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Bryce Baringer competes with 'best golfers in state' at 2024 Massachusetts Amateur Championship

New England Patriots punter Bryce Baringer got his competitive juices flowing long before training camp this offseason, golfing in the 2024 Massachusetts Amateur Championship at Framingham Country Club this week.

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Playing golf helps Bryce Baringer mentally prepare for football. The New England Patriots punter has no shortage of analogies when he compares playing both sports.

But more so than ever on Monday and Tuesday, after playing 36 holes between two of the most humid days recorded all summer, he could justify a pair of rounds against the best golfers in Massachusetts as sufficient physical preparation for the NFL preseason.

"It was hot and humid, I'm drenched and tired, but it was good," Baringer said after turning in his scorecard at the 2024 Massachusetts Amateur Golf Championship.

"It was good to get back out there and feel the competitive juices again."

Since Patriots OTAs and mandatory minicamp wrapped up weeks ago, Baringer has worked towards competing in the Mass. Amateur.

After realizing the tournament was in nearby Framingham, he managed to find just one qualifier out in the Berkshires that still had open registration. He medaled at the Stockbridge Golf Club shooting a 69 to earn his place in the championship.

"It worked out perfect," Baringer said of the tournament's timing in relation to his offseason.

"I came out on a whim and said screw it, let's just try. I played really well (at the qualifier) and I played good again today. If I could get maybe three or four total swings back out of the two days I think I had a good chance. But either way, it was fun having my wife here, my really good friend Keith (Regalbuti) on the bag, and then my dad came out, so it was a good time."

Baringer ultimately shot a seven-over-par 151 over both rounds, missing the competitive cut for match-play.

"My goal was to make match play, and obviously it stinks that it didn't happen," Baringer said. "But my main goal was always to stay sharp and focused and this helped me on the other side of the coin with football and staying in that competitive mindset. This has been a grind.

"Like today, playing with Ethan (Whitney), he played awesome and shot a 69. You're trying to stay competitive with these guys who have played in U.S. Amateurs or play college golf at Temple, and it's just like how we play on Sundays. Ethan already went over to hit balls after our round of golf, and I do the same thing after camp practices with kicking more punts. So it's cool to see that correlation -- he approaches golf very similar to how I approach football. You try and stack yourself up against the best and I tried doing that today with the best golfers in the state. It was really cool."

Throughout this process, Baringer prioritized football.

He had the blessing of special teams coordinator Jeremy Springer to take a swing at the Mass. Amateur and Baringer's football training never took a back seat to golf.

"To put it in perspective, last Tuesday I woke up, got to Gillette Stadium at 5 a.m. for a full workout, went and played 18 holes with Keith, former Patriot Mark LaVoir, and an assistant pro, and then I drove right to Boston College to kick with Joe (Cardona). That's been the normal routine, honestly."

After Tuesday's result, Baringer will play one more round with his father, Bruce, who flew in for the Mass. Amateur, and then the punter will take off to Tennessee to train with other NFL specialists.

Baringer's golf bag goes into storage while he's back in full-time football mode, but come next offseason, he'll hopefully revisit the tournament.

"The goal is yes -- I would love to try and qualify again if it works out," Baringer said, not trying to get too far ahead of himself.

"Thankfully, Strockbridge was the only qualifying event after we finished OTAs that wasn't full. It just worked out, so hopefully it works out again next year."

If not, he'll enjoy another summer exploring all that Massachusetts golf has to offer.

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