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Thomas J. Leonard to be Honored at Annual NHGA Champions Dinner
Author: Kate Kellar
October 12th 2017 - The New Hampshire Golf Association is proud to be honoring the late Thomas J. Leonard Jr. for his many achievements in the New Hampshire competitive golf world.

Among his achievements include eight State Amateur Championship victories which took place is 1939, 1941 and 1947-1952.  Leonard is still the only player to have won six-straight State Amateur titles.  Two years prior to winning his first State Amateur, he won the New Hampshire State Junior Championship.  He also won the New Hampshire Open Championship as an amateur in 1947, the first amateur to do so.

Outside of New Hampshire, Leonard competed in a number of New England Amateur Championships.  Although never winning the event he finished as a runner-up two times, semifinalist two times and quarterfinalist three times when the tournament was match play format.

He also has some history with the United State Golf Association (USGA) as he qualified and competed in five U.S. Amateur Championships from 1946 to 1951.  He was a two-time medalist in qualifying for the U.S. Amateur, 1946 and 1949.  In 1947, when the U.S. Amateur was held at Pebble Beach Golf Links in California, he won two of his matches which was the furthest he ever advanced in that championship.  Following his competitive golf years, he was appointed to the USGA Sectional Affairs Committee, now known as the USGA Regional Affairs Committee, in 1962.

Despite his early passing in 1969, his name lives on within the New Hampshire Golf Association as the Player of the Year Award has been in his name since 1993.  Players like Bob Mielcarz, Phil Pleat, Danny Arvanitis and Craig Steckowych have gone on to win the award for their own accomplishments in New Hampshire golf.  This year’s Thomas J. Leonard Jr. Player of the Year is Matt Paradis of Concord Country Club. 

The family legacy continues with his son-in-law Phil Pleat and grandson James Pleat.  Phil has now won 20 NHGA championship titles, including the 2017 New Hampshire Senior Championship.  James is also an NHGA champion, winning the 2006 Junior Championship, 2015 Stroke Play Championship and most recently the 2017 Mid-Amateur Championship.

The NHGA is proud to be honoring one of the greats in New Hampshire golf!

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