Hamilton named RIGA Player of ’22
Lincoln native earns spot in Northeast Am
Michael Hamilton can start making definitive plans regarding his 2023 itinerary after the Rhode Island Golf Association named him this year’s Men’s Player of the Year.
The honor that was announced Monday means that Hamilton – a 2006 graduate of Lincoln High who plays out of Kirkbrae Country Club – receives an automatic invitation to next year’s Northeast Amateur that as always will take place at the prestigious Wannamoisett Country Club.
Hamilton is no stranger to teeing it up at the Northeast. His first appearance in an event that in many ways serves as a sneak preview of the game’s next wave of talent took place in 2021. Twice in three rounds, he posted scores in the 80s that if you follow him closely were uncharacteristic of how he typically makes his way around the course.
In many ways, Hamilton’s inability to make the cut at the 2021 Northeast Amateur served as a pivotal turning point that helped put him on the path of winning his first Player of the Year honor from the RIGA.
“The Northeast was brutal and a total disappointment. I just had a lot of trouble with some of the bigger events and taking the right perspective.
“That was something I worked on after the  Northeast heading into this year,” said Hamilton when reached Monday. “I’m excited to get another chance to try and prove that I can at least play at that high level.”
Hamilton admitted his motivation to get another crack was fueled after watching a few rounds of last year’s Northeast Amateur.
“All I could think about is that I want to be back and how that’s a goal of mine,” said Hamilton.
The march to bridging the gap between desire and reality reached a crescendo when Hamilton finished in the runner-up spot at last summer’s R.I. Amateur and captured the RIGA Stroke Play Championship. Between those two events, he earned 700 of the 812 points that were achieved during a season where Hamilton participated in six RIGA tournaments.
Hamilton finished exactly 200 points in the clear of Kevin Blaser, who ended up capturing the R.I. Amateur.
“It’s something that I thought wasn’t obtainable until a couple of years ago when I started to get closer,” said Hamilton. “There’s a lot of hard work, but what’s cool about the Player of the Year [honor] is that it’s not subjective. It’s not something people vote on. You have to get the points through your results in tournaments.”
Also Monday, the RIGA announced that Cumberland native/ Pawtucket Country Club product Max Jackson was the choice for Boys’ Junior Player of the Year. It’s the second-straight honor for Jackson, currently a junior at La Salle.
Kirkbrae Country Club product Kylie Eaton was recognized as the RIGA’s Girls’ Player of the Year.