Dates: June 3-4
Location: Plymouth Country Club (Plymouth,
Defending Champion: Nick McLaughlin (-1)-
in field this year
PLYMOUTH, MA (June 2, 2016) -- The 52nd
Hornblower Memorial will be the first
flagship amateur event contested this season with
Plymouth Country Club serving as the host. Over the
years 10 winners of the 36-hole event have gone onto
play on the PGA Tour.
Past Winners to Play on PGA Tour: Bill
1974), Bill Buttner (1975, 1977), Peter Teravainen
(1979), Geof Sisk (1988), James Driscoll (1994,
Steve Jamroz (1995), Justin Peters (1998), Jason
(2000), Justin Goodhue (2003), Matt Ziale (2007)
Each year 65% of the 156 man field is filled by
while the remaining slots are comprised of those who
have applied and have a GHIN index of 3.0 or lower.
The field is cut to 70 players following the completion
the first round.
“A lot of (our recruiting) is done by Dave
Adamonis,” said tournament director Mike Ellis of the
yearly process. "With that said a lot of the recruiting is
done by word of mouth. I talk to college players
(throughout the year) and then always ask them
the rest of their teammates. The players are starting
learn that part of the field is open (to applicants) so
we are getting a lot of kids starting to apply.”
The recruiting process this year has produced
another impressive field. Here is a look at some of the
players to watch over the weekend:
Herbie Aikens: One of the top mid-
in Massachusetts, Aikens has won two Massachusetts
Mid-Amateur titles (2013, 2014). The Kingston, MA
resident has also finished second at the 2015 Stocker
Cup and twice finished inside the top-five at the New
Jack Kearney: Currently the 64th ranked
country, Kearney will make his way from Peachtree
GA to compete in the 2016 Hornblower Invitational.
Kearney has finished tied for sixth at the Jones Cup
Senior and tied for 16th at the Society of Seniors
Classic so far this year.
Matt Parziale: Coming off an impressive
Parziale, a firefighter in Brockton, MA, will look to
a run this weekend.
Parziale, a former mini tour player, was a medalist at
last year's U.S. Mid-Amateur while also finishing third
U.S. Open Local Qualifying.
Frank Vana: The Boylston, MA resident
one of the best
amateur players in the history of Massachusetts golf.
Over the course of his long career Vana has won
than 30 MGA events.
Hunter O’Mahoney: Less than a month
completing his senior season at Nova Southeastern,
O'Mahoney will tee it up at Plymouth Country Club.
O'Mahoney was a 2014 PING Honorable Mention All-
TJ McNulty: Tournament director Mike
highlighted McNulty as a sleeper pick. McNulty, from
Scituate, MA recently concluded his playing career at
St. Joseph's and has steadily climbed up the
Invitational leaderboard the last four years.
The field also includes a group of returning
champions, including Steve Tasho (three-time
champion), John Hadges (two-time champion), Bobby
Leopold (two-time champion) and Larry Rentz.
The Hornblower Memorial is currently
a second coming in a sense. In 1932 Plymouth
Club member Henry Hornblower, maybe the clubs
prominent member ever, began the event in the hopes
of bringing together the best amateur players from
England in an effort to spread the game. Each year
contestants would compete for the Hornblower Trophy.
Over the course of the next half-decade the
tournament grew in fame and size. Unfortunately, the
ill-timed death of Hornblower and the onset of World
War II ended the
event. That is until 1962 when the trophy was
discovered on an old shelf in the clubhouse covered in
years of dust. After discovering the trophy interest in
the history of the event grew and before long the
was back in full force.
A group of four led by Skeet Ellis (father of
tournament director Mike Ellis), club pro Gerry
Goodwin, Reno Zammarchi and Hank Ingram brought
the event back initially as a member only event.
However, in 1965 with Ellis in the lead the committee
convinced the club board to once more make it a
event in honor of the Hornblower legacy.
Each year the players battle it out on the 1910
Donald Ross layout that can be stretched to 6,228
yards. The course is a New England style course
through and through with holes on the shorter side
greens that have enough bite to leave players shaking
their heads as they head to the next tee box. On a
yearly basis the greens that seem to have the
teeth are the seventh and eighth.
“I remember there was one year when my dad
still involved (in the tournament) and he was setting
pins,” said Ellis. "The 7th green has almost a Y
shape with a little plateau in the back, which is the
center of the Y with a left side and ride side and then
crest in the middle. Well he put the pin in the place
were the Y meets and when I was watching that day I
saw a guy six putt it. I saw a guy who was on in two
and ended up making an 11.“
In addition to the difficult 7th the shorter par-3
has given players headaches over the years. However
as Ellis says,
“they all sweat it out until they get by there and then
you can see them relax a bit and get back to playing
golf a bit.”
The future of the event is bright as the committee
is attempting to extend the event to three days, a
process that will take some time. They are also
attempting to get the
event nationally ranked which would mean that
points could be allotted to the players.
“Our goal is to start competing with the
Amateur,” says Ellis of the tournaments plans. “I’ve
talked to the Massachusetts Golf Association and we
have strong support, they have always been a great
asset to us.”
Until that happens the Hornblower Memorial is
happy with its position as one of the flagship events of
northeast amateur golf. This year as always the field
be strong and the competition fierce when the
tournament gets underway on Friday.