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Keene Hosts Match Play Quarterfinals: Many Top Seeds Continue to Advance

July 6th, 2022

Keene, NH – As the Match Play Championships continued, golfers who earned their spots in the next round took to Keene Country Club to face off with their opponents.  In the Ladies Championship Flight, many of the top seeds took home victories in their Quarterfinal matches, with just one upset.  From the Mid-Amateur side of the competition, top seeded Keith Stone continues his dominance as he moves on without a problem to the Semifinals.  And in the Senior division, seeds 2, 3 and 4 have all earned themselves a place in the Quarterfinal matches.
The Women’s Division began their matches at Keene Country Club in the Quarterfinal round as number one seed Deb Clauson (Portsmouth CC) took on Yuhui Svendsen (Souhegan Woods GC).  While Svendsen gave Clauson a run on the first couple holes, admittedly Clauson has a few nerves when it comes to the first few tee shots in a tournament, but Clauson proceeded to turn on the jets.  She went on to win most of the holes in their match to come out on top, 7&5.
Of the remaining three matches in the Ladies Championship Flight, two of them had similar outcomes to Clauson’s with Cindy Perkins (Souhegan Woods GC) defeating Dee Stillman (Ridgewood CC), 6&5.  Margaret Brenner (Nashua CC) had a dominating performance on the course barely needing the back nine as she defeated Jessica Plante (Nippo Lake GC) 9&8.
The close match of the four ended up being the Melissa Harman (Breakfast Hill GC) and Rowena Wilks (CC of New Hampshire) match.  Harman was the 3 seed in the bracket, while Wilks holds the 6 seed.  The match ultimately needed all 18 holes where Wilks was able to close it out 1up over Harman.  Wilks moves on to face a tough competitor, Margaret Brenner in the Semifinal round while Clauson and Perkins will face off next as the group heads to Baker Hill GC in August.
One of the marquee matches in the Senior Division was the match between Danny Arvanitis (Derryfield CC) and Bob Mielcarz (Concord CC).  Both State Amateur champions with years of match play experience under their belts so it was sure to be a battle.  Each player had their shining moments, and each had their tough moments where they gave up a hole or two, but after finishing up on 18, they needed extra holes to decide the match.  They went to 20 holes where Mielcarz was able to roll in a birdie putt to close it out for the win to advance on in the championship.  Mielcarz will now face Tony Fournier (Portsmouth CC) who advances on by default as Doherty had to concede the match.
Defending Senior Match Play Champion, Craig Steckowych (Portsmouth CC) went up against Doug DeCaprio (Wentworth by the Sea CC) in his Quarterfinal match where DeCaprio forced the match to all 18 holes, but Steckowych had the edge up, winning the match 1up.  He moves on to face Dave Larrivee (Manchester CC) who went up against fellow NHGA Board Member, Allen Pattee (Intervale CC).  It was certainly a battle between the two as they also needed extra holes.  Larrivee was able to close it out on the 19th hole of the match.
Keith Stone (Pease GC Online) continues to show why he captured the top seed as he went out and won his Quarterfinal match 6&5 over Jalen Rines (The Shattuck GC).  Stone will advance to Baker Hill GC in August to face James Kinnunen (The Shattuck GC), a strong competitor who holds the 13 seed but has been playing some great golf recently and showed that as he defeated Sean Gildea (Sky Meadow CC) 4&3.
Heading to the other side of the Mid-Amateur Championship Flight bracket, a pair of matches that were sure to catch some eyes was the match between Jim Cilley (Laconia CC) and Derek Dinwoodie (Farmington CC) and the match between Ryan Blossom (Lake Sunapee CC) and Mark Stevens (Beaver Meadow GC).  Dinwoodie, the current Seacoast Amateur champion, had his sights set on defeating Cilley in the Quarterfinal round.  Cilley has had a lot of success himself, especially in match play, as he was a Semifinalist in last year’s New Hampshire Amateur and even claims a New Hampshire Amateur title himself.  While Dinwoodie did give him a run, it came down to the final couple holes where he just missed the green on 17 and was not able to get up and down for par, giving Cilley the 1up lead heading to the final hole.  Cilley was able to take the win in the match, 1up to advance on.
Blossom and Stevens, two good friends, seemed to have a fun competition on the course, but when it came down to it, they’re both competitors.  The match was tied at the turn, but Stevens was able to win a few holes on the back nine to end the match on the 16th hole, winning 3&2.  Stevens will now go up against Cilley, both former State Amateur champions.
With the Quarterfinal matches now complete, those advancing on will head to Baker Hill Golf Club on August 8th to determine who will move on to the finals being held at Golf Club of New England in September.
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