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    It all started at Woodland GC for Francis Ouimet

    As an amateur, golfer Francis B. Ouimet scored a stunning victory at the US Open in Brookline.
    Associated Press
    As an amateur, golfer Francis B. Ouimet scored a stunning victory at the US Open in Brookline.

    100th anniversary of Ouimet win marked

    The 100th anniversary of amateur Francis Ouimet’s stunning playoff victory at the 1913 US Open over British professionals Harry Vardon and Ted Ray at The Country Club had its roots at Woodland Golf Club in Newton.

    Ouimet, a Brookline native, joined Woodland in 1910 as a 17-year-old junior member, with the help of $25 borrowed from his mother, because he needed a club affiliation to attempt to qualify for the US Amateur.

    He remained a member there until his death in 1967.


    The following year, the inaugural Ouimet Memorial Tournament was established at Woodland, which Ouimet represented throughout a career that also included two US Amateur and six Mass. Amateur championships, and the Mass. Open title in 1932.

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    The three-day Mass. Open returns to Woodland on Tuesday. The club will also host the final day of the Ouimet Memorial on July 26 and the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund’s annual meeting Oct. 21.

    “Woodland is very proud of Mr. Ouimet and has always been tremendously supportive of the Ouimet Fund,’’ said Bob Donovan, the fund’s executive director.

    Former Woodland caddie master Dominic Dougherty, a Newton resident who caddied for Ouimet as a youngster, called him “just a wonderful gentleman who always hit the ball right down the middle, even in his later years, and always asked how you were doing in school and if you were keeping your grades up.’’

    Dougherty, a Providence College graduate and retired school teacher who recalled making $2.25 as a 12-year-old caddie for 18 holes (including tip), was a Ouimet Scholar, as were seven of his eight brothers.


    “Our caddies here now can get $50 to $70 for a round,’’ said Dougherty, who calls Woodland “my second home.’’

    Dougherty, an unofficial historian at Woodland who works at the private club’s billing office, witnessed six holes in one while caddying in the summer of 1964, and he once carried for a foursome that included former Massachusetts governor Foster Furcolo and tennis star Rod Laver.

    “Laver, who was in town for a tournament at Longwood, hit a 290-yard drive on the first hole that landed in the sand trap near the green,’’ said Dougherty, “and the governor gave him a mulligan.

    “Laver teed off again and had a 29 on the front nine. My brother Patrick was also caddying and we kept wondering what Laver would do next, but he had a late-afternoon lunch and didn’t play the back nine.’’

    At the first Ouimet Memorial in 1968, honorary chairman Gene Sarazen, famous for wearing his trademark knickers, showed up at Woodland wearing long pants.


    Ancy Doyle, our head pro from 1945 to 1978, kidded Gene that he wasn’t wearing the knickers,’’ said Dougherty, “so Gene started laughing, looked around the empty pro shop, dropped his pants, pulled up his cuffs and tied them to his legs with shoelaces.’’

    Woodland member Tom Barrett, a vice president of the Ouimet Fund, was the man behind the Ouimet Memorial tournament and was its chairman for several years.

    Eddie Lowery, Ouimet’s caddy at the 1913 Open, also caddied for him at Woodland, won two Massachusetts Junior titles, and eventually became Woodland’s caddie master.

    A collection of Ouimet memorabilia at Woodland has been refurbished for the Centennial and the club is also displaying “Ouimet 100’’ on its flagpole. The Ouimet celebration will culminate in the playing of the US Amateur at The Country Club in August.

    Fowle has prime seat for OSU rowing title

    Westborough’s Samantha Fowle (inset) sat in the seventh seat for the victorious Ohio State University second varsity eight last Sunday at the NCAA Division 1 Women’s Rowing Championships at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis.

    Ohio State, which also took gold in first varsity fours and bronze in first varsity eights, won the program’s first national rowing title and first NCAA women’s championship in any sport. They were also the first Big Ten team to win a national rowing championship.

    Ohio State’s Big Ten and national titles included a 112-0 run for the second varsity eight, for which Fowle has rowed since her sophomore year.

    “Sam helped set the rhythm and she brought great leadership to a relatively young boat,’’ said second varsity eight coach Diane Albrecht, “and that was a big reason I never had to worry about anyone passing us after we made our move between 500 and 1,500 meters.’’

    The course in Indianapolis covered 2,000 meters.

    A graduate of Westborough High, where she was a member of the varsity soccer and indoor and outdoor track teams, Fowle rowed with the Methuen-based Essex Rowing Club.

    Albrecht noted that when Fowle arrived at Ohio State, she was timed at 7 minutes and 40 seconds on the ERG indoor rowing machine for 2,000 meters and improved to well under 7 minutes this year.

    “Sam kept things light for the team with a pretty sharp sense of humor,’’ said Albrecht. “She could also poke fun at herself, but when it was time to put the oars in the water, she was an absolutely fierce competitor.’’

    Campus notables

    Shrewsbury’s Jon Massad (St. John’s High), a senior starting pitcher at NCAA Division 2 qualifier Southern New Hampshire University was named to the Division 2/3 All-Star team by the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Coaches Association. Massad was 6-3 with a 1.46 ERA. . . . Claire Crowther (Wellesley High), a senior with a 3.71 grade point average at the University of Rochester, was named to the Capital One Academic All-District 3 first team for Women’s Cross Country and Track & Field. A member of the school record 4x400 relay team, she has been accepted in a teacher’s assistant program in France.

    Marvin Pave can be reached at marvin.pave@rcn.com.