- Golfer Benefits
WHITINSVILLE, Massachusetts – The conditions could not have been any more perfect for the Mother Daughter / Member Junior Tournament at the classic Donald Ross designed 9-hole course, Whitinsville Golf Club. Two divisions of mothers and daughters competed in 26th annual tournament, while the member junior category was filled by a group of female First Tee participants that were paired with female Mass Golf members to gain Tournament level experience. This is the second year that First Tee Massachusetts has been involved in the team tournament.
For the first time at the annual event, there was a tie for the overall championship title. Sheila Gonzalez and her daughter Jacqueline who competed in Division 1 (19 years and older) along with Tracy Welch wand her daughter Amanda Adams who competed in Division 2 (18 years and younger), finished their rounds with a 7-over 78.
“It is a beautiful course and we had a lot of fun out there,” said Sheila Gonzalez. “It was our first time competing in this event, but we play a lot of golf together so she’s used to my game. We’ve always wanted to play in this event together but for whatever reason in the past it just did not work with our schedules.”
The Gonzalez’s stuck with what ended up being a winning strategy for a majority of the round, that resulted in a fairly consistent round with 11-pars and a birdie.
“We were dinging and donging today,” said Jacqueline Gonzalez. “I like this format, it was fun. I ended up hitting a lot of our approach shots and getting us to the green, then I would help my mom read the first putt and then I would finish things out.”
In Division 2, Welch found herself in familiar territory having won a divisional title at the Mother Daughter Tournament a total of 14 times after today’s win. The wins have come through a combination of playing with her mother Jane in the late 1990’s and with both of her daughters, Victoria and Amanda, in most recent years. This year’s win marks the third consecutive time Welch and Adams have earned the overall title, or at least a share of it.
“This will be a memorable one for us,” said Welch. “We were several strokes down with 3-holes to go and it was pretty great to be able to get back into it for a share of the overall title. The green complexes were just really really hard but Mandy (Amanda) made some great shots to put us in good positions.”
Welch and Adams had a clear path to capturing their division, but had to put together a strong finish for any shot at the overall title. The team rose to the occasion stringing together par, birdie, birdie for their final three holes. At the end of the day, their composure under pressure brought them to the winners circle with smiles from ear to ear.
“We stayed calm, cool, and collected,” added Adams. “We have a good dynamic with working back and forth and feeding off of each other. We ended up changing up our strategy halfway through because we noticed that something wasn’t working. It was exciting to start playing better after that.”
DIVISION 1 – DAUGHTERS 19 YEARS AND OLDER
Sheila Gonzalez & Jacqueline Gonzalez (Charles River Country Club)
DIVISION 2 – DAUGHTERS 14-18 YEARS OLD
Tracy Welch & Amanda Adams (Winchester CC)
DIVISION 1 – JUNIORS 14-18 YEARS OLD
Sarah Forbes (The Country Club) & Olivia Jatzcak (Student Member/MIAA)
For the second year, First Tee teamed up to deliver a unique experience for some of the program participants, a chance to play in a competitive event with women who have experience playing tournament golf. The opportunity to mentor these young women came from the female members of Mass Golf’s Board of Directors as an opportunity to create stronger connections with the youth development program that the organization supports, not to mention, to grow the game with younger generations. Sarah Forbes, member of the Board of Directors and chair of the First Tee Committee was joined by fellow Board member Joanne Gagnon as well as Nora Patton and Cheryl Kruger from Orchards Golf Club.
“It was great to have three of our female participants out here with a few dedicated female volunteer leaders today,” said Allyson Mollung, Program Manager for First Tee Massachusetts. “They’re playing some awesome golf, making some great connections and just having fun. Having the girls out here helps them get more comfortable with the game and allows them to really build their confidence as female golfers.”
The young women a chance to display some of the life skills that they’re learning in our classes, while also really putting their golf skills to the test and getting out of their comfort zone.
First Tee Massachusetts started as a way to bring an affordable junior golf program to youth and communities that did not have them. What The First Tee soon discovered was that by blending the rules of the game with life and leadership skills, kids and teens didn’t just learn how to putt – they were learning important values. Mass Golf currently offers programming at seven program locations across the Bay State.
“What an amazing experience. I loved having the opportunity for a second year to spend time on the course getting to know one of our First Tee girls,” said Sarah Forbes, Chair of the First Tee Committee. “Our goal was to have fun and we succeeded! We also got to enjoy playing golf together in a relaxed environment on a great course. I was so impressed with all of the First Tee girls who joined us. It can be intimidating to play with someone you don’t know. But once you take that leap, you realize that it isn’t as scary as you think and you open the door to so many wonderful opportunities. They were amazing – lots of smiles, great conversations as well as some excellent golf swings and putts.”
The three young women from First Tee Massachusetts came from different program locations around the state and have not had the opportunity to meet one another until today. Representing their respective parts of the state, it became very evident that the skills and core values from First Tee were utilized out on the course to make for a fun and competitive day of golf.
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