Record-breaking performance for Lavu victory at Young Golfers' Am
08 Aug 2022
by Massachusetts Golf Association

Aarav Lavu (Mass Golf photo)
Aarav Lavu (Mass Golf photo)

Monday marked the first time in the 100-plus-year history of Mass Golf, that a championship proper was hosted at Marion Golf Club. The Young Golfers’ Amateur Championship Powered By KOHR Golf saw 27 youngsters tee it up at one of golf’s true hidden gems.

The event was played as an 18-hole modified Stableford, but the scoring was rendered moot after Aarav Lavu (MIAA) posted a bogey-free 59 (47 Stableford Points) in becoming the eighth Young Golfers’ Amateur Champion.

For Lavu, it was a day of firsts. It was the first bogey-free round of his life, his first round sub-60, and his first Mass Golf Championship victory.

As one of the older players in the field, and having finished as runner-up at the Young Golfers’ Amateur in the past (2020), Aarav Lavu is no stranger to this event.

“I played this event for the past three years, ever since I was 10 years old, and never won it. So this is a whole new experience for me. I’m extremely excited, because I’ve just have never been in this situation before.” said Lavu after his round.

Over his opening nine holes, Lavu birdied all three of the par-3s, mixing in an eagle on par-5 4th. And in his second trip around the charming 9-hole track, he mixed in three more birdies and another eagle. After the round, Lavu credited his iron play for setting up the many birdie and eagle opportunities. In total, Lavu made 2 eagles, 7 birdies and 9 pars.

“It’s just my irons were always going next to the hole and I had the distance (off the tee) on everyone, considering I’m one of the oldest in the field. So yeah, I was just hitting fairways and greens.”

Since the new ownership group took over Marion GC, the competitive course record has been listed as 65. That score was shot from the back tees and will remain intact. Interestingly, the owner of that record is Markus Pierre, whose younger brother Luke Pierre, was in the field today and finished T8.

On any other day Patrick Maloney (MIAA) likely would have been crowned champion. In tallying 38 Stableford points, Maloney made 7 birdies and an eagle, and would have gone down as a 68 with traditional scoring. Over the final seven holes, he shot 4-under-par, which catapulted him ahead of last year’s champion, Tucker Cullinan (YOC/Mass Golf).

In his title defense, Cullinan played consistent golf, avoiding any big (or in the case of Stableford, small) numbers. His two birdies and thirteen pars helped him amass 35 Stableford points and a solo-third finish.

The Young Golfers Amateur Championship Powered By KOHR Golf was open to amateur golfers who have an active Mass Golf Membership and did not reach their 14th birthday before July 18, 2022. Entries were filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. The event is played as an 18-hole modified Stableford where points are awarded for Eagle (4), Birdie (3), Par (2), and Bogey (1). Any score double-bogey or higher receives no points.

In April, Mass Golf announced a multi-year partnership, making KOHR Golf the official sponsor of all three Mass Golf junior golf championships: The Junior Amateur, the Girls’ Junior Amateur and the Young Golfers’ Amateur.

Since 2018, KOHR Golf Center in Natick has been a program location for First Tee Massachusetts. But the facility has also developed and coached several of the top players, 18 years and younger, in Massachusetts, many of whom compete in Mass Golf’s junior championships. All three of those events will now be “Powered By KOHR Golf”. With 62 hitting bays, 14 target greens and 12 USGA Greens & Bunkers, KOHR Golf Center is open 7 days a week and has been regarded as a premier golf training center in the Northeast.

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