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Defending Champions Earn Top Seeds in Match Play Championships

September 21st, 2020

Hudson, NH – What started out as a frosty morning turned into beautiful day on the Jungle Course at Green Meadow Golf Club as the stroke play qualifying round of the Senior & Mid-Amateur Match Play Championship commenced.  Harvin Groft (The Oaks Golf Links) grabbed the top seed in the Mid-Amateur division, firing a two-under par 70 to beat out Peter Keilty (Portsmouth CC) for the honor.  On the Senior side, Craig Steckowych (Portsmouth CC) and Larry Nuttall (Candia Woods GL) tied at the top, shooting 73 (+1), with Steckowych being awarded the top seed.
Groft teed it up in the first group of the tournament alongside Pat Pelletier (Carter CC), making for a more casual atmosphere for the two.  His round was the epitome of consistency, making three birdies and just one bogey throughout the day, paving the way for pars the rest of the way.
“I hit every single green until about 14 or 15, then I got up and down, two in a row, chipped in and then got up and down”, commented Groft after his round.  “Then I hit the last green and made a par.”
His only bogey came on the lengthy, par-3 8th hole on the Jungle Course at Green Meadow.  He turned at even-par and went on to go two-under on the back nine.  His playing partner, Pelletier, had a strong day as well, turning at one-under par, but with two bogeys on the back nine, he finished the day with a 73 (+1) to grab the third seed for match play and will face Dan Moquin (Manchester CC) in the first round of match play.
Groft stated, “My ball striking has been suspect for a couple weeks but I hit most fairways and I hit most of the greens and got up and down.  I didn’t have to work too hard on the greens; I had one three-putt.”
With a more laidback attitude about tournament golf this season, Groft has found himself in favorable positions.  He said, “The way I’m trying to approach every tournament this year is I play my game the way I play it.  I’m going to go out and just play the golf course every day.”
He has been focusing on his own game and trying to not worry about what other golfers are doing on the course.  Now, heading into match play, he does not plan to change his thought process or how he approaches any hole on this particular course.  His experience winning this tournament last year should also give him confidence as he heads to match play.
“I’ll do the same thing the next couple of days and if it falls the right way, it falls the right way.  And if it doesn’t, then so be it”, commented Groft.
Groft will face Paul Torri (Sky Meadow CC) in the Round of 16 in match play.  Second seed, Peter Keilty who fired an equally impressive 71 (-1) in the qualifying round will go up against Derek LeClair (Portsmouth CC).
In the Senior Match Play Championship, Craig Steckowych and Larry Nuttall each shot 73 (+1) to sit at the top of the leaderboard with Steckowych taking the top seed based on their order of finishing. 
Steckowych’s front nine included an impressive four birdies, but a triple bogey on the third hole held him back from going even lower.  Despite the 8 he took on the hole, he still made the turn at one-under par.  Heading to the back nine, he made smooth, consistent pars on eight of the nine holes, but double bogeyed the 13th hole to finish the day at one-over par.
Nuttall started his round strong with a birdie on the opening hole, following it up with six-straight pars.  He bogeyed the 8th hole but birdied the 9th to finish his front nine at one-under par, similar to Steckowych.  With seven pars and two bogeys on the back side, he finished the day tied at the top of the leaderboard with Steckowych and with the second seed.
In the Round of 16 for the Championship Flight of the Senior Match Play, Steckowych, who has won this tournament the last two years, will square off against Bill Sheridan (Nashua CC), while Nuttall will face Pete Desjardins (Atkinson Resort & CC). 
Rounding out the tournament, Ed Joyce (Green Meadow GC) picked up the top seed in the First Flight of the Senior Match Play by shooting an eight-over par, 80.  He will go on to face Joseph Bonacquisti (Whip-Poor-Will GC) in their Quarterfinal match.
Match Play Brackets: CLICK HERE