WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?

(This letter was sent to MGA executive director Joseph Sprague asking him to conduct an investigation into the eligibility criteria of 2012 MGA Amateur champion Mike Calef)

July 8, 2013

Mr. Joseph Sprague
Executive Director
Mr. Jesse Menachem
Director of Rules
Massachusetts Golf Association

Gentlemen:
Please be advised of the urgency of this email concerning the integrity of the 105th Massachusetts Amateur being played this week at Longmeadow Country Club.
Please let this email serve as an official request to investigate the eligibility of competitor, and defending champion, Michael Calef. I respectfully request an immediate investigation of Michael Calef. I ask that Mr. Calef prove that he has met the new requirement for eligibility and his alleged association with Brockton Country Club. As you know, the new eligibility criteria states “Have played and posted 5 rounds at the selected MGA member club/course within 12 months of the specified Championship entry deadline.”
I bring this to your attention at this time for several reasons, but mainly, because an ineligible player competing in the tournament compromises the field, as well as the reputation of the Massachusetts Golf Association, one of the oldest golf associations in the country.
First, last Saturday I competed in a golf tournament in Brockton and played at Brockton Country Club, paired with 40-plus year member Joe Cook. On the sixth tee, Joe Cook informed me that Mike Calef moved to Texas two years ago and that he has played one round at Brockton Country Club in the past year. In your investigation I urge you to contact Brockton CC pro Rob Bradley (508-588-8439). The burden of proving that Mike Calef has played 5 rounds at Brockton CC is upon Mike Calef. Since Mike Calef has been living in Texas for al least 18 months, where are witnesses who will verify his claim of 5 rounds?
Mike Calef is clearly gaming the MGA requirements for eligibility into the Mass Amateur, regardless if he is defending champion. He should be disqualified. How can Mike Calef be deemed eligible to compete in the Mass Amateur if he has been living and working in Texas for more than 18 months?
I thought after last year’s questionable status of Mike Calef’s eligibility that the MGA rules and competition committee would have a better screening process in place than the “honor system.”
Also, should your investigation conclude the same facts as I have discovered, I would expect the competitor to be disqualified immediately. I was shocked to see Mike Calef’s name in the field this year, especially after all the questions raised about his eligibility last year. If Mike Calef is allowed to compete and possibly advance into match play, this could prove to be the MGA’s worst nightmare. Action should be taken immediately, and before the match play portion of the event begins. I am quite certain that the two previous executive directors, Dick Haskell and Tom Landry, would do the right thing and take swift action to prevent any tainted championship from going forward.
Just to clarify to you and your committee that my only intention in bringing this information and request to your attention is because the MGA association’s claim is to “promote and preserve amateur golf.” Eliminating gamers and tainted applications is a good start.
Thank you for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. If I can assist in your investigation in any way possible please feel free to call me anytime.
Thomas Gorman
Dedham, MA

Golf Writer since 1992

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