By Gianna Addario
---- — The American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) junior golf tournament is returning to Marblehead’s Tedesco Country Club for the first time since 2007 this week.
The 54-hole, stroke play event, which starts today and runs through Thursday, features 96 of the nation’s top boys and girls junior golfers ranging in age from 12 to 18.
Today is the official practice round, with three days of stroke play beginning tomorrow. A tournament winner will be crowned after 54 holes are completed on Thursday.
The AJGA typically hosts one golf tournament in Massachusetts each year. The past three years it has been held in Cape Cod under the title sponsor of Deutsche Bank.
Out of the 96 golfers scheduled to compete, 24 of them are from Massachusetts, including a handful of local athletes. There will be about 72 players in the boys field, with golfers coming from 18 different states.
Salem News Golfer of Year Charlie May is one of the competitors. Fresh off of capturing the New England High School Golf Championship crown last month, May captured his second straight Division 2 state individual championship by shooting a 70 at Beverly Golf & Tennis back in November. He hasn’t played in this particular AJGA event before, but has played in a total of seven AJGA-sanctioned contests over the past two years.
“The AJGA events I’ve played in have stretched from Vermont to Georgia,” noted May. “Being able to play in this tournament right at Tedesco is nice for a change.
“I think that playing at a local course is somewhat of an advantage, since travelling to and from golf tournaments around the Northeast can be tiring sometimes. It’s always nice to be able to sleep in your own bed. However, it still comes down to whoever is playing the best that week in order to be the winner.”
As a senior, May averaged 34.9 quota points in Cape Ann League matches and a 36.6 stroke average. He also broke the school record for most quota points in a match with 42 (3-under par) last fall and will take part in his first AJGA Junior event.
Among the other locals who will tee up at Tedesco this week include Paul Lei (Middleton), Steven DiLisio (Swampscott), Marblehead’s Robert Picariello and Justin Serowik; and May’s younger brother George (Topsfield).