Thomas J. Leonard Jr. was born in Nashua, New Hampshire in 1918. The son of 1922 New Hampshire State Amateur Champion Thomas J. Leonard Sr, “Tommy” won his first state title in 1937, with the New Hampshire Junior Championship. In 1939, he embarked on what would be a record-breaking streak of State Amateur titles. When World War II broke out, Tommy served as a pilot in the European Theater for two and a half years. After the war, he returned to golf, winning six consecutive titles from 1947-1952, for a total of eight State Amateur titles. In 1947, Tommy became the first amateur to win the New Hampshire Open Championship.
He played in six US Amateur Championships, including the 1948 Amateur in Memphis, where he lost in the second round, in 21 holes, to Julios Boros. Boros went on to become a PGA tour standout.
One of Tommy’s ambitions was to win a New England Amateur Championship. Although that crown eluded him, he reached the finals twice, the semi-finals twice and the quarterfinals three times.
Tommy Leonard’s record of eight State Amateur titles held for 48 years, until it was beaten by fellow New Hampshire Golf Hall of Fame inductee, Bob Meilcarz, at Bretwood Golf Club in 2000. His record of six consecutive wins still stands today.
Thomas J. Leonard Jr. set the bar for amateur golfers in the Granite State. Based on his accomplishments, the New Hampshire Golf Association Player of the Year Award is in his name.