Patrick Frodigh of Dedham C&PC defeated Herbie Aikens, 4 and 3, to capture the 110th Massachusetts Amateur Championship.
BOSTON – It was a dream that was three years in the making, but the wait didn’t dampen the moment for Patrick Frodigh of Dedham C&PC.
Three years after he finished as runner-up, Frodigh made a triumphant return to the final and captured the 110th Massachusetts Amateur Championship title as his own on Friday afternoon at George Wright Golf Course in Hyde park.
“It hasn’t really hit yet,” said Frodigh. “It’s an unbelievable feeling to do this with all my friends here watching. I felt like we both had a bunch of people here watching us. Cheers were both ways. There was a lot of them, and both of us hit some great shots. It is just awesome and a pleasure to be able to play a 36-hole match against Herbie.”
Frodigh delivered a 4 and 3 victory over Herbie Aikens (Old Sandwich GC) in the scheduled 36-hole final and as a result became the 77th individual to win the Massachusetts Amateur Championship which dates to 1903.
“Winning this event is definitely up there, definitely top three,” said Frodigh, who announced that he plans to turn professional after this season. “It was a lot of fun this week. I am so happy to win this state amateur in what is my last year being an amateur for a long time hopefully. We will see what happens.”
The gallery watched Frodigh deliver a memorable performance from start to finish.
After advancing through two rounds of stroke play and then three days of match play which included a quarterfinal victory against the defending Massachusetts Amateur and U.S. Mid-Amateur Champion Matt Parziale (Thorny Lea GC), Frodigh completed his task by outlasting Aikens in a match which came to an end on the 15th hole.
Frodigh never trailed in the match. Through 33 holes on Friday, the soon-to-be Elon University graduate made seven birdies and played 3-under par.
“He made a ton of putts, it was impressive,” said Aikens, of Kingston. “Everything he looked at it seemed like it went in. He hits it great tee to green. He’s really solid, and then for him to make 30 footers it was impressive. It was fun to watch. It stinks to be on the receiving end, but it was definitely fun to watch.”
“I came out of the gate pretty hot,” said Frodigh who played that first front nine at 2-under par 33. “I think I was 4 up through 8 or 9 and then Herbie came right back. He made a few birdies on the back nine. He played really well. I just regrouped at lunch and got refocused, and it was a really close match all day.”
On that back nine, Aikens did exactly what he had done nearly 24 hours earlier in his semifinal match against Andrew O’Leary (Pawtucket CC). Trailing 3-down to O’Leary on Thursday afternoon, Aikens clawed back on the back nine to eventually defeat O’Leary by a score of 1-up.
It was a near case of déjà vu on Friday morning. Aikens made three birdies – on the 11th, 15th and 16th holes – and managed to pull within one of Frodigh at the mid-match break.
“Yeah, I fought back,” said Aikens. “I was always down, and it wears you down in the end. You get tired and maybe a little frustrated. You are trying to get it back, and he’s such a good player he did not let up. Even when he would get into a little bit of trouble, he would hit a great chip shot and then follow it up with a great shot. He didn’t give any holes away, which is the key. That’s what you got to do to win.”
Perhaps the biggest blow to Aikens’ comeback bid came on that 27th hole of the match after Frodigh’s drive sailed into the right trees. Aikens’ drive sat in the middle of the fairway but he pulled his second shot into the right-side bunker and eventually settled for bogey. Frodigh – after needing two shots to get out of the woods – delivered an up and down to halve the hole.
“That felt like an eagle,” said Frodigh. “That bogey was unbelievable. When I made that I knew that I could maybe carry that momentum into the back nine and hang on.”
Aikens, too ,agreed that it was a game changer.
“He was awesome,” said Aikens. “He was tough and not a guy you want to get down to, and I was down all day. I grinded back and got a little momentum and then that five he made was unbelievable. That’s where I lost the momentum. I think I played it too safe and ended in the bunker. I was trying not to just miss left and it was a mistake.”