Nick McLaughlin Named 2015 MGA Player of the Year
Nov. 10, 2015
Norton, Mass. – Following a season in which he captured five titles Ã¢â‚¬” including two individual MGA Championships Ã¢â‚¬” Nick McLaughlin (Far Corner Golf Club) was officially named the 2015 Richard D. Haskell Massachusetts Golf Association’s Player of the Year on Monday, Nov. 9.
McLaughlin, senior at Virginia, finished the 2015 competitive season with a total of 1,050 points which was 115 points ahead of last year’s Player of the Year.
McLaughlin becomes only the third player in MGA history to surpass the 1,000-point mark and currently stands second on the all-time Player of the Year point standing list.
“It is a really cool award to win because it shows the level of consistency that I had the whole summer which is nice to see,” said McLaughlin. “I honestly didn’t think that it would be possible to accumulate enough points in the short period of time that I had to play this summer, so to get it done even surprised myself a little bit.”
McLaughlin began the season by winning two regional events Ã¢â‚¬” the Hornblower Memorial Invitational at Plymouth Country Club in May and The Invitational at New England Country Club in June. He also Ã¢â‚¬” in June Ã¢â‚¬” earned 80 points and finished as the second low amateur (and T18 overall) at the Massachusetts Open Championship held at Black Rock Country Club.
During the second week of July, however, McLaughlin scored the biggest victory of his career at Oak Hill Country Club. Over a period of five days, he marched his way into the finals of the Massachusetts Amateur Championship where he posted a 4 and 3 win. He earned stroke-play medalist honors by four strokes and then won all five of his matches.
“The week I had at the Mass Amateur was by far my best level of golf of the summer,” said McLaughlin, who carried his own bag for all but 18 holes that week. “For whatever reason I felt comfortable on the course and it worked out perfectly. I had my dad there to caddy the last 18 holes for me so to have that memory with him was definitely cool.”
One week later, McLaughlin became only the fourth golfer in Bay State history to win both the Massachusetts Amateur Championship and the New England Amateur Championship in the same year after capturing the latter title at Baker Hill Golf Club in Newbury, New Hampshire.
That week in New Hampshire, McLaughlin was outstanding as he was the only golfer in the field of 152 competitors who posted four under-par rounds and secured his victory on the final day by making a 45-foot putt on the 17th hole.
“Making the long putt on the 17th hole was the second biggest thing that pops out when I look back on the season,” said McLaughlin. “My dad was there with me on the bag against, so it was so nice to have him alongside me after all he has done for me in junior golf and now in college. It made it that much more special.”
McLaughlin has indeed been a fixture in MGA circles since he was a junior player. He was a two-time winner of the Massachusetts Junior Amateur Championship (in 2009 and 2011) and a former standout golfer at St. John’s Preparatory School in Danvers.
“I have watched all of the great players before me earn this award,” said McLaughlin. “To have my name join the ranks of those guys whom I have looked up to all of these years is pretty special.”
McLaughlin capped off the 2015 season by winning the Massachusetts Amateur Public Links Championship in August. He became the only golfer in Bay State history to win the Massachusetts Amateur, New England Amateur and Massachusetts Amateur Public Links Championships in one season.
“My confidence wasn’t all that high coming into the season because I hadn’t been playing much,” said McLaughlin, who had spent the winter and spring months recovering from a back injury. “It made my expectations very low which sometimes is a good thing. I won the first tournament and that gave me confidence but I still had low expectations and seemed to have the best of both worlds going and then it just kept going the whole time.”
The MGA Player of the Year Point System recognizes competitors who perform well in MGA, NEGA, USGA and other selected regional events during the course of the season which runs from May through October. The program is proudly sponsored by Club Champion.
“It was a summer where I made every important putt and got up and down when I needed,” said McLaughlin. “I have nothing to complain about. It was a great summer and one that I will never forget.”
Note: Story courtesy Massachusetts Golf Association