THE 2020 New Hampshire Golf Association’s Junior Tour wrapped up with last Monday’s Junior Invitational at Abenaqui Country Club. The event featured the top players in each of the Junior Tour’s five divisions based on this season’s previous results.
• Colin Fitzgerald (Birdie Boys)
• Madalyn Savary (Birdie Girls)
• Brian Adams (Eagle A Boys)
• Stephen Ramon (Eagle B Boys)
• Carys Fennessy (Eagle Girls)
The Junior Invitational was one of 11 NHGA Junior tournaments offered this year. Kinsey Hoffman, the NHGA’s director of junior golf and tournament operations, said the goal is to offer a more competitive schedule next year. “There were things we wanted to add to the schedule this year that we couldn’t because of COVID,” Hoffman said. “Hopefully next year is a little more normal.
“We’d like to add some regional events, some two-day and three-day events with kids from out of state, so the kids can get some national recognition since the AJGA (American Junior Golf Association) recognizes events that are a minimum of two rounds. We’d also like to have some longer events for kids who want to play in college so they can experience what that (extra yardage) is like.”
The NHGA Junior Tour Players of the Year were also announced following Monday’s tournament. Zach Nelson earned the Birdie Boys Player of the Year award for the second consecutive season; Savary secured the Birdie Girls Player of the Year honor; Adams was named the Eagle A Boys Player of the Year; Shivani Vora’s second-place finish Monday earned her the Eagle Girls Player of the Year award; and Myles O’Quinn claimed the Eagle B Boys Player of the Year honor. O’Quinn played in nine NHGA Junior Tour events this summer and finished in the top two eight times, including victories at the Mike Ryan Memorial Championship and the Junior Stableford event at North Conway Country Club.
We profiled Amherst resident Paul LaCoste in this column earlier this month. LaCoste, 63, has worked at nearly 25 PGA events and is serving as a volunteer walking scorer for the Northern Trust at TPC Boston. He witnessed something rare Friday — Scottie Scheffler’s 59 during the tournament’s second round.
Scheffler became one of 11 golfers to shoot a sub-60 round on the PGA Tour. Jim Furyk is the only player to do it twice. Scheffler’s round included 12 birdies and no bogeys.
“He had a three-foot side-hiller for a 59,” LaCoste said. “You just hope for the best, and he knocks it in. It was a special moment.
“He handled the pressure very, very well. He just played so solid. There was no lightning really. It was just constant fairways and greens, and when he did get into a little bit of trouble, he hit an amazing recovery shot to put himself back in good shape.”
LaCoste, who said he plays most of his golf at Amherst Country Club, began volunteering for PGA events in 2005. He scored for Kevin Kisner, Richy Werenski and Mark Hubbard during Thursday’s first round. Scheffler played with Tony Finau and Kevin Streelman on Friday.
At 24, Scheffler became the second-youngest player to record a sub-60 round on the PGA tour. Justin Thomas shot a 59 at the Sony Open in Hawaii when he was 23.
LaCoste said Scheffler was extremely gracious after the round.
“I had my picture taken with him,” he said. “I took a picture of my hand-held device that shows the scoring, and I also had him sign my lanyard. He autographed it and wrote 59. It was just one of those things you’ll never forget.”
Derryfield Country Club’s Tara Watt survived a three-hole playoff against Abenaqui’s Dana Harrity to win the NHGA Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship last Thursday at Pease Golf Course.
Each player was at 7-over-par after 36 holes, and Watt prevailed when she made par on the third playoff hole — a hole she double-bogeyed earlier in the tournament. Watt also won the New Hampshire Women’s Golf Association Amateur Championship earlier this month.
Thursday’s other winners were Paige Macleay (First Flight), Karen Landry (Second Flight) and Thayer Landry (Third Flight).
Portsmouth Country Club’s Deb Clauson made a hole-in-one at Pease Golf Course last Wednesday during the first round of the NHGA Women’s Mid-Amateur.
Clauson aced the par-3 16th hole, which was playing at a distance of 139 yards.
Sept. 8-9: NHGA Senior Amateur Championship (Atkinson Resort & CC)
Sept. 15-16: New England Senior Amateur (Mt. Washington Resort & GC)
Sept. 27-28: Mid-Amateur Team Championship (Mt. Washington Resort & GC)
Sept. 27-28: Senior Four-Ball Championship (Mt. Washington Resort & GC)