August 17, 2020

St. Mary's star golfer and Swampscott native Aidan Emmerich, like all golfers in Massachusetts, missed out on a bunch of play in the first few months of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But once he got back out on the tournament circuit this summer, Emmerich took complete advantage. 

Emmerich, a member at Kernwood Country Club, has had a great summer on the course. After qualifying for his first-ever Massachusetts Amateur Championship, Emmerich played well in the stroke-play portion of the event and made it through to match play. He then put on a show during the stroke-play portion of the Massachusetts Junior Amateur Championship before capping things off with his first-ever Kernwood men's club championship victory.

"It's been a great summer and I've had a lot of good finishes," said Emmerich, who is slated to be a junior at St. Mary's this fall. "After missing out on the beginning part of the season, it's been really nice to get back out there and play in some tournaments again."

Emmerich started off his summer with the biggest tournament on his schedule -- the 112th Massachusetts Amateur. After qualifying at Renaissance Golf Club in Haverhill, Emmerich went into the tournament as one of the youngest players in the field at 16 years old. He went on to shoot a pair of 73's during the stroke-play portion of the event, with one round each played at The Kittansett Club and The Bay Club at Mattapoisett. That was good enough to get Emmerich through to match play, making him the youngest player in the field of 32. He ended up falling to Nashawtuc Country Club's Xavier Marcoux in the first match, but he gained valuable confidence and experience along the way. 

"It was just a cool experience overall," said Emmerich. "It gave me a lot of confidence to go there and play against some of the top players in the state, college players and former champions. To make it through stroke play and kind of proved to myself that I can play with these guys. Obviously I wish I played better in match play, but I think this was a good start for me."

Next up for Emmerich was the 102nd Massachusetts Junior Amateur Championship, which was played this year at Cranberry Valley Golf Course down in Cape Cod. Once again Emmerich showed his prowess in stroke play, shooting a stellar 4-under 68 to earn medalist honors for the Tuesday bracket. He ended up falling in the opening round of match play once again, but his golf swing was in great shape. 

"Everything clicked that week, I was playing really well," said Emmerich. "I was actually a little nervous because I showed up 20 minutes before my tee time and didn't get to warm up, but I was able to take advantage of the easy holes and shoot a great score."

Emmerich wrapped up his trifecta of strong play with his first Kernwood men's club championship trophy, taking home the victory in a stroke play battle.

"I just think my game is really suited to stroke play," Emmerich said. "I won't necessarily go out there and make six or seven birdies, but I can make a ton of pars and just keep my round going. I think that's why I don't do as well in match play sometimes."

Now that the summer is winding down and the amateur tournaments are finishing up, Emmerich is turning his focus to what will hopefully be his junior season on the golf course for St. Mary's. While a decision on fall sports -- of which golf is one -- hasn't been made yet, Emmerich is looking forward to an opportunity to bring his Spartans on another state championship run.

"I think we have a really good chance to make another (championship) run, so I'm excited about this season," said Emmerich. "I think I have a really good shot at an individual title as well, which I would really like to accomplish."

By Mike Along