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Former St. John's star Kyle Tibbetts is looking forward to playing against Mass.Amateur at home

Kyle Tibbetts has long been looking forward to playing in the Massachusetts Amateur at his home course, Framingham Country Club.

“It's been on my calendar for years since it was announced,” said the 2006 St. John's High School graduate. “It's unbelievable.”

Tibbetts, 36, grew up in Milford and lives in South Boston. He has been a member of Framingham since 2015 and was also a junior member from 1998 to 2008. He won the club championship in 2008 and the last two times he competed, in 2020 and 2022. He has made hole-in-ones on the eighth and 11th holes. He has also shot 8-under 64 a couple of times on his home course, three strokes under Jon Curran Track record.

“I’ve spent practically my entire life up there,” he said.

Tibbetts did not play in the club championship last year because his wife, Jackiehave given birth to their first child, Callumduring the event.

Callum turns one on July 27. That will be during the club championship, but Tibbetts plans to take part.

Tibbetts reached the round of 16 at the Mass. Amateur in 2020 and 2021, but did not make match play last year.

Tibbetts did not participate in any Mass Golf events last year due to the birth of his son after the Mass Amateur, so he was not exempt from participating this year. Because of his golf resume, he applied for and received a special permit.

Tibbetts knows Framingham CC well, but he is not the only one from the club playing in the Mass. Amateur. Matt Naumecwho reached the finals of the Massachusetts Amateurs last year, came to Framingham a few years ago and won the club championship last year. Naumec was formerly a member of GreatHorse at Hampden and lost in the finals of the Massachusetts Amateurs to GreatHorse member Ryan Downes.

Downes lost the previous year in the final of the Mass. Amateurs Conner Willett by Charles River CC. So Naumec hopes that history repeats itself and he too rises from second place to champion.

Members of Framingham CC Ray Wright And John Salamone won the Massachusetts Amateur title in 1990 and 1991, but not on her home course.

Victor Galvani, Jesse Zorfas And Larry Dore III are other successful golfers from Framingham CC who will tee off at the Mass. Amateur. Galvani won this year's Walter Cosgrove Four-Ball at Green Hill Municipal GC with another member of Framingham CC, Dave Marsegliabut Marseglia will not play in the Mass. Am.

Tibbetts described Framingham CC as a golf club that focuses more on golf than swimming or tennis.

Tibbetts won the 2018 Worcester County Amateur, paired with Nick Maccari by GreatHorse to win the 2023 Cosgrove and was a member of several Mass. teams that won the Tri-State Matches. Maccario won the Worcester County Amateur last Sunday, defeating defending champion Weston Jones in a playoff match. Incidentally, Worcester CC will host the Tri-State Matches this year on October 15th and 16th.

Tibbetts and Michael CalefWinner of the 2012 and 2013 Mass. Amateurs, finished ninth in the Mass. Four-Ball in May.

As a senior, Tibbetts was the second best golfer behind Taylor Fontaine on St. John's state championship golf team. In his junior and senior years, he was ranked No. 1 golfer and captain at Providence College.

When asked what the key to playing at Framingham CC is, Tibbetts said he didn't want to give away all the secrets, but mentioned that it would be wise to hit less than a driver on some holes to keep the ball on the fairway. At just under 6,700 yards, Framingham CC isn't long, but last year's host venue, Essex County Club in Manchester-by-the-Sea, was only 6,555 yards.

“Precision is the key to success, not trying to hit the ball 320 yards every time,” he said.

The greens are fast, firm and undulating.

“When you're over the pin,” he said, “just tap it and try to get it up to make your par and get out of there.”

Tibbetts' wife and son will watch him play in the Mass. Amateur game. His in-laws have flown in from Florida and his grandfather is traveling from Minnesota.

Younger golfers typically win the Mass. Amateur. Downes was the youngest golfer last year at 17. Still, Tibbetts believes he can still compete at 36.

“The kids are definitely tough to beat,” he said. “But that doesn't mean that someone who's a little older and maybe a little wiser can't get through stroke play and then get some wins in match play.”

He will do his best not to be too emotional during the game on his home turf.

“I'd be lying if I said there wasn't pressure or fear,” Tibbetts said. “You want to play well in front of your clubmates and the staff there, the grounds staff. Everyone's cheering you on. But the pressure will be fun. I can't wait to tee off.”

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—Contact Bill Doyle at [email protected]. Follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter @BillDoyle15.