Golf notes

Strength in numbers

Uihlein, locals vie for Amateur

Back-to-back bid
By Michael Whitmer
Globe Staff / August 18, 2011

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New Bedford native Peter Uihlein will attempt to join Tiger Woods as back-to-back champions (Woods won three straight from 1994-96), and a handful of other players with local ties are set to play in the US Amateur, which starts Monday at Erin Hills near Milwaukee.

There’s 18 holes of stroke play on Monday, 18 more on Tuesday, with the low 64 moving to match play.

Others who have qualified for the championship include Herbie Aikens of Pembroke, Davis Mullany of Great Barrington, Matthew Broome of Barrington, R.I., Jonathan Pannone of East Greenwich, R.I., Garren Poirier of Killington, Vt., Peter Williamson of Hanover, N.H., Joseph Toland of Dixville Notch, N.H., James Pleat of Nashua, N.H., and Nicholas MacDonald of Lebanon, N.H.

Worth the trip The Jutanugarn sisters have returned to Bangkok since school starts this week, but what a summer adventure they can share with their friends back home in Thailand. Ariya, a 15-year-old, won the US Girls Junior Amateur at Olympia Fields near Chicago last month, then caddied for her sister, 17-year-old Moriya, at the US Women’s Amateur last week at Rhode Island Country Club. With a victory there, Moriya and Ariya would have become the first family members in history to win two US Golf Association championships in the same year. But Moriya couldn’t dethrone defending champion Danielle Kang of Westlake Village, Calif., losing 6 and 5 in Barrington . . . Five players have won three straight US Women’s Amateurs, but Kang is planning to turn pro before next year’s competition.

Success stories Brian and Patrick O’Leary of Ponkapoag Golf Course won the junior division of the Massachusetts Father & Son Championship in their debut, carding an alternate-shot, 1-under-par 70 for a two-stroke victory at Charter Oak CC in Hudson. Robert and David Currey of Brae Burn CC won the senior division for the second time in three years, shooting a 4-under 67 . . . In an event shortened to 18 holes because of rain, a seven-member team from Massachusetts won the New England Junior Championship in Brattleboro, Vt. Peter French, who plays out of Maplegate CC, won the individual competition with a 4-under 67. Other members of the Massachusetts team included Jason Steele (72), John Beadle (74), Connor Murphy (76), Chad Stumpo (78), Sal Visali (78), and Curtis Collopy (78). Connecticut and New Hampshire tied for second, followed by Rhode Island, Maine, and Vermont.

Strong off the tee Remember “Tee it Forward,’’ the initiative thought up by Barney Adams and embraced by the USGA and PGA of America, asking golfers to play rounds from July 5-17 from a shorter set of tee markers? According to the PGA, there were 1,923 facilities that registered to participate, with approximately 237,000 golfers taking advantage of it. Of those, according to the PGA, 70 percent found golf more enjoyable; 90 percent said they played faster or at the same pace; 91 percent were likely to play a shorter course again; and 52 percent said they would play golf more often if they could utilize the program in the future. While specific dates were used for the first installment of “Tee it Forward,’’ both the USGA and PGA are encouraging golfers to play from a shorter set of tees any time . . . Interested in watching Hopkinton High School graduate and new PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley play in the Grand Slam of Golf? The PGA of America is putting together travel packages involving three-, four-, or five-night stays in Bermuda. The package prices range from $615 to $1,170 per person, and include accommodations, golf, and tickets to the Grand Slam of Golf, which is Oct. 18-19 at Port Royal Golf Course. For information, call 866-260-4409 or visit

Michael Whitmer can be reached at