Moving on: McLaughlin, Eddins, Sokul advance to Round of 32 at State Am

  • Concord High graduate Kurt Eddins hits his tee shot during the Round of 64 of the New Hampshire Amateur Championship Wednesday at Portsmouth Country Club in Greenland. Eddins was one of three locals to advance to the Round of 32. JAY McAREE / Monitor staff

  • Concord Country Club’s Will McLaughlin sinks his putt on the 18th hole at Portsmouth Country Club in Greenland Wednesday to advance to the Round of 32 of the New Hampshire Amateur Championship. JAY McAREE / Monitor staff

  • Bill Everett of Laconia Country Club uses an iron to strike the ball off the fairway during Wednesday’s Round of 64 match play of the New Hampshire Amateur Championship at Portsmouth Country Club in Greenland. JAY McAREE / Monitor staff

  • Kurt Eddins, a Concord High graduate, watches his putt Wednesday during the Round of 64 match play of the New Hampshire Amateur Championship at Portsmouth Country Club in Greenland. JAY McAREE / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 7/10/2019 8:49:41 PM

GREENLAND – After playing his way into the match-play portion of the 116th New Hampshire Amateur Golf Championship, Will McLaughlin found himself in a peculiar spot.

On one hand, the golfer out of Concord Country Club had completed the first step in a long, arduous journey to the 36-hole final. On the other hand, McLaughlin was forced to go toe-to-toe in the Round of 64 Wednesday with someone he considers a good friend in Matt Burroughs, the 2006 State Am champ who plays out of Derryfield CC.

“We play all the time. He’s one of the only people I play golf with really,” McLaughlin said. “I think we’re on a five-year run of tying in matches, so we were joking the whole day that this was going to extras. … I don’t think anybody really wanted to win, but we didn’t want to lose. It was a real weird feeling.”

The match lived up to its billing and in the end it was McLaughlin who pulled through, finally gaining enough separation on the final hole as he got up and down on the 18th to edge Burroughs, 1-up, and secure his spot in the Round of 32 at Portsmouth Country Club.

“I just tried to play my game, especially against a friend of mine, you really have to focus in on staying within yourself, taking it one shot at a time and kind of executing the process versus thinking about what else is going on. I’m exhausted,” McLaughlin said. “I think it was really good prep for the rest of the week. That was the toughest match I think I’ve ever had to play at a State Am.”

McLaughlin will take on Sam Natti (Maplewood GC) Thursday at 8:26 a.m. – joining just two other locals who managed to be a part of the final 32 standing.

Another Concord Country Club member in Fletcher Sokul advanced after defeating Richard Moreau (Sky Meadow CC), 5-and-4, while Concord High graduate Kurt Eddins (Cochecho CC) got past Griffin Barbaro (Stonebridge CC), 3-and-2.

Both Sokul and Eddins started hot with birdies on the opening hole, enjoying similar rounds by taking early leads over their respective opponents and never looking back to walk away with the victories.

“The back nine got a little hairy. I made a few bogies on 11, 13 and 14, but with match play you just have to do enough, whether it’s 4 under or 4 over, just try to move on,” said Eddins, who is slated to take on Michael Mahan (Cochecho CC) at 9:14 a.m. “Today I got it done but I need to play better moving forward, especially to beat Mike. It’s going to be a tough second match.”

Sokul was 2-up after two holes, but maintained a one-hole advantage for much of the early stages before winning on Nos. 8, 9 and 10 to pull away.

Sokul is no stranger to deep runs. He made it all the way to the quarterfinals during last year’s State Am at Hanover before bowing out to eventual champion Matt Paradis. But Sokul is hoping that experience guides him further here at Portsmouth.

“I think the biggest thing with making kind of a far run last year is it doesn’t matter how many you’re up or down at the beginning stages of the match,” Sokul said. “It’s a long, long grind. This whole tournament is a long grind and you have to stay as even-keeled as you possibly can.”

