes. Billy Walthouse (Longmeadow GC) and Matt Cowgill (Wayland CC) are in the other semi-final match; Cowgill was 1-up after 11 holes at 3:45 p.m. today.
The winners of those two matches will meet in the 36-hole final tomorrow.
PHOTO BY DAVID COLT
Nick Maccario of Bradford Country Club
NEWTON — Swampscott’s Steven DiLisio‘s dream of winning the 109th Massachusetts Amateur Championship ended this morning. The 19-year-old golfer, who plays out of Salem Country Club, was ousted by Cody Booska (CC of Greenfield) 1-up. The Round of 16 match, which began yesterday at Charles River Country Club, was delayed by bad weather and completed this morning.
In fact, Mother Nature was not kind yesterday as four separate suspensions of play wreaked havoc on the third day of competition. The day called for the completion of the round of 32 and the round of 16. However, after delays that totaled two hours and 40 minutes – the first of which came just before 10:57 a.m. – only the round of 32 was completed. Only one round of 16 match was completed when the final suspension of play horn sounded at 6:16 p.m.
Play resumed at 7:45 a.m. today. All rounds started from the spot where they left off on Wednesday evening. Several North Shore golfers are still in the running. As of 8:30 this morning, Nick Maccario (Bradford CC) led Herbie Aikens (Pinehills CC) 3-up after 12 holes, Charlie May (Ferncroft CC) was 2-down to Matt Parziale (Thorny Lea) after seven holes, and Mark Turner (Bass Rocks GC) was 2-up on Kevin Gately (Harmon CC) after seven holes.
Check back here for updates throughout the day.
Here’s a roundup of yesterday’s Round of 32 matches of North Shore players:.
Steven DiLisio (Salem CC) def. Stephen Demare (George Wright GC), 2 up
Despite a hole in one by Demare on the 4th hole, stroke-play medalist DiLisio battled back from a 2-down deficit thanks in part to three straight birdies made on the 14th, 15th and 16th holes. The birdie stretch was much needed after DiLisio, who had made just six bogies through his first 36 holes, carded five bogies through eight holes. Demare, playing in what is his first ever MGA Championship Proper, carded bogey on the last two holes.
Cody Booska (CC of Greenfield) def. Chris Francoeur(Amesbury G & CC), 5 and 4
Days after winning the CC of Greenfield club championship by 11 strokes, Booska needed just 14 holes to defeat Francoeur. Following a bogie-birdie start, Booska took advantage of a stretch of holes where Francoeur made five straight bogies to break out to a 5-up lead through nine holes. Although Francoeur made birdie on the 10th hole, it was not enough as Booska closed out the match with a win on the 14th hole with a par.
Nick Maccario (Bradford CC) def. Brian Bassett (Oyster Harbors), 4 and 3
Maccario made his first birdie of the day on the 6th hole to take an early 1-up lead over Basset. The lead grew to 2 up for Maccario after Basset suffered bogies on the 10th and 11th holes. Maccario then made his final move of the match by making birdie on the 12th, 14th and 15th holes to earn victory in 15 holes.
Mark Turner (Bass Rocks GC) def. Doug Clapp (Old Sandwich GC), 20 holes
The match was all square through nine holes before Turner made two bogies – on the 10th and 11th holes – to give Clapp a 2-up advantage. It was a lead that Clapp would hold through 14 holes when he carded a bogey on the 482-yard, par 5 15th hole. Turner made birdie on the next hole to even the match and then he took a 1-up lead when Clapp made bogey on the 17th hole. On the 18th hole, Clapp evened the score with a par to force extra holes. The players both made par on the first extra hole before Turner was able to execute and make birdie on the second playoff hole for the victory.
Charlie May (Ferncroft CC) def. Michael Souliotis (Haverhill CC), 4 and 3
Following a roller-coaster first six holes where he made two birdies, one bogey and one double bogey, May managed to right the ship and played his next five holes at even par. Souliotis managed one birdie – on the 4th hole – but bogies carded on the 5th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th holes proved to be costly as he was 4-down through 11 holes. He managed to get one back after a May bogie n the 12th hole, but May closed out the match with three straight pars.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MASSACHUSETTS GOLF ASSOCIATION
Medalist Steven DiLisio (right) with Harry McCracken, Jr. (center) and MGA Executive Director Jesse Menachem.
NEWTON – It was a first of historic proportions, for Swampscott’s Steven DeLisio and the Massachusetts Golf Association.
For the first time in Massachusetts Amateur Championship history, the stroke-play medalist (i.e. the individual who posts the lowest cumulative score following the 36-hole stroke-play portion of the event) was awarded the Harry B. McCracken, Jr. Stroke Play Medalist Award.
The individual receiving that award was 19-year-old DiLisio, who plays out of Salem Country Club. .
Over a two-day period, DiLisio posted a score of 3-under par 137 to finish as medalist and earn the top seed heading into match play, which will begin this morning at 8 at Charles River Country Club in Newton. DeLisio squares off against Stephen Demare of George Wright GC.
