HAMILTON, Mass. – GreatHorse’s Matt Naumec fired a second-round 69 to stand at two-under par to hold a one-shot lead heading into the final round of the 48th Annual Francis Ouimet Memorial Tournament. An incoming freshman at Boston College, Naumec is one clear of rising Boston College senior Atkinson (N.H.)’s Nick Pandelena who stands at one-under 141 after two rounds. Defending champion Jack Whelan will join the current and future Eagle in the final group tomorrow as he stands at even-par 142. The event concludes tomorrow with an 18-hole final round at Woodland GC. Second-day action took place at Myopia Hunt Club, where the track was the real winner as just five players broke par.
“I was striping the ball off the tee,” Naumec, the 2014 MGA Junior Player of the Year said. “I am going to take it the same exact way tomorrow. There’s 18 holes left to play and I am excited to be in contention.”
Naumec put together only one of three clean cards of the day, recording birdies on the second, sixth and 18th holes. Bound for Boston College, Naumec advanced to the semifinals of the recently-completed Massachusetts Amateur.
Poised to claim his third OMT crown in four years, Whelan is in prime striking distance, firing a 73 on home turf to stand at even par 142.
“I played well on the front,” Whelan said. “I can’t think of the result tomorrow, it won’t help me. Need to stay in the present and try to play well. This year especially, there’s a lot of players in the field with the ability to go low.”
A host of accomplished and decorated player lurk on the leaderboard with past champions Matt Parziale of Thorny Lea, Andover’s Frank Vana, Jr. and Thorny Lea’s John Hadges clustered in a group tied for 8th at 2-over par. Parziale fired the day’s low round, recording a 68.
A quartet of players stand at 1-over par, including Ben Spitz of George Wright, Longmeadow’s Billy Walthouse, rising VCU sophomore Osama Khan and Nick McLaughlin of Portsmouth. McLaughlin is on the precipice of history, with 18 holes standing between him and capturing the Massachusetts Amatuer, New England and Ouimet Memorial Tournament all in the same calendar year, having won the first two events in the previous two weeks.
Walthouse, followed his opening-round 71 with a one-under par 71, for a 142 even-par total. Should be emerge victorious tomorrow, he’d become the first Ouimet Scholar to prevail since Brendan Hester took home the hardware in 1994.
In the Lowery Senior Division, Dennis Pines’ Joe Walker II, followed up his opening 74 with a 73 to stand four clear of Elmcrest’s Jack Kearney and five ahead of Dedham’s Duncan Gratton, who turned in the lone Lowery Division under-par round with a 70.
“I kept the ball out of harms way,” Walker said. “This course helped me, because short is always long enough. Just tried to keep it under the hole.”
The tournament concludes tomorrow as it heads to the only venue that’s ever hosted a final round, Woodland Golf Club, the longtime home club of Francis Ouimet.
As always, fans can follow along all the action by logging onto ouimet.org.