Anna Casagrande, Ryley Regan highlight Hampshire County contingent as 119th Mass. Women’s Am comes to The Orchards

  • The Orchards Golf Club in South Hadley during the Western Massachusetts Division 3 Tournament in 2017. The club will host the 119th Mass. Women’s Amateur Championship beginning Monday. STAFF FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 8/14/2022 5:22:55 PM
Modified: 8/14/2022 5:21:03 PM

The 119th Massachusetts Women’s Amateur Golf Championship invades Hampshire County this week.

The prestigious event will begin its five-day run on Monday at The Orchards Golf Club in South Hadley, with several local golfers competing in the longest-running Mass Golf championship. 

The championship returns to The Orchards for the first time in over two decades; the last time the course was host to the tournament came back in 1995. The course is no stranger to big events – The Orchards has been the site of numerous high level golf tournaments, including the 1993 National Golf Coaches Association Division II and III National Championship, the 2002 NCAA Division III Women’s National Championship and most notably, the 2004 U.S. Women’s Open.

“Women’s history specifically with golf is so strong with the club,” Chris Tallman, the general manager at The Orchards, told Mass Golf in its release for this week’s event. “When we first heard of the opportunity to host the 119th Mass Women’s Amateur Championship, it was exciting for us because it’s one of the top women’s events in the state. We’re certainly honored and excited to be able to host the top players in our area.”

The competition will run through Friday. All golfers will compete in two rounds of stroke play on Monday and Tuesday, the lowest 32 scorers will advance to match play beginning Wednesday.

“The greens are the best I’ve seen,” said Tallman, who predicted they should be rolling about 11.5 on the Stimpmeter (depending on the weather). “The greens are classic Donald Ross, slopped back-to-front, elevated greens. There’s not many straight putts on this golf course, so the woman who wins this event is the one who will putt the best this week.”

Pelham native and Amherst Regional graduate Anna Casagrande, who plays out of Northampton Country Club, will return to the contest after competing last year, where she finished in a tie for 46th place at Plymouth Country Club.

Also competing is Granby native Ryley Regan, who at just 11 years old is the youngest golfer in this year’s tournament and the only member that will represent the home course at The Orchards. Regan won her first Connecticut PGA Junior Tournament at 9 years old in 2020, and competed most recently at the U.S. Kids World Championship where she tied for 49th place.

“Ryley is so passionate about golf,” Tallman said. “She is out here practicing every day, and loves the game, and has so many dreams. To be able to have her go out there and compete in this event is truly special.”

Also competing from the Western Mass. area is Helen Wright, of Belchertown’s Cold Spring Country Club, Longmeadow’s Annie Dai, who won the 2021 Mass Girls’ Junior Amateur, Springfield’s Jaelyn Deboise (Springfield Country Club) and Feeding Hills’ Alia Godek (Agawam Municipal Golf Course).

In addition to the local representatives, there are six former champions who will tee off this week, including the last four consecutive winners: Angela Garvin (2019), Allison Paik (2020) and defending champion Catie Schernecker (2021).

Schernecker, who plays out of The Country Club in Brookline, will attempt to be the first woman to repeat since Isabel Southard did it in 2014 and 2015. She’s also attempting to be the first person to win the Ouimet Memorial Tournament and the Mass. Women’s Amateur in the same year. She won the Ouimet by three strokes just two weeks ago.

“You have to be aware of the layout of the greens,” Schernecker told Mass Golf of The Orchards’ layout. “There’s a lot of false fronts and table top greens. Off the tee isn’t too bad, it’s really hitting into the greens in the right spots.”

Tee time begin at 8:10 a.m. this morning. Casagrande, Deboise and Dai will tee off on the 10th hole at 8:10, Regan will tee off at 9 a.m. on the 10th hole, Wright will tee off at the first hole at 9:20, and Godek will round out the Western Mass. group, starting at the 10th hole at 9:30.


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