A field of 144 will gather at Tedesco Country Club in Marblehead Monday to begin playing the most prestigious amateur competition in the state.
The 104th Massachusetts Amateur will consist of 36 holes of stroke play to determine the low 32 players who will advance to match play, with the 36-hole championship match scheduled for Friday.
Twenty players — including defending champion Ryan Riley — were automatically exempt into the tournament, while the rest earned spots in one of 10 qualifiers. It marks the fourth time Tedesco — which was established in 1903 — has hosted the state amateur, following 1939, 1960, and 1982.
Riley’s task won’t be easy. The last person to repeat as champion was Frank Vana (2004-05), whom Riley defeated in last year’s championship match at Wyantenuck Country Club. Spectators are welcome to attend the Massachusetts Amateur, and there is no admission charge.
Most golf eyes this week will be on Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wis., where the US Women’s Open is being held, or on the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., since Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are in the field. But a number of local golf fans will be paying attention to the Champions Tour event, since Ryan Consentino of Norton will be paired with professional Mark Mouland at the Nature Valley First Tee Open in Monterey, Calif. Consentino, a member of the First Tee of Massachusetts who will be a freshman at Roger Williams University later this year, was one of 81 juniors selected to compete in the tournament, which pairs a Champions Tour player with a junior and four amateurs. Consentino, Mouland, and their team will play Del Monte Golf Course Friday, then Pebble Beach Golf Links Saturday. Golf Channel will provide coverage of the tournament . . . New Bedford native Peter Uihlein was unsuccessful in his bid to qualify for this month’s British Open, which starts in two weeks at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. Uihlein, a 22-year-old who turned professional late last year, shot 74-70 at Southport & Ainsdale Golf Club and missed the cut-off by six strokes at Local Final Qualifying in England. Uihlein won’t be playing, but two players with Bay State connections — Keegan Bradley and James Driscoll — will be. Other recognizable names coming up short in Local Final Qualifying included former US Open champion Michael Campbell, Chris Wood, and Stanford amateur Patrick Rodgers . . . Speaking of the US Women’s Open, Juli Inkster will make tournament history when she begins her first round Thursday. It will be her 33d appearance, matching the record set by Marlene Hagge, who never won it. Inkster has put her name on the US Women’s Open trophy twice, in 1999 and 2002.
Williamson on top
Recent Dartmouth graduate Peter Williamson was tied for the lead after two rounds at the 112th North & South Amateur in Pinehurst, N.C. Williamson had a pair of 69s to join Thomas Bradshaw (68-70) of Columbia, S.C. The field was cut to the low 60 and ties after 36 holes; one more stroke-play round will determine the 16 players who will advance to match play. Herbie Aikens of Kingston shot 74-78 and missed the cut . . . Beginning the final day trailing, 10-6, Europe won seven of the eight singles matches, and halved the other, storming back to win the Palmer Cup, 13.5-10.5, at Royal County Down in Northern Ireland. The Palmer Cup is an amateur competition between college players from the US and Europe . . . Justin Thomas, who was part of the US Palmer Cup team, received the Fred Haskins Award this week, which is given to the top player in college golf. Thomas won four times during his freshman season at Alabama.
Kids at play
Winners at a US Kids Golf event at Gardner Municipal Golf Course included Josiah Hakala of New Ipswich (boys age 6), Aidan Leblanc of Beverly (boys 7), James Robbins of North Andover (boys 8), David D’Agostino of Everett (boys 9), Michael Thorbjornsen of Wellesley (boys 10), James Imai of Brookline (boys 11), Cameron Sheedy of Pepperell (boys 12), Dante Newman of Grafton (boys 13-14), Shea Freda of Wakefield (girls 7 and under), Julie Westvik of Lexington (girls 8-9), Allison Paik of Sharon (girls 10-11), and Alaina Steed of Maynard (girls 12-14) . . . The 16-event Boston Junior Golf Tour starts Friday with a tournament at Bradford Country Club. The tour is for boys and girls age 12-17, with no handicap limit. For a full schedule or to register, visit www.BostonJuniorGolfTour.com.
Dozens of Massachusetts courses, public and private, are participating in Family Golf Month, a national initiative in July spearheaded by the PGA of America. Many programs are being offered, including family golf clinics, family play days, use of junior golf clubs, and family-friendly course setups; some of the programs are free, while others have a minimal charge. To learn more, visit www.playgolfamerica.com . . . Spots are available in the Tee Up 4 Kids tournament at Granite Links Golf Club July 26, an event that benefits the Child Life Services Department at Children’s Hospital Boston. The cost of $175 per golfer includes golf, cart, and dinner, during which a silent auction will be held. To register, call 617-429-1633 . . . Another tournament, also July 26 and for a worthwhile cause, has open spots. The fourth Tim Morris “Let’s Get You Walking Again” Charity Golf tourney will be held at Plausawa Valley Country Club in Pembroke, N.H., an event that benefits the rehabilitation fund for Morris, who was injured in a car accident five years ago. Golf, lunch, raffles, a silent auction, and prizes will be included, and a lunch-only option is available. Donations will also be accepted. To sign up, make a donation, or for additional information, call 603-882-0442.