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NORTON, MA – The three-team interstate competition for the Clement A. Griscom Cup is back on the schedule for the 2021 season, and Mass Golf has announced its team of eight female golfers who attempt to defend the title for the Bay State.
Led by team captain Chelsea Curtis (The Country Club), Team Massachusetts will be represented by a talented group of amateur golfers, both veterans and newcomers. Lindsay Cone (Granite Links GC), Melissa Hem (Dedham C&PC), and Danielle Lee (Renaissance) are first-time selections; Jennifer Keim (Bayberry Hills GC), Krystal Knight (Bradford CC), Allison Paik (Ledgemont CC) are all returners from the 2019 winning squad; and Tracy Welch (Winchester CC) is returning to the squad for the first time in 15 years.
“It is an honor to be chosen to play in the 118th Griscom Cup,” said Welch, who finished runner-up in the 2020 Mass Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship. “I’m very excited to represent Massachusetts in this women’s amateur competition. I’ve heard the course is beautiful, and I’m looking forward to playing it with my teammates.”
This year’s event will take place May 24-25 as Team Massachusetts will face-off against the Women’s Metropolitan Golf Association (New York) and Women’s Golf Association of Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) at The Union League Golf Club at Torresdale in Philadelphia.
Curtis, the 2005 Mass Women’s Amateur champion, will draw on past experiences as a Griscom Cup team member and captain to try and lead the Bay State women back to the winner’s circle.
Tracey Welch credits her dedication to short game work for raising her game to a higher level over the past year. She’s also gotten some special assistance as her first cousins, 8-time PGA TOUR champion Brad Faxon, adjusted her putting grip during a recent visit to Florida.
Allison Paik will also add some strength to the Bay State women. Last year, she was named the 2020 Mass Golf Girls’ Junior Player of the Year after winning the Mass Women’s Amateur, finishing as low junior (third overall) in the New England Women’s Amateur and placing T2 at the 2020 AJGA Junior Golf Hub Championship.
Krystal Knight finished runner-up in the 2020 Mass Women’s Stroke Play Championship and was third in the Women’s Division of the Ouimet Memorial Tournament, while Keim recently finished up a stellar college career at NCAA Division II Tusculum University in Tennessee. She set a program record with a 75.93 stroke average, surpassing the previous mark of 76.81. Keim also ended the 2021 abbreviated season with a 75.93 season stroke average, which is the third-lowest in school history.
Danielle Lee and Melissa Hem have played in several Massachusetts amateur events, even going head-to-head in the President’s Cup final in the 2019 Mass Women’s Amateur. Lee won that match, 3&2, and has since had several top-10 finishes and is among the top group of senior women. Hem has also finished in the top 20 for a handful of Massachusetts women’s amateur events.
Lindsay Cone is fairly new to the Mass Golf scene but competed in three state amateur events in 2020, with a T7 finish at the Women’s Mid-Amateur and a Net Division win at the Women’s Stroke Play Championship.
Team Massachusetts has held the Cup since 2019 after defeating the teams from New York and Philadelphia at Worcester Country Club. The 2020 event was canceled due to COVID-19.
The three teams will compete in a three-way, Nassau-style match-play competition. Points are awarded for winning the front nine, back nine and the 18-hole round. On the first day, the matches will be foursomes (alternate shot), and on the second day, the players compete in singles matches. The event is played over two days, with the first day including a practice round in the morning. The team with the most points over two days will take home the Cup.
The Griscom Cup Matches date back to 1898, but 1902 marked the first year that teams from three states – Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania – competed in this inter-city challenge. The event was named after Frances Griscom of Pennsylvania and has been conducted every year with the exception of the World War II period (1942-1945), 1984 due to inclement weather, and 2020 due to COVID-19.
Most of the early Griscom Cup players were familiar with one another through their participation in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championships. In fact, in 1900 Miss Frances Griscom defeated Margaret Curtis, from Boston, for the Women’s Amateur title. The next year, Boston petitioned to challenge for the Cup. Their petition was accepted in 1902, and in an interesting aside, that first three-city challenge was held at what was then called Baltusrol Links. The following year saw the beginning of the annual rotation of the tournament among the three cities.
“I’m honored to have the chance to play in an event that got started in 1898,” Danielle Lee said. “All the people involved in continuing the tradition and planning the competition are another example of what makes Mass Golf such a strong organization.”
“We, as current players, owe so much to the women who came before us and established women’s golf as the sport it is today,” Melissa Hem added.
Mass Golf is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to advancing golf in Massachusetts by building an engaged community around the sport. Made up of 90,000 golfers statewide, Mass Golf is one of the largest state golf associations in the country. Presently, more than two-thirds of the 360-member clubs are public-access facilities, while nearly one-half of member golfers are enrolled at public facilities. Mass Golf offers its member’s services including handicapping, event access, youth programming and exciting golf content.