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Past Champions Atop Leaderboard Heading into Final Round of 35th Mid-Amateur Championship

October 3rd, 2018

Author: Kate Billings
Newbury, NH – Jim Cilley (Ridgewood CC), Nick MacDonald (Baker Hill GC) and James Pleat (Nashua CC) are all at the top of the leaderboard following the second round of the Robert H. Elliott Mid-Amateur Championship presented by Imperial Headwear.  All three have had their time in the spotlight winning this championship – Cilley in 2008, MacDonald in 2016, and Pleat in 2017.
 
Jim Cilley, who had a strong second round at Baker Hill GC in both the first and second round, finds himself in the lead at 5-under par.  Cilley fired 71 (-1) in the first round and 68 (-4) in the second round, gaining all his ground on his opening nine in the second round where he made five birdies and one bogey.  His second nine included one birdie and one bogey to finish out the round at 4-under par.
 
“I got a new putter in the bag, it’s been working really well for me”, states Cilley, who made numerous birdie putts on his way to 5-under par.  In the first round, Cilley drained a 50-foot putt on the 15th hole for eagle.
 
Cilley has been in this position before, including being in the final group of the tournament the last few years, but not being able to seal the deal.  He says, “I don’t really have a number in mind for tomorrow.  I just want to play how I’ve been playing.”
 
On his heels is Nick MacDonald, a Baker Hill GC member who also fired a low round in the second round with a 69 (-3).  With an opening round 71, he began Round 2 tied for the lead with Cilley and James Pleat.    Starting out on the back nine of the golf course in the second round, he made one error with a double bogey on the 11th hole but went on to card five birdies to get to 3-under for the round and 4-under par for the tournament.  MacDonald certainly has the capability to take advantage of his position with how far he hits the ball and his local knowledge to give him a chance to make a run at another Mid-Amateur title.
 
Defending New Hampshire Mid-Amateur Champion, James Pleat is just two back of leader Jim Cilley after matching MacDonald’s 69 in Round 2.  Pleat, who shot even par 72 in the first round, also made five birdies in the second round but one double bogey cost him two shots on his opening nine holes.  Last year, Pleat had a come-from-behind win to take the 2017 Mid-Amateur title.
 
29 competitors who shot +14 or better for their 36 holes of play will be moving on to the final round at Baker Hill Golf Club in the 35th Robert H. Elliott Mid-Amateur Championship.
 
Round 1 & 2 scores can be found here:  https://nhgaregister.golfgenius.com/pages/1264237
Round 3 Pairings & Tee Times can be found here:  https://nhgaregister.golfgenius.com/pages/1681066