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Headline: Two-time Past Champion And Professional Tour Player James Driscoll Returns for Historic Ceremonial First Drive at Charles River Country Club
For Immediate Release: July 10, 2017
Above, James Driscoll prepares for the ceremonial first drive. Below, he holds high The Massachusetts Cup, which he won in 1998 at Belmont Country Club.
Newton, MA — The first Massachusetts Amateur Championship was held in 1903 and stands as the third oldest state amateur championship in the United States behind only the Golf Association of Philadelphia (115 years) and The Metropolitan Golf Association (113 years).
The storied event made history – nearly 109 years after its first playing – again on Monday morning when two-time champion James Driscoll struck a ceremonial first drive at 7:15 a.m.
Driscoll, who captured this title in 1996 and again in 1998, made a special visit to his longtime home club to kick start the five-day tournament which features two rounds of stroke play and five rounds of match play.
Click here to view that historic shot which was broadcast via Facebook Live.
Driscoll represents the first person to participate in an opening tee shot in the history of the Massachusetts Amateur Championship.
Derived from the annual pre-Masters Tournament ceremony, the opening tee shot concept is being inaugurated in 2017 by the MGA as part of an effort to continue the association’s grow the game initiative.
Aligning with the MGA’s oldest Championship Proper, the intention is for the opening tee shot to be held annually ahead of the Amateur Championship and could become the foundation for other exciting events that could surround the annual tournament in future years.
Driscoll, who resides in Brookline and has been a longtime member of Charles River Country Club, was officially introduced to the crowd of spectators, officials and fans by MGA Executive Director Jesse Menachem at 7:15 a.m. He then sent his drive down the fairway to officially signal the start of the 109th Massachusetts Amateur Championship.
"It is a true honor to be here," said Driscoll, who will depart this evening to take part in next week's Web.com Utah Championship. "The person who is victorious at the end of this week will have a memory that they will never forget."
Since turning professional in 2001, Driscoll has enjoyed a successful career on both the PGA Tour and the Web.com Tour in events across the country, but despite his success, he has remained a friendly face at the club where he won his first championship at age 15.
It’s that reason that he was asked to represent Charles River ahead of the 2017 MGA Amateur Championship, which is being held at the course for the sixth time since 1927.
"James Driscoll is a perfect representation of Massachusetts golf and a true role model for golfers of all ages," said Menachem. "In addition to being a tremendous competitor, James has consistently given back to the game whether it has been through his volunteer efforts with The First Tee of Massachusetts or the Birdies for Boston program."
Driscoll, who became the youngest ever competitor to win the MGA Amateur Championship in 1996 at age 18, also won the 1993 Massachusetts Junior Amateur Championship held at Kernwood Country Club. As a junior competitor, he was ranked as the second best player in the country and made the final of the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship in 1996.
A graduate of Brookline High School and The Taft School, James enjoyed a successful stint at the University of Virginia and reached reach the final round of the 2000 U.S. Amateur at Baltusrol Golf Club – which then led him an invitation to the 2001 Masters Tournament, where he was partnered with Tom Watson. At the time of the Masters, Driscoll’s first round 68 score was the best mark in an opening round by an amateur since Ken Venturi’s 66 in 1956. He was also a member of the 2001 Walker Cup Team.
Driscoll most recently won the 2015 New England Open and the 2016 Nashville Golf Open.