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NORTON, Massachusetts – With the start of the 2019 season just around the corner, the opportunities for female junior golfers continue to expand.
This week, the New England Golf Association announced it would be adding a girl’s component to complement its popular New England Junior Amateur Invitational. As a result, Mass Golf will be able to select and send three female golfers to compete against teams from the five other New England states in the 54-hole tournament to be held at Connecticut’s Mill River Country Club in Stratford, Connecticut from August 11-13.
The New England Junior Amateur Invitational, which has annually featured seven male competitors from each of the six New England states against each other for a 54-hole tournament, will add three female competitors to the roster from each state, providing another opportunity for young female golfers to compete against top competition, much like their male-counterparts have enjoyed for years in this tournament. With the new component, boys and girls will represent their home states while competing for separate team and individual titles.
“For anyone that has been following our competitors in Mass Golf, NEPGA Junior, AJGA and USGA events, among others, the Bay State has always been well represented by top female competitors,” said Jesse Menachem, Mass Golf’s Executive Director/CEO. “To be able to offer another opportunity for our female competitors to compete at the highest of levels against the best golfers in the region is something that will be beneficial to not only the individuals, but to the growth of golf as a whole. We are very excited to join the New England Golf Association in taking this step and look forward to fielding our team for this historic event.”
Looking to enjoy the same success that has been enjoyed by Team Massachusetts since the New England Junior Amateur Invitational was introduced in 1967, with the Bay State owning 15 totals wins, including victories in five of the last eight tournaments, the addition of three female competitors to the state roster is an effort that has been in the planning stage for many years and one that will be particularly beneficial for the top female competitors who reside in Massachusetts.
For Greg Howell, who serves as the Manager of NEGA Operations, this addition to the tournament is a positive for all involved.
“We could not be more excited to make this important announcement and expand our championship offerings,” said Howell. “Providing these young female competitors with a chance to compete as a team against other New England states will be a tremendous opportunity for them and is an important stepping stone for future growth and exposure for our association.”
The girl’s component of the New England Junior Amateur tournament will expand to three days of play, which includes a practice round on the first day, a morning and afternoon shotgun round on the second day, and a final 18-hole shotgun on the third day of competition. Other team activities are held throughout the tournament, and an award ceremony will continue to be held at the conclusion of play to recognize both team and individual champions.
While the decision as to who will represent Massachusetts on the New England Junior Amateur Invitational team won’t be decided for a few more months, considerations will be made based on overall performance in the Mass Golf Girls’ Junior Amateur Championship – being held at Cranberry Valley Golf Course on August 5-6 – as well as other association-sponsored events. Similar selection processes have been used to select teams in the past for the New England Junior Amateur Tournament and has proven to be successful.
In addition to competing for their home state, female competitors will also be competing for the opportunity to receive Performance Based Stars, which will be awarded to the winner (two stars) and second and third place finishers (one star) by the AJGA – part of a point system that enables members to earn their way into AJGA tournaments based on performances at the national, regional and state levels.
For more information about the New England Golf Association, visit NEGAGolf.org.