Sokul will draw Nashua CC’s Tommy Ethier – a semifinalist last year – on Thursday at 7:40 a.m., with the victor there taking on the winner of the Brian Adams-Matthew Gover matchup. Adams, just a 14-year-old out of Breakfast Hill GC, won in 20 holes over Kevin Strong, while Gover (Atkinson CC) needed extra time as well before beating out Harvin Groft in 21 holes.

There were no major surprises on Day 3 of the Granite State tournament as all four top seeds – Ryan Brown (Manchester CC), Brandon Gillis (Green Meadow GC), Sam Barton (Kingswood GC) and Ryan Quinn (Breakfast Hill GC) – are moving on to the Round of 32.

The same goes for Portsmouth CC members Eric Evans and Craig Steckowych.

But Wednesday did mark the end of the road for a few locals, including Belmont High varsity basketball coach and Ridgewood CC member Jim Cilley, who was forced to concede his match to Ryan Kohler due to a personal matter.

Also falling were Canterbury CC’s Garret Olivar, who lost, 1-up, to Tillman Evers (Green Meadow Inner Club), and Patrick Hesseltine (Pheasant Ridge GC), who fell to Steckowych, 6-and-5. Quinn, the No. 4 seed, beat out Pembroke Pines CC’s Joshua Lacasse, 2-and-1, and Intervale CC’s Austin Fox got the best of Laconia CC’s Bill Everett, 1-up.

For those that are still here, they’re just enjoying the ride.

“Nothing really changes, just keep hitting it good. The putter’s on, so try and keep making putts and that’s really the key,” McLaughlin said. “I got three kids under 4, so this is like vacation. It’s fun out here. I’m just happy to keep playing.”

Both the Round of 32 and Round of 16 are slated to be played Thursday, with two more rounds coming Friday to set up Saturday’s final.

(Jay McAree can be reached at 369-3371, jmcaree@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @JayMcAree.)

116th N.H. Amateur Championship

At Portsmouth Country Club

Wednesday’s results

Round of 64

No. 1 Ryan Brown, Manchester CC def. No. 64 Derek Leclair, Nashua CC, 7 and 5

No. 33 Mike Flynn, Cocheco CC def. No. 32 Jeff Monahan, Green Meadow, 6 and 5

No. 49 Tillman Evers, Green Meadow def. No. 16 Garret Olivar, Canterbury Woods, 1 up

No. 17 Eric Evans, Portsmouth CC def. No. 48 Keith Stone, The Overlook GC, 3 and 2

No. 8 Tommy Ethier, Nashua CC def. No. 57 Bill Moran, Atkinson, 2 and 1

No. 25 Fletcher Sokul, Concord CC def. No. 40 Richard Moreau, Sky Meadow, 5 and 4

No. 56 Brian Adams, Breakfast Hill GC def. No. 9 Kevin Strong, Rochester CC, 20 holes

No. 41 Mathew Grover, Atkinson def. No. 24 Harvin Groft, The Oaks, 21 holes

No. 4 Ryan Quinn, Breakfast Hill def. No. 61 Joshua Lacasse, Pembroke Pines, 3 and 1

No. 29 Andrew Purse, Bald Peak Colony Club def. No. 36 Kyle Badger, Intervale, 5 and 3

No. 13 Cameron Salo, Shattuck GC def. No. 52 Russell Hamel, Nashua CC, 4 and 2

No. 45 Bryce Zimmerman, Nashua CC def. No. 20 Derek Dinwoodie, Farmington CC, 2 and 1

No. 5 John Devito, Passaconaway CC def. No. 60 John Duarte, Green Meadow, 2 and 1

No. 28 Nick Hampoian, Golf Club of New England def. No. 37 Scott Doughty, Candia Woods, 5 and 4

No. 53 Sam Natti, Maplewood def. No. 12 Taylor Simpson, The Oaks, 1 up

No. 21 Will McLaughlin, Concord CC def. No. 44 Matt Burroughs, Derryfield, 1 up

No. 2 Brandon Gillis, Green Meadow def. No. 63 Phil Smith, Green Meadow, 19 holes

No. 34 Ryan Kohler, Hooper GC def. No. 31 Jim Cilley, Ridgewood CC, conceded

No. 15 Jake Hollander, Shattuck GC def. No. 50 Daniel Arvanitis, Manchester CC, 20 holes

