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Cilley, Underhill survive to quarterfinals; tourney favorites, most locals fall in early rounds at state am

  • Belmont’s Jim Cilley makes a putt during match play on Thursday at the 118th New Hampshire State Amateur Championship at North Conway Country Club. Cilley – the No. 10 seed who plays out of Laconia CC – will take on No. 31 Cameron Sheedy (Windham CC) in Friday’s quarterfinal match. Courtesy of Kate Billings / N.H. Golf Association

  • Scott Underhill competes in a match at the 118th New Hampshire State Amateur Championship on Thursday at North Conway Country Club. Underhill – the No. 45 seed who plays at Canterbury Woods – will take on No. 5 Brandon Gillis (Sky Meadow CC) in Friday’s quarterfinal match. Courtesy of Kate Billings / N.H. Golf Association

Monitor staff
Published: 7/15/2021 3:58:57 PM

Several area golfers made the top 64 at the 118th New Hampshire State Amateur Championship at North Conway Country Club, but most of them did not survive the first round of match play, a fate shared by many tournament favorites and past champions on Wednesday and Thursday.

Only two local competitors are left for Friday’s quarterfinal matches.

Belmont’s Jim Cilley – the 2011 state am champion who golfs out of Laconia CC – bested No. 55 Tim Yarosevich (Bretwood GC), 8 and 7, on Wednesday, and No. 42 Ryan Friel (The Overlook), 3 and 2, and No. 7 Tommy Ethier (Nashua CC), 1 up, on Thursday to make the final eight.

No. 45 Scott Underhill (Canterbury Woods CC) is the only other local competitor remaining. He upset No. 20 Jamie Ferullo (Rochester CC) in 19 holes on Wednesday, and knocked off No. 52 Kyle Wallace (Manchester CC), 2 and 1, and No. 29 Stephen Ramos (Atkinson Resort), up 2, on Thursday to advance.

One of the top players to lose on Wednesday was 9-time state am champion Bob Mielcarz (Concord CC) – who won his fourth title at North Conway CC when it hosted in 1982. No. 13 Mielcarz narrowly lost to Wallace, 2 and 1.

One of the most intriguing round of 64 match-ups was between two local former pros. No. 41 Phil Moore (Canterbury Woods CC) bested No. 24 Mark Stevens (Concord CC) – the 2008 state am champion – in the first round of match play on Wednesday, but Moore couldn’t survive the round of 32 on Thursday, losing to No. 56 Nick Hampoian (Golf Club of NE), 5 and 4.

Area golfers were on the giving end of some of the upsets though, like former Concord High standout Kurt Eddins (Cocheco CC), who was ranked No. 63, but topped No. 2 Harvin Groft (The Oaks), 1 up.

Eddins didn’t get much further, losing in the next round to No. 31 Cameron Sheedy (Windham CC), 5 and 4.

No. 47 Josiah Hakala – a 14 year old who golfs out of Beaver Meadow in Concord – upset No. 18 Evan Desjardins (Atkinson Resort) in 19 holes, but narrowly lost Thursday morning’s round of 32 match to No. 15 Craig Steckowych (a former champion out of Portsmouth CC), 3 and 1.

Steckowych had previously bested No. 50 Daniel Arvanitis (Derryfield CC) – the champion the last time North Conway hosted the state am in 2001 – in 21 holes.

No. 26 Ryan Anderson (Laconia CC) was the only other local to make it past the round of 64, beating No. 39 Austin Baker (Nashua CC), 2 and 1, but lost to Ethier (Nashua CC), 6 and 5, on Thursday morning.

Other area golfers who made the cut for match play, but lost on Wednesday were: No. 33 Doug Champagne (Concord CC) to No. 32 Brett Wilson (Golf Club of NE), 3 and 2; No. 49 Jeremy Duhamel (Manchester CC) – a former Bow High golfer – to No. 16 Bryce Zimmerman (Nashua CC), 1 up; No. 25 Will McLaughlin (Concord CC) to No. 4 Sam Barton (Kingswood GC), 19 holes; No. 9 Bill Everett (Laconia CC) to Hampoian, 4 and 2; No. 37 William Hartigan (Concord CC) to No. 28 Joe Leavitt (Atkinson Resort), 4 and 3; No. 21 Keith Boyle (Laconia CC) to No. 44 Jon Dyer (Nashua CC), 2 up; No. 22 Troy Demers (Pembroke Pines CC) to No. 43 Thomas Hickey (Ridgewood CC), 5 and 3; No. 60 Hunter Duncan (Concord CC) to No. 5 Brandon Gillis (Sky Meadow CC), 3 and 1; No. 54 Stephen Miele to defending champ No. 11 James Pleat (Nashua CC0, 2 and 1, and No. 61 Patrick Hessletine (Laconia CC) to No. 4 Colin McCaigue (Amherst CC), 3 and 2.

Eddins, Hesseltine and Duncan were among 11 golfers who were tied for the final six spots in the top 64 and earned the place in match play through playoff holes on Tuesday.

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