BABSON PARK, Mass.—Coming off one of the best seasons in program history, four members of the Babson College men's golf team will begin competition at the 109th Massachusetts Amateur Championship on Monday morning at Charles River Country Club in nearby Newton Centre.
The Beavers' top two players, rising junior Riley Whitham (Harvard, Mass.) and rising sophomore Chris Bornhorst (West Newton, Mass.) both qualified for the 144-player field, as did incoming first-year Lane Bohman (Chatham, Mass.) and head coach Jeff Page. The elder-statesman of the group, Page is looking forward to competing against some of the top young players in the state, especially because it includes a trio of Babson golfers.
"There is a sense of pride to qualify at my age and to have three of our guys reach this level makes me feel like a proud father as he watches his boys play in the big tournament," said Page, who will make at least his 12th appearance in the state amateur. "It's nice to still be able to hold my own at this age.
Whitham, who earned Golf Coaches Association of America/PING All-Northeast Region honors as a first-year in 2016, is excited to make his debut at the state amateur on Monday. "I caddied for one of my good friends two years ago so it will be pretty cool to play," he said. "I'm going to enjoy myself on the course and spend some quality time with my dad who is going to caddy for me. Being out on the course with him is definitely special."
This year's championship will be the second in a row for Bornhorst and Bohman, who both bowed out after two rounds of stroke play at Taconic Golf Club in Williamstown last summer. An all-region selection after leading the Green and White with a 75.39 stroke average as a first-year, Bornhorst believes he has the game to compete with the best in the state.
"I'm looking for redemption after missing the cut last year," said Bornhorst, who tied for 23rd at the Massachusetts Junior Amateur in 2015. "(Charles River) demands that you hit the fairways, and that will be the key for me this week. It's very exciting to have three players represent our golf team and I know we'll all compete hard."
The 144-player field will play 36 holes of stroke play before the low 32 scores advance to the match play bracket beginning on Wednesday morning. Although no one in the group would go on record with their predictions for the tournament, both Whitham and Bornhorst are excited to be competing with their head coach.
"Having three players and our coach competing in such a high-caliber event shows the talent we have on our team," said Whitham. "Also, to have coach Page in the tournament is pretty special. There are not too many coaches that can compete at such a high level."
"It goes to show the longevity of the game with coach Page still grinding it out with the young guys," added Bornhorst.
Bornhorst will get the tournament started on the 6,701-yard par 70 track with the first tee time of the day on No. 10 at 7:30 a.m. Page and Bohman will start on the first hole at 8:10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., respectively, while Whitham gets started off the 10th tee at 9:10 a.m.
For more information on the 109th Massachusetts State Amateur, please visit the Massachusetts Golf Association tournament website.
Courtesy of Babson Athletics Communications.