Former St. John’s Prep golf superstar Nick McLaughlin fired a 34-37—71 yesterday to sit three shots off the lead as the 105th Massachusetts Amateur Championship got underway yesterday at Longmeadow Country Club.
The Far Corner Golf Club member out of New Castle, N.H., was 1-over par on a day when most of the field shot better than 77. Now playing for the University of Virginia, McLaughlin is in 14th place and will look to gain ground on leader Joe Harney (Granite Links GC) in the second round of stroke play today.
Another former North Shore high school standout, Jack Whelan of Topsfield, also had a strong day by shooting 74, including a 1-over 36 on the back nine. The ex-Pingree School and current St. Lawrence University golfer had the exact same score as Ferncroft’s Jason Steele (38-36—74).
Salem Country Club’s Brandon Neals of Middleton shot even par (35) over the back nine to finish with a 75. His teenage clubmate, St. John’s Prep whiz Steven DiLisio of Swampscott, also finished at 75 (36-39).
Topsfield’s Dan McQueen (Bellevue) and Tedesco’s Brad Tufts both turned in 77s, while Marblehead’s Mike Zmetrovich (Tedesco), Gloucester’s Josh Salah (Bass Rocks) and a pair from The Meadow at Peabody, Steve St. Amand and T.J. Vose, all carded 79s.
The second round of 18-hole stroke play will be held today before the cut is made to the top 32 scores in the field. Match play will then be the format at Longmeadow tomorrow, Thursday and over 36 holes on Friday to determine this year’s champion.