A 40-foot birdie putt on the 15th hole at Essex County Club pushed Paul Lei into the lead for good, and the 16-year-old from Ferncroft Country Club preserved his two-shot victory with a tap-in par at the last, winning the Massachusetts Junior Amateur on Wednesday.
Trailing Jackson Lang (Nashawtuc) by one stroke heading into the final round, Lei had two birdies and two bogeys in a solid 70, winning a Massachusetts Golf Association event for the first time. Lang (75) finished fourth, behind Matthew Naumec (71) of the Country Club of Wilbraham, and Jake Shuman (69) of Blue Hill Country Club.
Steven DiLisio (73) won the pre-junior division.
Khang in third
Megan Khang of Rockland shot her second straight 70, and at 2-under 140 is tied for third at the 38th Junior PGA Championship in Potomac Falls, Va. Khang trails Samantha Wagner of Windermere, Fla., by two shots at the halfway point. In the boys’ division, John Lazor of Westwood is tied for 28th after shooting a second-round 67, which tied for the day’s low score. Lazor is nine shots behind Brad Dalke of Hobart, Okla. . . . Boston College sophomore-to-be Isabel Southard, Mary Mulcahy, and a pair of past champions — Mary Gale and Tara Joy Connelly — all won two matches on Wednesday and have advanced to the semifinals of the 110th Massachusetts Women’s Amateur at Framingham Country Club. Gale, the 1996 winner, knocked out the top match-play seed, Shannon Johnson, in the quarterfinals, 5 and 4. Gale will face Mulcahy in the semifinals, after she beat two-time winner Pam Kuong in the Round of 16, then Lisa Anderson, 4 and 3, in the quarterfinals. The other semifinal will pit Southard against Joy Connelly, the 2003 winner. Southard beat two-time champion Tracy Welch, 5 and 3, in the quarterfinals, while Joy Connelly knocked off Rita Bedard, 4 and 3. The semifinals are Thursday morning, with the championship match Thursday afternoon.
Hard to believe, but in one month the second FedEx Cup playoff tournament will be going on, with the top 100 on the PGA Tour points list competing at TPC Boston in Norton. Just three tournaments remain (four if you count the Reno-Tahoe Open, which is held this week opposite the reduced-field Bridgestone Invitational) for players to earn points and make sure they’re among the top 125. Among those still with work to do: Martin Kaymer (No. 131), Vijay Singh (138), Ryo Ishikawa (155), and Sean O’Hair (163). James Driscoll of Boston is 84th . . . At the Deutsche Bank Championship’s media day on Monday, new faces held court, with Jacques Brand (Deutsche Bank) and Greg McLaughlin (Tiger Woods Foundation) serving as hosts. Brand takes over for Seth Waugh, who has been instrumental in bringing and keeping the tournament at TPC Boston. McLaughlin is the president and CEO of the Tiger Woods Foundation, which has been the primary charitable beneficiary of the DBC. He announced a partnership with the Red Sox Foundation in the creation of five new scholarships given to Boston-area students, starting this fall. The newest group of local Earl Woods Scholars are Jamal Adan (who will attend Boston University), Lenny Baez (San Jose State), Adreina Nieves (Syracuse), Mikaya Emma (North Georgia), and Shirley Peng (Boston College) . . . Webb Simpson, the 2011 DBC champion, joined media day through a conference call. He was asked about Hunter Mahan’s decision to withdraw from last week’s Canadian Open before the third round, despite holding a two-shot lead at the time, to be with his wife for the birth of their first child, a daughter. Simpson missed last year’s DBC media day because his wife, Dowd, was expecting their second child. “I think everyone understood and everyone applauded, I think it was a great thing he did,” Simpson said. “As good of a player as he is, he’s going to have the 36-hole lead many more times.”
Eyes on Park
The attention at St. Andrews this week will be on Inbee Park and her quest to win her fourth major championship of the season — as it should be, since the feat has never been done in golf, by man or woman — but the Women’s British Open is also the last chance for US players to play their way onto the Solheim Cup team. The top eight automatically qualify through a points list, which currently includes Stacy Lewis, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Angela Stanford, Brittany Lincicome, Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda, and Brittany Lang. The next two highest-ranked US players in the world rankings (currently Lizette Salas and Jennifer Johnson) also make the team, and Meg Mallon will name her two captain’s picks on Sunday. The Solheim Cup is Aug. 16-18 at Colorado Golf Club . . . The last of the 98 sectional qualifiers for the US Amateur were held on Tuesday, including at Cape Cod National Golf Club, with three more players from New England securing their spots into the national tournament, which will be held at The Country Club and Charles River Country Club. Richy Werenski of South Hadley and Evan Russell of Grantham, N.H., were the medalists at Cape Cod National, each shooting 70-67. The third and final berth went to Chris Houston of Gilford, N.H., who shot 74-70, then beat Herbie Aikens (77-67) of Kingston on the third playoff hole. They’ll be three of the 312 who will play in the US Amateur, scheduled for Aug. 12-18. Tickets (either $25 and $30 for single-day access, with multi-pass options) are available at www.2013usamateur.com . . . One final reminder that anyone hoping to play in either the US Mid-Amateur or US Women’s Mid-Amateur must send their applications to the US Golf Association by Wednesday at 5 p.m. Both tournaments are Oct. 5-10, the men in Birmingham, Ala., the women in Asheville, N.C. Only online entries can be submitted at www.champs.usga.org . . . Entries for the New England Senior Amateur are due by 5 p.m. on Aug. 8. The tournament, Sept. 17-18 at Portland Country Club in Falmouth, Maine, is open to amateurs at least 55 years old. To apply, visit www.nega.org .