Tee to Green: Quinto to play in Mass. Junior Amateur Championship

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Berkshire Hills Country Club member Kevin Quinto, who was last fall's All-Eagle MVP after a strong senior season at Pittsfield High, earned a spot in the upcoming Massachusetts Junior Amateur Championship with a strong performance on Thursday at Amherst Golf Club.

Quinto shot a 4-over par 74 — to tie for medalist honors with Springfield Country Club's Jonathan Farrell — to grab one of the four spots available for the Massachusetts Golf Association event, which will begin on July 31 at The Orchards in South Hadley.

The other qualifiers were Jack Phalen, a member at this year's host course, and Mateo Godek (Agawam Municipal Golf Course). Both had rounds of 75.

Two other Berkshire County golfers were part of the 24-player field, with Jake Driscoll finishing with an 83, and Stockbridge Country Club's Matthew Shields posting a 93.

Quinto finished off his high school career in style last fall, capturing the the Berkshire Classic at Stockbridge Country Club with a 76, posting the lowest county score in the Western Mass. Division I tournament (80) before shooting a 79 in the Division I state tournament.

Quinto is the only county golfer to qualify for this year's Junior Am.

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The MGA's premier amateur event, the Massachusetts Amateur Championship, tees off on Monday at Charles River Country Club in Newton Centre with one member from a Berkshire County course — Berkshire Hills' Bob Linn — in the 144-golfer field.

Linn, who qualified with a 1-over par 71 at Hatherly Country on Boston's South Shore, holds the distinction of being the oldest player, at 63, to qualify for this year's tournament.

He will be in the field for the second year in a row. Last year, when Taconic Golf Club hosted the tournament, he missed qualifying by a shot but decided to show up at the Williamstown course as an alternate. He ended up on the tee just minutes after parking his car. Linn shot respectable rounds of 75 and 77, but it took a 5-over 147 to make it into the 32-player match-play field.

Linn, the 2009 Massachusetts Amateur Senior Player of the year, will tee off on Monday at 9:20 a.m.

The defending champion is Brendan Hunter, who defeated 2014 champion John Kelly 4 and 3 in the final at Taconic. Kelly will be coming into this year's tournament with momentum, having captured the recent Pewter Cup with partner Billy McDonald. The duo also won the Cup in 2014, weeks before Kelly's victory in the Amateur.

There is little doubt that Linn will face a tough challenge in his effort to reach match play, considering the average age of the field is only 30.2. The age difference between the youngest and oldest players is 49 years, with two 14-year-olds the youngest to qualify.

The tournament is a marathon for the eventual champion. After 36 holes of qualifying, there will be two rounds on Wednesday and Thursday to be followed by a 36-hole final on Friday.

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Linn won't be the only local golfer with a big opportunity starting Monday. Lee High School junior-to-be Thomas Fraser will be taking part in the state qualifier for the Trusted Choice Big "I" National Championship.

The two-day qualifier will be played at the Country Club of New Bedford and the Bay Club at Mattapoisett, with the top two finishers advancing to the national championship in Mississippi.

The 17-year-old shot a 3-over par 73 at Thorny Lea in Brockton to finish in a three-way tie for first place in the local qualifier to advance to Monday's tournament.

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While Linn and Fraser take to the road, Berkshire Hills will be hosting the Allied Senior Championship on Monday. Play will be begin with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start.

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Kay McMahon's EduKaytion Golf is offering Junior K-Camps starting the week of July 10 and running through the week of Aug. 21. The camps will run Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Led by LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Hall of Fame member Kay McMahon, the camps are designed for juniors ages 6 to 15 of all skill levels interested in being introduced to the game of golf or taking their skills to the next level.

Junior fees are $269 with multiple child and multiple camp discounts.

The camps include games that teach basic swing fundamentals, putting and short game techniques, etiquette, and on-course play.

Locations for are Mill Road Acres Golf Course, Latham, N.Y.; the Triple Nickel Learning Center, New Lebanon, N.Y.; and Skyline Country Club in Lanesborough.

To register or more information: www.edukaytiongolf.com, email: kay@edukaytiongolf.com; or call 518-669-1551.

To contact Richard Lord: relord633@gmail.com or 413-281-2226.


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