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Pleat Continues Family Legacy, Captures His First State Amateur Title

July 11th, 2020

Nashua, NH – James Pleat will now have his name etched in history with his great grandfather, his grandfather and his father as he captured his first New Hampshire Amateur title.  Pleat completed the 117th New Hampshire Amateur Championship presented by Audi Nashua with a 2&1 victory over Cam Sheedy in the 36-hole final match to take the win and continue the family legacy.
 
While the threat of bad weather was out of the way for the final match, the wind still picked up in the morning and didn’t let up for the duration of the match, making conditions tougher than what Pleat and Sheedy faced in the matches leading up to the final. 
 
Pleat commented, “For most of the week, we both made a lot of birdies but that wasn't necessarily the case today.  It was very winded so it was tricky, so I would say the conditions were the hardest they have been all week.”
 
Sheedy took an early lead in the match by winning the first hole, but Pleat brough it back to tied following the third hole.  They continued to trade holes on the front nine, but on the 8th hole, Sheedy made a mistake costing him a loss of hole penalty, so they headed to the 9th hole with Pleat 1up.  Again, trading holes, the two made several pars throughout the day, but Sheedy hit a tee shot on the 18th hole out of bounds that cost him that hole.  The pair finished the first 18 holes with Pleat having the advantage at 2up.
 
Getting into their second 18 holes, Pleat managed to get to 4up over Sheedy until the 14th hole of the course where Sheedy began to claw his way back in.  Sheedy went on to win three-straight holes to hang on, including the match’s 34th hole, Nashua’s 16th.  Sheedy played it safe off the tee, but Pleat pulled driver on the drivable par-4 hole.
 
"It was a little downwind and to the right,” says Pleat.  “I don't normally on a normal day hit driver there but when the wind is going that way, it is kind of tempting, especially with a back pin.”
 
Pleat ended up slightly hooking his drive to just in front the 17th tee box.  Sheedy stuck his second shot close and made his putt for birdie and Pleat couldn’t respond the same way.  The match continued on from there with Pleat 1up heading to their 35th hole, with just two holes to play.
 
Both players hit their tee shots to a similar location in the left rough.  The only difference was that Sheedy did not hit his second shot on the green, forcing him to chip his third shot up on the green.  While he hit it close, he didn’t make his par putt, while Pleat made the routine par to ultimately win the match.
 
Pleat states, "I think I escaped with one there.  I expected him to get up and down for par, but it was enough and that's all that matters and I'm thrilled.”
 
Sheedy had been making putts for much of the day that drew claps from the sizable crowd that came out to support both players.  Pleat just couldn’t get the putts to drop, especially on the first 18 holes when it seemed like some of the overnight rain had slightly slowed them down.
 
Pleats says, "They got a little faster towards the end of the morning round and that was more like they were playing all week.”  Overall, the conditions were much harder in the final match just based on the high winds that they hadn’t dealt with at all until the final match.
 
Regardless, James Pleat is thrilled to have won his first New Hampshire Amateur title and join the history books as a fourth-generation State Amateur champion.  He says, “"It's amazing, it’s a dream come true.”
 
“I grew up watching this tournament,” continues Pleat.  “I remember the green before the one I won on, my dad won the 1997 State Amateur and I ran out to give him a hug and it was a little bit of a role reversal this time.  He was caddying for me and we had a nice little hug on the 17th hole.”
 
After seeing Sheedy miss his par putt and realizing Pleat was the champion, he was immediately greeted by a hug from his father, Phil.  Phil had been caddying for James starting with the Quarterfinal match, providing him advise throughout the matches as a father and player who has won this championship three prior times.  This win is even more special as he was able to do it on his home course, like his father did in 1997.
 
The New Hampshire Golf Association would like to thank the entire staff and membership at Nashua Country Club for their hospitality throughout the entire week of the New Hampshire Amateur Championship presented by Audi Nashua.
 
Match Play Bracket > CLICK HERE