Boston High School: Massachusetts Junior Amateur

Massachusetts Golf Association communications director Beck Blaeser passes along this release from today's final round of the Massachusetts Junior Amateur Championship, contested at Oakley Country Club:
Watertown, Mass. -- It was a fitting end to an event that Patrick Frodigh (Dedham C&PC) owned from start to finish.

Under perfect skies at Oakley Country Club on Wednesday, Frodigh carded a final round score of 2-under par 69 to win the 2012 Massachusetts Junior Amateur Championship by a four-stroke margin. He finished with a three-round score of 4-under par 209.

It marks Frodigh's first MGA Championship win and his second title in the past 10 months.

"It means a lot to me," said Frodigh, who won a Future Collegians World Tour event held at Notre Dame University last October. "Hopefully this win can bring me to different places and give me more opportunities."

Frodigh capped off a memorable week of golf by firing his approach shot on the 358-yard, par 4 18th hole to four feet. He drained the birdie putt – his 12th of the championship – to earn the right to have his named etched on the Charles E. Mason Trophy.

"This is probably my biggest win," said Frodigh, who will be a senior at Westwood High School in the fall. "Hopefully now I will get more notice from colleges."

Collegiate coaches would have to be impressed by Frodigh's play all week long, especially on day three when he fought off a strong charge by Jake Shuman (Blue Hill CC).

Entering the final round with a two-stroke advantage over Shuman, Frodigh played even par golf through his first five holes but watched as his lead disappeared as a result of strong play by Shuman who – for the second straight day – made birdies on the 4th, 5th and 6th holes.

"When he pushed back, I was even par and I knew that I had to make a couple of birdies to try to extend my lead," said Frodigh.

With the pressure building, Frodigh delivered.

He matched Shuman's birdie on the 529-yard, par 5 6th hole and then gained back his advantage thanks to birdies on the 9th and 10th holes. That stellar play – Frodigh was 3-under par through that five-hole stretch – coupled with a costly double bogey by Shuman on the 7th hole gave Frodigh the opening he would need.

"[Shuman] was leaving a bunch of putts dead center," said Frodigh, who dazzled the gallery by making a 30-foot putt on the 9th hole. "It really could have been a close match but I guess that is just how it goes."

Frodigh capped off his round in fitting fashion with that remarkable shot on the finishing hole.

"My approach shot on 18 was what I had planned to do but I didn't think that it would be that tight," said Frodigh. "I was looking and hoping for a birdie to finish off."

And he did just that and then took a moment to savor his MGA Championship victory.

Prep's McLaughlin claims 2nd Mass Junior Amateur

August, 10, 2011
Press release from Massachusetts Golf Association communications director Becky Blaeser:

HAVERHILL, Mass. -- Over a three-day period, Nick McLaughlin (Far Corner GC) played through sun, rain, wind and drizzle but it never seemed to rattle him as he carded a three-round score of 2-over par 218 to capture his second career Massachusetts Junior Amateur Championship on Wednesday.

McLaughlin drained a two-foot par putt on the 18th hole at Renaissance Golf Club to seal his second title (his first came in 2009).

He finished with a final-round score of 2-over par 74 which was just enough to stave off charges by second-place finishers Ben Balter (Willowbend) and Connor Murphy (Hyannis GC), who made a strong come-from-behind bid by carding a day-low score of 2-under par 70.

McLaughlin's latest victory is sweet, especially after he finished T17 one year ago at this event. He returned a year older and wiser and played with veteran poise from start to finish.

"When I won the first one I was younger, and I was playing in an earlier group so I had to wait around for two hours before I knew that I had won," said McLaughlin, who won his first title when he was just 15 years old. "Today I knew what I had to do because I was in the last group. After how much I struggled last year and especially at this tournament it was nice to rebound in a good way."

Following a day-one score of even par 72, he found himself trailing by four strokes. Facing windy conditions on Tuesday, he carded another even par 72 and was the leader by two strokes. The constant movement around the leaderboard was a sign of what was to come during the final round.

With competitors making runs throughout the day on Wednesday, McLaughlin hovered around even par through most of the day. He began his round by making birdie on the 1st and 3rd holes but gave it back with a double bogey on the 175-yard, par 3 4th hole - his first double bogey of the tournament.

From that point on, he seemed to find a way to make birdie for every bogey... that is until the 15th hole when he suffered his second double bogey of the day when he sent his drive into the hazard. That miscue opened the door for Balter who had just made birdie on two of his last four holes to pull even with McLaughlin.