This year’s cut line fell at 7-over par 147 with the final two spots being decided in a five-for-two sudden-death playoff that lasted six holes on Tuesday evening. Brett Krekorian of Indian Ridge was eliminated in the playoff.
The first two rounds of match play – round of 32 and round of 16 – will be contested today. The quarterfinals and semifinals will take place on Thursday with the finale coming on Friday when the last two competitors standing will compete in a 36-hole final match.
For DiLisio, this year marks only the second time in his career that he has advanced to match play. Two years ago at Oak Hill Country Club, DiLisio was defeated in the round of 32 by Matthew Naumec (GreatHorse).
“It is a great honor,” said DiLisio just prior to the official medalist ceremony which included McCracken as well as a crowd of competitors, club members and spectators. “To be the first one is pretty awesome. He has been out here for as long as I have been playing tournaments and a lot longer than I have been playing. I have been able to spend some time with him at the New England events and it is just such an honor to share this with him.”
After posting a 1-under par 69 on Monday DiLisio bettered his play by carding a 2-under par 68 to secure himself the top seed.
“I have played pretty solid both days,” said DiLisio, who finished with five birdies on Tuesday. “I started well today and birdied my first hole and just seemed like I was off to a solid start. I have been hitting it really well. I had a lot of scoring irons and wedges into the green and I think I hit 16 or 17 greens today.”
Despite living just an hour away from Charles River Country Club, DiLisio was unfamiliar with the course until just a few weeks ago. A club member Charlie Deehan – whom DiLisio had recently met – invited him to play in a member-guest.
Without laying an eye on the course, DiLisio made birdie on the first five holes that day.
“Mr. Deehan said that he liked to win and that I better play well,” said DiLisio with a laugh. “I birdied one and two and he was giving me a hard time about starting and said, ‘Well you have to birdie the first five or it doesn’t matter,’ and then I birdied the first five which was funny. It was a lot of fun.”
Through 36 holes, DiLisio has made seven birdies and one hole in one.
Several other North Shore golfers advanced to today’s match play: Chris Francoeur of Haverhill plays Cody Brooks of CC of Greenfield; Nick Maccario of Bradford CC faces Brian Bassett of Oyster Harbor; Charlie May of Ferncroft plays Michael Soulotis of Haverhill CC; Mark Turner of Bass Rocks plays Doug Clapp of Old Sandwich GC.
Other local competitors were Bradford Tufts, Tedesco; Zack Ungvarsky, Bradford; Kevin Daly, Salem CC; Phil Miceli, Sagamore Springs; Gregory Poor, Haverhill; Christopher Brewer, Beverly G&T; Athan Goulos, Ferncroft; Ryan Anderson, Beverly G&T; Andrew Gerety, Bellevue; Matt Schena, Haverhill; Sean Andrews, Thomson; James Turner, Bass Rocks.
PHOTO: DAVID COLT
Steven DiLisio, at Charles River Country Club, on Monday.
Newton, MA — Winning championships takes a lot of skill and a little bit of luck, and Steven DiLisio (Salem CC) had both during the first day of the109th Massachusetts Amateur Championship, which is being held this week – over a five-day period – at Charles River Country Club.
On this day, DiLisio, a 19-year-old rising sophomore at Duke University, made a hole in one on the 177-yard, par 3 14th hole to highlight a day-low score of 1-under par 69. Following the first round of play, DiLisio finds himself tied for the overall lead with Herbie Aikens (Pinehills GC).
“I felt like I played pretty smart out there and made a lot of good tee shots that set me up for some easier shots into the greens,” said DiLisio, who won five Massachusetts Junior Amateur divisional titles over five years from 2009 to 2013. “If you get on the wrong side on these greens it can get ugly. I felt like it was a solid start, and that I left some out there. I had some sketchy short irons that might be 10 or 15 feet but on the wrong side so you end up having to play defense. I would like to clean that up and make a few more putts.”
One putt on Monday that DiLisio did not have to make was on that 14th hole. After making the turn at even par 35, DiLisio suffered two bogies – on the 11th and 12th holes – and was looking for a momentum changer.
“That was really important for my round more than anything,” said DiLisio who decided to make an aggressive swing with a 7 iron after watching his playing partner come up short just minutes prior. “We didn’t actually see it go in because there was a lot of glare on the green. We knew it landed in front and thought it went over, but we walked up there and saw that it went in.”
DiLisio would go on to make one additional birdie – on the 522-yard, par 5 15th hole – and three birdies to cap off his 1-under par round.
“I have gotten into match play once and that was two years ago,” said DiLisio. “Today was a good start.”
As the 23rd-ranked player in the 2016 recruiting class in the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings coming out of high school, DiLisio lived up to his billing during a solid freshman campaign with the Blue Devils where he finished as the individual champion of the 2017 Heel/Pack Individual Tournament. Earlier this season he advanced to U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying for the first time in his career.
