Whelan leads Ouimet Memorial
IPSWICH, MA (July 26, 2012) -- Jack Whelan continued his ride atop the leader board of the 45th Francis Ouimet Memorial Tournament on Thursday, posting a four under par 68 for a 140 total at the 6,696 yard par 72 Golf Club at Turner Hill. The 19 year old St. Lawrence University sophomore from Myopia holds a two stroke lead through two rounds. The final round of the 54 hole invitational is today at Woodland Golf Club.

Whelan, who opened with an even par 72 at Ipswich on Wednesday to share the first round lead with Doug Clapp, birdied three of the last four holes, finishing with a 40 foot curler at 17 and a 25 foot double breaker at 18 for birdies. The recent MGA Amateur Championship semifinalist said he was “right there” off the tee at Turner Hill, and enjoyed a day in which he missed only one green and had no bogeys.

Youth was a theme atop the leader board with the 19 year old Whelan leading another 19 year old and a 17 year older. The second and third place finishers, Jamison Randall and Ben Balter, had the day’s most spectacular rounds, and the two biggest comebacks after disappointing starts. Randall, a 19 year old sophomore at Old Dominion from Alpine CC in Rhode Island, rebounded with a 66 which featured four straight birdies. He’d opened with 76 and is now at 142, two shots back of Whelan. One stroke behind Randall at 143 is Balter, who had the day’s best round, a 65, which playing partner Josh Biren said, “could easily have been a 62.” The 65 represented a 13 stoke improvement over his opening 78. Balter is from Weston GC and lives in Naples, FL. The 17 year old high school senior has committed to Wake Forest. He recently finished 12th in the Toyota Jr. Golf World Cup in Japan. It was that first time either Randall or Balter had played in the Ouimet Memorial.

Dick King of Hyannis Golf Club had a 69 for a 146 total and a two shot lead in the Eddie Lowery Senior Division. The 63 year old King leads Paul Heffernan of Charles River and Cy Kilgore of Tedesco who are tied for second at 148. Six seniors made the Lowery Division cut at 153.

Friday’s play will also include a women’s division featuring six invitees in an 18-hole competition. Fourteen year old Megan Khang of Pembroke Country Club, the 2011 champ, will attempt to defend.

A total of 42 players made the Championship cut, which stood at 155.

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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