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Tournament Favorites Flounder as Field Trims to 32

July 14th, 2021

North Conway, NH – The Round of 64 of the 118th New Hampshire Amateur Championship presented by Tuckerman’s Restaurant is in the books with many of the top seeds advancing, but with some upsets in the mix.  Medalist Ryan Quinn (Sagamore-Hampton GC) moves on to the Round of 32 with a 3 & 2 victory over Jake Raichle (The Maplewood GC), while second-seeded Harvin Groft (The Oaks GL) was among the upsets with Kurt Eddins (Cochecho CC) defeating him 1up.
 
There were numerous intriguing matches on the course, including the match between Mark Stevens (Concord CC) and Phil Moore (Canterbury Woods CC).  Both players have extensive competitive playing experience and share the fact that they were once playing professionally but returned back to amateur golf.  While Stevens had the experience of winning the State Amateur back in 2008, Moore held steady, played his game, and won the match 1up.
 
“I knew Mark was a strong player and had a lot of experience coming in”, commented Moore after the match.  “I knew it was going to take my best effort today.  I felt really good coming in, I felt really confident in my game, and I’ve just been driving off a lot of self confidence coming into the event.”
 
Moore is coming off of a 10-year hiatus from golf due to a back injury but has been competing in tournaments since the start of the season, which has been giving him a lot of confident coming into this championship.
 
Moore stated, “Today was probably my best round of the year.  I just played really well and stayed in it.  Me and mark went back and forth all day.  I was two up with two to play and he birdied 17, I was kind of expecting that to happen.”
 
He ended up winning the match by draining his par putt on the 18th hole and felt all the emotions coming in after the win.  Moore has been up against a lot of adversity and has truly risen to the challenge.  He looks forward to the next match where he will face Nick Hampoian (Golf Club of New England) who is coming off a 4&2 win over Bill Everett (Laconia CC).
 
Along with the Stevens/ Moore match, the Craig Steckowych (Portsmouth CC)/ Danny Arvanitis (Derryfield CC) match is one that everyone was staying in tune with throughout the day.  Between the two, there are three State Amateur titles with Arvanitis claiming his State Amateur title at North Conway Country Club.  Even before the match, everyone knew it would be a close one and it was.  The match was back and forth for much of the day and ended up needing extra holes because Steckowych drained his birdie putt on the 18th hole to extend the match.  Steckowych ended up winning the match in 21 holes.
 
Also, not to be overlooked is defending champion, James Pleat (Nashua CC) who claimed the 11 seed for match play.  He went up against Stephen Miele (Laconia CC) in the Round of 64.
 
“It was a battle from the very beginning”, commented Pleat.  “We halved the entire front nine.”
 
Both players displayed great golf the entire way around, but Pleat had the edge on Miele at the end and won the match 2&1.
 
As defending champion, all eyes are on Pleat to see if he can repeat his accomplishment from last year.  He said, “I came into it thinking I had nothing to lose because I won last year, and it was great.  But to be honest with you, there are a few nerves involved with being defending champion and I hadn’t dealt with that before.”
 
“You definitely have a bit of a target on your back, but my mentality was to play solid golf and see what I can do”, continued Pleat.
 
Pleat looks to continue what he’s been doing and hopes a few more putts will drop in the next match where he will face Thomas Hickey (Ridgewood CC).
 
With the Round of 64 complete, six past champions remain in the field advancing to the Round of 32.  Out of the 32 matches on the day, 13 of the matches need all 18 holes to decide the winning, some needing more than 18.  The New Hampshire Amateur Championship will continue on Thursday, July 15th with the Round of 32 and Round of 16 on deck.
 
The New Hampshire Amateur Championship presented by Tuckerman’s Restaurant is a 6-day championship event that begins with 36 holes of stroke play qualifying to determine the 64 golfers that will advance to the match play rounds.  The tournament concludes with a 36-hole final match.
 
Match Play Bracket > CLICK HERE