Golf: Concord’s Ryan Sylvester wins biggest upset of state am so far, Cilley rolls in opening round


Monitor staff

Published: 07-13-2023 2:32 PM

No. 20 Jim Cilley (Laconia CC) rolled to a decisive 6 and 4 win over No. 45 Ryan Rankins (Manchester CC), the largest margin of victory in the opening round of match play at the 120th New Hampshire State Amateur championship on Wednesday morning at Manchester Country Club. 

But Cilley’s hopes of making it to another state am final were dashed on Thursday, narrowly dropping a match to No. 13 Ryan Zetterholm (Pease GC), 1 up.

Most of the top seeds held their ground during the Rounds of 64 and 32, but No. 30 Ryan Sylvester, a member of the Concord Country Club, upset No. 3 Will Ducharme (GC of New England), 1 up, in the biggest upset of the tournament so far.

Sylvester defeated No. 35 Marty McCormick (Candia Oaks), 1 up, in Wednesday’s opening round.

No. 8 Evan Rollins (Laconia CC) also made it through a pair of rounds, also defeating a golfer with home-course advantage, No. 57 Elliot Wallace (Manchester CC), 4 and 2, on Wednesday, and No. 40 Ryan Blossom (Concord CC), 3 and 2, on Thursday.

Blossom beat fellow Concord CC member No. 25 David Perry, 3 and 1, in the Round of 64.

New London’s No. 25 Rob Henley (Lake Sunapee CC) was the only other area golfer to make it into the Round of 16, defeating No. 53 Phil Pleat (Nashua CC), a three-time champion, 5 and 4. Henley beat No. 44 Reese Woodbury (Youth on Course), 1 up, in the first round.

Past champion No. 46 Matthew Burroughs had one of the bigger upsets in the opening round, topping No. 19 Steven Rohde (Abenaqui CC), 1 up. 

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Other area competitors to win their opening-round matches were No. 11 Mark Stevens (Beaver Meadow) over No. 54 Scott Doughty (Passaconaway CC) in 19 holes; No. 15 Joe Bowker (Canterbury Woods) over No. 50 Sam Maurice, 3 and 1; and No. 32 David Sherborne (Laconia CC) over No. 33 Dan Arvanitis (Derryfield CC) in 20 holes.

The fates didn’t favor those golfers on Thursday, however. Sherborne lost to No. 1 Mathew Gover (Atkinson), 5 and 4; Bowker fell to No. 18 Evan Desjardins (Atkinson), 5 and 3; Burroughs fell to No. 14 Austin Fox (Derryfield CC), 3 and 1; and the former pro Stevens fell to 2020 and 2021 state am champion No. 22 James Pleat (Nashua CC), 1 up.

Former Concord High standout No. 41 Kurt Eddins (Cochecho CC) fell to defending champion No. 24 Brandon Gillis (Sky Meadow CC), on Wednesday, in a narrow 1 up decision.

No. 58 Shane St. Onge (Pembroke Pines) was one of eight golfers to qualify via a playoff hole prior to the start of Wednesday’s matches and forced his opponent to contest 20 holes before ultimately falling to No. 7 Jack Pepin (Atkinson).

No. 12 Jeremy Duhamel (Manchester CC), No. 31 Ethan Emerson (Laconia CC), No. 39 Scott Underhill (Canterbury Woods), No. 47 Bill Raney (Laconia CC), No. 48 AJ Correia (Laconia CC) also lost their Round of 64 matches.

Round of 16 matches were not completed at press time. 

The quarterfinal and semifinal matches will be on Friday, and a 36-hole championship round will be on Saturday.