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Match play set at Mass. Amateur

Massachusetts Golf Association    view all articles from this source
published 10 Jul 2012

see also: Massachusetts (MGA) Amateur Championship and Colin Brennan's rankings profile

Marblehead, MA — Perfect weather returned and greeted the field of 144 amateurs during the second round of the 104th Massachusetts Amateur Championship being held this week at Tedesco Country Club.

In the end, only 32 competitors survived and will play another day. This year's cut line fell at 7-over par 147 with the final four spots being decided in an exciting five-for-four sudden- death playoff on Tuesday evening.

The first two rounds of match play - round of 32 and round of 16 - will be contested on Wednesday in Marblehead. 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.

Leading the way as medalists with a two-round score of even par 140 were four competitors - Colin Brennan (Indian Ridge CC), Mike Calef (Brockton CC), Daniel Falcucci (Cyprian Keyes GC) and Jack Whelan (Myopia Hunt Club).

This marks the second straight year that Brennan has earned medalist honors, while Calef is making what he hopes will be a triumphant return to the Bay State.

"I played 13 good holes today and made some good up and downs down the stretch," said Brennan. "I have been driving it pretty well, but I am going to have to make more putts in match play."

After making four birdies on Monday, Brennan carded just one birdie - on the 505-yard, par 5 9th hole - and two bogies on Tuesday for a second round score of 1-over par 71.

Calef, who moved to Texas last fall but has maintained close ties with his home course of Brockton Country Club, was one of only five competitors who played under-par golf on Tuesday. Calef's score of 1-under par 69 featured three birdies (on the 5th, 6th and 14th holes) and two bogies.

"My goal today was to get it under par and try to scare my way up the leaderboard a little bit," said Calef. "If I did that then I would know that I wouldn’t be fighting for 32 if I was fighting for the top spot. That was pretty much what I did and it worked out."

Last fall, Calef came through with his first MGA Championship victory when he won the 2011 Massachusetts Mid-Amateur Championship. Since moving South, he has won the 2012 North Mid-Amateur Championship and finished fourth at the 2012 Texas State Amateur Championship.

A reinstated professional, Calef estimates that he has played in the Massachusetts Amateur Championship eight times and has advanced to match play on seven occasions. Last year he fell in the round of 32, while his best career finish came in 1998 when he lost to eventual champion (and current PGA Tour star) James Driscoll in the quarterfinals. Calef was just 19 at the time.

"I think that it’s going to be a great match play course," said Calef. "There are a couple of drivable par 4s, long par 3s, reachable par 5s so it can be fun… a lot of fun."

Falcucci has enjoyed a phenomenal streak at this Championship in recent years. The 2010 Massachusetts Mid-Amateur Champion advanced to the semifinals in 2008 and again last year at Wyantenuck Country Club.

On Tuesday, Falcucci delivered the round of the day that was matched by just two other players when he posted a 2-under par 68. After making the turn at 1-over par 35, Falcucci made birdie on the 12th, 14th and 15th holes for a back nine score of 3-under par 33.

Although young in years, Whelan also has a strong recent history in this event. For the second straight year, the 19 year old from Topsfield will be advancing to match play.

The rising sophomore at St. Lawrence University lost in the first round of this championship one year ago. Whelan is a former standout at Pingree where he garnered EIL MVP honors two second straight years and led the golf team to an undefeated season (16-0) and league crown during the 2010-11 season.

Whelan posted two rounds of even par 140 to share medalist honors. In both rounds, he made three birdies and three bogies.



To view results, click here.

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