As if the event needed any more of a boost, this year’s Francis Ouimet Memorial Tournament will be played celebrating the 100th anniversary of Ouimet’s unbelievable U.S. Open victory.
Kicking off Wednesday, July 24 at Wollaston Golf Club, the 46th playing of the Ouimet Memorial will rotate to two other clubs that played a part in the story of Ouimet, considered the father of amateur golf. Round 2 will be held at Wellesley Country Club with the finale concluding at the Donald Ross-designed Woodland Golf Club.
The Ouimet annually attracts one of New England’s top fields. And again this year, the field will consist of some of the top collegiate and mid-amateur talent in Massachusetts and beyond.
Defending champion Jack Whelan, a junior at St. Lawrence University, will be there to defend. Recent Johnson & Wales graduate Colin Brennan, who took runner-up at last year’s event to Whelan, will be gunning for the title. Old Dominion’s Jamison Randall, New England Amateur winner Evan Russell out of the University of Hartford and Billy Walthouse, an incoming freshman at Rhode Island who contended at the New England Amateur, are also players to watch.
Among the mid-amateurs hoping to take his crown will be five-time champion Frank Vana, who dominated Massachusetts amateur golf for the better part of the last 15 years. Andy Drohen, the reigning Mass. Public-Links champion and winner of every non-senior major in the state, will also be on hand. He recently reached match play at the U.S. Pub-Links.
In addition to Whelan and Vana, there are seven other former champions including Kevin Carey (2000), Jon Fasick (1983), John Gilmartin (2004, 2011), John Hadges (1981), Jack Kearney (1992), Joe Keller (1997) and Matt Parziale (2009).
The Ouimet Memorial, of course, helps fund the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund, which has supplied more than $25 million in need-based college tuition assistance to students who have worked around the game in Massachusetts as caddies, pro shop staff or course maintenance workers since 1949.
Amateurgolf.com will have round-by-round coverage of the event, starting with Wednesday’s first round.