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Headline: Conner Willett Captures 2nd Massachusetts Young Golfers' Amateur Championship Title at Acoaxet Club
For Immediate Release: July 27, 2016
Conner Willett was victorious at the 2016 MGA Young Golfers' Amateur Championship held at Acoaxet Club.
Westport, MA — On Wednesday morning, several young golfers took to the beautiful Acoaxet Club for the second annual MGA Young Golfers’ Amateur Championship, a tournament specifically designed for boys and girls age 13 and under.
As the young competitors stepped up to the first tee box, the sights of the Westport River and the Atlantic Ocean straight ahead, each player had their names called as staff, parents and club members cheered for them from the nearby deck overlooking the course.
For many of the participants, this was their first real opportunity to play in an MGA event and get involved in competitive golf at an early age.
By doing so, this not only provides a fun atmosphere for kids to be able to compete against fellow golfers their age, but it also allows them to get a feel for an MGA event, and opens the door for future MGA events like the Junior Amateur Championship, Amateur Championship and Open Championship, to name a few.
With Wednesday’s field of 30 golfers aged 8-13, from courses located across the Commonwealth, MGA Executive Director Jesse Menachem said this championship is a great foundation for the next crop of golfers.
“I think it is a really cool opportunity for these young kids to see such a venue and piece of property that they have here at Acoaxet," said Menachem. "It is a very old historical club, and we’ve got 30 or so young golfers who were able to take advantage of one of the most unique nine hole clubs we have in the state. We have all different skill levels of play out here. It is really a neat way to get them together and grow golf and hopefully beyond this, we can see even more kids take advantage of the opportunity.”
In its second year of existence, the inaugural event was held in 2015 at Norfolk Golf Club, the group of competitors were able to demonstrate their skills on a championship level.
“It’s a neat way to put these kids, 13 and under, on their own stage and own platform," said Menachem. "In some ways prior to that, they were in a way buried under the older divisions and really didn’t get their chance to shine.”
This event, one of the MGA’s 12 scheduled throughout the season, is open to any amateur golfer from an MGA Member Club or full time Massachusetts resident, who is 13 or younger at the date of the event.
Out of the aforementioned field of 30 players, it was Conner Willett (Charles River CC)who stole the show and took home the trophy after netting a day-low score of 4-over par 74.
“The front nine wasn’t all that great," said Willett. "It was a lot of grinding and a couple of rough holes, but on the back nine, I got it back together to shoot even par. It was a good finish to the day.”
With five bogeys on the front nine and a birdie, Willett, a Wellesley native, balanced two birdies with two bogeys on the back nine to remain at 4-over par and in good standing as he completed his round.
The 13-year old said, “On the 11th hole, I made a bird. I hit it to about 15 feet and made the putt. I got it going from there for the rest of the nine.”
On the 358-yard, par 4 the 8th hole, Willett recorded a second birdie and third on the day before finishing out his round.
Having played in many top youth events across the Bay State and the Nation, Willett still puts the MGA Young Golfers’ Amateur Championship at the top of his accomplishment.
“This one stands as one of the bigger ones,” said Willett. “I view it as a major.”
In addition to the MGA Young Golfers’ Amateur Championship, Willett has also participated in the Optimus International at PGA National in Florida, IMG Championship in California and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Championship at Augusta National.