No. 47 Macky Seppala, Bretwood GC def. No. 18 Brett Wilson, Golf Club of New England, 2 up

No. 7 Craig Steckowych, Portsmouth CC def. No. 58 Patrick Hesseltine, Pheasant Ridge GC, 6 and 5

No. 39 Nick Kalil, Portsmouth CC def. No. 26 Austin Baker, Nashua CC, 1 up

No. 10 Brian Nowak, Amherst CC def. No. 55 Timothy Braley, CC of New Hampshire, 4 and 3

No. 23 Austin Fox, Intervale CC def. No. 42 Bill Everett, Laconia CC, 1 up

No. 3 Sam Barton, Kingswood GC def. No. 62 Dylan Lortie, Amherst CC, 5 and 3

No. 30 Jared Lamothe, Passaconaway CC def. No. 35 Colin McCaigue, Derryfield, 1 up

No. 14 Michael Mahan, Cochecho CC def. No. 51 Peter Keilty, Portsmouth CC, 5 and 3

No. 19 Kurt Eddins, Cochecho CC def. No. 46 Griffin Barbaro, Stonebridge CC, 3 and 2

No. 6 Jake Nutter, Intervale CC def. No. 59 Rob Zimmerman, Nashua CC, 5 and 3

No. 38 Samuel Reynolds, Farmington CC def. No. 27 Joshua Chamberlain, Stonebridge CC, 3 and 2

No. 11 Jamie Ferullo, Rochester CC def. No. 54 MacGregor Thompson, Breakfast Hill GC, 5 and 3

No. 22 Phil Pleat, Nashua CC def. No. 43 Jack Pepin, Atkinson, 2 and 1

Thursday

Round of 32

No. 1 Ryan Brown, Manchester CC vs. No. 33 Mike Flynn, Cochecho, 7:30 a.m.

No. 49 Tillman Evers, Green Meadow vs. No. 17 Eric Evans, Portsmouth CC, 7:38 a.m.

No. 8 Tommy Ethier, Nashua CC vs. No. 25 Fletcher Sokul, Concord CC, 7:46 a.m.

No. 56 Brian Adams, Breakfast Hill GC vs. No. 41 Mathew Grover, Atkinson, 7:54 a.m.

No. 4 Ryan Quinn, Breakfast Hill GC vs. Andrew Purse, Bald Peak Colony Club, 8:02 a.m.

No. 13 Cameron Salo, Shattuck GC vs. No. 45 Bryce Zimmerman, Nashua CC, 8:10 a.m.

No. 5 John Devito, Passaconaway CC vs. No. 28 Nick Hampoian, Golf Club of New England, 8:18 a.m.

No. 53 Sam Natti, Maplewood GC vs. No. 21 Will McLaughlin, Concord CC, 8:26 a.m.

No. 2 Brandon Gillis, Green Meadow vs. No. 34 Ryan Kohler, Hooper GC, 8:34 a.m.

No. 15 Jake Hollander, Shattuck GC vs. No. 47 Macky Seppala, Bretwood CC, 8:42 a.m.

No. 7 Craig Steckowych, Portsmouth CC vs. No. 39 Nick Kalil, Portsmouth CC, 8:50 a.m.

No. 10 Brian Nowak, Amherst CC vs. No. 23 Austin Fox, Intervale CC, 8:58 a.m.

No. 3 Sam Barton, Kingswood GC vs. No. 30 Jared Lamothe, Passaconaway CC, 9:06 a.m.

No. 14 Michael Mahan, Cochecho CC vs. No. 19 Kurt Eddins, Cochecho CC, 9:14 a.m.

No. 6 Jake Nutter, Intervale CC vs. No. 38 Samuel Reynolds, Farmington CC, 9:22 a.m.

No. 11 Jamie Ferullo, Rochester CC vs. No. 22 Phil Pleat, Nashua CC, 9:30 a.m.

Round of 16

Round of 32 winners

Friday

Quarterfinals

Round of 16 winners

Semifinals

Quarterfinal winners

Saturday

Championship

36 holes

Semifinal winners




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