Top Seeds Staying Alive as Four Ball Match Play Continues

Canterbury, NH – Extra holes, close matches, and good competition defined the first day of matches in the inaugural Four Ball Match Play Championship at Canterbury Woods Country Club.  While their golf was not as strong as the stroke play qualifying round showed, Mat Gover and Russell Hamel hung on to stay alive as the #1 seed in the Championship Flight.  Joining them as they advance to the next round of matches are seeds 2 and 3, Brett Wilson/ Dan Mulkern and Kyle Wallace/Griffin Barbaro.
When Gover and Hamel set the pace for the field in the stroke play qualifying round, it seemed the two would be able to cruise through match play with no problem, but that was not the case in the Round of 16 as they went up against Jack Kelley and Alex Calvey.  In fact, Kelley and Calvey got up early in the match, going 2up thru the first three holes.  Gover and Hamel knew it wasn’t going to be easy and they needed to settle down if they wanted to continue in this tournament.
“It was just one of those days for us”, commented Hamel.  “We weren’t necessarily hitting any bad shots.  We were getting off the tee fine and hitting greens, but we just could not make a putt to save our lives.  I don’t want to say we were getting bad breaks, but it felt that way.”
After the front nine, Kelley and Calvey were 1up over the top seeded pair.  Kelley is a strong competitor when it comes to match play, last year he advanced to the Round of 16 of the New Hampshire Amateur so he was certainly putting the pressure on. 
“The middle of the back nine is when we settled down and started to hit some good shots,” stated Gover after their win.  “When Jack [Kelley] started putting some pressure on us, we had to make things happen or it was over for us.”
The match ended up tied after 18 holes so they were forced into extra holes to decide the winner.  Gover took an aggressive line of the tee after watching his partner land in an area where he was capable of making a safe par.  That aggressive line paid off as he landed four feet in front of the 1st green at Canterbury Woods with his drive.  He was able to birdie the hole to win the match.
Gover said, “I knew that he [Hamel] would make 4 from anywhere so it was nice to have that relaxing feeling of being able to go after it and take an aggressive line.”
The two now move on to face Matt and Craig Steckowych in the Quarterfinal round of matches.  The Steckowych pair went up against Joshua Pabst and Tyler Thistle in the first round of matches, comfortably closing them out on the 16th hole, winning 3&2.
Also finishing their match with smiles on their faces were Brett Wilson and Dan Mulkern who had a great day on the golf course, going up against a strong pair, Mike Mahan and Jim Cilley.  Mahan and Cilley have experience in a Four Ball format, having won the NH Four Ball in recent years.  However, we faced a hot Wilson and Mulkern who were draining putts from everywhere.  They were able to close out the match on the 15th hole, winning 4&3 to advance.
Also moving on is the 3rd seeded team of Kyle Wallace and Griffin Barbaro who teed it up against Bob Landry and Tony Fournier.  Wallace and Barbaro won the match 3&2, with Fournier commenting after the match on how much further Wallace and Barbaro hit it than his own team, making for a tough matchup in the first round.
Those advancing will return to Canterbury Woods on July 31st for the next round of matches.
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