By ANNE MARIE TOBIN
The 99th Massachusetts Junior Amateur Championship, held July 31- Aug. 2 at The Orchards Golf Club on the campus of Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley, came down to a battle featuring four talented Division 1-bound golfers, including 2017 St. John’s Prep graduate Mark Turner of Gloucester.Turner , a rising freshman at Dartmouth College, plays out of Bass Rocks Golf Club. He went into the final round tied for third at 3-under-par 138 with University of Maryland commit Dillon Brown(Country Club of Halifax), just two shots behind the 36-hole leader,
Andrew O’Leary (University of Notre Dame) and one shot behind O’Leary’s future Irish teammate Alex Jamieson. Brown turned it on in the final round, going out in 34 to pull into a tie for first with O’Leary, then came home in 33 to finish at 205,two shots better than O’Leary (71) and Jamieson (70), who finished tied for second at 207, and four shots clear of Turner, who shot 71 in the final round and finished fourth at 209. Jamieson and 2017 Prep graduate Chris Francoeur of Amesbury Golf Club shared the 18-hole lead with 3-under 68s. Francoeur, who is committed to the University of Rhode Island, faded over the final two rounds and tied for 13th at 7-over 220.
Nashawtuc members, 15-year old Michael Thorbjorsen and Xavier Marcoux, finished tied for eighth with 1-over scores of 214. (Thorbjorsen had an impressive summer, winning the Pre-Junior Championship (14-15) by five shots over Jack O’Donnell. Earlier in the summer, Thorbjorsen was co-low amateur at the Massachusetts Open at The Golf Club at Sacconnes set, finishing tied for fifth overall at 2-under 214. He also finished tied for 11th at the 50th Ouimet Memorial Tournament with a 1-under 214.)
Ferncroft Country Club’s Trent Han and Thomson Country Club’s James Henry tied for 32nd at the Junior Amateur. Sean Hurley of the Country Club of Billerica finished 44th, while Harry Theodore of Andover Country Club tied for 49th. Drew Semons of Beverly G&T made the cut but withdrew.
Fifty-four players of the 120-man field made the 36-hole cut, which fell at 12-over par 155. Christian Emmerich (Kernwood), Trevor Lopez (Winchester), Colby Mitchell (Bass Rocks) and Maahin Gulati (Nashawtuc) shot 156 and missed the cut by one. Other locals missing the cut were Will Grady of Haverhill (159), Thomas Finn of North Andover (162) and Robby Finn of Winchester (173).
Next year, the 100th Junior Amateur Championship will be played at Belmont Country Club Aug. 6-9. Belmont is also celebrating its centennial. The event will feature a return to a match play format.