QUECHEE, Vermont – Xavier Marcoux, an 18-year old from Concord (Mass), is the 2019 New England Amateur Champion.
Marcoux, who will attend Rutgers University in September, spent the better part of three days at the fabulously-conditioned Quechee Club near the top of the leaderboard, having improved on his under-par round in each of the first two days.
On July 25 he closed the deal by carding two 3-under par 69 rounds in both the morning and afternoon to capture the prestigious 90 edition of the tournament.
Marcoux fired a three-day, four round 9-under 279 to edge Rhode Island’s Bobby Leopold, the 2017 New England Amateur champion, by one stroke and topped the rest of the 42 competitors who had advanced to the final rounds en route to being crowned champion.
“It’s been a long time since my last win, so it definitely feels good to have my name on a trophy like that with such history here in New England Golf,” said Marcoux on capturing the Harry B. McCracken Trophy, named after the longtime NEGA Executive Secretary who was on site to award Marcoux the trophy.
After finishing the round, Marcoux had to wait for Leopold and two other groups to finish before his spot atop the leaderboard became finalized.
In the final round, Marcoux opened up play on the 10th tee of Quechee Club’s Highland Course by tallying birdies on three of his first five holes to quickly pace himself and move up from his T3 spot on the leaderboard where he started the day up into the top spot. Despite two bogeys on the par-4 15th hole and par-3 17th holes prior to making the turn to his second nine in the morning round, he was able to record another two birdies on the par-4 third hole and par-5 fourth hole to move back to 3-under for the round and 6-under through three rounds.
In the afternoon round, Marcoux, a recent graduate of Florida’s Bishops Gate Golf Academy, registered three birdies on his front nine and erased a back nine bogey with a fourth birdie on the par-4 15th to keep his spot atop the leaderboard. Leopold, who had fired a 4-under 68 in his morning round Thursday with an eagle and three birdies, bogeyed three of his final four holes Thursday afternoon to finish a 1-under 71 and at 8-under 280.
On what went right Thursday for Marcoux, he said, “This afternoon was pretty steady. I didn’t make a bogey until I got to the 12th hole and I kind of just told myself I could get one more.”
He added, “I felt like I minimized my mistakes really well. So when I was out of position, I was back in position right away.”
Coming off a medalist finish two weeks ago at the U.S. Amateur Championship qualifier at Andover Country Club (Mass.), where he had to play 36-holes to advance to his first USGA championship, Marcoux said the experience was key in his performance on the day. The previous two days of competition at the NEGA Amateur Championship were conducted at 18-holes.
“36 holes is definitely a very long day,” explained Marcoux. “I learned a lot in my U.S. Amateur qualifier a couple weeks ago. You have to focus at one shot at a time and you can’t be thinking about the end goal. You have to definitely keep plotting your way around the golf course.”
With his victory in the New England Amateur Championship Thursday, Marcoux becomes the first Massachusetts competitor to win the regional tournament since Gloucester’s James Turner earned the feat at Hartford (Conn.) Golf Club in 2016. Since the tournament’s inception in 1926, 36 players from Massachusetts have taken home the New England Amateur trophy.
The New England Amateur Championship will return to the Bay State next year to Concord Country Club which will host the 91st New England Amateur Championship from July 21-23.
CONTENT CREDIT: New England Golf Association
PHOTO CREDITS: David Colt, INLINE PHOTO: Austin Danforth