FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: AUGUST 14, 2019
STRATFORD, Connecticut- The New England Junior Amateur Invitational made its way down to the Constitution state of Connecticut, for the 50th inaugural hosting of the Championship proper. Along with this year’s championship marking a significant milestone of its hosting, it also marked the first time in the history of the tournament that the New England states fielded a roster of girl players.
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About the Host Site
Roughly 120 miles North to the city of Boston and 90 miles South to New York City lies the host course of Mill River Country Club. Originally established as a 9-hole course in 1923, the course quickly underwent changes and became a full 18-hole course just two years later. Fast forward twelve years, and Mill River Country Club became a Championship proper for golf’s best players, the PGA Tour. From 1937 to 1953, Mill River served as the host site for the Shoreline Open Championship. Some memorable participants in the event include: Claude Harmon, Tommy Armour, and Gene Sarazen. In addition to hosting a PGA Tour event, Mill River has hosted a U.S. Ladies Amateur Championship and two Connecticut State Open Championships.
The NEGA Junior Amateur Invitational event includes seven junior boy golfers and three junior girl golfers from each of the New England state golf associations. All golfers are selected by each state golf association to compete in a 54-hole team and individual stroke play competition. Boys and girls will compete in separate team and individual divisions. Team scores are calculated by taking the best five out of seven scores each day for the boy’s division and best two out of three scores for the girls. Low 54-hole team score will be named the team champion(s). Titles will be given to the low 54-hole team score and individual score. The New England Junior Amateur Invitational is considered a World Amateur Golf Ranking Counting Event and players will receive points based on performance.
New England Junior Team and Individual – Girls Division
The performance from the Rhode Island Girls’ team of Gianna Papa, Allison Paik, and Lauren Dohoney’s performance earned them the inaugural Girls Division Team Championship title, by a margin of twenty-two strokes. At the conclusion of three rounds, the trio of Papa, Paik, and Dohoney were able to card an overall total of 443, resulting in a 11-over par total. Finishing in second place was the host state of Connecticut. Madeleine Hong, Elizabeth Garfield, and Alex Fox represented Connecticut respectively, and posted a three day overall total of 470, equaling out to 38-over par total. Along with winning the Girls Team Championship Division, Allison Paik of Rhode Island was awarded the overall Girls Division winner with an overall score of 4-over par total. Paik’s stellar performance included eleven birdies and twenty-eights pars over the course of the tournament. Joining her atop the leaderboard, was Rhode Island partner Gianna Papa who finished at 12-over par total for the tournament.
New England Junior Team and Individual – Boys Division
For the second year in a row, the state of Connecticut won the Boys Division Team Championship portion of the tournament. The powerhouse combination of Chris Fosdick, Matthew Doyle, Alex Aurora, Jackson Fretty, Ben James, Alexander Gu, and Gunnar Granito scored a three-day total of 1035, equaling out to 15-under par total. At the conclusion of Round 1, the Boys team included five individual scores under par: Fosdick (67), Doyle (67), Aurora (68), Fetty (68), and James (69). Throughout the final two rounds of the Championship, the boys Connecticut team would have included at least one score under par.
There would only be one state within competition to the powerful Connecticut team. Finishing in second place was team Massachusetts, with a total of 1052 resulting at 2-over par total. The team of James Imai, Trevor Lopez, Weston Jones, Mac Lee, Ethan Whitney, Jack Tobin and Max Hutter all represented the Bay State these past couple of days.
The overall team championship trophy was not the only piece of hardware received by one of the Connecticut players. For the second year in a row, Ben James took home the boy’s individual trophy with a total score of 7-under par. The University of Virginia golf commit posted three consistent under par rounds of 69, 66, and 68. Over three days, James carded eleven birdies and just four bogies throughout the duration of the tournament. Finishing second overall in the boy’s individual was the incoming Northwestern University freshman James Imai with a total score of 6-under par.
The New England Golf Association congratulates all the members who participated in this prestigious event and on representing their home golf associations! Being invited to the New England Junior Amateur Invitational is an extreme honor and all participants should be proud on their performance. The NEGA congratulates all the girl golfers on being part of the inaugural class of girl participants in the Championship proper and being a milestone for the future! A special thanks to head golf professional John Klug, superintendent John Flynn, and general manager John Vinci of Mill River Country Club, for their outstanding efforts in making this year’s championship proper an experience to truly remember!
For more information on the New England Golf Association and future events. visit NEGA.org or follow NEGA Golf on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @NEGAGolf