Headline: Competitors Respond to 2017 MGA Open Championship Qualifying Sites: MGA Receives a Near Record Number of Entries

For Immediate Release: May 1, 2017

Defending champion Jason Thresher will be looking to defend his MGA Open title at TGC at Sacconnesset in June.

Norton, MA — When the six qualifying sites for the 2017 Massachusetts Open Championship were announced last December, the response to the scheduled host sites were well received by the many players who would be competing in one of the six qualifiers, which begin on Monday, May 15.

Now following the close of registration of this year’s Championship Proper, being contested at TGC at Sacconnesset in Falmouth in mid-June, it is quite obvious that the reception had merit, as the field of players who will compete in this year’s three-day tournament will be one of the top fields in recent memory.

Entering the 108th playing of the Championship at TGC at Sacconnesset, which will be hosting its fourth MGA Championship Proper since 2011, the MGA has received confirmation from 52 of its exempt players as well as registrations for the more than the 400 players who will look to advance from Belmont Country Club, Cohasset Golf Club, GreatHorse, Tedesco Country Club, Taconic Golf Club and Eastward Ho!, respectively.

Of the 52 exempt players who have committed to this year’s tournament, the three most recent victors in Jason Thresher, Joe Harney and Ian Thimble will each look to become a two-time champion while 2011 Mass Open Champion Kyle Gallo will also seek a chance to take home the hardware.

Other notables from the list of exempt professional players include six-time MGA Open Champion Geoffrey Sisk, Fran Quinn, Jr. (1990 Champion) and Kevin Johnson, who won the event back in 1986.

Among the list of amateur players in the exempt field, former MGA Open low-amateur finalists Matt Hutchins (2016) and Matt Parziale (2014), a three time MGA Player of the Year will compete while Kevin Carey, the 2016 MGA Senior Player of the Year and James Imai, the defending MGA Junior Player of the Year, have submitted their paperwork to play TGC June 12-14. Recent MGA Amateur Champions Brendan Hunter and Nick McLaughlin will also both compete.

Exempt Notables

  • Alex Jeffers – Played for Team Massachusetts at 2016 Tri-State Matches; advanced to the semi-final round of the 2016 Mass. Amateur Championship
  • Josh Hillman – Taconic Golf Club Head Golf Professional and Williams College Men’s Golf Coach
  • James Turner – 2016 New England Amateur Champion
  • Matt Naumec – Boston College Men’s Golf Team; qualified for the 2017 USGA Men’s Four Ball Championship; Advanced to the 2016 Mass Amateur Championship quarterfinals
  • Herbie Aikens – 2016 MGA Four Ball Champion; 2014 Massachusetts Mid-Amateur and Massachusetts Amateur Public Links Champion  
  • Keith Smith – 2-time MGA Senior Amateur Champion; most recently competed for Team Massachusetts at 2016 Tri-State Matches
  • Billy Walthouse – University of Rhode Island’s Men’s Golf Team captain; qualified for the 2017 USGA Men’s Four Ball Championship
  • Frank Dully – Head Golf Professional at Kernwood Country Club who has competed in several professional events
  • Chris Gentle – The two-time defending Lowell City Golf Champion; Competed for Team Massachusetts at 2016 Tri-State Matches before recently turning professional
  • Michael Thorbjornsen – 2015 Drive Chip and Putt National Champion; Was the youngest ever to qualify for the Mass. Open at age 14 in 2016; Played for Team Massachusetts at the 2016 New England Junior Invitational Tournament
  • Matt Cowgill – 2016 Mass Amateur Public Links Champion
  • Rich Berberian, Jr. – Reigning PGA Professional Player of the Year

In addition to the exempt players, each of the six qualifiers will feature a top-talent pool of players who have had success in Massachusetts and regional championships and will look for the opportunity to advance to the Championship Proper. Here is just a sample of the talent that will be on display at each of the qualifying sites.

