Ouimet Memorial: Gilmartin wins in playoff

AUBURNDALE, Mass. (July 29, 2011) -- John Gilmartin saved his best for last with birdies on both playoff holes to win a four man playoff and his second title in the 44th Francis Ouimet Memorial Tournament at Woodland Golf Club on Friday.

The 40 year old hockey rink and league operator from Indian Ridge outlasted 16 year old sensation Chelso Barrett of Keene, NH, recent Massachusetts Amateur champ Ryan Riley of Norton CC, and Peter Williamson of Hanover (NH) CC. Williamson recently led the first two rounds of the New England Amateur championship. The four tied at one under par 212 to force the playoff.

The first two rounds were played at Charles River Country Club (Wednesday) and Dedham Country & Polo Club (Thursday). The final round is always played at 6,741 yard Woodland Golf Club, Mr. Ouimet's home course. Gilmartin's previous Ouimet win was in 2004.

Gilmartin came into the final round with a three shot but slipped with a final round 75 while Williamson birdied 17 for a 72, Barrett had 71, and Riley tied for the low round of the day with a 70. Gilmartin made a down hill 17 footer from the fringe for a birdie on the 301 yard 1st hole to start the playoff. Williamson had previously missed from 20 feet, Riley then missed from 8 feet, and Barrett sank from five feet for his birdie to extend the playoff. Barrett was runner-up in the US Jr. Championship recently. Gilmartin ended it with a 12 footer on the 16th, which was the second playoff hole. "I didn't make any putts until it counted," said Gilmartin.

Mike Cole of Gannon Golf Club birdied three of the first four holes to grab the lead in the Eddie Lowery Senior Division and held on for a 72 and a 220 and a four shot victory over defending senior champ Jack Kearney of Paul Murphy of Charles River.

Megan Khang of Pembroke, considered one of the top junior prospects in the US, hit 16 greens enroute to a 71 and victory in the one-round women's division. It was the first time anyone had broken par in this competition. Isabel Southard of Harmon Club was second at 72.

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.

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