- Golfer Benefits
MANCHESTER, Vermont – Ten Massachusetts junior golfers traveled to Manchester Country Club on Tuesday to represent the Bay State at the New England Junior Amateur Championship. Donning coordinating red polos, they finished the first two rounds in solo second place in both the Boys and Girls Divisions, an edge they will carry into the final round of team and individual competition on Wednesday morning.
The Massachusetts boys’ team carded a 16-over group score, thanks in part to a team-leading 1-under 143 from Ryan Scollins (Franklin Country Club). Morgan Smith (Vesper Country Club) also posted a 1-under 143 to put the girls’ team at 10-over heading into tomorrow.
The championship consists of 10-person teams from each of the six New England States, with seven golfers per team in the Boys Division and three in the Girls Division. In the team competitions, the top five of the seven boys’ scores and the top two of three girls’ scores are counted toward their team totals. Every golfer’s individual scores are counted toward the individual competition. All titles are awarded based on 54-hole scores across three rounds.
Team Connecticut leads the team competition in both divisions. The Boys Division team finished at 15-under, while the Girls Division team finished with a 1-under 139, giving them an 11-stroke advantage heading into the final round.
Connecticut’s Will Lodge (Country Club of Darien) and Bradley Sawka (Ellington Ridge Country Club) walked off the course tied as the top individual scorers in the Boys Division at 6-under 138. Connecticut’s Arabella Lopez (Redding Country Club) leads the Girls Division by two strokes with a 3-under 141.
Team Massachusetts was able to count four scores at or below par during the morning round, headlined by a 1-under 71 from Scollins. The round was largely error-free for the Wrentham native, who shot above par on just one hole and made birdie on holes 3 and 18.
Patrick Ginnity (Northern Spy Golf Club), Sean Dully (Kernwood Country Club) and Aidan O’Donovan (Cummaquid Golf Club) all finished the morning with even-par 72s. The final individual score counting toward the team performance was a 4-over 76 by Colin Spencer (Cummaquid Golf Club).
In the afternoon, Scollins again led the way with an even-par 72. Spencer improved to a 2-over 74 to rank as the second-lowest Round 2 scorer, while Ginnity, O’Donovan and Aidan LeBlanc (Ferncroft Country Club) also had their scores counted.
Even though he wished more of his putts had fallen, Scollins was pleased with how he hit his irons and got off the tee. He was also happy to have the opportunity to represent Massachusetts at a regional competition.
“It feels awesome,” he said. “I got called up kind of last minute, I got the call last Friday, and I was super excited to come up here.”
Scollins feels he is playing his best golf after also making match play at the Massachusetts Junior Amateur Powered by KOHR Golf last week. Heading into tomorrow, he hopes to continue putting together solid rounds out on the course.
“I think if I keep driving like I am and just giving myself a bunch of birdie chances, they’ll start falling,” he said.
In the team competition, Team Connecticut got off to a blistering start, shooting 14-under in the first round. Leading the team early were Lodge and Sawka, who shot a 6-under 66 and 5-under 67, respectively. The Constitution State’s representatives recorded a 1-under team total in the second round to secure a first-place spot heading into the final round.
Smith led all Massachusetts golfers in the girls’ team competition during both rounds, shooting a 1-under 71 during the first round and an even-par 72 during the second.
“I felt pretty good,” Smith said. “My ball striking was pretty good. Made a couple putts, which was nice. It was pretty steady.”
Annie Dai (Longmeadow Country Club), who led the Girls Division at the 2021 Championship, was the second Massachusetts score counted during the morning round with a 5-over 77. In Round 2, Dai and Keira Joshi (Nashawtuc Country Club) both shot a 6-over 78.
Though Dai and Joshi are both returners from last year’s New England Junior Amateur Team, it was Smith’s first time being able to play in the event.
“I wanted to play probably the last three or four years, it was just a conflict with different tournaments, so I’m excited to be here,” Smith said. “I played the tri-state where six girls go probably three years ago and I had so much fun, so I definitely wanted to represent Mass Golf again.”