Belmont Country Club – 5/15/17

  • Michael Souliotis – 2016 Massachusetts Father Son Champion
  • Daniel Woodbury – Virginia Tech Men’s Golf Team
  • Kevin Quinn – 1999 Mass. Open Champion, 2x Massachusetts Amateur Championship runner-up
  • Andrew McInerney – Qualified for the 2016 US Junior Amateur Championship, Played for Team Massachusetts at the 2016 New England Invitational Tournament
  • Will Frodigh – Westwood High School Boys Golf Team captain; Placed first at the 2016 Future Collegians World Tour Tournament at Whistling Straits Golf Course

Cohasset Golf Club – 5/15/17

  • Doug Clapp – 2013 MGA Player of the Year, 2014 Mass. Amateur Championship Runner-Up
  • Mike Dunham – Former NHL Goaltender and 2002 Olympic Silver Medalist for Team USA; Goaltending coach for New York Islanders
  • Andrew O’Leary – 2016 MIAA Division II Individual Champion; Competed for Team Massachusetts at the 2016 New England Junior Invitational Tournament; Has verbally committed to play golf for Notre Dame beginning in Fall 2018.
  • Steven Tasho – 2015 Massachusetts Father Son Champion; Member of the Bryant University Men’s Golf Team
  • Alex Jamieson – Played for Team Massachusetts at the 2016 New England Junior Invitational Tournament; Top-ranked junior golfer in Massachusetts according to Junior Golf Scoreboard

GreatHorse – 5/17/17

  • Andy Drohen – 2012 MGA Amateur Public Links Champion; 2004 Massachusetts Four Ball Championship; 2003 Massachusetts Amateur Champion;
  • Jake Ratti – Member of the Bryant University Men’s Golf Team
  • Guy Antonacci – General Manager of GreatHorse; Was a second alternate at the 2016 US Amateur Four-Ball Sectional Qualifier

Tedesco Country Club – 5/22/17

  • Steven Disilio – Member of the Duke Men’s Golf Team; the No. 2 rated class of 2016 recruit in the state of Massachusetts per Junior Golf Scoreboard;
  • Jimmy Hervol -  Member of the Connecticut Mens’s Golf Team; 2015 Mass Junior Amateur Champion
  • Mark Turner – 2x MIAA State Champion for St. John’s Prep; Competed for Team Massachusetts at the 2016 New England Junior Invitational Tournament; Advanced to the Round of 16 at the 2016 Massachusetts Amateur Championship
  • Jackson Lang – 2016 Massachusetts Amateur Championship Quarterfinalist; 2015-16 Atlantic 10 Conference Rookie of the Year for Davidson College; 2014 Boston Globe Golfer of the Year
  • Frank Vana, Jr. – Nine-time MGA Player of the Year; Nine-time Massachusetts Mid-Amateur Champion and 2016 Inductee to the Massachusetts Golf Hall of Fame

Taconic Golf Club – 5/22/17

  • Owen Quinn – Lehigh University Men’s Golf Team member; Placed third at 2014 Division 1 Massachusetts State High School Golf Championship
  • Connor Henderson – Member of the Bryant University Men’s Golf Team; 2015 United States Challenge Cup Gately Cup winner
  • Kevin Daly – Current Salem State University Assistant Golf Coach and a former Guy Tedesco Award recipient as New England’s top collegiate golfer

 Eastward Ho! – 5/24/17

  • Jordan Burke – Played for Team Massachusetts at the 2016 Tri-State Matches; Advanced to match play of the 2016 Massachusetts Amateur Championship;
  • Timothy Umphrey – Member of the Connecticut Men’s Golf Team; Advanced to the Round of 16 at the 2016 Massachusetts Amateur Championship
  • Brendan Ridge – Member of the Boston College Men’s Golf Team; Placed third at the 2015 Massachusetts Junior Amateur Championship;
  • Chris Congdon – 3-time All-American as a member of the Bryant University Men’s Golf Team; Finished at low-amateur in 2011 and 2012 Massachusetts Open Championships
  • Peter French – 2015 Ouimet Memorial Tournament Champion; former player for the Johnson & Wales Men’s Golf Team; Advanced to the semifinal round of the 2015 Massachusetts Amateur Championship

For information on tee times, results and highlights of all 2017 Massachusetts Open Championship qualifiers and Championship Proper, check back on mgalinks.org.

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