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Steckowych & Groft Prevail As Top Match Play Golfers in Senior & Mid-Amateur Match Play Championship

May 8th, 2019

Author: Kate Billings
Windham, NH – Following a breezy final day of the Senior & Mid-Amateur Match Play Championship at Windham Country Club, Craig Steckowych (Portsmouth CC) and Harvin Groft (The Oaks GL) prevailed within their divisions to win the first New Hampshire Golf Association championship of the season.
 
Steckowych faced Tony Fournier and Bob Landry on his way to grabbing the Senior Match Play title for the second year in a row.  Fournier, who reached the 18th hole of the golf course in his two previous matches, fell to Steckowych 4 & 3 in the Semifinal round.  Steckowych went on face Bob Landry in the final match, ultimately defeating him 4 & 2.
 
Talking about his final match, Steckowych states, “I played fairly well on the front side and I got a pretty good lead on him and there was a turn of events on 11, I kind of made a mess of the hole.”  From there, Landry won 11, 12 and 13, but ran out of time as Steckowych continued his strong play.
 
“I probably played better yesterday than I played today.  I made a few more mistakes today but overall I was fairly consistent and good enough to win”, says Steckowych.  He looks forward to more match play later this season as the New Hampshire Amateur Championship heads to his home course, Portsmouth Country Club, in July.
 
From the Mid-Amateur perspective, Josh Chamberlain took down the top seeded Ryan Kohler in the Semifinal round 1up.  Kohler had a hold of the lead for the majority of the match, but Chamberlain held on winning a couple holes on the back nine and went on to beat him on their 18th hole of the match.  Groft also won his Semifinal match, beating Matt Walsh 1up.  Walsh gave Groft his toughest challenge of the week, as Groft hadn’t seen the 18th hole of the course since the stroke play qualifying round on the first day. 
 
Groft talked about the Semifinal match with Walsh saying, “I kept the ball in play the whole time and so did he which made it a good match because that’s definitely the most difficult part of this golf course; playing off the tee really challenges you and if you don’t hit it straight it’s hard to get it back in play.”
 
In the final match, Groft took an early lead with a couple birdies early on and never let up.  Though Chamberlain won the 8th hole, he did not get an opportunity to win another hole after that.  Groft finished off the match on the 13th hole, winning 7 & 5.
 
“It’s nice to have some success because I’m driving down to Pine Hills tomorrow for US Open Local qualifying so it’s nice to build a little bit of momentum”, says Groft. 
 
The Senior First Flight final match was also contested today between Bill Krueger (Concord CC) and Peter Mullett (Windham CC).  With home course advantage, Peter Mullett held a lead on the front and into the back nine, but Krueger fought his way back into the match, bringing it to All Square after 18.  As they headed to their 19th hole, each player had their trouble in the trees, but Mullett prevailed, taking the title in their Flight.
 
As Groft mentioned, the key to being successful at Windham Country Club is getting your tee shot in play, as the fairways are narrow and if you miss, you will have a tough time getting back into play.  The players that kept in the fairways most often this week were the ones who found more success.
 
The New Hampshire Golf Association would like to extend a sincere thank you to everyone at Windham Country Club for their generosity.
 
Match Play Brackets can be found here:  https://nhgaregister.golfgenius.com/pages/1978681