Mahan and Cilley Team Up to Capture Their Second Four Ball Title After 11 Year Drought

Thornton, NH – Battling cold temperatures, rain and ultimately darkness, Mike Mahan and Jim Cilley have captured their second Four Ball Championship title after a four-hole playoff against defending champions, Brandon Gillis and Jack Brown.  Both teams ended the 36-hole day at 14-under par at Owl’s Nest Resort Golf Club and entered into a hole-by-hole playoff to determine the champion.
The winning duo was among the three teams that shared the lead after the first 18 holes of play, carding 7-under par, 65.  Mike Mahan carded six of those birdies, recording an impressive 66 on his own ball for the round.  Looking at the leaderboard, they were joined by the team of Mark Stevens and Ryan Blossom, along with Patrick Mahan and Sean Lacey with 18 holes left to play.  Close behind were other strong teams who have won this tournament before, including Jack Brown and Brandon Gillis, Ryan Kohler and Josh Chamberlain, and Peter Keilty and Kevin Strong.
All players were met with more rain as they began their second 18 holes of the day at Owl’s Nest, but the band of rain moved quickly so everyone could stay relatively dry the rest of the way.  Mahan and Cilley had another solid round of seven-under par, 65, making two key birdies on the final two holes to land at 14-under par.  Brown and Gillis weren’t going to let them walk away with the win that easy, the pair finished the last three holes at four-under par, going birdie-eagle-birdie to card a nine-under par round of 63 to earn themselves a spot in the playoff.
“I knew they were hot; they had just played a really good round.  I think the thought was we were hitting it just as well and just try and get the ball in the hole as quickly as possible,” commented Mahan.  “I wasn’t too concerned; I think we had been playing very well and I liked our chances.”
Cilley acknowledged that the college players might have a slight advantage over them saying, “I thought we definitely didn’t have the length advantage.  They were hitting wedges into everything.”
The playoff started on Owl’s Nest’s first hole where each team made routine pars.  They continued to the 18th hole where, again, two pars were made to continue the playoff.  On the 3rd playoff hole, back to hole one, Mahan had a look at birdie with Cilley coming up just short on his approach shot to the green, while both Gillis and Brown had birdie opportunities.  Mahan just missed, opening the door for the other two to make birdie.  Gillis and Brown gave it a good roll but missed their putts forcing another playoff hole.
On the final playoff hole, with complete darkness quickly approaching, Cilley and Mahan watched as Gillis and Brown missed more birdie opportunities.  Cilley had a chance to close it out and finally rolled in his birdie putt to take the win.
With some many birdie chances all day long and again in the playoff holes, Mahan stated, “I felt great over the putts, I think we had good lines all day and we read putts very similarly so it’s always a comfortable pairing.  All of them could have gone in, we had good lines and Jim finally made that one on the 4th playoff hole after a great wedge in.”
Complimenting his partner on a great day of golf, Cilley commented, “Michael played great all day long and just kept giving us looks in the playoff.  He could have ended it on any of the first three holes before I ended it on 18 the second time around.”
The pair won their first Four Ball Championship title back in 2010 and since then has always been in the hunt, with nine top 5 finishes from 2011 to 2021.  They are thrilled to be able to come out on top this year and make it happen.
“It feels incredible, just winning as a team again after being so close,” stated Mahan.  “We’re always in the running, it seems like, and we haven’t been able to close the door.”
The New Hampshire Four Ball Championship always has a strong field of competitors, with many of the top amateur golfers in the state teaming up to compete.  Mike Mahan and Jim Cilley were able to close out their victory, not letting the day’s weather conditions effect their game.

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