(August 14, 2021) – After being canceled last year due to Covid-19 the New England Junior Invitational will return this year from August 15-17th at Val Halla Golf Course in Cumberland, Maine. Connecticut will be represented by a team of ten that includes Matt Doyle, Alex Elia, Connor Goode, Ben James, Will Lodge, Jackson Roman, and Kyle St. Pierre on the Boys side while Kate Hong, Leslie Li, and Charlotte Wagner make up the Girls team.
Connecticut will be led by two-time defending individual champion Ben James. One of the top junior players in the country James played a big role in Team Connecticut’s victory in 2018 and again in 2019 when the Boys Team won the title.
Connecticut Boys Team:
Matt Doyle (Madison CC): The 2020 Connecticut Junior Amateur champion and 2021 runner-up will be heading to Elon University later in the month to begin his collegiate career. Doyle has had a number of strong showing in AJGA events including a T5 finish at the Polo Golf Junior Classic at Liberty National at the end of June.
Alex Elia (Silver Spring CC): At the beginning of August Elia won the 52nd Borck Junior on his home course, in late June he finished T7 at the Connecticut Junior PGA Championship, and in July he was fifth at the 36-Hole Northeast Junior Swing.
Connor Goode (Glastonbury Hills CC): In June Goode won the Connecticut Junior PGA Championship and then in July he won the Connecticut Junior Amateur. At the Connecticut Junior Amateur Goode bested defending champion Matt Doyle in the final.
Ben James (Great River GC): The University of Virginia commit is one of the top junior players in the country. Currently ranked sixth in the Rolex AJGA Rankings James has three wins this season capturing the Northern Junior for a third consecutive time, the Scott Robertson Memorial and the Team TaylorMade Invitational. James finished in second place at the Connecticut Open in late July. James is the two-time defending New England Junior Invitational champion.
Will Lodge (CC of Darien): Lodge started his summer off by reaching U.S. Open Final Qualifying, he made match play at the Connecticut Junior Amateur in early July, and then concluded the month by making the cut at the Connecticut Open played on his home course, the CC of Darien. Lodge, an alternate, got into the field at the last minute and made his chance count finishing 15th.
Jackson Roman (Shuttle Meadow CC): Roman has shown that he has the ability to go low. On the first day of the 2021 Connecticut Open he fired a 5-under 66 and was just one shot off the lead. Headed to Loyola University to continue his golf career this fall, Roman also reached the quarterfinals in his final appearance at the Connecticut Junior Amateur and finished third at the Connecticut Junior PGA Championship. In 2020 he won the Borck Junior and the AJGA’s Junior Golf Hub Championship.
Kyle St. Pierre (Newtown CC): Heading to the University of Hartford to continue his career this fall, St. Pierre, was the runner-up at the 2020 Connecticut Junior Amateur. This year he made the cut at the Russell C. Palmer Cup and earned a T7 finish at the Connecticut Junior PGA Championship.
Connecticut Girls Team:
Kate Hong (Greenwich CC): A 2021 qualifier for the IMG Junior World Golf Championships, Hong finished T8 at the Connecticut Women’s Amateur in July. This year she also finished T3 at the New York City Championship and T16 at the Met Junior PGA Championship.
Leslie Li (Tumble Brook CC): Li, the captain of the Miss Porters golf team, captured the 2020 Connecticut Women’s Golf Association title and nearly repeated this year finishing as the runner-up. Headed to the University of Hartford in the fall to play golf, Li was a quarterfinalist this year at the Borck Junior and earned a top-20 finish at the Connecticut Women’s Amateur.
Charlotte Wagner (CC of Fairfield): Wagner played well on the first day of the Connecticut Women’s Amateur in July earning herself a spot in the last group in the final round. At the beginning of August, she reached the quarterfinals of the Borck Junior and last year she was T9 at the Connecticut Junior PGA Championship.
About the New England Junior Invitational:
Format: Seven boy golfers and three girl golfers from each of the New England state golf associations are selected to compete in a 54-hole team and individual stroke play competition. Boys and girls will compete for separate team and individual titles. Team scores are calculated by taking the best five out of seven scores each day for the Boys Division and best two out of three scores for the Girls Division. The low 54-hole team score will be named the team champion(s) while the low 54-hole individual will be named the individual champion(s).
August 15 – Practice round and dinner
August 16 – Morning shotgun, lunch, afternoon shotgun, followed by dinner
August 17 – Morning shotgun, followed by lunch and awards
About the Connecticut State Golf Association
The Connecticut State Golf Association functions as an extension of the USGA and provides stewardship for amateur golf in Connecticut. Founded in 1899, it is the country’s oldest state golf association and conducts over 60 Championships, Qualifiers, and One Day Tournaments throughout the year.