PROVIDENCE (July 21, 2006) – Ed Kirby, PH Horgan III, Jim Hallet, Ron Philo and Jeff Martin head the field of 140 golfers in the 75th annual Amica Insurance RI Open, August 2nd and 3rd at the Newport National Golf Club.
The 54-hole stroke play tournament will feature some of the best pros affiliated with the New England PGA as well as Rhode Island resident golf pros, local college players, top local amateurs and past champions. They will be competing for a $30,000 purse, including a $6,500 first prize, on the 7,244-yard course in Middletown.
The Tournament, run by the Rhode Island Golf Association, began in 1931. Past winners include current PGA Touring pros Brad Faxon and Billy Andrade, and Champions Touring Pro Dana Quigley (a six-time RI Open Champion). Past winners in this year’s field include Mike Baker, Kirby, Horgan, and Philo, golf pro at Metropolis Country Club in White Plains, N.Y., and recent winner of the PGA National Professional Championship.
“The local PGA professionals have always supported the RIGA,” said RIGA Executive Director Joe Sprague, Jr. “This is the only event that we run that they can participate in. It’s a nice way to give them a couple of days out of the shop to play some very competitive golf with their peers.”
Amica Insurance is the title sponsor of the tournament for the second year in a row. Amica’s sponsorship helps cover the cost of running the event and allows the RIGA to offer additional prize money.
“Having Amica as the title sponsor is a perfect fit,” Sprague said. “We’re a golf association that’s been around for more than 100 years and we’re lucky to have a Rhode Island based company, that has been around nearly as long as we have, as our sponsor. It has really strengthened the event.”
This year’s field also includes current Rhode Island Amateur and New England Amateur Champion Brad Valois, Wannamoisett’s Troy Pare who is the reigning NEPGA Champion and Newport National’s John Simmons. Last year’s champion, Kirk Hanefeld, is now competing on the Champions Tour and will not be in the field.
The tournament begins Wednesday, Aug. 2nd at 7:30 a.m. Competitors will play 18 holes on Wednesday. The top 50 scorers, plus ties will then play 36 holes beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday. The Tournament is free and open to the public. For information and tee times visit rigalinks.org.