Nick Maccario has played some of the best golf of his career over the last two weeks, but fallen just short of securing major titles both times.
At the Massachusetts Amateur last week, (a match play event) Maccario, 28, knocked off three past champions including Matt Parziale on his way to the final match at The Kittansett Club. Despite playing the last 12 holes in 3-under -- "throwing the book at him," as he said at the time -- Maccario lost the Mass. Am final to Matt Organisak on the 36th hole.
Today at Concord Country Club, Maccario -- who won last year's Mass. Mid-Am by a whopping 15 shots -- posted his second straight 67 to grab the clubhouse lead, only to watch as 36-hole leader John Broderick was still on the course one shot behind with two to play.
Broderick, after opening with the same score as Maccario (a 2-over 72), bounced back to post the low round of the tournament on Wednesday, a 65. During that magical round, the 16-year-old from Wellesley carded seven birdies, including four out of five from Hole Nos. 13-17 to take two stroke leading into today's final round, which was scheduled to be a full 36-holes.
After winning in extra holes, the young Broderick may have handed Maccario his second straight defeat, but nobody will argue that the Merrimack Valley resident is one of the elite players in the state. As for Broderick, he no doubt has collegiate golf in his future.
“It was unbelievable and crazy,” said Broderick, a junior at Belmont Hill School in an interview with the Mass. Golf Association. “It really shows that I’m at that level now," he continued. " I really improved so much in the last year. At the start of the year, I wasn’t really playing my best. I played the GolfWeek Junior Open last week and I really found something in my swing. Coming into this tournament, I felt really great. It really shows I can play with these guys and I can beat these guys.”
The New England Amateur, which rotates each year to one of the six states in New England, was played this year at the historic Donald Ross-designed Concord Country Club. The course is located in the same town where the "shot heard round the world" was fired to start the Revolutionary War in 1775. The club's first nine holes designed by Ross opened for play in 1913, while the club itself dates back to 1895. Mature trees, and fescue-lined fairways give the course a distinctive look, while typically difficult Donald Ross greens make for some interesting pin placements and diabolical putts.
The New England Amateur winner gets their name on the Harry B. McCracken Jr. trophy, and this is the first time the tournament has been played since the legendary golf administrator passed in 2019. For 50 years – more than half of his adult life – the Massachusetts native was a dedicated volunteer to the Massachusetts Golf Association, New England Golf Association and the USGA. McCracken, the 2007 recipient of the USGA’s Joe Dey Award for meritorious service to the game, was a fixture for years at the New England Amateur.
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ABOUT THE NEW ENGLAND AMATEUR
Held since 1926, the New England Amateur brings together players from six New England area states — Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. The event host rotates between each of the six represented states. The tournament has been won by notable PGA Tour players such as JJ Henry (1998), Tim Petrovic (1986), Billy Andrade (1983), and Brad Faxon (1980, 1981).
Entries are open to amateur golfers who hold membership in a club belonging to one of the six New England State Golf Associations and have an up-to-date USGA/GHIN Handicap Index not exceeding 6.4
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Photo Credits: David Colt, for the New England Golf Association