Headline: Defending Champion Brendan Hunter Looks to Make a Statement Before Advancing to the Next Stage of His Golf Career.

For Immediate Release: July 9, 2017

Brendan Hunter is looking to become become only the 11th competitor in the tournament’s 109-year history to win back-to-back Massachusetts Amateur Championship titles.

Norton, MA — If defending Massachusetts Amateur Champion Brendan Hunter (Shaker Hills Country Club) wants to add another state golf championship title to his resume, the 21-year old Groton resident will likely have to do it sooner rather than later.

Nearly a year after defeating 2014 Massachusetts Amateur Champion John Kelly by a score of 4 and 3 at Taconic Golf Club one year ago, the recent St. Thomas Aquinas graduate will be back in the field at this week’s playing of the MGA oldest tournament, being held at Charles River Country Club in Newton Centre.

Click here for highlights from Hunter's 2016 victory.

His reason to hurry? He says he hopes to turn professional following the MGA’s mid-summer classic.

Scheduled to tee off on Monday at 9:10 a.m. on the back-nine, Hunter will be paired with Riley Whitham (International) and Patrick O'Leary (Wollaston GC) in what could be his final state contest at an amateur competitor.

While he has a lot more golf under his belt heading into this year’s Championship Proper than he did at this time last year, Hunter still remains vigilant of what it will take to become only the 11th competitor in the tournament’s 109-year history to win back-to-back Massachusetts Amateur Championship titles. He looks forward to the opportunity this week at Charles River Country Club, which is hosting its sixth Massachusetts Amateur Championship dating back to 1927.

“Excitement and anticipation [are the only two things that have] been running through my head awaiting the Mass Am this year,” said Hunter, who was one of two seniors on the Spartan roster, a team that finished its spring season receiving votes for the NCAA Division 2 Top-25 poll. “At last year’s tournament, I learned that you can't get down on bad breaks, and that they're going to happen. The best way to play best golf is to embrace any misfortunes that may happen.”

Knowing that Charles River Country Club will prove challenging to its 144 competitors in the field, Hunter says his previous experience at the course will be beneficial entering the first round.

“I have played Charles River Country Club one time before,” added Hunter. “The greens are a huge factor in the difficulty of the course, so being able to place your approach shots will be a big factor for the week.”

If he is able to place his approach shots the way he wants, he thinks that he’ll be able to take off in match play like he did a year ago in Williamstown.

After finishing T9 in the stroke play of last year’s tournament, he defeated opponents who were ranked No. 24, No. 25, No. 16, No. 13 and No. 27 in the 32-member bracket en route to taking home the Massachusetts Cup. Hunter added that being exempt for this year tournament, a result of last year’s performance, has been an added bonus in preparation for a return to atop the leaderboard this week.

“Being exempt has been able to reduce my stress level from having to go through qualifying, like I had to last year, and it has allowed me to focus more on using the time to practice,” said Hunter.

Regardless of how the defending champion finishes this week, Hunter says that he does plan on turning professional upon the completion of the tournament, which would put him in line with other MGA competitors who have enjoyed success at the collegiate level before deciding to make golf a profession.

"After finishing my senior year at St. Thomas Aquinas College and making it to NCAA Division 2 National Tournament for the third time, my plan is to turn pro after the Massachusetts Amateur Championship and start the dream.”

Follow Hunter and the other competitors in the field this week by reviewing the Results Page, which is linked off the main www.mgalinks.org homepage.