AUBURNDALE, Mass. (June 13, 2013) -- The third time was certainly a charm for Ben Spitz (George Wright GC), who captured The Commonwealth Cup, which is awarded to the low amateur at the Massachusetts Open Championship.
Spitz, who twice before finished as second low amateur, posted his second under-par round of the event to finish with a score of 3-under par 213. He held off a charge by amateur Doug Clapp (Old Sandwich GC) who finished three strokes back at even par 216. Today also matched Spitz’s best overall finish at T4.
“I think that you always want to win a pro tournament because it hasn’t been done in so long since 1999,” said Spitz. “You want to be that next guy who wins it so you get hyped up for it. The Mass Open and the Mass Amateur are the two biggest ones you can win.”
He came up just short as low amateur when this event was held at Belmont Country Club (in 2009) and at Wellesley Country Club (in 2010). His biggest amateur accomplishment leading up to this event was arguably his victory at the 2006 Massachusetts Amateur Championship.
This week, Spitz used a steady driver and consistent iron play to secure himself the trophy he has been seeking for many years.
He began his final round by getting up and down from the front bunker on the 301-yard, par 4 1st hole. He then suffered bogies on the 7th and 9th holes to make the turn at 1-over par 37.
He was unflappable on the back nine, however, by playing 2-under par golf (two birdies and seven pars). He drove the green on the 401-yard, par 4 14th hole to set up a tap-in birdie. After a solid drive on the 354-yard, par 4 16th hole, Spitz’s wedge approach landed just five feet from the hole.
“My driver was right this week which made the difference because my game is to keep it between the tree lines,” said Spitz. “If I can do that, I have a good wedge game and my putting was good this week. It was basically driver, wedge and putter out there for me.”
Solid through three rounds of play, Spitz finished with 12 birdies, 34 pars, 7 bogies and just one double bogey. And if he could have eliminated the 380-yard, par 4 7th hole – which he made bogey on all three days – he would have maybe added another MGA Championship title to his resume.
When he graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2007, many thought that Spitz would take a chance on a professional golf career. After all, his brother Brian Spitz has made golf his career and is currently a director of instruction at Golfsmith. However, Spitz decided to pursue a career in business and forgo his dreams of becoming a professional golfer.
With his wife pregnant with twins (due in July) and a solid job in the financial sector, the 29-year-old Spitz is quite content to take his Commonwealth Cup trophy home and relish his experiences as an amateur golfer.
“I am glad,” said Spitz when asked if he made the right decision to stay an amateur. “The [pros] we played with today were great and we had a good time with a lot of laughs, but I just like the camaraderie more on the amateur circuit.”
With a new chapter of his life beginning as a father next month, Spitz will be cutting back on his competitive schedule. He will be looking to qualify for the 2013 U.S. Amateur Championship and possibly compete at the 2013 Massachusetts Mid-Amateur Championship.
“I have one tournament and one amateur victory if you will, so that is cool,” said Spitz.
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