Hornblower Memorial attracts top amateurs
10 Mar 2011
by Benjamin Larsen of amateurgolf.com
see also: Frank Vana Rankings
Ask any top amateur in Massachusetts which events he strives to win each season and the Hornblower Memorial will be near the top of the list.
Named for the infamous Henry Hornblower, the visionary businessman who created Plymouth Country Club in Plymouth, Mass., the Hornblower Memorial, to be played June 3-4, is one of the marquee events on the Bay State schedule year in and year out.
"It's an event that attracts the best players in Massachusetts and all of New England and beyond," said Mike Ellis, the chairman of the event and son of Skeet Ellis, the man who revived the tournament 47 years ago. "It's an old school tournament."
Much like Hornblower's creation of what was the first of Plymouth's impressive crop of golf layouts, the tournament in his name started minimally and has since blossomed into a special event.
On par with the annual Ouimet Memorial, the Hornblower tournament serves as a gathering for the top players throughout Massachusetts across many generations.
Frank Vana, one of the top players on the Massachusetts amateur golf circuit for much of the last two decades, has long said that the Hornblower is the tournament he'd most like to win. It has eluded him up to this point in his illustrious career, but many legends have claimed titles.
Past winners of the event include the legendary Fordie Pitts, Geoff Sisk, James Driscoll --- who won two titles --- Jack Kearney, John Hadges, Peter Alminas and Robert Leopold. Many past winners moved on to the professional ranks following their victories.
Last season, Larry Rentz blew away the competition, winning by four shots with an impressive 3-under, 135 at the two-day event.
"This is an event that players can earn a lot of player of the year points," Ellis said. "And that shows in the competition level. The Hornblower Memorial is a very presitgious event for every player."
Proceeds from the event go directly to Plymouth Country Club, which has hosted the tournament since its inception.
The profits from this year's event will be added to the funds dedicated to a new trophy case to be put in the newly-assembled clubhouse at the country club."