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Pleat's First Round Performance Enough to Lead By One in NH Senior

September 8th, 2020

Atkinson, NH – As the opening round of the 2020 New Hampshire Senior Amateur Championship comes to a close at Atkinson Resort & Country Club, a familiar name sits at the top of the leaderboard with strong competitors close by looking to take this year’s title.  Phil Pleat (Nashua CC) shot a one-over 73 to lead the field of the New Hampshire Senior with a one-shot cushion.  He is closely followed by Andy Hunnewell (Carter CC) and Craig Steckowych (Portsmouth CC), both at two-over par.
 
With Atkinson is great shape, the sentiment felt by the majority field was that the greens were rolling fast which meant that being able to read them and roll your putt at the right speed was going to be key to low numbers.
 
Pleat’s round started steady with three pars and a birdie on the 4th hole.  He went on to make two bogeys on the front nine to make the turn at one-over par.  He got himself back to even-par after a birdie on the par-3, 11th hole, but immediately followed it up with a bogey.  He added two more bogeys to his card on the 15th and 16th holes but ended the round on a high note with birdies on 17 and 18. 
 
“I might have played a little better than I scored but it was tough reading these greens”, stated Pleat after the round.   “The course is in great shape, fantastic shape.  You just have to be able to read these greens and putt them.”
 
With the leading score for the round, Pleat said, “I drove it alright, even my misses were in play.  No penalty shots and that’s a big plus out here.  I hit some good irons and the birdies I made, I trusted my initial line and I stayed with it.”
 
Pleat mentioned he had a couple three-putts out there which inevitably led to some of his bogeys.  He certainly knows what he needs to do in the second round to hang onto his lead, which is work on his game on the greens a little more, hitting it a little closer to the hole to leave himself easier putts for birdie and par.
 
With six New Hampshire Senior titles under his belt already, he has the confidence to win but also knows there are strong competitors close on the leaderboard to keep an eye on.
 
“If someone’s playing good wedges and putting well, they could be under par so hopefully I can play a little better tomorrow”, comments Pleat.
 
Andy Hunnewell has been a competitor to look out for as he plays a solid game.  In his opening round, starting on the back nine at Atkinson, he started strong with one bogey and one birdie to turn at even-par.  Once he made the turn to the front nine, it was up and down with birdies and bogeys, but he managed to finish the round at two-over par 74 and one shot behind Pleat.
 
While Steckowych does not have a New Hampshire Senior title to his name he is hoping to keep Pleat in his sights in the final round.  Like Hunnewell, Steckowych began the day on the back at Atkinson making five-straight pars.  He then bogeyed the 15th and 16th holes, turning at two-over par.  With a birdie and one bogey on his second nine of the day, he kept his score to two-over par, 74. 
 
Mike Blair (Bretwood GC) also found his name near the top of the leaderboard following his opening round of the tournament.  He ran into a couple bogeys on the front nine but quickly rectified it by making birdie on the 8th and 9th holes to turn at even-par alongside Hunnewell.  Blair’s back nine had two bogeys, one double bogey and one birdie to finish out his day with a 75 (+3), sitting two shots back of Pleat heading to the final round.
 
With a tight leaderboard, it will be the golfer that figures out the fast greens at Atkinson well-enough to keep his score low that will ultimately win the tournament. 
 
The New Hampshire Senior Amateur Championship is a two-day, 36-hole championship event open to male golfers ages 55 and over.  This year’s tournament is being held at Atkinson Resort & Country Club, playing at around 6,300 yards with fast greens, providing a true test for these golfers.
 
Round 1 Results:  CLICK HERE
Round 2 Pairings & Tee Times:  CLICK HERE