PLYMOUTH, Mass – Plymouth Country Club and the Hornblower Committee will host the 59th edition of the Hornblower Tournament June 2-3 with another outstanding field of amateur golfers from throughout New England ready to compete on the par 69 Donald Ross-design course.
“The staff and I always look forward to welcoming these incredible players to our amazing Donald Ross course,” said Director of Operations Mike Roy. “Preparing for the event involves many hours by everyone and one of the most difficult challenges is determining which players will be invited to the event from the hundreds who apply every year.”
The top 60 finishers and Hornblower winners from previous years earn an automatic invitation but everyone else is invited based on merit and just about all of the applicants have amazing golf credentials. Along with the Plymouth players who have earned spots through previous performances in the tournament, this year more than 30 club members competed in a six-player qualifier. Medalist for that event was Tom Czarnota with a score of even par 69, followed by Evan Clark with a 2-over 71. The other qualifiers were Mike Ryan, Brian Secia, Rory O’Donnell and Brian Alberico. Also playing in her third Hornblower is Shannon Johnson, winner of numerous female state and one national title.
Walter Sharis, the only current Plymouth Country Club member to have won the Hornblower in 1987 has also decided to play this year much to the delight of his many friends at P.C.C. All champions have a lifetime exemption to the event and many continue to play every year. At 81 years old, Walter is looking forward to competing.
“Teeing it up with so many amazing young athletes in this prestigious tournament. When I was younger, I was lucky enough to win a number of tournaments both here, England and Ireland, but the Hornblower has always been a favorite and giving it one more try will be so special,” he said. “The decision to play was made easier by the encouragement from Director of Operations Mike Roy, Tournament Chairman Mike Ellis, my many other friends at Plymouth Country Club and my family. When I won in 87, my son Michael was my caddy and we won in a two hole playoff. This year my wife Peggy will be driving the cart and acting as my main cheerleader. I look forward to posting a good score but just being out there will make this tournament such a wonderful memory.”
The course is in prime shape and the Plymouth Country Club membership have put out the red carpet for players.
“We are very excited to welcome participants in the 59th Annual Hornblower Tournament at Plymouth Country Club,” shared Plymouth Country Club President Tom Mayer. “For the last several years we have increased the pace of our restoration plan and the players are always seeing something new. We have made some dramatic changes on the course during this offseason which will certainly catch everyone’s attention. We are fortunate in that many of the players take the time to provide us with feedback on the changes we have made on the course and we value their opinions very much since they play some of the best courses anywhere.” We are now in the early stages of implementing a Master Plan to upgrade out facilities and we hope the 60th Hornblower next year will provide an even more comfortable atmosphere for the players to enjoy after golf.
Tournament Chairman Mike Ellis is also very pleased by the response to this year’s event.
“The Hornblower has been around for a very long time, started by my dad and some friends, and we are always attempting to improve the event to keep it among the best tournaments anywhere,” said Ellis. “We hope for good weather and the competition is fierce but friendly with lots of low scores. And, we never know if this will be the year we finally have someone successfully win back-to-back. In the previous 58 years of the tournament, no golfer has ever done that even though there have been a number of multiple year winners. That group includes Bill Mallon, Bill Buttner, James Driscoll, John Hadges, Robert Leopold, Matt Parziale and one three-time champion Steve Tasho. Having someone repeat two years in a row will be a special accomplishment.”
Jared Nelson of Rutland Vt, last year’s Hornblower Champion, Big East Player of the Year, Vermont Amateur Champion, and New England Amateur Champion reflected on how playing Plymouth Country Club attributed to his other wins.
“Last years win at the Hornblower was a huge confidence boost for me and spurred me on to have the summer I did,” added Nelson who matched the course record of 63 set by Chris Francouer in 2020 from the Gold Tees while his score was posted from the more recently introduced extended black tees. “Plymouth Country Club is a very challenging course that puts a premium on controlling the golf ball into the greens. There are birdies to be had if you hit it in right spots, but you can also make bogeys quickly by getting overly aggressive. The greens are among the best and most treacherous of any course that I have played. Every year when I come back to Plymouth, I learn more and more about the golf course and I love the challenge that it presents. Whoever wins this year’s Hornblower will definitely have earned it.” In his win, Jared matched the course record of 63 set by Chris Francouer in 2020 from the Gold Tees while Jared’s score was posted from the more recently introduced extended black tees.
Mayer, Roy, and Ellis collectively and on behalf of the entire membership want to extend their sincere thanks to Course Superintendent Ben Whiting and his dedicated team for all their work year round preparing and then maintaining the course in such amazing condition for the members and the tournament players. “There is no superintendent or crew anywhere who work harder than our guys” commented Roy. “And if you’ve never been to the Hornblower Tournament, we invite you to come by and watch some of the best amateurs in New England.”
On the web: PlymouthCC.net/…The-Hornblower