Headline: Competitors With Bay State Roots Will Be Well Represented at Next Week's U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying

For Immediate Release: June 2, 2017

Norton, MA — Eight golfers with direct Massachusetts roots, including five of amateur status, will be in New Jersey on Monday, June 5, with 36-holes of golf the only thing standing between them and a spot in the U.S. Open Championship later this month.

At Summit’s Canoe Brook Country Club, the Bay State contingent of professionals Chris Gentle (Lowell), Michael Carbone (Brewster), Richy Werenski and amateurs Steven DiLisio, Matt Naumec, Jonathan Elkins, David Spitz and Mike Dunham will be among the 80 competitors seeking a currently undetermined number of spots at the U.S. Open Sectional qualifier.

Canoe Brook CC is one of 10 clubs hosting sectional qualifiers on Monday across the United States to determine the remainder of the championship field at this year’s Championship Proper, taking place at Wisconsin’s Erin Hills from June 15-18. Two other sectional qualifiers were held in Japan and England, respectively, in the past two weeks.

For comparison, the 2016 U.S. Open sectional qualifier held at Canoe Brook Country Club saw six of the 98 competitors in the field advanced to the Championship Proper.

All eight competitors have ties to the Massachusetts golf scene and many have won at least one MGA Championship over the span of their careers. Among their accolades, Carbone and Naumec won Massachusetts Junior Amateur Championships, DiLisio won a New England Golf Association junior title for Massachusetts in 2014 and Gentle competed for the Bay State squad that was victorious at the 2016 Tri-State matches against Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Gentle, who turned professional this past off season, earned medalist honors at the local qualifier held at Pinehills Golf Club in Plymouth on May 11, while Naumec, who most recently advanced to the Round of 16 at last weekend’s U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship in Pinehurst, accomplished the same feat at Crumpin-Fox Club on May 16.

Crumpin-Fox Club’s Elkins, who shot a 2-under par 70 on his home course to scoop up the final spot at his local qualifier, is one of the youngest competitors in the sectional field. The South Deerfield resident is 16 years old.

Spitz, Dunham and DiLisio finished T1, T3 and 5 to secure their spots at the Newport Country Club local qualifier that was hosted by the Rhode Island Golf Association on May 16.     

The group of eight will play 18-holes on both the North and South courses at Canoe Brook. DiLisio (7:09 am), Naumec (7:27 am), Spitz (7:45 am), and Gentle (7:45 am) will all start on the North course while Elkins (7:27 am), Dunham (7:54 am), Carbone (8:12 am), and Werenski (8:21 am) will begin on the corresponding South course. Each will play the opposite course in the afternoon.

In addition to the aforementioned competitors, other notables competing at Canoe Brook include Winchester native and golf professional Rich Berberian, Jr., Rhode Island’s Bobby Leopold and former Sudbury native Matt Hutchins, who was the low-amateur at the most recent Massachusetts Open Championship.

Topsfield’s Jack Whelan, a former golfer at St. Lawrence University who turned professional in 2015, will also be competing at the U.S. Open sectional qualifier taking place at the Jupiter Hills Club site in Tequesta, Florida. He shot an even-par 72 at the local qualifier held at Pinehills Golf Club in Plymouth on May 11.    

“The US Open is the epitome of the USGA season and to make it to this stage in the process is a reflection of the talented competitors who share a passion for golf,” said MGA Executive Director Jesse Menachem. “We will be rooting for all competitors with Bay State ties on Monday and wish them well as they pursue their ambitions.”

Canoe Brook Country Club is hosting its 15th US Open Sectional qualifier since 1980 and was also the host site of the 1936, 1983 and 1990 US Women’s Amateur Championships. Monday’s qualifier will be conducted by the Metropolitan Golf Association.

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