Golf: Bishop Brady (D-III) and Hopkinton (D-IV) finish fifth at state championship

By DAN ATTORRI

Monitor staff

Published: 10-13-2023 12:30 AM

The Hopkinton and Bishop Brady golf teams were rebuilding this year, simply qualifying for the tournament was a goal. Both programs accomplished that, and then some, finishing in fifth at their respective division championships on Thursday.

Hopkinton junior Bronson Ammann had a career day to finish in second place with a 1-over 72 at the Division IV championship at North Conway Country Club, while Bishop Brady freshman Mady Savary landed in third with a 7-over 78 in the D-III championship at Sagamore-Hampton Golf Club in North Hampton.

Souhegan (320) defended its D-III crown, with Pelham (348), Derryfield (349), Coe-Brown (350), Bishop Brady (355), Kearsarge (366), Stevens (367) and Lebanon (370) rounding out the D-III scores.

Mascenic (306) won its third D-IV title in the last four years, with Gorham (330), Woodsville (331), White Mountains (338), Hopkinton (342), Conant (347), Gilford (350) and Campbell (366) completing the team standings.

After graduating three seniors from last year’s team that was the top seed in the regular season and third place in the D-IV championship, the Hawks started out 2023 a little slow, opening with a 7-7 record. But Hopkinton went 10-1 down the stretch to finish 17-8 and earn the No. 7 spot (the top eight teams in every division qualified for the team championship) and improved to fifth place on Thursday.

Ammann was a big reason why.

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“Last year he really struggled from the start,” Hopkinton coach Dave Chase said, referring to the Ammann shot at last year’s championship at Mount Washington Golf Club. “Ninety six last year, 72 this year. It was redemption for him. He played consistent golf all day long. …He shot a 78 in the practice round, which was a career best for him. We were hoping for around 80 for him.”

Mascenic’s Josiah Hakala topped the leaderboard with a 7-under 64, eight strokes ahead of Ammann. It’s unlikely that Hakala can be caught in Saturday’s second round of 18 holes at Beaver Meadow in Concord, but Ammann will have to hold off challengers Brody Shaw of Mascenic and Camden Pake of Gorham (both carding 77) to take home some hardware. 

“We’ve always kind of joked that Bronson is capable, but I don’t know if anybody really thought he could finish that high,” Chase said. “But we knew he could finish in the top 16 for sure.”

Senior Adam Richter also had a career day for Hopkinton, breaking 90 for the first time with an 18-over 89, and fellow senior Zach Hopper shot an 85, one stroke shy of making the top 16 to qualify for Saturday’s round two.

Tate Doolan (96), Coley Wells and Jackson Kovar (111) also competed for the Hawks.

“We were pretty happy with our performance,” Chase said. Our first goal was to qualify for the team tournament, we ended up fifth. We were excited and happy we could move up that far. I thought that showed a lot of growth from the boys. That was very positive team wise. We were rebuilding this year after graduating three seniors from last year’s team and we got better and better as we went along.”

The Giants also showed tremendous improvement this season after going 6-21 and failing to make the D-III tournament in 2023.

Savary was the only Brady golfer to advance in the individual championship, courtesy of her top-six finish in the first round of the girls’ individual state championship on Sept. 30 at Campbell Scottish Highlands in Salem.

Fellow freshman Cam Fortier was in a four-way tie for 15th at 17-over 88, but ultimately fell short in the playoff hole, as did Kearsarge’s Owen Blood.

Cam O’Rourke (94), Aiden Boule (95), Bronson Taylor (99), Alex Pelletier (102) and Peyton Cone (116) competed for Bishop Brady.

“We’ve been super blessed with a  good core of freshmen who love the game of golf and are super talented,” second-year head coach Jason Bird said. “They’re interested in the game and unbelievable. … The future for Brady is bright.”

While freshmen Savary, O’Rourke and Fortier were all huge additions to the Brady roster, Bird also highlighted Taylor, the lone senior on the Giants roster.

“He’s been our captain and our leader all year,” Bird said. “The thing that’s really great about Bronson is that he smiles constantly and keeps it positive. It’s good for the younger teammates to see the game not get to him. It’s the game of a lifetime, but it’s a frustrating game at times. He always keeps it positive.”

Bird added, “It was really nice of Sagamore to have (the tournament) for no fee at all, to be the host and not charge us is amazing. … There’s a lot of good sportsmanship and it’s good to see New Hampshire golf growing. It’s in a good spot.”

Hillsboro-Deering’s Gavin Ford (tied fifth, 8-over 79) made the cut in D-IV, while Coe-Brown’s Jack Smith (fifth, 10-over 81), Alex Myslinsky (tied 13th, 15-over 86) and Hunter Demas (tied 15th, 17-over 88), and Kearsarge’s Charlie Reeve (tied ninth, 13-over 84) finished in the top 16 in D-III.

Coe-Brown’s Liam Marquette (95), Joe Fenton (101), Gilbert Bean (103) and Connor Marquette (114); Kearsarge’s Eli Gray (96), Alex Tockman (98), Tanner Lewis (101), Andrew Cushing (104) and Ryan Donelan (105); and John Stark’s Logan Montgomery (101) and Caleb Hauptman (115) were the other area golfers who competed in D-III.

Concord Christian’s Caleb Thompson (90) and Connor Faherty (91), H-D’s Lennon Seymour (93) and Belmont’s Nick Pucci (105) were the other area golfers in D-IV.

The top 16 individuals in all four NHIAA divisions, plus the top six girls, will tee off at Beaver Meadow on Saturday starting at 8:30 a.m.