For Immediate Release: August 17, 2016
Headline: Massachusetts Sets Record For Largest Margin of Victory - 35 Strokes - at the 2016 New England Junior Amateur Invitational
Dover, NH – Entering the final day of the 2016 New England Junior Amateur Invitational at Cochecho Country Club, all Team Massachusetts needed to do was play even somewhat similar to the way they competed in the first two rounds of the Championship Proper. After all, they sat at 10-under par 690 through 36 holes and had a 25-stroke lead over the second place team from Connecticut.
On Wednesday, the Bay State squad showed no let up and played solidly as the team captured its 14th New England Junior Amateur Invitational since 1967 and its third in four years, after shooting a combined 3-under in the best five-of-seven format to finish at 1,047 in 54 holes of play.
The 35-stroke margin victory was the largest in the history of the tournament and beat out the previous 29-stroke margin of victory that was achieved by Connecticut in 2014 when the event was held at Taconic Golf Club in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Leading Team Massachusetts to victory was its low scorer, Jack Boulger (Walpole CC), who carded a 1-over par 71 on Wednesday after back-to-back scores of 68 during the first two rounds on Tuesday. For the 17-year old Boulger, he opened the final round of play by recording a birdie and seven pars through his first nine holes before making eagle and then a birdie on his final nine. He finished T2 in the individual scoring race.
“I was hitting the ball pretty good,” said Boulger, who is entering his senior year at Xaverian Brothers in Dedham. “The first two days, I was making a lot of putts. I wasn’t hitting it great the first round, but in the second round, I started to hit it a little better. Today, I was pretty solid off the tee."
His teammate, Andrew O’Leary (Glen Ellen CC), had an equally successful day for Team Massachusetts as he finished the tournament at 1-under 209 after battling strong winds to card a 1-over par 71 on Wednesday. As the only returnee from last year’s squad that finished second to Rhode Island, O’Leary said that with his previous experience, he was able to help his teammates, all of whom were playing in the tournament for the first time.
“I knew what it was going to be like,” said O’Leary, who will be entering his junior year at Catholic Memorial in the fall. “Sometimes you think you are out of it and you are not going to use your scores, but you never know. You have to keep playing until the end.”
Play to the end they did.
The remaining three Massachusetts players whose scores were counted towards the team total were Michael Thorbjornsen (Nashawtuc CC), James Imai (George Wright GC) and Mark Turner (Bass Rocks GC). The trio finished the three-day round at even par-210, 2-over par 212 and 2-over par 212, respectively. Also providing outstanding play for Team Massachusetts were Andrew McInerney (Glen Ellen CC) and Alex Jamieson (Marshfield CC).
Behind Team Massachusetts on the team leaderboard was Team Connecticut (32-over par 1082) and Team Rhode Island (34-over par 1084). Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont rounded out the final three-team standings for the 2016 New England Junior Amateur Invitational.
Maine’s Cole Anderson (Samoset Resort) finished as the low individual scorer after shooting an even par 70 in Wednesday’s final round. In rounds one and two, Anderson tallied matching scores of 5-under 65 and finished the tournament at 10-under 200.
Patrick Welch of Rhode Island and Massachusetts’ Boulger finished as medalists on the individual board as each finished the 54-hole invite at 3-under par 207.