Headline: Players, Officials, Friends and Family Comes Together to Celebrate the 2016 Season at the MGA's Salute to Champions Dinner

For Immediate Release: January 13, 2017

Master of Ceremonies Mike Dowling helped celebrate the 2016 golf season at the 22nd MGA Salute to Champions Dinner.

Wellesley, MA — The calendar may now say 2017, but the attention was still focused on 2016 on Thursday evening at Wellesley Country Club, where each of the 12 champions from the past MGA season were honored as part of the 22nd annual Salute to Champions Dinner and Awards Ceremony.

With nearly 200 family, friends and guests of the MGA in attendance, the night served as a great opportunity to relive all the exciting moments from the past year, including recognizing those who captured major victories on the amateur circuit in the Bay State and across New England. Longtime Boston sports broadcaster Mike Dowling served as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies. He has served in that role in all but two of the events dating back 22 years.

“Thursday evening’s Salute to Champions Dinner and festivities were another fine event made possible by the many people who make the MGA successful, including its talented players, generous volunteers and more than 360 MGA Member Clubs” said MGA Executive Director Jesse Menachem. “Not only was the Salute to Champions dinner an opportunity to honor the many amateur champions from the past year across many golf platforms, it also helped to kick off what will be another great year for Massachusetts golf in 2017.”

In addition to the honoring its respective champions from each of its events from the 2016 season, the Salute to Champions Dinner provided the opportunity for the MGA to recognize its top three award winners of the 2016 season – Matt Parziale, Kevin Carey & James Imai, the 2016 recipients of the Richard D. Haskell MGA Player of the Year, George M. Cohen MGA Senior Player of the Year and the Christopher Cutler Rich MGA Junior Player of the Year, respectively.

Also honored were the Massachusetts Tri-State Team, which collected its 13th straight title in 2016 after a come from behind victory over Rhode Island and Connecticut in October, and the work of Team Massachusetts at the 2016 New England Junior Amateur Invitational, where team captain Scott Whitcomb’s squad set a record for the largest margin of victory (35 strokes differential) in the tournament’s 47 years of existence.

In addition, the 2016 New England Golf Association Champions James Turner (New England Amateur Champion), Phil Pleat (New England Senior Amateur Champion) and Paul Quigley (New England Super Senior Champion) were acknowledged while three of our younger golfers, Brian Glennon, Gabrielle Shieh and Zachary Colon, Drive Chip and Putt Regional Champions, were given well wishes ahead of their April trip to compete at the Drive, Chip & Putt National Championship at Augusta ahead of the annual Masters Golf Tournament.

The WGAM also honored its 2016 Amateur Champion, Jacquelyn Eleey, a successful collegiate golfer at Georgetown University, for her accomplishments in WGAM events over the past year.    

The MGA also officially presented longtime rules official Carolyn O’Donnell with the Andrew J. Blau MGA Volunteer of the Year Award, the highest recognition given by the MGA to its volunteer base. O’Donnell, of Wellesley, becomes only the fifth recipient of the award after assisting in the operations of more than 60 events across the MGA, WGAM, USGA and MIAA platforms during the 2016 calendar year. She has been a volunteer in the golf community since 1995.

Upon conclusion of the Salute to Champions Dinner, the page on the 2016 MGA season has been turned, with all eyes set on 2017.

Registration for all 2017 MGA events will begin on February 2 at 10 a.m. while the first MGA Championship of the season will be the Four Ball Championship held at Haverhill CC and Renaissance on May 9-10.