Vana goes low in opening round of Ouimet Memorial

Staff file photo. Boxford's Frank Vana, Jr. carded a 67 on Wednesday in his opening round of the Ouimet Memorial Tournament to hold the lead in the Lowery Division. 

The 53rd Ouimet Memorial Tournament opened play on Wednesday at Framingham Country Club, and some familiar North Shore linksmen are already right in the thick of things. 

The three-day tournament in honor of the late Francis Ouimet, an early 20th century amateur golfer known for winning the 1913 U.S. Open, is broken down into three separate divisions: the Championship Division, the Lowery Division (seniors) and the Women's Division. After 18 holes of golf, it's longtime local competitor Frank Vana, Jr. of Boxford who holds the lowest score. 

A five-time winner of the Championship Division, Vana is now playing in the Lowery Division but that didn't stop him from carding an impressive 5-under par 67 to start his week. Vana recorded six birdies, four of which came on the back nine, and just one bogey to build an early four stroke lead over the next closest competitor, David Gottler. 

In the Championship Division, Swampscott's Steven DiLisio was on his game as well, carding a 2-under 70 to sit in a tie for fifth place heading into Thursday. DiLisio, who competed in both the Massachusetts Amateur and New England Amateur earlier this month, netted four birdies and just two bogeys.

Former St. John's Prep standout Chris Francoeur was close behind with an even par 72, while another former Eagle, Nick Maccario, managed a solid 1-over 73 after a pair of runner-up finishes at the Mass Am. and New England Am., respectively.  Swampscott's Christian Emmerich also fired a 73, but everyone is looking up at Day 1 leaders Mike Calef and Brett Krekorian (4-under 68s). 

Play continues on Thursday back at Framingham Country Club before qualified golfers move on to Friday's final round at Woodland Golf Club in Newton. 

— Nick Giannino

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