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Pleat Earns His Seventh Senior Title, Wins NH Senior By Four Shots

September 9th, 2020

Atkinson, NH – What started as a challenging weather day as dense fog rolled in at Atkinson Resort & Country Club, ended with Phil Pleat capturing his seventh New Hampshire Senior Championship title.  Pleat was able to hold onto and extend his lead throughout his final round of the tournament where he ended up shooting three-over par, 75 to finish at four-over par for the tournament.
 
After the hour and 15-minute fog delay, Pleat’s second round got underway as planned.  While he missed his makeable birdie putt on the first hole, he rolled in his birdie on the second hole to get things going.  From there, he ran into some bunker trouble on the 3rd and 4th holes, causing a bogey on 3 and a dreaded double bogey on the 4th hole.  Despite those two holes, he was able to either be tied for the lead or have a one-shot lead over his other competitors.
 
Pleat ended up making the turn at three-over par as he added another bogey to the card on the 8th hole.  And as his fellow competitors began to slide down the leaderboard finding their own trouble, Pleat just needed to hold steady in his own game to get the job done. 
 
While he three-putted the 12th hole at Atkinson for the second-straight day to make bogey, he birdied the 14th and 16th holes and made a great up and down for par on the 15th to stay with it. 
 
“I just tried to piece some good swings together”, stated Pleat.  “Really the key for me was on 14, 15 and 16, I was able to birdie 14 and 16 and made a good par on 15.”
 
From there, he bogeyed the 17th and made par on the 18th to close out his win with a 75 (+3) and 148 (+4) total.  Reflecting back on the round, Pleat said, “I hit some good shots when I needed to but overall, of course, you’d always like to play better.  And at my age, I hit more bad shots than I used to.”
 
As the two competitors in Pleat’s group were struggling around the greens, Pleat was trying to find ways to stay focused as that tends to be one of the most difficult parts of the game. 
 
He said, “I watch what’s going on especially on the greens here because they’re very, very tricky.  They’re nice but they’re tricky.  And I just try to see anything that will help me.”
 
With fewer three-putts in his stats for the second round, it seems that his practice round and the first round of the tournament seemed to help a little bit.  Pleat commented, “I tried to get a better handle on the speed, learning from yesterday and the practice round I had last week.”
 
This is Pleat’s seventh New Hampshire Senior title, a tournament he first won back in 2011.  This also marks his 21st NHGA championship win and the wins just keep getting better for him.  This year he had the honor of caddying for and watching his son James win the New Hampshire Amateur Championship at their home course, Nashua Country Club.
 
“It feels great to get a win in the same year as my son, its big”, stated Pleat.   “I was fortunate to get through it.  There are a lot of great guys and a lot of great players and we all had our struggles, but I just hung in there and came out on top.”
 
While Pleat held onto the lead for most of the tournament, players like Bob Kearney, Danny Arvanitis and Bill Everett were all close on the leaderboard for much of the round.  Kearney ended up finishing in second place, as he also shot 75 (+3) in the final round to climb the leaderboard to that position.  He made the turn in his second round at even-par but ran into some trouble on the back nine that kept him four shots back of Pleat in the end.
 
The New Hampshire Golf Association would like to extend a thank you to the entire staff at Atkinson Resort & Country Club for hosting this championship.  The course was in phenomenal condition both days.
 
Complete Results:  CLICK HERE