Headline: 98th Massachusetts Junior Amateur Championship Set For August 1-3 at Kernwood Country Club

For Immediate Release: July 27, 2016

Kernwood Country Club will host the 98th Massachusetts Junior Amateur Championship on August 1-3.

Click on the magazine cover below to read about the unique history of this event which dates back to 1914.


Salem, MA — Beginning on Monday, 144 golfers from across the Commonwealth will ascend on Kernwood Country Club for the 98th playing of the Massachusetts Junior Amateur Championship, the state’s third oldest golf tournament behind only the Massachusetts Amateur Championship and the Massachusetts Open Championship.

Open to amateur golfers from an MGA Member Club or full-time Massachusetts residents who have reached their 14th birthday and will not reach their 18th birthday by midnight August 3, 2016, the MGA Junior Amateur Championship will be a 54-hole, stroke play tournament between August 1 and August 3.

Following 36 holes conducted over the first two days of play (weather permitting), the low 50 scorers and ties will qualify for the third and final round on Wednesday.

The lowest score after 54 holes will determine the Champion from the Junior Division (Ages 14-17) while the low scorer amongst the 14-15 year old players will be crowned the Pre-Junior Champion. Any ties for first place will be decided immediately by a hole-by-hole playoff.

With six qualifiers for the 2016 MGA Junior Amateur held across the Bay State a from June 27 through July 7, there were also several players who were exempt from qualifiers and earned an automatic bid to the Championship Proper, including eligible 2015 MGA top finishers, champions and USGA Junior Championship qualifiers.

Among players to watch include 2015 MGA Young Golfers’ Amateur Champion and 2016 Drive Chip and Putt National Division Champion Michael Thorbjornsen (Wellesley, MA) and 2015 U.S. Junior Amateur sectional qualifier, James Imai (Brookline, MA). Both hold membership at George Wright GC in Hyde Park, the site of the 2018 MGA Amateur Championship.

Other notables include some of the state's top high school talent: Nathan Ingram (BC High), Mark Turner (St. John’s Prep), Matteo Godek (Agawam), Alex Jamieson (Duxbury), John Antaya (Duxbury), Finn Simpkins (Martha’s Vineyard), Joey Ciolino (AMSA), Eric Markey (Holy Name), Ryan Fillebrown (St. Bernard's) and Jarod Buffone (Sutton) – all of whom were top-10 finishers in their respective MIAA State Championship for Divisions I, II and III. 

About Kernwood Country Club:

The following was excerpted directly from the Kernwood CC web site which can be found at kernwood.org.

The winding entrance road through the original stone archway welcomes you to Kernwood Country Club – a private member-owned country club located on Boston’s North Shore in historic Salem, Massachusetts.

Kernwood Country Club was founded in 1914 by a group of successful, Boston business professionals led by Louis Kirstein. The leisurely game of golf was growing rapidly at this time, and Kiersten and his friends took a strong interest. However, elite clubs in the area refused to welcome them to their communities for one simple reason; they were Jewish. After being faced with rejection, the group decided they would form their own Club that they could call home. The end result would become known as the Hidden Gem of the North Shore, which would live to carry out the early tradition of welcoming all.

The founders hired aspiring architect Donald Ross, who had recently completed a tenure as golf professional and greenskeeper at nearby Essex County Club in Manchester, to build their course. The membership was playing the first nine by the end of August, 1915, the second nine by late August 1918.

Perhaps one of the most resounding examples of our charitable mission is The Kernwood Scholarship Foundation. Established as a part of their 75th anniversary in 1989, the fund is driven by participation in the annual Caddie Alumni tournament, and member donations. The Club invites former caddies and golf employees back to the club to tee off while supporting current staff members’ educational goals. In 2014, the year of Kernwood’s centennial, 18 employees ranging from Wait Staff, Bag Room Attendants, Caddies, and even Management interns received financial aid raised from the event so that they may continue their education.

Kernwood CC has been a true supporter of golf in the Bay State by hosting many local and regional events. Most recently, the club opened its doors to the 2014 Massachusetts Amateur Championship and a 2015 MGA Member Day.

About the Field:

Past Champions: Celebrating the future of the amateur game, this event crowns the best junior players in the state. In 1961, the event expanded to honor the best junior and junior-junior player and since that time has further grown to recognize three age groups (Junior, Pre-Junior and Boys Divisions) within this category.

In 2014, the MGA Junior Amateur Championship celebrated its 100th year. The fall issue of MassGolfer magazine was dedicated to the event's storied and unique history. CLICK HERE to read that feature story.

Many former junior amateur players have gone on to successful amateur and professional careers in the Commonwealth and beyond.  Here is a list of recent past champions for the event, which dates back to 1914.

  • 2015 Jimmy Hervol (Hopkinton CC)
  • 2014 Matt Neumac (Nashawtuc CC)
  • 2013 Paul Lei (Essex County Club)
  • 2012 Patrick Frodigh (Oakley CC)
  • 2011 Nick McLaughlin (Renaissance GC)
  • 2010 Andy Mai (Foxborough CC)
  • 2009 Nick McLaughlin (Framingham CC)

Average Age: 16.17

Most Common First Name: Jack (8), Michael (8)

Most Common Last Name: Berthiaume (2), Ciolino (2), Driscoll (2), Emmerich (2), Hurley (2), Murphy (2), and Pergamo (2)

Youngest Competitors: Tucker Dalton Gullbrants (14), Kyle Furey (14), Kyle Puchol (14), Joe Paolucci (14), Jackson Lehner (14), Michael Thorbjornsen (14), Drew Cohen (14), and Max Hutter (14)

Oldest Competitor: About 37% (53/144) of the players in the field are 17.

Total Number of MGA Member Clubs Represented: 82

Most Represented MGA Member Clubs: Harmon GC (6), Brae Burn (4), Franklin CC (4), Marlborough CC (4), Marshfield CC (4), Nashawtuc CC (4), Walpole CC (4), Dennis Pines CC (3), Hatherly CC (3), Springfield CC (3), The Haven CC (3), and NEPGA JR. TOUR (3)

Total Number of Towns Represented: 80

Most Towns Represented: Wellesley (7), Hingham (6), Duxbury (6), Belmont (6), Weston (4), Walpole (4), Northborough (4), Marlborough (4), North Attleboro (3), and Cohasset (3)

Geographic Breakdown: Greater Boston - 43; South Shore - 25; North Shore - 23; Greater Worcester - 23; Cape Cod -16; Greater Springfield - 13
Berkshires - 0; Out of State - Larchmont, NY - 1.