This prestigious Massachusetts Open Championship – to be contested on June 12-14 – is the only MGA event that includes a field of professional and amateur competitors and features one of the largest professional purses – $75,000 – in New England.
Eyeing the Clarence G. Cochrane Memorial Trophy will be an impressive field that includes exempt competitors as well as those who advanced through sectional qualifying which was held from May 15 through May 24 at six sites located across the state.
“The Mass Open is one of the most unique opens in the area because amateur and professionals from any state or country are eligible to enter,” said Kevin Eldridge, the MGA’s Director of Rules & Competition. “Entries opened in early February and we ended up with more than 500 entries.”
The 91 professional players in the field will also be seeking a share of the $75,000 purse which will be distributed to the low 50 professional finishers and ties. The winner will receive a check for $15,000.
The low amateur honor – which one year ago was won by Matt Hutchins (Naples, FL) – will be awarded the The Commonwealth Cup at the completion of play on Wednesday.
“We received applications from across the country and even internationally from Canada,” said Eldridge. “More than 20 states are represented including competitors from Colorado, Arizona, California, Georgia and Kentucky to name just a few.”
This year’s host site of TGC at Sacconnesset will be hosting its fifth MGA Championship in 10 years. The club most recently played host to the 2016 Massachusetts Mid-Amateur Championship, an event won by three-time MGA Player of the Year Matt Parziale (Thorny Lea GC), who will be also be competing in this year Massachusetts Open Championship.
“TGC at Sacconnesset has been a tremendous partner with the MGA,” said Jesse Menachem, the MGA’s Executive Director. “For a club celebrating 10 years and hosting five MGA championships, it’s a true testament to their commitment to amateur golf. TGC is nothing but a first-class operation.”
Considered a “modern classic,” the Rees Jones designed course first opened for play on June 3, 2007 and is recognized as the last new course to be built on raw land on Cape Cod. The course will play at just over 7,000 yards for the Massachusetts Open Championship.
“The layout of the golf course will provide a true test of golf and will give our championship staff an opportunity to provide a different course set up every day,” said Eldridge. “From the long par 4 that plays over 460 yards to the driveable par 4 2nd hole, we can vary course set up every day. The ever-present changing Cape Cod wind will come into effect and will help dictate the test that these players will face.”
During Massachusetts Open Media Day held on May 25, Jones was asked about what he thought about the region’s top talent coming to East Falmouth to play his TGC at Sacconnesset layout.
“They are probably thinking it’s going to be a pushover looking at the yardage, and some of them are going to be surprised,” said Jones, who spoke at length during an MGA Open Media Day held on May 25. “You’re going to have 65s and 66s and you want to have a couple of those, [but] they are not going to have a 65 or a 66 every day.”
ABOUT THE MASS OPEN
The Massachusetts Open Championship is the Massachusetts State Open Championship, open to both amateur and professional golfers.
It has been played annually since 1905 (except for war years) at Bay State courses and was even considered a PGA Tour event from 1916 to 1937.
Former winners include World Golf Hall of Fame players Donald Ross, Walter Hagen, Leo Diegel, Francis Ouimet, Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson, Horton Smith, and Julius Boros.
THE FIELD: BY THE NUMBERS
Eligibility: Entries are open to professional golfers and amateur golfers with an active USGA GHIN Handicap Index not exceeding 2.4 (as determined by the April 15, 2017 Handicap Revision), or who have completed their handicap certification.
Average Age: 29.6
Most Common Name in the Field : John (10)
Youngest Player: Michael Thorbjornsen (15)
Oldest Player: Kevin Carey (62)
Total Number of MGA Member Clubs Represented: 64
Number of Amateurs in the Field: 58
Number of Professionals in the Field: 91
Number of Amateurs Awaiting Reinstatement: 1
Most Represented MGA Member Clubs: Concord CC (4), Bass Rocks GC (3), GreatHorse (3), Marlborough CC (3), Thorny Lea GC (3)
PAST CHAMPIONS IN THE FIELD
The following players have won this event, which dates back to 1905, and will be competing in the 2017 Championship.
2016 – Jason Thresher (West Suffield, CT)
2015 – Joe Harney (Granite Links GC)
2014 – Ian Thimble (George Wright GC)
2011 – Kyle Gallo (Manchester, CT)
1995, 1997, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007 – Geoffrey Sisk (Marshfield CC)
1990 – Fran Quinn (Wachusett CC)
1989, 1992 – Andrew Morse (William J. Devine GC)
1986 – Kevin Johnson (CC of Halifax)
THE GOLF COURSE
Name: TGC at Sacconnesset
Where: Falmouth, MA
Vitals: 7,047 yards, par 72 (36-36)
Tee Times: Rounds 1 and 2
Admission: Free throughout the three-day event.
Scoreboard: There will be a scoreboard set up outside of the clubhouse so that all spectators and players can follow the action. There will also be an electronic scoreboard set up inside the clubhouse.
Food and Beverage: Available in the clubhouse and at the Halfway House located at Tees 11&13. Cash & Credit will be accepted at both locations.
Restrooms: Available in the clubhouse, between holes 4 & 5, and the Halfway House located at Tees 11 & 13.
Parking: Will be limited at TGC at Sacconnesset. Overflow parking will be available along the club’s driveway and the back portion of The Cape Club parking lot (125 Falmouth Woods Road).
HOW TO FOLLOW
Complete coverage of the 2017 Massachusetts Open Championship will be available online (MGAlinks.org) and via social media.
- Full-field results, including 9-hole splits and hole-by-hole scores
- Daily summaries, interviews event news and notes
- Photo galleries – courtesy of David Colt – will be posted on Tuesday and Wednesday
- Video highlights – courtesy of Don Coyne – will be posted following play on Wednesday
Information provided the Massachusetts Golf Association.