"I was all over the place today," said McLaughlin. "I made those two doubles, so I had some ground to make up which made me nervous because I knew how good it feels to win this. So I just kept grinding ahead which is not easy to do out here."

McLaughlin went on to make birdie on the 16th hole, a bogey on the 17th hole and then a two-putt par on the 18th hole. Balter had a chance to tie on the 18th hole, but he found a fairway bunker with his tee shot and was unable rebound and make birdie. He carded a final round score of 1-over par 73.

"I still had Ben by a stroke on 18 and I knew that a 5 would be good enough to win," said McLaughlin. " Playing with him all day was great because I knew what I had to do and that helped me plan forward."

Also pressuring McLaughlin was Murphy, who caught fire on Tuesday afternoon and was just one stroke back of the leader through eight holes on Wednesday. In fact, Murphy played 6-under par golf over an 18-hole stretch beginning with Tuesday's back nine. On this day, he made birdie on the 2nd, 3rd and 7th holes to make the turn at 3-under par 33.

Although he finished with a day-low score of 2-under par 70, Murphy had to settle for a share of second place overall.

Mai Day at Mass Junior Amateur

July, 29, 2010
FOXBOROUGH -- It was one part Houdini and one part Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Engaged in a three-way playoff for the Massachusetts Junior Amateur Championship, Andy Mai knew it was no time to hesitate. He pulled a trick out his bag in the form of a majestic hook.

The second playoff hole was staged on Foxborough Country Club’s dogleg 429-yard, par 4 16th hole. After Mai’s tee shot veered left into a wooded area, he felt he had no choice but to be aggressive.

“It was a little bit of a gamble, but it was a sudden-death playoff,” said the 17-year-old reigning Junior Connecticut PGA Champion on Thursday. “Just having a chance to win the tournament, I thought, ‘I’m going for it.’ There was no reason not to.”

And so Mai went for broke. Even though he’d tried a similar shot and failed in the first round, Mai expertly executed a hook iron shot that not even he was sure that he would make. The ball landed a couple of feet short of the pin. He tapped in the ensuing putt and became champion.

“I had the same shot in the first round, but it didn’t go that well,” Mai said humbly. “That time, I just hit the trees and thought not to do that again. It just worked out the second time.”

Mai entered into the playoff with Dan Slavin (BB&N) and Jack Whelan (Pingree) after firing a 1-under par 71 for the third round.

Slavin — who was coming off an impressive showing at the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship — set the pace for the field early on, highlighted by a 4-under par 68 in the first round. He held a five-stroke advantage at the turn in the third round, but wasn’t able to close.

Whelan seized the opportunity to climb atop the leaderboard with the low score of the day at 3-under par 69.

“It was a good day overall,” he said. “I’ll take a 69. I can’t be too mad that I lost in a playoff either because I put myself in that position.”

Whelan more than put himself in position to steal the title on the second playoff hole. The Topsfield, Mass. native drilled his tee shot to the middle of the fairway, but when his second shot dropped near the edge of the green, Whelan was forced with the prospect of sinking a putt from 20-plus feet to push the playoff to a third hole. When it didn’t fall, the title was Mai’s to take.

“When Andy pulled that 50-yard hook shot out of nowhere I was like, ‘Oh, no.’ What am I going to do now?” Whelan quipped. “I hit the shot I wanted to hit. I wanted to have an uphill putt because didn’t want the same putt I’d had earlier in the day on that hole.”

In fact, Whelan’s solid tee shot was the motivating factor for Mai’s brash move.

“When I saw he did that, I knew I had to step it up a little bit,” Mai said. “I hit it well, but then I looked up and saw I hooked it. I thought maybe I’d get a little bit lucky, I guess I did.”

Mai hopes his good fortune and sound play will carry over to his next event, the Junior PGA Championship, which begins Monday at Sycamore Hills Golf Club in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

“It’s a 12-hour car ride, so it’ll be pretty fun.”

After a beat, he added, “I’ll probably sleep the whole time.”

NOTES: Home course favorite, 14-year-old John Beadle of Foxborough Country Club captured the Pre-Junior Championship. The incoming freshman at Noble and Greenough went 2-under on the back nine to push him into the lead … Although he’s some years away from the high school ranks, watch out for Steven Dilisio. The 12-year-old Swampscott native won his second straight Boys Division Title. He has a chance for a three-peat next year and would join New Bedford’s Peter Uihlein, now starring at Oklahoma State and top-ranked amateur, as the only players to do so in state history.