Peter French fires 30 on back nine to win Ouimet Memorial
31 Jul 2015
by Conner Penfold of AmateurGolf.com

see also: Francis Ouimet Memorial Tournament, Concord Country Club, Peter French Rankings

2015 Ouimet Memorial winner Peter French<Br>(Photo courtesy of Johnson & Wales Men's Golf)
2015 Ouimet Memorial winner Peter French
(Photo courtesy of Johnson & Wales Men's Golf)

AUBURNDALE, Mass. — A five-shot deficit for Peter French entering the final round of the Francis Ouimet Memorial Tournament appeared grim when it grew to eight after Friday afternoon's front nine at Woodland Golf Club.

Second-round leader Matt Naumec, who fired 71-69 in the first two rounds to enter Friday with a one-shot lead over Nick Pandelena, posted three-under 33 on the front nine while French was even through his first nine holes.

But French's birdie at the par-5 9th began a remarkable streak of six consecutive birdies that blasted him up the final-round leaderboard.

"When I got to 13 is when it kept going," French said of the par-3, in which he chipped in from 20 yards away after his tee shot came up well short of the green.

French down-played his birdies at the relatively short par-5s, holes 11 and 12, but said once he made his fifth in a row at 13, he "just had to keep going."

After his sixth in a row at 14, French recovered from a bogey at 15 with his final birdies at 16 and 18.

Meanwhile, Naumec, a native of Wilbraham, Mass. who will begin his collegiate career at Boston College this fall, completely fell apart on the inward nine. He made five bogeys and stumbled in with 41 to shoot 74 and settle for a second place finish alongside University of Rhode Island junior Billy Walthouse.

"I had no idea," French said when asked if he knew he was eight back at the turn. "At the beginning of the day I just put a number in my head, like 67 or something. Maybe get into a playoff."

With 30 on the back nine, French carded 66 at the nearly 115-year old course and closed the books on a three-shot win.

French was disappointed in his showing at the New England Amateur last week, where he shot a final-round 75 to finish in a tie for 22nd place. But a week before that, he was a win away from reaching the championship match at the Massachusetts Amateur. He lost 2-and-1 in the semifinals to eventual winner Nick McLaughlin.

That being said, Friday's come-from-behind victory felt pretty good.

"It's a nice way to end the summer," French said. "It's definitely special to join a few other names. It's a prestigious tournament."

French, an incoming senior at Johnson & Wales University, shared the opening-round lead with his teammates Damon Salo at Essex Country Club. But when the field headed to Myopia Hunt Club, scores went up. Only four players broke 70 on day two, including French who struggled to a 77.

He was clearly saving his best for the final day.

Results For Francis Ouimet Memorial Tournament
1MAPeter FrenchBellingham, MA30068-77-66=211
T2MABilly WalthouseLongmeadow, MA20072-71-71=214
T2MAMatt NaumecWilbraham, MA20071-69-74=214
4CanadaOsama KhanCanada10072-71-72=215
T5SCJon WeissSumter , SC10072-74-70=216

View full results for Francis Ouimet Memorial Tournament

ABOUT THE Francis Ouimet Memorial

This 54-hole stroke play tournament honors Francis Ouimet, considered America's First Golf Hero and one of the most important figures in the history of golf. His victory in the 1913 U.S. Open in a stunning playoff upset of Harry Vardon and Ted Ray is viewed as the turning point in American Golf. The event, first played in 1968, one year after Ouimet's death, is held at three top Boston-area courses, with the final round always taking place at the 6,721 yard Woodland Golf Club (Mr. Ouimet's home course). The most notable winner to date is Brad Faxon, who captured the 1980 event. There are three divisions: Men, Women, and Senior.

View Complete Tournament Information

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