“I haven’t played year round until this past year and it makes a huge difference to be in that environment and playing with guys with high expectations,” said DiLisio of his first year of collegiate golf. “You start to raise your level and start matching what you are seeing out of them and out of yourself and you can get good quick and I have felt like I have made some big improvements.”
One additional highlight from this year which might not be as well documented was a hole in one that he scored in May at Salem Country Club during a friendly match with his grandfather and brother. It was the first time that he had ever made a hole in one, so making yet another just eight weeks later during arguably the biggest tournament of his summer season is icing on the cake.
“This is big for sure,” said DiLisio. “This year has a really good field and it’s always a good tournament.”
Joining DiLisio atop the leaderboard at 1-under par 69 is Aikens, who at 35 years old appears to be the elder statesman among a field whose average age is 30.2 and includes more than 45 NCAA collegiate players.
North Shore golfers scores: Michael Souliotis, Haverhill, 71; Mark Turner, Bass Rocks, 71; Nick Maccario, Bradford, 72; Charlie May, Ferncroft, 72; Brett Krekorian, Indian Ridge, 72; Phil Miceli, Sagamore Springs, 73; Chris Francoeur, Amesbury, 74; Zack Ungvarsky, Bradford, 74; Gregory Poor, Haverhill, 75; Bradford Tufts, Tedesco, 75; Kevin Daly, Salem CC, 77; Matt Schena, Haverhill, 79; Sean Andrews, Thomson, 84; Athan Goulos, Ferncroft, 84; James Turner, Bass Rocks, 85.
The low 32 scorers following 36 holes of stroke play will continue on to Match Play Competition, which is scheduled to begin on Wednesday.
Courtesy of the Massachusetts Golf Association. Photograph by David Colt.
PEABODY – John Daly has withdrawn from the U.S. Senior Open Championship, the USGA has announced. The reason cited is a shoulder injury.
Fan-favorite Daly, who was fully exempt, will be replaced in the field by Ted Tryba, of Orlando, Fla., the second alternate from the Dunedin, Fla., sectional qualifying site.
Steve Stricker putts during last weekend’s U.S. Open Championship in Wisconsin.
By BILL BROTHERTON
Steve Stricker and Dave Eichelberger have withdrawn from the 2017 U.S. Senior Open Championship at Salem Country Club in Peabody. Stricker cited his playing schedule as the reason, while Eichelberger pulled out because of health reasons.
The championship will be held Thursday, June 29 through Sunday, July 2, at the acclaimed Donald Ross-designed course. Practice rounds will officially begin on Monday, but some players, including Billy Andrade and Rocco Mediate, have already tested out the challenging 6815-yard, par-70 course.
Stricker is coming off a sparkling 3-under final round at the U.S. Open Championship at Erin Hills in his native Wisconsin last weekend. He finished tied for 16th place at 5-under for the tournament. Stricker had played his way into the field of last weekend’s Open, shooting 67-65 at the Tennessee sectional qualifier, after the United States Golf Association had rejected his request for a special exemption.
Stricker was fully exempt and was expected to play in his first year of eligibility for the U.S. Senior Open. He will be replaced in the field by Danny Mulhearn of Wheaton, Ill., the first alternate from the Aurora, Ill. sectional qualifying site.
“In looking at my playing schedule and other obligations for the upcoming months, I feel it is best for me to withdraw from the U.S. Senior Open next week,” said Stricker. “With playing both the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions this year and the final push I needed to make these last two months to qualify for the U.S. Open at Erin Hills, has my mind and body telling me that I need to rest and recharge. This was without a doubt a hard decision, but one that I feel is needed in order for me to get ready for the next stretch of events and to play at the level I expect of myself.”
Mulhearn, 50, shot 71 at Aurora Country Club on June 5. He is playing in his first U.S. Senior Open. Mulhearn is the head golf professional at Glen Oak Country Club, in Glen Ellyn, Ill.
Eichelberger, who won the 1999 U.S. Senior Open Championship, was fully exempt. He will be replaced in the field by amateur Steve Fink, of Las Vegas, Nev., the first alternate from the Murrieta, Calif., sectional qualifying site.
Fink, 60, shot 72 at Bear Creek Golf Club on May 22. He is playing in his first U.S. Senior Open.
Eichelberger, 73, has competed in 23 consecutive U.S. Senior Opens, dating back to 1994. It is the third-longest streak in the history of the championship. Dale Douglass and Arnold Palmer played in 26 and 25 consecutive Senior Opens, respectively. Eichelberger has played in 40 USGA championships, including 14 U.S. Opens.
By BILL BROTHERTON
“Is John Daly playing at Salem?” That’s the first question most people ask when they find out I edit North Shore Golf magazine. Bernhard Langer and Fred Couples have made the most money. Billy Andrade, Jerry Kelly and Gene Sauers have the devoted New England following. Tom Watson and Davis Love III are the most recognizable. Nearly every competitor has the skills.