Berkshire Hills Country Club member Mark Chylinski shot a 3-over par 74 in the final round of the 53rd Ouimet Memorial Tournament at Woodland Golf Club on Friday to finish in fourth place in the Lowery Division (senior division) of the prestigious event.
Chylinski totaled 9-over par 222 to finish a distant 13 shots behind Massachusetts amateur legend Frank Vana Jr., who opened up a big lead with an opening 65 at Framingham Country Club and never looked back, winning by 10 shots over runner-up Keith Smith. Vana shot a 3-under 68 and Smith carded a 70 in the final round.
"Frank was missing a good tournament," joked Chylinski, referring to a back-and-forth battle between himself, Smith and third-place finisher Jack Kearney, who shot a 72 Friday. "I didn't focus on him at all. I was playing a course I had never seen was just focused on playing one shot at a time."
While Chylinski no doubt would have liked to finish higher, it was a strong outing considering who finished ahead of him. That trio has captured the past four Massachusetts Senior Amateur titles with Smith taking the crown in 2016-17, Vana winning it the next year and Kearney taking the title last summer.
"I knew I was going up against some pretty good players," said Chylinski.
Though Chylinski was pleased with his overall performance, he wasn't happy with the way he finished -- suffering a double bogey on the par-4 17th hole and a bogey on the par-5 18th that allowed Kearney to slip past him for third place..
"I gave it [third place] to Jack, it was stupid, so stupid," said Chylinski, focusing on what he considered a poor decision when he hit driver off the 17th tee. "I was going to hit a 3-wood but I saw Keith bomb it over a tree with a driver and decided to hit the driver.
The decision didn't work out, with the tee ball finding trouble, leading to the double bogey.
The finish was Chylinski's third top-10 finish in a state-level event in the past two summers. He teammed with fellow Berkshire Hills member Ralph Dastoli to tie for second in last year's Mass. Senior Four-Ball Championship and finished eighth in the Mass. Senior Championship.
A day after an impressive performance in the medal-play qualifying portion of the Metropolitan Golf Association (New York) Amateur Championship, former Williams College golfer and second-seeded Sam Goldenring was upset in the first round of the match play by 14th-seeded Jack Wall on Friday at famed Bethpage Black on Long Island.
Goldenring, the 2019 NCAA Division III individual champion, shot an impressive 4-under 67 in the qualifier while Wells advanced to match play with a 72, but on Friday it was the lower seeded golfer who was in charge. He took a 1-up lead on the ninth hole and never relinquishing it, closing out Goldenring by winning the 11th, 13th and 15th holes.