Ouimet Memorial a favorite among elite New Englanders
23 Mar 2011
by Benjamin Larsen of amateurgolf.com
Perhaps the marquee event for amateurs in Massachusetts and New England each season, the Ouimet Memorial is scheduled for July 27-29 at three courses in the greater-Boston area --- Charles River Country Club, Dedham Country Club and the Woodlands Golf Club.
This year's event will mark the 44th edition and will feature three divisions as senior and women's divisions will join the open championship division to make the Ouimet even more appealing to the amateur golf community in the Bay State.
The Ouimet Memorial is a 54-hole stroke-play event geared towards high-level amateurs carrying a handicap of three or less. The annual event rotates between a series of courses in Eastern Massachusetts. After two rounds of play, the field is cut to the lowest 40 players for the final round of play at the Woodland Golf Club in Auburndale, Mass.
In its fifth decade of play, though, there is much more to this event than a friendly round. In recent memory --- and likely to continue this year --- there has been an extremely high level of competition at the Ouimet Memorial.
In 2006, legendary Massachusetts amateur circuit player Frank Vana outdueled current PGA Tour player Jim Renner and two-time Mass. Amateur Champion John Hadges by setting a course record at Walpole Country Club and eventually winning by three shots.
Last year, Vana put together a dramatic comeback to beat former NHL goaltender Mike Dunham at Concord Country Club.
The appeal of the Ouimet Memorial, of course, is in its name. Named for the famed Francis Ouimet, the event strives to live up to the impressive career put forth by the great amateur. Ouimet won the Massachusetts Amateur Championship at the age of 20 and a total of five times throughout his illustrious career.
Ouimet also won the U.S. Amateur title on two occasions. His biggest victory, however, came at the 1913 U.S. Open, which was held at his home course, The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.
Proceeds from the Ouimet Memorial benefit the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund, which awards college aid to students who have worked as caddies in Massachusetts.
To date, the fund has awarded more than $22 million to 4,700 Ouimet scholars.