In the team competition, both of Connecticut’s top scorers, Lopez and Yvette O’Brien (eClub of Connecticut), finished the first two rounds in first and third place to push Connecticut into the lead.
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Club: Cummaquid Golf Club
This Summer: Spencer reached the quarterfinals of the Massachusetts Junior Amateur Championship Powered by KOHR Golf last week after finishing in third after the stroke-play rounds. Spencer also finished 21st in the Championship Division at the Ouimet Memorial Tournament last month.
Club: Ferncroft Country Club
This Summer: LeBlanc played in his first U.S. Junior Amateur Championship earlier this summer after sharing co-medalist honors in qualifying at Oak Hill Country Club. LeBlanc also competed in the Mass Junior Amateur Powered by KOHR Golf, but did not make the cut for match play.
Club: Northern Spy Golf Club
This Summer: Ginnity also played in his first U.S. Junior Amateur Championship in July. Ginnity competed in the Mass Junior Amateur Powered by KOHR Golf and Massachusetts Amateur Championship, but narrowly missed the cut for match play in both championships.
Club: Franklin Country Club
This Summer: Scollins advanced to the Round of 16 at the Mass Junior Amateur Powered by KOHR Golf after finishing in a tie for third in stroke play. Scollins also competed in the Ouimet Memorial Tournament but did not make the final-round cut.
Club: Cummaquid Golf Club
This Summer: O’Donovan competed in the Massachusetts Open Championship, but missed the cutline for the final round.
Club: Cohasset Golf Club
This Summer: McCabe finished ninth in stroke play at the Mass Junior Amateur Powered by KOHR Golf to advance to match play, where he fell in 18 holes during the Round of 16.
Club: Kernwood Country Club
This Summer: Dully finished in a tie for 27th place at the Ouimet Memorial Tournament after making the cut for the final round at Woodland Golf Club.
Club: Vesper Country Club
This Summer: Smith qualified for her second U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship earlier this summer, reaching match play at the championship. Smith also won her first title at the New England Women’s Amateur in June and placed third at the Massachusetts Girls’ Junior Championship Powered by KOHR Golf. In MIAA competition, Smith tied for the second-lowest individual score at the state championship.
This Summer: Dai placed sixth at the Mass Girls’ Junior Powered by KOHR Golf earlier this month and achieved the same ranking in the Women’s Division of the Ouimet Memorial Tournament in July. Dai also finished 11th at the New England Women’s Amateur.
Club: Nashawtuc Country Club
This Summer: Joshi finished tied for 11th at the Mass Girls’ Junior Powered by KOHR Golf last week. Joshi, a member of the golf team at Ashland High School, finished 10th at the MIAA High School Girls’ Golf State Championship in June.
6. Ryan Scollins, 71-72-143
T10. Aidan O’Donovan, 72-75-147
T13. Patrick Ginnity, 72-77-149
15. Colin Spencer, 76-74-150
16. Sean Dully, 72-79-181
T21. Aidan LeBlanc, 79-75-154
T26. Nick McCabe, 78-78-156
2. Morgan Smith, 71-72-143
9. Annie Dai, 77-78-155
10. Keira Joshi, 79-78-157
The first New England Junior Amateur Championship was contested in 1967 and hosted at Essex County Club. Massachusetts won its first team title the following year at Poland Spring Golf Course in Poland, Maine. A Girls Division was added to the event for the first time in 2019, and Rhode Island captured the inaugural girls’ division crown.
The Bay State boasts 18 titles in the event. The most recent Massachusetts wins came last year when the Boys Division team won by a 15-stroke margin and the Girls Division team won by 12 strokes. Dai took home first place in the Girls Division Individual Championship, defeating fellow Mass golfer MacKenzie Whitney in a playoff after they tied through three rounds. Spencer and John Broderick finished second and third in the Boys Division Individual Championship.
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