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Parker Prevails As New Granite State Senior Champion Emerges

September 27th, 2018

Author: Kate Billings
Laconia, NH –  After competing professionally for 30 years, Rich Parker (Hanover CC) has officially returned to the amateur side of golf and already made a name for himself by winning the New Hampshire Senior Championship held at Laconia Country Club.  Parker fired the lowest round of the tournament, five under par 67 to win the tournament by five strokes over six-time champion, Phil Pleat (Nashua CC).
Dartmouth College Men’s Golf coach, Rich Parker began the day as one of the three in the penultimate group and one shot behind Phil Pleat who had recorded an opening round 71 to lead the way.  He started out very steady, as expected, and started to turn on the jets on the 6th hole where he made birdie and added two more on the 8th and 9th holes of the course.
Making the turn, Parker had the outright lead as many of the other leaders had slipped down the leaderboard due to bogeys on their cards while Parker did just the opposite.  After hitting 28-straight greens in regulation, he made an error on the 11th hole that cost him a bogey, one of the two bogeys he made in the 36 holes of competition.  He followed that bogey up with two birdies on 12 and 13 and another on 17 to close out an impressive round of 67.
After speaking with Parker following his victory he talked about his game saying, “I can’t remember ever hitting the ball like this in a tournament.  My iron game was unreal, which it hasn’t been.  I got here yesterday and warmed up and all of a sudden, I started standing taller and my club went back on the right arc.  It was so fun, it was just fun to play.”
Parker didn’t credit one specific point to his game that led him to this win, he said “I played smart off the tee and once I started making birdies I just started going.  I didn’t play defense, I actually got more aggressive.”
At no point did Parker have his eye on the leaderboard, though it was accessible to him all day.  The leaderboard fluctuated frequently throughout the final round and it began on the first three holes where Round 1 leader, Phil Pleat began his day with three consecutive bogeys to send himself down the leaderboard.
Pleat eventually worked his way back and avoided any more bogeys in his round and sinking two birdie putts but it was too late towards the end; he would have needed an extraordinary round to catch what Parker had going.  Six-time New Hampshire Senior champion, Phil Pleat ultimately finished his day at +1 (73) and even par for the tournament.
Rich Parker can now add the New Hampshire Senior Championship to his list of NHGA accomplishments.  Parker has claimed the New Hampshire Open title three times (1987, 1988, 2007) and has also won the New Hampshire Boys Junior Championship two times (1976, 1977).  It’s safe to say that Parker enjoys competing amongst this elite group of amateur golfers.
Although the rain came down again over night, Laconia Country Club held up well for the top 90 New Hampshire Senior golfers.  Laconia CC was a great test for championship golf in the Granite State.  The New Hampshire Golf Association would like to thank the Laconia CC staff for all of their hard work during this tournament.
Compete Results: