If you’re going to win your first major, why not do it on a course you love, and an equal history in the process. In winning the US Open at The Country Club in Brooklyn, Massachusetts, last Sunday, Matthew Fitzpatrick joined Nicklaus as the only other male golfer to win the US Open and US Open on the same course.
Fitzpatrick won the US Amateur Open in Brooklyn in 2013. In an attempt to repeat history last week, he stayed in the same home he had in 2013. He is the first player from outside the US to win both the US Open and the US Amateur.
Over the four days, 175,000 patrons attended. Among them were a few local residents. Jane and Eric Chandler were there last Saturday, while Steve Cott was there for the final round on Sunday. All three reported that it was a great experience.
It was Eric and Jenny’s second time at the US Open, having attended the 2020 Championships at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York. The one that looks like it can throw the ball, but with the soaring green, it proves to be one of the toughest holes on the field.
“We were there a long time before we saw our first bird,” Jane said. “I think we only saw three all day. It was hard to read that green.”
Jane had gone to the Brookline course before.
“I went in 1998 to participate in the Ryder Cup,” he said. “It was nice to be back there. It is a beautiful course but very challenging. Brookline has a lot of great golf history (the oldest country club in the US).”
Towards the end of the match on Saturday, Eric and Jane bought tickets for the runway on the 18th tee.
“It was a great Father’s Day gift,” Jane said. “We went to the Red Sox game (against Detroit) on Sunday afternoon (the Sox won 6-4).
For Steve, this was the first US Championship he attended. He has attended two senior tour events, many player championships and two masters.
“It was an amazing scene and a great mix of people watching and finding places where you can find a view,” he said.
Steve picked a few holes and then watched several pairs at once.
“(Laughs) Being vertically challenged, 10 to 15 crowds are hard to get deep into,” he said.
He was able to get out of a front row spot through the second tee box where he saw the last five pairs of tee.
“We saw Rory (McIlroy), (Scotty) Sheffler, (John) Ram, Fitzpatrick and (Will) Zalatores up close, maybe 10 feet away,” Steve said. “Then, you kind of choose your poison where you want to watch it.”
And he added, “I kept saying, boy, these guys are good.” How they recover after a bad shot, as our rounds keep spinning, the ashes come out quietly if trouble is impressive.”
Steve was on the 10th hole when Grayson Murray had a bad moment. Sitting in the aisle, he fired his second shot into the rough depth.
“Immediately he cut the six irons on his knee,” Steve said. “He put half the club back in the bag. I said that with eight holes still playing, he might need six hurdles at some point.”
He added, “What surprised me was that the course designer (Willie Campbell in 1895) is known for very tough circular greens, false fronts and heavily protected bunkers, but the greens were incredibly fast. We managed to cross two tracks and they were the most awful lies I’ve ever seen. It was like a collision. It’s linoleum. The first cut (in the fairway) was like the fairways we knew. Outstanding golfers were amazing.”
Steve would like to play The Country Club one day.
“I texted Peter Frisco and told him I was very confident I would be able to shoot a smooth 150,” he said with a laugh.
Five Questions with Ryan Poliso, Director of Wentworth Golf Club.
Where did you grow up and how old were you when you started playing golf?
“I grew up in Northern California in a small community called Pine Lake. We lived on the tenth fairway of the golf course. My friends and I used the fairway on summer evenings as our backyards. I would run barefoot and hit the ball as often as I could and wait for the sprinklers to arrive so we could cool off. I played the first times when I was six or seven but didn’t commit to the game. I played baseball and basketball and soccer. I picked it up again in my early twenties.
How did you end up in golf?
“I started working on the ground crew for the summer to get free golf: cut cups, rough cuts, fairways, sprints, greens. I would work until 2 p.m. and then walk 18 or more and the chief pro told me there was a job as an assistant on an adjacent course and I must That I applied, so I did and got the job.”
What drives you to succeed on and off the golf course?
“Success keeps me satisfied. I want to do good for my family, fiancé Jackie and my dog Ella. It also helps to be competitive.”
What is your favorite golf course in America?
“My favorite course in America would be the Escape between Grays Crossing and Old Greenwood in Truckee, California. I worked as an assistant on both courses and they are the same company, I have played these two courses more times than I can count and they are so beautiful and meticulously maintained. I owe a lot to those courses I met Jackie working there, and she’s the new shopping cart girl and I was the new guy at the golf shop.”
What do you love most about working at Wentworth Golf Club?
“People, we have a great group here. It’s simple and fun, and the views aren’t half bad.”
Eagle Mountain Golf Course, Carter Notch Road, Jackson, (603) 383-9090: Club Pro Bobby McGraw reports that after four weeks at the Don Ho Championships, there is a tie for first place. Chislas, with an impressive run of -7 last week, tied Team Par Tee at -17.
