Presence of Pats’ punter Bryce Baringer provides spice to 116th Mass Beginner


Historical past can be made this week on the 116th Massachusetts Beginner Championship.

For the primary time, the state’s beginner champ can be topped at Framingham Nation Membership. The winner can be determined after 5 days of intense competitors in, maybe, sweltering situations. The winner received’t be determined till Friday.

There are many potential champions. One factor is for certain: New England Patriots followers have a particular motive to tune into Monday’s and Tuesday’s rounds, at the very least.

That’s as a result of the workforce’s beginning punter, Bryce Baringer, can be amongst these teeing it up in Framingham and hoping to advance to match play after two rounds of stroke play.

The 25-year-old, drafted by the Patriots in 2023, certified for the championship on June 18 when he shot a 1-under par 69 at Stockbridge Golf Membership. Baringer didn’t simply qualify that day – his excellent spherical earned him medalist honors.

The Wrentham resident is a member of TPC Boston. It will likely be attention-grabbing to see if any of his Patriots’ teammates present as much as assist him.

Whereas Baringer is knowledgeable athlete, an 18-year-old beginner is predicted to obtain loads of pre-tournament consideration.

Ryan Downes, 18, is the defending champion. Final 12 months he made historical past when he turned the youngest participant to win the Mass Beginner. Downes, 17 on the time, eclipsed the feats of the 2 youngest earlier champs, Ted Adams and James Driscoll. Adams (1939) and Driscoll (1996) had been every 18 once they dominated the state.

And Downes received the title in convincing style. Advancing to the ultimate match, Downes defeated his good good friend Matthew Naumec, profitable 6-and-5 within the 36-hole closing at Essex Nation Membership. The Manchester-by-the-Sea membership was internet hosting the occasion for the eighth time.

A Longmeadow native, Downes turned the primary GreatHorse member to win the Mass Beginner.

Downes is younger, proficient and used to success. Final fall, he captured the MIAA Div. 1 state championship on his dwelling course. He additionally claimed his second straight Ouimet Memorial Event and was a Mass Junior Beginner semifinalist.

He’s coming off a Twelfth-place end within the Mass Open the place he closed with a 69.

Downes could have loads of elite competitors.

John Broderick is a participant to control. The Dedham Nation and Polo Membership member turned heads when he fired a course-record 62 at Essex Nation Membership within the closing spherical of stroke play to earn medalist honors final July.

He’s coming off a robust freshman season at Vanderbilt College, the place he can be a teammate of Downes.

There are younger weapons aplenty, together with 15-year-old Wellesley resident Aarav Lavu, the youngest participant within the proficient area. Lavu carded an eye-popping 58 to grow to be the 2022 Massachusetts Younger Golfers’ Beginner champion. The Blue Hill Nation Membership member additionally competed final 12 months on the Drive, Chip, and Putt Nationwide Finals at a Georgia course referred to as Augusta Nationwide Golf Membership.

Conner Willett, 21, captured the 2022 Mass Beginner title and the Wellesley native has the sport so as to add to his trophy case.

Searching for somebody to root for? Westford’s Molly Smith, 19, made historical past final 12 months by changing into the primary feminine to compete within the Mass Beginner. The Vesper Nation Membership member is again and contemporary off a runner-up end within the Lowell Metropolis Golf Event. She was oh so near changing into the primary feminine winner within the 99-year historical past of the occasion.

However don’t depend out “older” golfers like 41-year-old Andrew Diramio of North Hill Nation Membership. He’s simple to identify – he’s the man utilizing a one-armed placing model. Diramio has made it to match play 4 straight years.

Matt Parziale, 37, has loads of expertise taking part in within the highlight. The Thorny Lea Golf Membership member and Brockton native has superior to the Spherical of 16 eight of the previous 10 years.

After which there’s Joe Harney. A 32-year-old West Roxbury native who performs out of Charles River CC, Harney made a spirited run to final 12 months’s semifinals and superior to match play finally 12 months’s U.S. Mid-Beginner Championship.

Proficient teenagers. Seasoned veterans. And the beginning punter of the New England Patriots.

This week ought to supply loads of intrigue in Framingham.

New England Patriots punter Bryce Baringer catches a ball throughout follow at Gillette Stadium. (Photograph By Matt Stone/Boston Herald)


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