Two in Mass. Open call course home
Wellesley Country Club members, who are commemorating its 100th anniversary this year, have double cause for celebration as they are hosting the Massachusetts Open Championship from June 21-23 and rooting for two favorite sons, former club member D.J. Hynes and assistant golf pro Todd Anzlovar.
The Massachusetts Open is the only one of its kind on the Massachusetts Golf Association tournament schedule, with both amateurs and professionals competing in the field. The tournament began in 1905, and its first champion was Donald Ross, who designed Wellesley CC’s original nine-hole layout at the site of the former Town Hall and almshouse.
It was the fifth of 51 courses that Ross would design in Massachusetts.
Past Mass. Open champions have included some of the sport’s greatest names — Walter Hagen, Francis Ouimet, Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson, and Bob Toski.
Ouimet played a warm-up round at Wellesley two days before to his stunning upset victory in the 1913 US Open at The Country Club in Brookline, and, according to an article in the upcoming issue of MassGolfer, shot an 88.
“The friend who invited me to play with him was broken-hearted and thought he had ruined my game,’’ Ouimet later recalled. “I told him not to worry, that I had probably got all the bad golf out of my system, and believe me, there must have been plenty of it in there.’’
A second nine was added in 1961 by noted designer Geoffrey Cornish. However, the course has undergone several changes since then, and the Mass. Open players will face a challenging par 70, 6,903-yard layout.
Anzlovar, a Brookline resident who played varsity golf at Walpole High and Bryant College (class of 2004), received a special exemption for the Mass. Open because of his role at the host country club, where he has worked for three years.
“I’m glad for the opportunity. It’s nice to play a course I’m familiar with, but I have no real expectations,’’ said Anzlovar. “Longer hitters will definitely have an advantage because there are several long par 4s and the greens aren’t overly complicated.’’
Hynes was captain of the Harvard University golf team, graduating in 2006. He has played in the Massachusetts Amateur and Ouimet championships, and is a former Wellesley Country Club junior champ.
He was a Globe Prep All-Scholastic while attending Belmont Hill, where both the school’s team and the Independent School League named him golf MVP. He also lettered in hockey and football at the private school.
“I’m really excited about it and it’s an advantage to have some local knowledge,’’ said Hynes, who grew up as a member at Wellesley, and qualified for the Mass. Open via a playoff at Poquoy Brook in Lakeville. The former All-Ivy League and All-New England collegiate golfer was a Wellesley member until two years ago, “and I still play there quite a bit with my family and friends,’’ he said.
Bean, an outfielder, was batting .299 after Dartmouth clinched the Ivy League championship with a victory over Columbia, a game in which the Buckingham, Browne & Nichols School graduate had two key hits.
After three games in the regionals, however, Bean had bumped up his average to .347, after cranking out eight hits, including a career-high four in the opening game against host Miami, the 11th-ranked team in the nation.
The following day, Bean had three more hits, scored three times, and drove home two runners in a 15-9 win over Florida International, Dartmouth’s first victory in the NCAA tournament in 23 years.
In Dartmouth’s final game, he rapped a two-out single in the ninth that provided a brief rally in a 4-3 loss to Texas A&M.
Bean, who was honored as the team’s Most Improved Player, finished the year with nine doubles, two triples, and 28 runs scored. He played in 37 games, 23 as a starter, did not commit an error, and tied for the team lead with five outfield assists.
Dartmouth head coach Bob Whalen, another Needham native, received the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association’s Jack Butterfield Award, for exhibiting “the integrity and dedication to the game that Coach Butterfield displayed during his long career at the University of Maine.’’
The award has special meaning for Whalen, Dartmouth’s head coach for 21 seasons, who had played and coached at Maine shortly after Butterfield’s tenure.
As a freshman at Maine, Whalen was a teammate and classmate of Butterfield’s son, Brian, who went on to a minor league career.
Ayers, who will play lacrosse at Middlebury College, earned varsity letters at St. Mark’s in lacrosse, football, basketball, and cross-country. His many honors also included MVP of the lacrosse team and three-time Independent School League selection in the sport, and All-New England Prep as quarterback of the St. Mark’s football team, and was the team MVP.
Ayers also played on two New England Prep championship teams and two runners-up in basketball.
Marvin Pave can be reached at email@example.com.