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Mass Am: Walthouse Survives Four Weather Suspensions
Billy Walthouse advances to the quarterfinals as the seven<br>other matches will be finished Thursday morning (MGA photo)
Billy Walthouse advances to the quarterfinals as the seven
other matches will be finished Thursday morning (MGA photo)
NEWTON, MA (July 12, 2017) - Mother Nature was not kind on Wednesday as four separate suspensions of play wreaked havoc on the third day of competition at the 109th Massachusetts Amateur Championship, which is being held this week at Charles River Country Club.

The day called for the completion of the round of 32 and the round of 16. However, after delays which 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.

“It was a challenging day, but our primary concern in these situations is to ensure the safety of the competitors, officials and spectators,” said Kevin Eldridge, the MGA’s director of rules & competition. “We are fortunate to have a host club that has been extremely supportive, and we will be doing everything possible to get back on schedule on Thursday.”

Play will begin at 7:45 a.m. on Thursday. All rounds will commence from the spot where they left off on Wednesday evening. The goal will be to complete the round of 16, quarterfinals and semifinals. The 36-hole final match was originally scheduled to be completed on Friday.

The only competitor who was able to advance to the quarterfinals on this day was Billy Walthouse (Longmeadow CC), who closed out Matthew Organisak (Nashawtuc CC) by a score of 4 and 2 just before the horn suspended play for the fourth and final time.

“I got lucky with an early tee time in the morning,” said Walthouse. “I got the match in before the first rain delay and waited around and then just getting this one in is pretty big. It’s nice not having to wake up too early tomorrow. It is still going to be early, but not as early as it could have been.”

In his first match of the day against Brendan Ridge (Harmon GC), Walthouse needed just 12 holes to advance. Although the fourth match off the tee, it was the first round of 32 match to be completed.

“This morning I didn’t make any bogies and had three birdies so that was big,” said Walthouse. “Tee to green I was really really good. I didn’t miss many approach shots to green. Just being on the green and having a chance at birdie was pretty big.”

Against Organisak, who had earlier in the day defeated Matthew Naumec (GreatHorse), Walthouse was solid once again as he finished with three birdies and three bogies. Walthouse had a 4-up lead through 13 holes when Organisak chipped into the lead with a birdie. On the very next hole, Walthouse countered with a birdie of his own.

“I had just lost that hole and right away birdied 14 to go back up,” said Walthouse. “I lost some momentum and gained it right back.”

Two holes later, Walthouse made a key two putt from just off the fringe to match Organisak’s birdie to go 3 up with three holes to play. He closed the match out on the 16th hole with the comfort of knowing that he was into the quarterfinals.

“It definitely helps,” said Walthouse. “I think that it’s a little bit of an advantage, but I am going to have the same game plan as I did today. I just have to keep hitting the same shots I hit today, and hopefully the result is what I want it to be at the end of the day.”

Walthouse will play the winner of the Cody Booska (CC of Greenfield) and Steven DiLisio (Salem CC) match. At the time of the final suspension of play, Booska held a 1-up lead through 17 holes.

Between the suspensions of play, there was plenty of action on the course and here are some highlights:

  • This year’s stroke-play medalist – DiLisio – battled back from a 2-down deficit to prevail against Stephen Demare (George Wright GC) in the round of 32. In that match Demare made a hole in one on the 152-yard, par 3 4th hole. It was the second hole in one of the tournament… the first being made by DiLisio during day one.
  • It took 18 holes but reigning Richard D. Haskell MGA Player of the Year Matt Parziale (Thorny Lea GC) outlasted Patrick O’Leary (Wollaston GC). The match ended when O’Leary conceded a birdie on the 446-yard, par 4 18th hole.
  • After playing his final 6 holes of golf on Tuesday at 5-under par and making eagle on his second hole of the day on Wednesday, defending champion Brendan Hunter (Shaker Hills CC) would not fend off Jackson Lang (Nashawtuc CC) in the round of 32. Lang played 2-under par golf through 15 holes en route to his 4-and-3 win over Hunter.
  • The all-brother final hopes are still alive for the Spitz family. Both David Spitz (South Shore CC) and Ben Spitz (George Wright GC) advanced through the round of 32. David defeated two-time champion Frank Vana, Jr. (Marlborough CC), while Ben needed just 13 holes to knock of Jack Boulger (Walpole CC).
  • The round of 32 took 9 hours and 41 minutes to be completed. That included four separate suspensions of play. The last round of 32 match to be completed – which featured Doug Clapp (Old Sandwich GC) and Mark Turner (Bass Rocks GC) – took seven hours and 21 minutes to be completed from start to finish.

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The field is limited to 144 players. Qualifying - 36 Holes at Stroke Play to determine 32 Qualifiers for Match Play.

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