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Next Stop: Match Play Finals, Six Golfers Earn Their Spots into Finals

August 8th, 2022

Newbury, NH – The Match Play Championships continued as the Semifinals took place at Baker Hill Golf Club with the top seeds continuing to find success to advance to the finals at Golf Club of New England next month.  Deb Clauson (Portsmouth CC) and Margaret Brenner (Nashua CC) won their Semifinal matches of the Women’s Match Play to square off next month.  Bob Mielcarz (Concord CC) and Craig Steckowych (Portsmouth CC) will face eachother in the Senior Match Play finals while Mark Stevens (Beaver Meadow CC) and top-seeded Keith Stone (Pease GC Online) will go head-to-head in the Mid-Amateur Match Play final.
Deb Clauson, the top seed on the Women’s side of the championship, took on Cindy Perkins (Souhegan Woods GC) in the Semifinals, which was guaranteed to be a close match as the two are tough competitors.  It was close for much of the way, but Clauson had the edge on Perkins.  Clauson was even 2up in the match with just two holes to go with Perkins making her work for it the rest of the way.  While it came down to the 18th hole, Clauson held on to win it 1up and secure her place in the final match.
Fresh off a multi-day Club Championship run at Nashua Country Club, Margaret Brenner came into the Semifinals against Rowena Wilks (CC of New Hampshire) with a lot of golf under her belt, especially in the middle of a heat wave.  Wilks might have had the edge on Brenner when it came to local knowledge, but Brenner’s game was ready for this Semifinal matchup.  Brenner confidently closed out the match on the 14th hole at Baker Hill GC, winning it 5&4 over Wilks to move on and face Clauson in the finals.
On the Senior side of the tournament, Bob Mielcarz faced Tony Fournier (Portsmouth CC), a player who has found some success up at Baker Hill, having won the Senior Division of the Players Invitational in 2021 and finishing second this year.  Mielcarz, though, might have Fournier when it comes to match play experience, especially with his over 40 years of match play experience competing in the New Hampshire Amateur.  With that mind, Mielcarz was able to win the match 5&4 to take his place in the finals.
The other side of the Senior bracket was another story between Craig Steckowych and Dave Larrivee (Manchester CC).  At the turn, the match was tied but Steckowych started to take over on the back nine and ultimately won the match on the 16th hole, winning 3&2.  It is sure to be an interesting final match between Steckowych and Mielcarz as both are State Amateur champions and both tough competitors.
For the Mid-Amateur players, Mark Stevens and Jim Cilley (Laconia CC) had a rematch of their New Hampshire Amateur Quarterfinal match where Cilley defeated Stevens 6&4 at Abenaqui CC last month.  At Baker Hill, Stevens was looking for redemption.  He got himself to 2up thru 9 holes in the match and kept a hold of that lead until late in the match when Cilley ended up getting a hole back to take it to 18.  Despite his efforts, Stevens won the match 1up to move on in the tournament.
Stevens will face Keith Stone who made a comeback against James Kinnunen (The Shattuck GC).  Kinnunen actually had the lead for most of the way, but Stone charged his way back, not letting going of the fact that he earned the top seed for a reason.  Stone won the match 2up and is now on to the finals of the Mid-Amateur Match Play.

All six players will now head to the final stop of the championship, Golf Club of New England, on September 20 to determine the champion of each division.
Congratulations to the Flight winners of the Match Play Championships, Zoe Daboul (Women’s First Flight), Diana Gauthier (Women’s Second Flight), Bill Krueger (Senior First Flight), Pat Dion (Senior Second Flight), Aaron Loring (Mid-Amateur First Flight), Shane St. Onge (Mid-Amateur Second Flight) and Robert Imbriano (Mid-Amateur Third Flight).
Women’s Match Play | Bracket
Senior Match Play | Bracket
Mid-Amateur Match Play | Bracket