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EDITOR'S NOTE: The teams of Pam Kuong and Sue Curtin and Jacquelyn Eleey and former Bay State resident Tara Joy-Connelly did not advance to match play at the 2017 U.S. Women's Amateur Four-Ball Championship, but click here for complete results and coverage.
Headline: Pam Kuong & Sue Curtin Savor Veteran Experience at the 2017 U.S. Women's Amateur Four-Ball Championship
For Immediate Release: May 27, 2017
Sue Curtin (top left) and Pam Kuong enjoy experience and great friendship at the 2017 U.S. Women's Amateur Four-Ball Championship.
Norton, MA — As the 2017 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship heads into the weekend, three Bay State competitors will be savoring the entire experience from start to finish.
Competing at The Dunes Golf & Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina this weekend and vying for the prestigious national team title are Sue Curtin (Westwood, MA), Pam Kuong (Wellesley, MA) and Jacquelyn Eleey (Quincy, MA).
For a championship that is just three years old, this marks the second appearance for Curtin and Kuong.
In addition to their experience at this particular Championship Proper, they also represent one of the most veteran of teams in what has become a showcase of the game’s youngest talent.
The average age of this year’s field is just over 22 years old and the youngest competitor field is 12 years old.
While the combined age of Curtin and Kuong (103 years) isn’t the most – there is a team with a combined age of 128 – there is a definite sense of elder statesmanship.
“There is no question that it is a U.S. Amateur field based on last year,” said Kuong. “The average age is 22 but it was lower than that because a couple of the teams got in as alternates. There are mostly high school and college kids, but Sue and I are really excited to compete in the national tournament.”
Despite not taking up the game of golf until she was 35, Kuong has a resume that is second to few. She finished as runner-up in the 2015 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship and has won two Massachusetts Women’s Amateur Championships, the 2011 New England Women’s Amateur and three New England Senior Women’s Amateurs. She was also named WGAM Player of the Year in 2012.
“We know what to expect and the goal is to qualify for match play,” said Kuong about this weekend’s latest challenge. “A few lucky bounces here and there and you never know.”
Walking stride by stride with Kuong at The Dunes Golf & Beach Club will be her good and longtime friend in Curtin, who played college golf at Brigham Young University at the same time 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir competed for the men’s team.
Helping their cause will be two other individuals who represent more than an extra club in the bag. Serving as caddies for Kuong and Curtin will be Mary Lou Bohn, president of Titleist Golf Balls, and Skip Guss, who teaches at the Southborough Golf Practice & Learning Center.
“We are prepared as we are going to be and we have the support system with Skip and Mary Lou,” said Kuong. “We are excited, but it’s the fact that we are traveling together and getting to experience a national tournament together is the best part of it all.”
The bond between the four is deeply rooted.
Bohn is a fellow club mate and playing partner of Curtin and Kuong at Charles River Country Club. The trio has spent countless hours competing against each other on the Newton Centre links. Bohn is also one of the most dedicated caddies.
One year ago, Bohn showed up for duty at the 2nd U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship in a full caddie jumpsuit, complete with Kuong’s name on the back. It was a moment that brought many laughs and even drew the attention of the USGA which featured a photo and story on its web site. (click here to read that feature story).
"I never know what to expect from Mary Lou,” said Kuong. “We didn’t stop laughing until we got back to Boston.”
Gus, who has worked closely with both Kuong and Curtin over the years, will serve as a comfort for Curtin who currently serves as a member of the MGA’s Executive Committee.
“They both give a lot of support and comfort,” said Kuong. “Skip has caddied for Sue in all of the national four-ball qualifiers and the Ouimet tournament and he knows her game. There is a lot of comfort for Sue that she knows the person on the bag knows her inside and out.
“Mary Lou knows how to read my putts and how to club me,” continued Kuong. “Both of them give good perspective because we aren’t high school or college kids looking to go pro or to get into college. They remind us that we are there to hit the fairway, hit the green, make a putt and then we will see what happens.”
Also competing in this year’s field is Eleey, a rising senior at Georgetown University who last year claimed the Massachusetts Women Amateur title at GreatHorse Country Club.
Eleey, who was the Big East Freshman of the Year in 2015, teamed up with a former Bay State resident Tara Joy-Connelly who now calls Palm Beach Gardens, Florida her home. Eleey and Joy-Connelly punched their tickets last fall at Legends Oaks Golf Club in Summerville, South Carolina after posting a score of 4-under 68.
For complete coverage of the 2017 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship, click here.