Andrew DiRamio and Nick Maccario win Massachusetts Four-Ball in a playoff
Andrew Diramio and Nick Maccario (Massachusetts Golf Association Photo)
Andrew Diramio and Nick Maccario (Massachusetts Golf Association Photo)

The beauty of a Four-Ball championship is being able to pick up your partner when a mishit inevitably happens. One day after Nick Maccario tossed his ball in the water after a disappointing finish to Round 1, he and Andrew DiRamio had each other’s back throughout the final round Thursday at The Club at New Seabury.

In a thrilling turn of events, first-time partners Maccario and DiRamio emerged victorious over the final 18-plus holes, outlasting the two-time champions Matt Parziale and Herbie Aikens in a sudden-death playoff. As the sun set behind Nantucket Sound, the duo’s resilience and skill shone through on the seaside links of the Ocean Course.

After narrowly missing an eagle putt on the first playoff hole, DiRamio sealed the victory with a masterful approach shot that landed inside 10 feet. With his signature one-handed putting stroke, he confidently tapped the ball twice, securing the win in a playoff matchup of Mass Golf heavyweights.

“It’s the first Mass Golf win for me, and I’ve been playing since I was probably 15, so it’s super special,” DiRamio said. “Obviously, I picked a great partner, and it certainly helps to have a horse like [Maccario]. It was a lot of fun, especially in dramatic fashion like that.”

“It was an absolute blast,” Maccario added. “It was the best four-ball you could have, and Drew came up with the best shot of the week on the last hole.” 

Coming out with clutch shots at the end is nothing new for DiRamio, or as his previous playing partner, former NHL defenseman Ryan Whitney, calls him “Captain Action.” Last year, DiRamio capped off Round one by sinking a bunker shot on the 18th at Hyannisport Club for a 64 and a spot near the top of the leaderboard, giving an equally entertaining reaction. 

Maccario, who won the 2019 title with fellow mid-amateur standout Mike Calef, was set to play with Mike Mottola. But when their regular partners had to back out two weeks ago, the two joined forces and started their 2024 statewide campaign with a victory.

Though they entered the day a handful of strokes back of the lead, the eventual playoff groups separated themselves along the oceanfront, visible for the entire front nine of the Ocean Course. Playing two groups ahead, Parziale sank his second eagle putt of the tournament on the reachable par-5 No. 1 and made consecutive birdies on holes 4-6 to get his squad to 14-under.

Aikens made key putts down the stretch to keep them in the hunt. Parziale also kept the team alive on the first playoff hole, nearly holing out from the back of the green and tapping in for a birdie. 

“We were just looking to post a good round and go from there, taking it one birdie at a time. Then we started taking a peek at the scoreboard and couldn’t believe how low things were going. We saw there was a 13 [under], so we had something to go toward,” said Aikens, who competed in the 2023 U.S. Amateur

Not to be outdone, Maccario began to light it up with birdies on holes 1, 3, 4, and 5, with the final one putting the team in the lead at 15-under with four holes to play. 

“It’s just wide open with more wind, but this guy doesn’t miss a fairway, so it was a lot easier when knowing your partner can stripe it 330 down the middle, and I just played freely,” DiRamio said of the finishing nine holes. 

Things got nervy on the par-3 No. 8, playing into a crosswind. After DiRamio left his shot short, Maccario landed in the pond short left of the hole, and even though DiRamio pitched to 3 feet, he couldn’t save par. The pair still regrouped on the final hole as Maccario got up-and-down from the greenside bunker, giving DiRamio a shot to go right at the hole for the win, but DiRamio’s one-armed stroke missed right to bring it to a playoff.

However, that miss proved valuable in the playoff as, about an hour later, DiRamio had the same 140-yard approach, playing over from the 1st fairway and hitting another well-placed shot to set up the win.

“I had a 9-iron in my hand, but it was blowing 5-6 yards more, and [Nick] convinced me to hit the 8-iron, kind of a tight little pin on the left corner, and it turned out to be a good number 8-9 feet below the hole, just the perfect spot,” DiRamio said. “We just kept our composure and made par, and we were happy to make it happen.” 

In the afternoon, the teams chased Charles River Country Club standout Joe Harney, who caught fire on the back nine of the Ocean Course with clubmate Matt Vaughn. Harney, a 2023 Mass Amateur semifinalist, pulled the team into the lead with an eagle on the par-4 15th, followed by a birdie on No. 16. Despite losing his tee shot on No. 17, Vaughn stepped up and hit his approach inside 10 feet and made the putt to put them at 13-under.

Day one leaders Chris Congdon and Tim Stundis seemed to pick up where they left off in the morning, shooting 3-under on the front nine of the Ocean Course and adding another birdie on the 12th to reach 14-under and extend their bogey-free streak.

However, the Ocean Course finally struck back, as bogeys on the par-4s No. 13 and 16, the latter being the No. 1 Handicap hole, brought them back to 12-under. Both men had birdie putts on the 18th that just missed wide as they finished with a par.

View results for Massachusetts Four-Ball
ABOUT THE Massachusetts Four-Ball

Entries are open to two-person teams of amateur golfers who hold membership in an MGA member club and have an up-to-date combined MGA/USGA GHIN Handicap Index not exceeding 6.0, or who have completed their handicap certification as defined on the Entry Form. Competition will be 36 holes at Four-Ball Stroke Play.

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