First Champions of the Season Crowned at Players Invitational

Newbury, NH – Three champions with three different ways to the top, but nonetheless, the first champions of the season have been crowned as the Players Invitational held at Baker Hill Golf Club has come to a close.  In dramatic fashion, Julianna Megan (Hoodkroft CC) claimed the Women’s Division title in a playoff with Carys Fennessy (Cochecho CC).  Bill Everett (Laconia CC) went wire-to-wire to win his third Players Invitational title, while Jeremy Duhamel (Manchester CC) had a come-from-behind win to claim his first NHGA championship win.
Megan began the day in second place, behind round one leader Amy Dickison (Breakfast Hill GC) after she shot eight-over par, 80 in the first round.  The majority of her over-par round was from her front nine, she was only one over on the back nine in her first round.  She stated, “I played the back nine well yesterday, so I tried to use that a momentum going into today.”
Starting the day steady with three-straight pars, Megan knew she needed to keep that going if she wanted to find herself at the top.  With two bogeys and one double bogey on her card, she closed out the front nine with a birdie to make the turn at just three-over par, while Dickison turned at four-over.  While those two battled it out, Carys Fennessy slowly worked her way up the leaderboard with an even-par front nine, making things interesting between the three golfers.
As the round progressed, it came down to the two youngsters at the end of the round who found themselves tied for the lead, needing a playoff to decide the winner.  They went to one more hole where Megan was able to close it out and take the title over Fennessy.
With the right mindset for the day, Megan wasn’t so much worried about her score, but her swing in general.  She commented, “I wasn’t really thinking about the score too much, I was determined to try to just get swinging.  It was more just trying to think about one thing in your swing instead of all the different things you want to work on.”
Being early in the season, Megan used that mindset to propel her to a second round 79 (+7) which was good enough to bring home her second NHGA championship title, her first coming from the New Hampshire Women’s Amateur Championship last August at Concord Country Club.  It seems that playoff victory last August may have given her enough experience to win again, this time at Baker Hill.
Bill Everett displayed consistency all weekend in the Senior Division as he fired a pair of 76’s to win his third Players Invitational, this year winning by a margin of four.  He started his second round better than his first by making par on the opening two holes.  Despite a bogey and double bogey on his front nine, he rolled in two birdie putts to turn at one-over par, which is where he started extending his lead.  Holding himself to just three bogeys on the back nine, he carded a 76 (+4) again for the win.
Everett talked about his mindset heading into the final round saying, “I had two good players right behind by two shots, so I was just trying to play my own game and keep it in play.  I wanted to stay as close to par as I could.”
He did just that, keeping it closer to par than any other player in the field.  He added, “Overall I hit the ball down the fairway and primarily was not in the rough.”
Everett now adds another Players Invitational trophy to his collection and hopes to continue this momentum as the busy part of the golf season approaches.
Jeremy Duhamel made a charge up the leaderboard in the final round, turning heads in the Regular Division.  Beginning the day, Duhamel was four shots back of the leader, Joe Bowker (Pembroke Pines CC), but Duhamel found a way to settle into the cold temperatures and learn the ins and outs of Baker Hill to make a run at the title. 
He started the day getting himself to three-under par through four holes after draining an eagle putt on the 2nd hole at Baker Hill and birdie on the 4th.  Without a blemish on his card, he made the turn at three-under par with the lead as the previous top three golfers were over par for the day.
“On the back nine I saw that I was in the lead and played it a little smarter and made some really good par putts”, stated Duhamel after his win.
Duhamel was able to take advantage of the par-5, 11th hole for birdie but managed all pars the remainder of the way while the rest of the field faltered a bit.  He finished the tournament at even-par for 36 holes, as he was four over par the first day and four under par in the final round.  He ended up winning by four strokes.
Reflecting back on the weekend and course, Duhamel said, “It definitely favors someone who is driving the ball well and that was the best part of my game this week.”
Duhamel made a name for himself in last year’s New Hampshire Mid-Amateur Championship held at Owl’s Nest Resort Golf Club where he found himself T2 at the end of the championship, competing against some of New Hampshire’s top amateurs.  Now, he can call himself a champion, once again competing against the top golfers in the state.
The NHGA would like to thank Baker Hill Golf Club and their entire staff for hosting the Players Invitational once again.  It is always a treat to host a tournament at Baker Hill!
Regular Division | Results
Senior Division | Results
Women’s Division | Results

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