The Martreenies are third at -15, followed by the Switchback team at -12
Erin Jacobs and Ben Bailey won the Long Leadership Awards while Tim Rudin won the Laureate titles.
McGraw will run a short game clinic on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. on the basic essentials needed to succeed when chipping or promoting. The fee is $20 and a class is limited to six students. Call the Pro Store at (603) 383-9090 to register.
Hale’s Location Golf Course, West Side Road, North Conway, (603) 356-2140: John Kasparian, Golf Director, Report In the Women’s League, Jan Posts took first place with a score of +9 stakes. She finished second by four points from Joanne Vanlandingham, who finished the race with a +5 quota.
Third and fourth places were determined by matching cards with Linda Kearney beating Mary Jane Proulx with identical +4 scores.
The closest to the pin went to Robin Garside who put her shot 4’1″ off the cup.
In the Hale’s league, John Rafferty finished first with a score of +10. Second place went to Dave Moretto with a score of +7. Tom Proulx finished at +3 to finish third by defeating Rick Mazer by matching cards.
Closest to the pin went to Steve Phillips at 9’7″.
Play continues next week with the women playing on Monday and the men playing on Tuesday.
Indian Mound Golf Course, Osippi Center, (603) 539-7733: The Pro Store is now open seven days a week from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Lake Kezar Country Club, Route 5, Lovell, Maine, (207) 925-2462: Last Sunday, Father’s Day, Nancy Calvert reported that the 5th Annual James Hadlock Memorial Tournament was a huge success. This event raised $2,500 for three scholarships awarded to alumni of the Friborg Academy. This year’s winners are Dana Hamlin, Jade Blood and Shelby Purslow.
This tournament is always unique because of the raffle prizes. There were not only golf clubs and hats, but also packs of meat that were distributed.
“You could tell the weather wasn’t too bad,” Nancy said. “Windy and cold, it feels like an autumn day. But, there is no snow (it fell four inches on Mt. Washington that day).”
Mark your calendar for Junior Golf starting every Tuesday and Wednesday starting July 5th, 3:30-5pm Kids can participate every week or as often as they can. This is open to the public.
The annual member guest meeting is scheduled for July 10. Registration forms are on the website (lakekezargolf.com) and you can contact the club at (207) 925-2462.
North Conway Country Club, Norcross Circle, North Conway, (603) 356-5244: She is scheduled to be the lady’s guest for a day on June 27.
Mark your calendars for the July Champion, which runs July 15-17.
The 42nd Annual Memorial Hospital Tournament is scheduled for July 21.
Thanks to golfers and sponsors, last year’s event raised over $55,000.
Omni Mount Washington, Bretton Woods, (603) 278-4653: Now open for the season, the 18-hole Mount Washington Course is a 72-foot course designed by great golfer Donald Ross in 1915, and meticulously restored in 2007 based on Ross’ original plans. Reserve your tee time for this historic course at (603) 278-4653.
Wentworth Golf Club, Route 16, Jackson, (603) 383-9641: Wentworth’s golf manager Ryan Poliso reports that Red Fox League teams have played blackberries. Scoring was calculated using the two best net and overall scores.
This week’s winning team was Pin Seekers with a score of 129 followed by Team Shanks-A-Lot with a score of 135, while the third went to Pin High with a score of 136 and there was a tie for fourth place between Team Fairway 5 and Oak. Lee Boys, all 142 years old.
This week’s contest winners in the women’s long contest go to Erin Jacobs with an 8′ 2″ and for men’s Chris Bates took the honors at 11′ 2″.
The winners with the closest points were Eileen Ehrman at 15′ 9″ for the women and Paul Chippendale at 3’3″ for the men.
At the top of the leaderboard five weeks later is Pin Seekers followed by Shanks-a-lot and Fairway 5.
Mark your calendar, Sunday, June 26th, is our annual 4-ball spring event.
The Linderhof Country Club in Glen will host the annual Jack Butler Memorial Golf Tournament on Sunday, June 26. Recording starts at 9:30 AM and tracking starts at 10 AM.
This is for scramble teams of six. The cost is $60 per player and includes golf and lunch. People who only get lunch can do so for $25.
Proceeds from the tournament will go to the Kennett High School Eagles Flight Squad Ski Jump Team. For more details, contact Linderhofclubhouse@gmail.com.
“The point of golf is not just to win, but to play like a gentleman, and win.” – Phil Mickelson
If you have any great local stories, golf scores, or photos, upload them and send them my way, please, so we can include them in an upcoming column. Contact Lloyd Jones at email@example.com. Hope you have a ghost-free week.