Naumec, Cowgill, Floyd punch U.S. Mid-Am tickets at Crumpin-Fox Club qualifier

  • Bill Foley of Boston blasts out of the bunker and onto the fourth green during a U.S. Mid-Amateur qualifying tournament at Crumpin-Fox Club in Bernardston on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/Paul Franz

  • Nick Stern of Hadley putts on the second hole during a U.S. Mid-Amateur qualifying tournament at Crumpin-Fox Club in Bernardston on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/Paul Franz

  • Jim Patterson of Southampton putts on the fourth hole during a U.S. Mid-Amateur qualifying tournament at Crumpin-Fox Club in Bernardston on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/Paul Franz

  • David Krbec of Boston tees off on the third hole during a U.S. Mid-Amateur qualifying tournament at Crumpin-Fox Club in Bernardston on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/Paul Franz

  • Damon Lusk of Reading takes his second shot on the fourth hole during a U.S. Mid-Amateur qualifying tournament at Crumpin-Fox Club in Bernardston on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/Paul Franz

  • Austin Banz of Salt Lake City, Utah tees off on the third hole during a U.S. Mid-Amateur qualifying tournament at Crumpin-Fox Club in Bernardston on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 8/16/2022 5:25:24 PM
Modified: 8/17/2022 3:50:48 PM

BERNARDSTON — Three golfers punched their ticket Tuesday to the 2022 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship at Erin Hills Golf Course in Erin, Wis.

Crumpin-Fox Club hosted the U.S. Mid-Am qualifier, with the top three scores in the 18-hole event advancing to the Sept. 10 championship proper. Matthew Cowgill of Weston and Matthew Naumec of Wilbraham carded the top two scores thanks to 1-under-par rounds of 71 to earn a trip to Wisconsin, while Raymond Floyd Jr. of Tunbridge, Vt. — son of World Golf Hall of Famer Raymond Floyd Sr. — clinched the final ticket with an even-par 72.

The Mid-Am is the leading annual golf tournament in the United States for post-collegiate amateur golfers. Players must be at least 25 years old as of the opening day of the main tournament.

“This feels great,” said Naumec, who qualified for the U.S. Mid-Am for the first time in his career. “I circled this on the calendar as something to look forward to. I’m excited to get out there.”

Naumec had an advantage over some in the field as he has played Crumpin-Fox many times. Growing up in Wilbraham and attending Wilbraham & Monson Academy, he played the course often when the Titans played Northfield Mount Hermon, which uses Crumpin-Fox as its home course.

He’s also had previous success at CFC in other major events, advancing in a local U.S. Open qualifier there when he was in high school. When he saw the Mid-Am qualifier was slated for Bernardston, he made sure to sign up quickly.

“I haven’t played here in three or four years but it’s the same layout,” Naumec said. “You don’t remember all the small stuff but it was nice to have the general layout in mind. When I saw there was a qualifier here I jumped at it because I knew I’ve played here a bunch and have had success here. It’s a great course.”

Things started out well for Naumec on Tuesday, knocking in a birdie on No. 2 before making an eagle at No. 5. A pair of bogeys put him 1-under making the turn.

“I knew I was in it after nine,” Naumec said. “I just had to keep playing.” 

He birdied 10 and 13 to move to 3-under, but a double-bogey on No. 16 made things tight down the stretch. He pulled off two pars to close out the day, and felt like his score would hold up with the tough conditions on the course. 

“Coming down the stretch was stressful,” Naumec said. “I started playing well but that double bogey took some steam out of the train. Those two pars to close it out were huge. I’ve played a bunch of qualifiers so I knew I had to get under par. With the course conditions and the wind, I was thinking two or three under would be OK. One under was good enough today and that’s what it took.” 

For Cowgill, it was a great start before things also got tough down the stretch. He found himself 1-under through nine, and a birdie at No. 12 moved him to 2-under. Back-to-back bogeys on 15 and 16 brought him back to even-par, a score he wasn’t sure would earn him a top-three finish. 

He made sure that wouldn’t be a worry, as he rolled in a birdie on 18 to come in 1-under and share medalist honors with Naumec.

“I played pretty solid out there,” Cowgill said. “I hit irons most of the way around and kept it in front of me. I was slipping toward the end but made a nice birdie on 18.” 

Like Naumec, this will be the first U.S. Mid-Am appearance for Cowgill.

“It’s amazing,” Cowgill said. “It’s only my second USGA event. I was playing pro for a couple years and this was a big reason to come back. I wanted to play in this tournament. I can’t wait to get out there.”

While Naumec and Cowgill were the young guns qualifying for the first time, it was hardly a new experience for Floyd Jr. The 48-year-old had qualified and played in the Mid-Am nine times prior to Tuesday’s tourney, but hadn’t reached the big event in five years.

He punched a 10th trip on Tuesday, and said afterward that this one counts among the most satisfying.

“It’s awesome to qualify,” Floyd Jr. said. “I’ve played in 10 of these but I’m 48 years old now. My days are numbered. To be able to do it at this age is great. I played in my first one when I was 27 years old. Fast forward 20 years and to be able to do it again feels really good.”

Floyd Jr. credited his putter for getting the job done on Tuesday, as he was able to sink three birdies on the back nine to finish even on the day.

“It was hard,” Floyd said. “The wind was very swirly which made it tough with irons. The key for me is I putted great. I had been struggling with my putter but I only missed one putt I should have made today. I hit it good off the tee, had some decent iron shots but I really putted well today.” 

Locals who competed on Tuesday included Ron Laverdiere of Amherst (76), Nick Stern of Hadley (76), Jim Patterson of Southampton (78), Cody Miller of South Hadley (81), Tim Crowley of Northfield (84), Brendan Creagh of Deerfield (89) and Nicholas Mulvaney of Southampton (92).


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