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Groft Goes Under Par in Final Round to Win Players Invitational; Fournier Works His Way to the Top to Win Senior Division

June 6th, 2021

Newbury, NH – Harvin Groft (The Oaks GL) started the day four shots back of the leader and ended up with the victory after firing a two-under par, 70 in the final round of the Players Invitational at Baker Hill Golf Club.  He ended winning by one stroke, while Tony Fournier (Portsmouth CC) won the Senior Division with a 73 (+1) in the final round to win by two strokes.
 
Heading into a final round four shots back of a strong competitor like Mark Stevens can be tough, but Harvin Groft came into the round with a sound mindset working on being present for each shot, knowing it would help make his game better.  It seems to have worked as he started his round making two consecutive birdies, propelling himself up the leaderboard in a hurry.
 
He stated, “I knew with two birdies on the first two I was right in the game already so then it was just trying to stay focused and stay present, one shot at a time.”
 
His focus never wandered too far as he went on to add two more birdies to his card on the front nine and just one bogey to make the turn at three-under par and one-over par for the tournament.  At the turn, although he didn’t know it, he gained a share of the lead that he never let up.
 
His thought process going into the day was, “if I could get it under par on the front nine that I would be in it going into the back.”  He was right, he jumped into first place, sometimes solo first and sometimes sharing the lead, but continued to stick to his game plan.  On the back nine, he poured in another birdie on the 15th hole, where he played smart golf after putting his tee shot in the rough.  He hit an iron up close to the green, hit a good wedge shot and made his birdie putt.  Despite his two bogeys on the back nine, he still finished the day at two-under and two-over par for the tournament.
 
After the round Groft stated, “My mantra today was each shot in isolation by itself.  I get out there and I know there’s not a shot that I can’t pull off but sometimes when you put it all together and start thinking too far outside the present it pulls you away from your game.”
 
He was able to visualize himself holding the trophy at the end of the day and that was what carried him to his victory.  He has numerous strong competitors who fell behind early but made a late charge in an attempt to tie Groft and head to a playoff.  One of the players was Mark Stevens (Beaver Meadow GC).  Stevens began the day with the lead but a tough front nine with two bogeys and one double bogey set him back a few shots. 
 
On the back nine, knowing that Groft was at the top, Stevens began to turn things around with birdies on 11, 15 and 16, but barely missed his birdie putt on the 18th to tie Groft.  It seemed like Stevens, Josh Farmer (Stonebridge CC Online) and Stephen Goodridge (Eastman GL) all fed off eachother as they all made some key shots in the closing holes to make their run at Groft but came up just shy.
This win marks Groft’s first Players Invitational win and second New Hampshire Golf Association championship victory.  He stated, “It feels really good.  This is my first stroke play win on a multiday event in the state so that feels really nice, a good confidence booster.”
 
The Senior Division fight to the top was a close one as well and there were numerous competitors who could have walked away with the win, but Tony Fournier pulled out a great round to hold off the other players.  Fournier’s first round of 78 (+6) put him two back of the lead at the start of the final round.  He was among six other players who were within two shots of Andy Hunnewell (Carter CC).
 
Fournier’s front nine was consistent with mostly pars and two bogeys to make the turn at two-over par, which did not initially put him at the top of the leaderboard.  Hunnewell played his front nine at just one over par but ran into trouble on the back nine that set him back a few shots.  Fournier went on to birdie the 10th and 11th holes at Baker Hill GC to quickly get himself in the lead, which he held onto for the back nine.  With just one bogey on the back, he finished the back nine at one-under par and the day at one-over par.
 
That was good enough to give him his first win in the Senior Division of the Players Invitational.  He added this victory alongside his 2019 New Hampshire Senior Championship win.
 
The New Hampshire Golf Association would like to extend a sincere thank you to Baker Hill Golf Club for hosting this tournament.
 
Complete Results: CLICK HERE