Locals Eddins and Stevens near top of leaderboard after Day 1 at state am

  • Concord High graduate Kurt Eddins, seen here playing in last year’s New Hampshire Golf Association Amateur Championship at Portsmouth Country Club, was the top local scorer during Monday’s first round of this year’s  state am at Nashua Country Club. JAY McAREEfile / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 7/7/2020 7:29:55 AM

Concord High graduate Kurt Eddins shot a 1-under-par 70 during Monday’s opening round of the New Hampshire Golf Association’s 117th Amateur Championship at Nashua Country Club. It was one of the best scores of the day and had Eddins tied for sixth place heading into Tuesday’s second round of stroke play, but it still left him five strokes behind the leader, James Pleat.

Pleat carded a 65 on his home course, and the 2013 Dartmouth College graduate felt like he could have gone lower.

“I could have made some more putts, but I’m not going to complain,” Pleat told the NHGA after his round.

Despite the impressive score, Pleat is just one stroke ahead of Will Huang. The Stanford-commit who plays out of The Golf Club of New England shot a course-record 63 when he qualified for the state am at Rochester Country Club in June. On Monday, he recorded seven birdies to card a 66.

“I just took advantage of the par-5s today, I think I birdied all of them today,” Huang told the NHGA.  “With how the greens are rolling, once you get it on line with pretty good speed it’s going to roll right into the cup.”

Eddins, a 2008 Concord High grad who plays out of Cocheco Country Club in Dover, used a steady opening round to put himself among the leaders. He finished the day with 11 pars, four birdies and three bogeys.

Hopkinton resident Mark Stevens shot an even-par 71 along with eight other golfers to finish Monday’s round in a tie for ninth. Stevens won the 2008 state am playing out of Lochmere Country Club before becoming a professional and moving to South Carolina, but he regained his amateur status, returned to New Hampshire and is now playing out of Beaver Meadow Golf Course.

Concord’s Bob Mielcarz, who has a record nine state-am titles to his name, decided to play in the event for the first time since 2015 and just the second time since 2012, and he finished with a 78 on Monday. The 70-year-old Mielcarz has some work to do if he wants to finish in the top 64 and qualify for the match play portion of the tournament, which begins Wednesday. Fifty-four golfers shot 76 or lower o Monday, including 12 who shot 76 on the nose. Twelve more recorded a 77, and 17 golfers, including Mielcarz, shot a 78. All that means there will likely be a large crowd of golfers on Tuesday fighting for the final few match-play spots.

Kearsarge graduate Bobby Williams (Rochester CC), Bishop Brady grad Fletcher Sokul (Abenaqui Country Club) and Jake Nutter (Concord CC) all shot 73 on Monday to wind up as part of a six-way tie for 25th place. Belmont’s Jim Cilley (who won this event at Nashua Country Club in 2011 and is playing out Beaver Meadow Golf Course this year) and Bow High grad Doug Champagne (Concord CC) both finished with 73 on Monday.

Other local golfers in the event include Will McLaughlin (75, Concord CC), Travis Banga (76, Canterbury Woods CC), Jack Benson (77, Den Brae Golf Course), Scott Underhill (78, Canterbury Woods CC), David Perry (80, Concord CC), Thomas Aragona (82, Lochmere Golf and Country Club), Derek Jensen (82, Concord CC), Bob Landry (83, Loudon Country Club), Darek Robertson (83, Canterbury Woods CC) and Grayson Goulet (84, Concord CC).


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