One of the strongest fields in New England Open history will gather at the Quechee Club next week to crown the 2019 New England Open champion.
In all, 101 players will tee it up at the par-72 Highland Course, which measures 6,438 yards. The tournament was originally planned for the Lakeland Course at the 36-hole Quechee Club, but severe weather throughout the winter and spring rendered the Lakeland Course unfit for the prestigious championship. Once that determination was made, the Quechee Club staff shuffled the switch into their busy spring schedule to accommodate the New England Open.
“The Quechee Club looks forward to hosting the New England Open every year,” Quechee Club Director of Golf TJ Anthoine said. “This tournament and our club have a long history of hosting the event in Quechee, Vt. We look forward to showcasing our course and community to some of the best players in the Northeast.”
The 36-hole stroke-play tournament is being held at Quechee Club for the 23rd time, and fourth in a row after a 19-year run at Quechee from 1980-98.
Among the 101 players in the field are 89 professionals and a dozen amateurs. Three past New England Open Champions are in the field, along with the 2018 runner-up, and the low PGA Professional from the 2019 PGA Championship.
Rob Labritz, PGA (GlenArbor Golf Club) will look to stay hot after making the cut and finishing T60 at the PGA Championship in mid-May. He claimed Low Club Professional honors at the Major Championship for the second time in his career, also doing so at Whistling Straights in 2010 when he made the cut and tied for 68th.
Past New England Open champions in the field include Jeff Curl, Jesse Larson, and John Hickson. Curl won the championship in 2016 when he shot back-to-back 67s to finish -10 overall and beat Rich Berberian, PGA, and Matt Hutchins (a) by three shots. Jesse Larson won the tournament in 2014 when it was contested at Belmont Country Club, and John Hickson, PGA, won it in 1998 at Quechee.
Drake Hull, the reigning low-amateur, is back in the field in 2019 after coming up short in a two-hole playoff at the Highland Course last year following his 8-under 36-hole performance. Hull, the two-time reigning Vermont Amateur Champion, currently stars at UConn.
A strong group of players who are used to winning championships in the New England region will be vying for their first New England Open title this year, highlighted by 3-time defending Massachusetts Open Champion Jason Thresher. Thresher, a 2010 Bryant University graduate, currently competes on the PGA Tour Latino America, where he has made three out of seven cuts this season.
Also in that category are Patrick Frodigh, Jack Wyman and Evan Russell. Frodigh won the 2018 Massachusetts Amateur Championship, while Wyman won back-to-back Maine Amateur Championships in 2017 and ’18, and Russell added the same line to his resume in Vermont in 2013 and ’14. All three players have since turned professional.
Kirk Hanefeld, PGA (Salem CC), has a championship at the Quechee Club to his credit, having won the 1977 New England Amateur, and is still tormenting fields in New England to this day. Hanefeld earned medalist honors at the Oyster Harbors US Senior Open Qualifier on May 28 to earn a spot in the 2019 US Senior Open. He will join fellow New England PGA frontrunners Shawn Warren (Falmouth CC) and Chip Johnson (Hatherly CC) in the field.
The 2019 New England Open is supported by Mohegan Sun, Lincoln Motor Company, Turkish Airlines and the PGA TOUR. Follow the New England PGA on Twitter (@NEPGA), Instagram (@NewEnglandPGA) and Facebook (@NEPGA) for updates, photos, videos, and behind-the-scenes action from the 2019 New England Open.