The opening round of the 2019 Attleboro Area Golf Association Open will begin bright and early on Thursday morning at Foxborough Country Club.

“Foxboro CC is a good test,” Kolby Simmons, the 2018 Attleboro Area Golf Association Open champion, said. “You’ve got to hit it well off the tee. With those greens, with your putting, you have to keep it below the hole. The big thing there is to keep it in the right position on the greens.

The AAGA Open begins its four-day sweepstakes Thursday at the Foxborough CC, with the field moving along to the Wentworth Hills CC on Friday. The field will then be reduced to the low 50 scorers and ties after 36 holes for the final two rounds of play, Saturday at the Heather Hill CC and Sunday at the Norton CC.

“It’s a great tournament, I look forward to it every year. You know everybody in it. But the field gets tougher and tougher each year depth-wise. The younger generation coming through, the cuts get lower and lower every year.

Simmons, the 32-year-old Crestwood CC member, has the tools and the temperament to repeat as has so often been the case with past AAGA Open champions like Davis Chatfield (2015, 2016) and Foxboro native Chris Congdon (2011, ‘12, ‘13), and Ryan Riley (2008, ‘09, ‘10), who each won three straight.

Simmons comes into the AAGA Open very tournament-tested, playing in the Hornblower Tournament at the Plymouth CC, the Norfolk County Classic, and then advancing to the semifinals of the R.I. Amateur, beating former AAGA Open champion and Foxboro CC mainstay Scott Congdon along the way.

“Last year (at the AAGA Open), I either had the lead or was tied for the lead all four days,” Simmons continued. He shot a 77 at the Foxborough CC, but then put himself into contention for the championship with rounds of 73 and 71.

“I was playing steady, and even the last day at Norton, I was able to hit it good. It was kind of match play there between me and (Foxboro’s) Scott (Congdon, over the final nine holes). It doesn’t matter if you win by one or by 10, just win.”