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Headline: Bay State Media Attend Special Massachusetts Open Championship Media Day at Woodland Golf Club; Championship Proper Set for June 11-13

For Immediate Release: May 28, 2013

Woodland Golf Club

Worcester Telegram golf writer Bill Doyle (left) interviews Jack Whelan
David Garfinkel, general manager of Woodland GC, addresses members of the Bay State media

Auburndale, MA — While the final 18 qualifying spots were being decided at Pleasant Valley Country Club (click here for full list of results), members of the media gathered together at Woodland Golf Club to participate in a press briefing and golf outing in anticipation of the 104th Massachusetts Open Championship.

Click here to view photos from the event!

Media members from across the state were joined by representatives from the MGA and Woodland Golf Club for a brief information session, followed by a round of golf on a sunny afternoon.

"It was a great way to usher in the championship," said Jesse Menachem, the MGA’s director of rules & competition. "We are grateful to Woodland Golf Club and its entire membership for their hospitality both today and next month during Championship Proper."

The Massachusetts Open Championship – the only MGA Championship that is open to both amateurs and professionals – will be held at Woodland Golf Club on June 11-13.

Tuesday’s media day featured top amateur competitor Jack Whelan (Myopia Hunt Club), who spoke about his expectations for the Championship Proper.

In addition to being one of the 62 exempt competitors in this year’s field, Whelan – just one year ago – captured the 2012 Ouimet Memorial Invitational title, which has traditionally held its third and final round at Woodland Golf Club.

"I have always loved playing this course and it is always a plus to come into a tournament with confidence," said Whelan, who defeated Colin Brennan (Indian Ridge CC) by one stroke to win the 2012 Ouimet title. "I would say that this course suits me more than most courses."

Whelan is coming off another stellar season at St. Lawrence University where he earned PING Northeast All Region honors and was under consideration for an NCAA berth after a record setting sophomore season in which he won three tournaments and set marks for low round and low 36. He shot 66 in Arizona in the spring for the low round in program history, one of five rounds in the 60s and shot 68-71-139 to win the Nazareth Tournament and establish the low 36. His 73.27 combined stroke average for the season was a program single-season record.

"If you are hitting it straight off the tee, that is a big key here and especially for a player like me," said Whelan. "The rough can be thick, so you need to position yourself well off the tee to be successful. If you have the putter rolling, it is anyone’s game. I have always loved playing this course and have confidence playing here so that is always a plus to come into a tournament with confidence."

Another highlight of the day were presentations by Ouimet Scholarship Fund President Terry Kennedy and Executive Director Bob Donovan.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Francis Ouimet’s improbable victory at the U.S. Amateur Championship. As the Woodland Golf Club’s web site states:

In 1910, future United States Open Champion Francis Ouimet was a young high school golfer determined to play in the U.S. Amateur. In Francis’ own words, "To compete in the national amateur championship I had to belong to a recognized golf club…I put in an application for junior membership in the Woodland Golf Club… I was elected to membership in Woodland, paid my dues, then got busy to find myself a job."

In addition to being the "home club" of Francis Ouimet, Woodland Golf Club boasts a proud and rich history.

"Woodland Golf Club is uniquely qualified to host this event," said David Garfinkel. general manager of Woodland Golf Club  "We are the only club to have three past US Amateur Champions as our members – Francis Ouimet, Jesse Guilford and Ted Bishop."

Founded in 1896, Woodland Golf Club is located in the Auburndale section of Newton, just minutes from downtown Boston as well as route 95 and the Mass Pike. There is an MBTA stop next to the club, which makes this year’s Massachusetts Open Championship an attractive option for spectators hoping to enjoy great golf at a beautiful club.

"We are just thrilled to have tournament here," said Mark Lallak, who is serving as the club's Mass Open Chairman. "This year is a huge anniversary for the club. We have a great staff and passionate members as far as enjoying the club. We recently renovated the club and have had great activity and are thrilled to have you all here," 

Nearly half of this year’s championship field will be comprised of amateur golfers. Whelan expressed his excitement at the prospect of an amateur winning the championship this year. Kevin Quinn (Charles River CC), who won the event in 1999, stands as the last competitor to accomplish that feat.

"I feel that the talent is just as good at the top end of the amateurs and they have a good chance of winning it all," said Whelan. “Anyone who gets hot in golf can beat anyone on a given day. It’s about finding the right guy that week who can keep it going for three rounds,"

"This sport is all about confidence, so whomever has the most confidence has a good shot at winning it all."

Menachem reported that the course will be playing a par-72 (36-36-72) and just around 6,700 yards for the Championship Proper rounds. Live scoring will be made available during the final round.

"We are certainly looking forward to the 104th Massachusetts Open Championship," said Menachem. "Over the last few months, it has been a pleasure working with the staff here at Woodland Golf Club. We are well on our way to a successful championship."

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