Maccario finishes the job at Massachusetts Mid-Am
Nick Maccario (David Colt/Mass Golf)
Nick Maccario (David Colt/Mass Golf)

Nick Maccario slowly pumped his right fist down as he tapped in on the 18th hole during the final round to win the 36th annual Massachusetts Mid-Amateur Championship, which took place on a picturesque morning and afternoon Thursday at Brae Burn Country Club.

Maccario, who set the competitive course record with an 8-under 64 on Tuesday, was unstoppable during the three-day event as he claimed the Ted Bishop Cup for the first time. He posted a final score of 8-under 208, 15 strokes ahead of his Thursday playing partner, Herbie Aikens, and David Spitz. Aikens and Spitz tied for second place, as Maccario’s winning margin ties Matt Parziale’s record from the 2015 Mid-Amateur at Marlborough Country Club.

“Ultimately to get this is awesome,” said Maccario, who shot a final round of 1-under 71, sinking five birdies and an eagle. “Anytime you can tie Matt Parziale in anything, I think it’s a good thing.”

This is Maccario’s second Mass Golf victory of the year, as he won the 2019 Massachusetts Four-Ball Championship with Mike Calef in May.

“This would probably be my best year of golf,” Maccario said.

Maccario took a four-stroke lead into the final round with Aikens, who shot a 68 on Wednesday. He stretched the lead with a birdie on the first hole, and he pumped his fist when he hit the green with a 3-iron on his second shot of the par-5 fifth hole. He missed the downhill eagle putt but made birdie to add another stroke to his lead.

“The birdie on one got my feet under me, and I said, ‘Alright, it’s actually so I can play under a little bit more pressure,” Maccario said.

Aikens followed up his 68 on Wednesday with an 82 on Thursday. He parred the first six holes, but he fell apart with a 9 on the par-4 seventh hole. Aikens tried to chip his third shot from the base of the steep hill in front of the green. He scuffed the first shot, and it rolled farther away downhill. After his two subsequent shots also rolled back, he finally flopped onto the green and putted out from there.

“The smart play would have been to beat a putter up on the green and make five and leave, but I was trying to get up and down,” Aikens said. “Unfortunately, I just made a mess of it, and it got in my head.”

Aikens’ lone birdie came on the par-3 12th when he and Maccario hit right near the pin off the tee. Still, Maccario followed up on the 13th by hitting a recovery shot with his 3-iron onto the green and sinking an eagle putt.

“I love playing with Nick,” said Aikens, who won the Massachusetts Mid-Amateur in 2014. “You just enjoy watching someone play well and then close it out.”

Spitz was steady throughout, starting with a 73 on Tuesday and shooting back-to-back 75s to close out the tournament. Jordan Burke shot an even-par 72 on the first day, finishing fourth after closing out with a 75 and 78. Frank Vana, Jr., who has won the Mid-Amateur a record 10 times, shot a 76 on the final round to tie for fifth with Brian Foley, Ryan Riley and Sean Deale, the top Brae Burn finisher.

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ABOUT THE Massachusetts Mid-Amateur

Entries are open to amateur golfers who have reached their 25th birthday by the first day of the tournament, who hold membership in an MGA member club and have an up-to-date MGA/USGA GHIN Handicap Index not exceeding 5.4, or who have completed their handicap certification as defined on the Entry Form. Competition will be in two (2) stages at Stroke Play: 18 hole qualifier; Championship Proper - 54 Holes.

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