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Mike Ryan's Memory Lives On: Three Champions Crowned

July 17th, 2019

Manchester- NH, With 36 holes left in the Mike Ryan Memorial Championship, nerves were high as the Semifinal matches of the event teed off this morning at Derryfield Country Club. The winners of these matches would move on to the Finals in the afternoon. 
Bryce Zimmerman of Nashua Country Club won his first match this morning against Jack Meehan of Hanover CC 4 & 3. The match was all tied up through 9 holes but then Zimmerman was able to drain birdie putts and pull out the win to face off against Russell Hamel of Nashua Country Club in the Eagle Division Final Match. Hamel won his morning match against Nate Stevens of Stonebridge Country Club 4 & 2. 
Zimmerman and Hamel are no strangers to the final match of this event. They also faced each other in the finals last year. Their match started out pretty even as they were tied the first three holes, but then Zimmerman turned up the heat and ended the match on hole 15.  “I played pretty well and didn’t make many mistakes,“ said Zimmerman when asked about how his round went. “My approach shots were pretty good today. The stretch of holes of 9-11, where I birdied every single one, my approach shots were within three feet every time.” This is Zimmerman’s fourth time winning this Championship, and he is the first player to do so. “Winning this event for four years in a row is pretty cool, it definitely means a lot to me,” says Zimmerman.
In the Junior Division, Ben Dougherty of North Conway CC and Evan Rollins of Laconia CC both won their morning matches to make it to the finals this afternoon.  Dougherty beat Elliot Wallace of Manchester CC in a close match of 2 & 1, while Rollins defeated Noah Leclair of Nashua CC 3 & 2. In the final match, Rollins drained a birdie putt on the first green, and kept that momentum going the entire match. Dougherty was not one to give up though, as he took the match to hole 18, where Rollins drained it putt for the win. “I was able to make some good putts today, I think if I didn’t make some good putts like the 10 footer on 18 to win, I wouldn’t have won,” says Rollins about the match and winning 1 up. Rollins also included that “It means a lot to win the Mike Ryan, it is a really cool tournament and really fun this year. It was really fun to win in his name and honor.”
While the Birdie Division only plays 9 hole matches, the competition might be fiercer than the older divisions. In his semifinal match this morning, Joel Collins took his match to hole 7 to defeat Brady Cuneo 2 up and move on to the finals. Jack Steele of Concord CC defeated Sean Guerrette of Intervale in 10 holes of match play to move on. Steele made an impressive par on the first hole of the final match and kept the momentum up to hole 7 where he won the match 3 & 2. “I like match play because you can have a bad hole and it wont affect your game. I played pretty well, it got kind of tiring but my short game was on today,” say Steele about the round.  “It means a lot to win because last year I made it to the semifinals but then got sick, and it also means a lot to win since it is the first year after Mike passed away, so it just means a lot”
The Mike Ryan Memorial Championship was formally known as the Red Ryan Tournament. The NHGA Junior Tour made the decision to name the tournament after Mike Ryan, who dedicated his life to the growth of junior golf around New Hampshire. This tournament will honor his name and his legacy at Derryfield Country Club. The Mike Ryan Memorial Championship is a three-day tournament with the first round being 18 holes of qualifying stroke play, with two days of match play to follow. 
Complete results can be found here:
About the NHGA Junior Golf Tour
Founded in 1998, the NHGA has strived to create a junior program that creates playing opportunities for players of all skill levels and abilities. The program is structured to provide opportunities for junior golf development through fair competition, while encouraging proper course etiquette and good sportsmanship through playing and enjoying the game of golf.  The Junior Tour is open to girls and boys up to the age of 18 and is broken down into two divisions, the Birdie and Eagle divisions.  The NHGA Junior Golf Tour is sponsored by the Thorpe Family Foundation.