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Pelletier Powers to the Top to Capture Third-Straight Stroke Play Title

August 14th, 2020

Enfield, NH – In an unexpected turn of events, Pat Pelletier emerged as the 2020 New Hampshire Stroke Play Champion after climbing to the top of the leaderboard and defeating Ryan Kohler in a one-hole playoff to take the title for his third-straight time.
When the day started, most players expected to a see a runaway victory by Mark Stevens who started the final round with a five-shot lead, but things took a turn when Stevens went two-over par thru four holes, opening the door for players like Pat Pelletier, Jim Cilley and Ryan Kohler to make a move towards the top.
Pelletier took full advantage of the opportunity he was given, he birdied the 1st, 5th and 8th holes to get himself to three-under par at the turn, while Stevens was falling further behind by getting to four-over par thru nine holes.  Pelletier started the day eight shots back of Stevens, but by the turn he had made up seven of those shots to be one back.
Stevens went on to bogey the 10th and Pelletier ultimately pulled ahead with a birdie on the 11th.  At that point, Ryan Kohler was sitting at the top of the leaderboard alongside Pelletier as he made three-straight birdies on 9, 10 and 11.  Kohler and Pelletier started the day in the same position, three-under for the tournament and eight shots back of Stevens.  Neither player really thought they would catch Stevens, but a bogey-filled day for Stevens helped their chances.
“With everyone so tight from 2nd through 9th, I was just trying to end the year on a good note”, commented Pelletier after the round.  Everyone was looking to go out and have a solid round with the expectation that Stevens would take the 2020 title.
Pelletier continued, “I wanted to try and hit as many fairways and greens as I could and maybe have a chance if Mark struggled.”  Fortunately for Pelletier, Stevens did struggle.
Coming down the final few holes, Kohler birdied the 202-yard par-3, 15th hole which set him up to be able to par his way in to have a chance at a win or playoff depending on what Pelletier did.  Pelletier ended up making bogey on the 17th hole to sit tied with Kohler, making 18 an important hole to either par or birdie.
“I didn’t really know what Kohler made on 18,” stated Pelleiter.  “I knew I was tied after the bogey, it looked like he made a par.  I had a tough yardage; I was kind of between clubs.  I didn’t want to go long - I was trying to give myself a good look at it.  I pushed it a little out to the right and it left a tough up and down.”
Pelletier left himself an eight-foot putt for par to head to a playoff with Kohler.  He had recently missed a shorter putt on the 17th to bogey, but he knew he had to bear down and make it.
“I just locked in and focused, had to make an eight-footer and I thankfully made it to give myself a chance in a playoff”, said Pelletier.
Kohler and Pelletier both ended their final rounds at four-under par, 68.  In third place, Jim Cilley finished the day with a 74 (+2) after a difficult front nine where he went three-over par.  He had hoped to be one of the leaders at the end but was not able to capitalize on his opportunity.  Stevens ended up finishing the tournament T4 with first-time NHGA tournament player Stephen Goodridge, both finishing 54 holes at three-under par.
Heading to the playoff hole, both Kohler and Pelletier hit their typical tee shots that they had been hitting all week, but Kohler ended up flying his second shot just over the green.  With a back pin location, he had a challenging downhill chip and ended up missing his par putt.  The door opened for Pelletier to tap in his par putt after just missing the birdie for the win.  He made the par and capture the title.
This victory marks Pelletier’s third-straight New Hampshire Stroke Play title and first time with the added pressure of competing in a playoff for the win.
The New Hampshire Golf Association would like to thank Montcalm Golf Club for graciously stepping up and hosting this championship.