WEST HARTFORD, CT (July 18, 2016) -- The New England Amateur will be contested for the 87th time this week at the Hartford Golf Club. This will be the third time the course has hosted the event and first time since 1978. The first time the event was played at the Hartford Golf Club was 1929, the fourth year the event was held.
Each year the New England Amateur visits a new state and is played at a different course. Last year the Baker Hill Golf Club in New Hampshire hosted the event. The tournament was won by then University of Virginia golfer Nick McLaughlin.
This year will mark the first time that the event has been held in Connecticut since 2010 when Brian Higgins, of Massachusetts, won the tournament at The Course at Yale.
“A few of the volunteers for the New England Golf Association are members at the Hartford Golf Club and they are excited to host the event. They have said that the club itself is excited to host the event so it should mean a good event,” Kevin Eldridge Director of Rules and Competition for the Massachusetts Golf Association said.
The New England Amateur is one of the premier tournaments in the region and it is the only event in New England that is a 72-hole event. Some of the tournaments past champions include PGA Tour players Brad Faxon (1980, 1981), Tim Petrovic (1986), James Driscoll (1995) and J.J. Henry (1998).
Three past champions will be in the field for the 2016 edition of the New England Amateur. The returning champions include Kevin Quinn (2002), Brad Valois (2006) and Matt Parziale (2009).
In order to qualify for the event an amateur must hold a membership at a club that belongs to a New England State Golf Association. The player must also have a USGA/GHIN Handicap Index of 5.4 or lower. The field is limited to 156 golfers and each state determines how they will distribute their allotted spots in the field.
Hartford Golf Club, a 27-hole facility, will use the Red Course as the 18-holes for the event. The Red Course plays as a par 72 and can be stretched out to 6,589 yards. Among the aspects that make this event unique is the fact that the venue changes each year so the players never truly know what the layout will be until they arrive.
“We will probably play at maximum yardage,” said Eldridge. “We might mess around with some of the par-4's or par-3's by bringing the tees up or moving them back. Hartford has one par-3 that can play about 220 yards so you can change that around a bit.”
At this year's New England Amateur the New England Golf Association will be celebrating it 90th Anniversary. The New England Golf Association is primarily a volunteer organization made up of individuals from all six New England states.