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The Winners of 2020 JT Classic

After 14 years there are so many winners. I watched as many players approached JT with a big smile, a hand shake and congratulations for another year celebrating Jim Tanner’s service to the members of Pawtucket Country Club. There are old friends like Al Pellegrini who always marks the date on his new calendar in January.
Steve Napoli, the golf professional at Pawtucket in the 80s and 90s and Jim’s boss for more than a decade, always makes the Classic a day in July to play a round at Pawtucket with old friends.
Kevin Fortin, an ex-caddy that spent a dozen years working as a caddy and the grounds crew and one of the original founders of the tournament, greets JT, “Jimmy old boy, how ya doin?”
My brother, Bruce MacKenzie, who has played in all 14 tourneys and has won 4 times made back to back birdies on the 10th and 11th holes.
John O’Neill who worked as a caddy and in the pro shop in the 70s and 80s remembers those summers fondly. His nephew, Peter O’Neill, who caddied at Pawtucket and was an assistant golf professional, is now the President of the Burke Fund and heads the committee that runs the Jim Tanner Caddy Classic Tournament.
We are all winners for the years of friendship with Jimmy Tanner. Jim’s continued service to the Pawtucket Country Club members is celebrated one Monday of every July. The Burke Fund will receive new money for a new scholar. This year’s Jim Tanner Scholar is Aidan Morrison.
Aidan has been part of the PCC food and beverage team since 2017. He is currently enrolled at Bentley University studying Data Analytics. During school he works as a stat keeper for a number of the sports teams at Bentley.
In 2018 he achieved Eagle Scout honors. To this day he continues to be involved with the Boy Scouts leading the next generation. Aidan logged over 100 hours of community service during his high school tenure.

This year’s tournament winners were as follows:

4TH Net: 56 David Spencer, Joe Green, Max Jackson, Gary Taraian Jr.
3rd Net: 55 Leon Boghossian, Paul Boghosian, Matt Boghossian, Joe McNamara
2nd Net: 55 John Godinho, Bill Hughes, Paul Rego, Paul Chalmers
1st Net: 54 Rodney MacKenzie, Bruce MacKenzie, Austin Toole, Scott Cronin
1st Gross: 67 Jay Amin, Nathan Hall, Nate Trimble, Jeremy Hall

Hall of Famer

Jim Tanner Caddy Classic will be played at Pawtucket Country Club on Monday July 20th 9:00

Pawtucket Country Club has suffered a tough start to the 2020 season. The COVID pandemic with all the state regulations has made it difficult for the membership and the owners. There was a point when members of PCC that lived in Massachusetts were not allowed to play their own golf course. The state of Rhode Island was only allowing residents living in RI to play golf on Rhode Island golf courses. Many members living in Seekonk, the Attleboros, Wrentham, Norton, Franklin and other southeastern Massachusetts towns could not play their own golf course. At the same time, Massachusetts golf courses were totally closed for golf.

Golf is slowly getting back to normal. Golfers can use electric carts. Golfers are not allowed to remove the flag from the golf cup avoiding potential COVID infection. Next Monday July 13, 2020 will be the opening round of the RIGA State Championship.

The following Monday July 20th, will be the 14th Annual Jim Tanner Caddy Classic. Yesterday, several regular contestants of the State Amateur Championship were playing a practice round. I was chatting with JT when Dr. George Pirie exchanged pleasantries with Jim. JT and the doctor have known each other for many decades. JT asked, “How you hittin’ em?” Pirie responds, “Often. Then asks, “How you doing Hall of Famer?” JT was
inducted in the RIGA a few years back. The good doctor was inducted to the Hall a few years earlier.

There was a mutual recognition and respect for their golf accomplishments. JT received the RIGA Hall of Fame Distinguished Service Award in 2015. It was 1952 that Jim started at Pawtucket as a caddy, then Assistant Professional working for Les Kennedy. Les also was a RIGA Hall of Fame inductee. 68 years later and Jimmy is at Pawtucket Country Club most every day starting the day before 6:00.

The world is all messed up with schools closed, no major league sports, but golf seems rather typical at PCC with JT at the helm.