Jake Driscoll, rebounding from a frustrating finish to his opening round in the Massachusetts Amateur Championship, shot an impressive 1-under par 71 on Wednesday but came up two shots short of what he needed to advance to the 32-player, match-play portion of the tournament.
The 22-year-old Country Club of Pittsfield finished his first round at Brae Burn Country Club on a sour note, playing his final three holes in 5 over par after playing a solid round of 1 over prior to his disappointing bogey, double bogey, bogey finish.
In Wednesday’s round, Driscoll shot a 1-over 38 on his opening nine, the par-37 back side at Brae Burn, and rallied with a 2-under 33 on the front to finish the 36 holes at 5-over 149. There was the playoff at 147 to advance to match play.
The other two members of Berkshire County clubs in the field had a tough time negotiating the historic Donald Ross course, both finishing well down the leaderboard.
Berkshire Hills Country Club member Bob Linn, the reigning Mass. Super Senior champion, settled for an 80 and finished at 158. The Country Club of Pittsfield’s Matt Gilardi, who opened with an 81, shot an 80 Wednesday in a wild round that featured four birdies, five pars, six bogeys and three double bogeys to finish at 161.
Pittsfield native Jamie Cimini, now a member at Swansea Country Club in Eastern Mass., shot an 80 to finish at 157.
Meanwhile, at the top of the leaderboard, the top five qualifiers for match play all shot below 70 on a day where the scoring was much lower than it was on Tuesday.
Taking medalist honors was Ben Spitz, who shot a 6-under 66 to finish at 8-under 137 to edge out Michael Thorbjornsen by a single shot. Thorbjornsen, the 2019 U.S. Junior Amateur champion, shot a sizzling 8-under 64 to rally after an opening 73.
The first two rounds of match play will be contested on Thursday.
— Richard Lord, Eagle correspondent