Mike Calef will attempt to repeat as Massachusetts Amateur champion when he leads an expected field of 142 players into the first of two stroke-play rounds on Monday at Longmeadow Country Club.
The 105th Massachusetts Amateur will consist of 36 holes of stroke play, with the low 32 advancing to match play, which begins Wednesday. The 36-hole championship match is scheduled for July 12.
Calef beat Mark Souliotis in last year’s final, 3 and 1, at Tedesco Country Club. Souliotis is also in this year’s field, which includes some of the biggest names in Massachusetts amateur golf. Doug Clapp from Old Sandwich Golf Club, who leads the points race for the Massachusetts Golf Association player of the year, is looking to win the event for the first time. Frank Vana Jr. is trying to become a three-time champion; he’s the last player to win in consecutive years (2004-05), a small group that Calef will be hoping to join.
Tee times on Monday and Tuesday begin at 7:30 a.m., and run through 1:39 p.m. Admission for spectators is free for the duration of the tournament, which is being held at Longmeadow for the first time since 1992. From a starting field of 627, seven Longmeadow members have qualified for the Mass. Am, the most of any club or course in the state. They’ll look to use some local knowledge in their bid to advance.
Sprague moving on
The Massachusetts Golf Association will soon be looking for a new executive director. Joe Sprague, who has held the position since May 2007, will be leaving the MGA in a few weeks for a position with the US Golf Association. Sprague has been named the director for the USGA’s regional affairs in the Northeast, which covers an area from Washington, D.C., up the East Coast, including Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and the New England states.
Hat trick for Warren
Shawn Warren of Nonesuch River Golf Club is on some kind of roll, winning three straight New England PGA tournaments. Warren teamed with Jeff Seavey (Samoset River) to shoot a 9-under-par 63 at Mount Pleasant Country Club and win the NEPGA’s Pro-Pro stroke play competition. In an event shortened to 18 holes because of weather, Seavey and Warren edged Daniel Wilkins (Laconia) and Bill Andrews (Portsmouth) by one stroke . . . Warren was also victorious at the NEPGA Pro-Member at Needham Country Club, shooting a 3-under 69 to beat Rick Karbowski by one shot . . . Also last week, Warren shot a 1-under 70 to win the NEPGA Pro-Am at Kirkbrae Country Club in Lincoln, R.I., also by one stroke . . . Valeria Casella of Sagamore Spring Golf Club is the Women’s Golf Association of Massachusetts Class B champion for 2013, winning the gross division last week at Worcester Country Club. In Class C, Sharon Jones (Charter Oak Country Club) was the winner, one year after capturing the Class D title . . . Casella (women’s net) was also one of the winners at the MGA’s Member Day tournament at Hopkinton Country Club on Monday. The others were Thor Van Vaerenewyck of Heather Hill (men’s gross), and Keith Girouard of the Tour of Greater Boston (men’s net).
In its seventh year of having Travelers as the title sponsor, the Travelers Championship generated more than $1.2 million for charity during last month’s tournament in Cromwell, Conn. It’s the largest amount raised for charity since Travelers took over; the money will go toward more than 100 charitable causes in New England, including the primary beneficiary, the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp . . . Entry deadlines for two MGA events are fast approaching. Applications for the Father & Daughter Championship must be received by the MGA no later than 5 p.m. on July 11. Entries for the Massachusetts Senior Amateur need to be in by 5 p.m. on July 18. The tournament is open to players 55 years and older who have a handicap index of 8.0 or better. The Massachusetts Senior Amateur is Sept. 10-11 at Haverhill Country Club . . . Entries for the US Senior Amateur and US Senior Women’s Amateur must be received by 5 p.m. July 17. The US Senior Am, also for players at least 55, is Sept. 21-26 at Wade Hampton Golf Club in Cashiers, N.C. The sectional qualifier is Aug. 7 at Segregansett Country Club, and the handicap limit is 7.4. The US Women’s Senior Am is also Sept. 21-26, at CordeValle in San Martin, Calif. Players 50 and older with a handicap index of 18.4 or better are eligible. The sectional qualifier is Aug. 5 at the Golf Club at Turner Hill in Ipswich. Entries for both tournaments can only be submitted online at www.champs.usga.org . . . Prior to the AJGA Junior at Tedesco, a 54-hole tournament at Tedesco Country Club that’s part of the American Junior Golf Association schedule, a fund-raising junior-am will be held at the course on July 15. If you’d like to play, or sponsor a group, call tournament chairman Peter Dinsmore at 617-921-1667 . . . The Country Club of Halifax is hosting a fund-raising tournament Aug. 5 to benefit the Folds of Honor Foundation. The scramble format event costs $125 per player, or $30 for those who want to skip golf and just have dinner. Playing and sponsorship spots are still available. For information, call 781-293-9063 . . . They were forced to dodge some rain, but a crew from the Golf Channel spent a few days this week at Old Sandwich Golf Club in Plymouth, filming episodes for their “Golf Channel Academy” show with Brad Faxon. The episodes, focusing on the short game, are scheduled to air next month . . . If you’re a fan of George Wright Golf Course, grab the latest issue of Golf Digest. David Owen, a funny, very talented golf writer, has a glowing column about the Hyde Park track.