Golf: Championship preview

Bow’s Sean Guerrette hits his chip shot on the first hole at Loudon Country Club on Sept. 19.

Bow’s Sean Guerrette hits his chip shot on the first hole at Loudon Country Club on Sept. 19. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

Merrimack Valley’s Andrew Surprenant hits his approach shot on the first hole at Loudon Country Club on Sept. 19.

Merrimack Valley’s Andrew Surprenant hits his approach shot on the first hole at Loudon Country Club on Sept. 19. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

Bow’s Sean Guerrette hits his drive on the first hole at Loudon Country Club on Sept. 19.

Bow’s Sean Guerrette hits his drive on the first hole at Loudon Country Club on Sept. 19. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

Merrimack Valley’s Andrew Surprenant (left) and Bow’s Sean Guerrette scout the first hole at Loudon Country Club on Sept. 19. The local golfers are two to watch in this week’s championships and on Saturday, when the top 14 individuals per division, plus the top six girls who qualified out of the first round of the girls’ championship flight,  will play another 18 holes at Beaver Meadow in Concord.

Merrimack Valley’s Andrew Surprenant (left) and Bow’s Sean Guerrette scout the first hole at Loudon Country Club on Sept. 19. The local golfers are two to watch in this week’s championships and on Saturday, when the top 14 individuals per division, plus the top six girls who qualified out of the first round of the girls’ championship flight, will play another 18 holes at Beaver Meadow in Concord. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

Merrimack Valley’s Andrew Surprenant tees off on the first hole at Loudon Country Club on Sept. 19.

Merrimack Valley’s Andrew Surprenant tees off on the first hole at Loudon Country Club on Sept. 19. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

Concord’s Gavin Richarson putts on the green at the sixth hole on Bretwood’s north course in Keene on Aug. 23.

Concord’s Gavin Richarson putts on the green at the sixth hole on Bretwood’s north course in Keene on Aug. 23. Hannah Schroeder/Keene Sentinel

By DAN ATTORRI

Monitor staff

Published: 10-10-2023 10:45 AM

The NHIAA fall postseason is upon us, starting with the golf championships being contested this week. The top eight teams from each of the four NHIAA divisions will compete for team titles throughout the week, while the top 14 individuals from each division earn the right to play another round for a shot at an individual crown on Saturday.

Division I tees off at 9 a.m. on Tuesday at Canterbury Woods Country Club. D-II’s championship will also be held on Tuesday at Breakfast Hill Golf Club in Greenland with a 9:30 a.m. start.

D-III and D-IV will be played on Thursday at Sagamore-Hampton Golf Club in North Hampton and North Conway Country Club, respectively. Athletes will tee off at 9 a.m. at both events.

The top 14 individuals per division, plus the top six girls who qualified out of the first round of the girls’ championship flight (played at Campbell’s Scottish Highlands in Salem on Sept. 30) will play another 18 holes at Beaver Meadow on Saturday, a location that should help area golfers who make it that far. Tee times will be announced later in the week.

Here is a look at the team’s that have qualified, plus some local golfers to watch.

Division I

Qualified teams: Concord (25-1), Bedford (24-2), Exeter (23-4), Dover (20-5), Keene (17-8), Hanover (18-9), Londonderry (17-9), Nashua North (14-13).

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

Contoocook's Covered Bridge Restaurant set for revival
Dunkin sign crashing down in Concord didn’t stop the coffee from flowing
A bridge, a park, or both? Residents brainstorm visions for an elevated connection between downtown and the river
Planning the end: Barbara Filion looks to Vermont for medical aid in dying
Boys’ basketball: Joe Fitzgerald’s 26 points lift Pembroke over Merrimack Valley in D-II quarterfinal
Missing children located safe in Keene, father is charged with killing mother

Golfers to watch: Concord’s Gavin Richardson, David Bourgeois, Carl Sirrianna, Zach Nelson, Keller Ramshaw, Jordan Dustin and Alex Pelletier.

The Crimson Tide had the best record during the regular season, but that doesn’t mean anything come Tuesday morning once the championship tees off. The Tide were the No. 2 team last year, but finished fourth in the championship at Bretwood. This is an experienced Concord lineup with Richardson (tied sixth), a senior, and Sirrianna (13th) and Ramshaw (16th) making the cut for the second round of the individual championship last season. Pelletier (senior) and Bourgeois (junior) also competed in the team championship. Richardson earned medalist honors in six of the Tide’s 10 matches this season, but Bourgeois came on strong at the end of the season, outperforming his seven spot in the lineup card to be the medalist in the last two matches. Freshman Zach Nelson shared a medalist honor with Richardson early in the season as well.

Division II

Qualified teams: Windham (28-0), Oyster River (24-4), Bow (22-6), Winnacunnet (22-6), Portsmouth (21-7), Timberlane (21-7), Merrimack Valley (18-10), St. Thomas (15-12).

Area teams cut: Pembroke (9-20).

Golfers to watch: Bow’s Sean Guerrette, Owen Webber, Jacob Gancarz, Billy Smethurst and Andre Contreras; MV’s Andrew Surprenant and Dalton Gordon.

The Falcons are the defending champions and were the top seed heading into last year’s championship. That isn’t the case this year, but Bow has still beaten top teams like Winnacunnet, and kept it close in defeats, such as a one-stroke loss to Oyster River. The Falcons have the depth to compete with any team and could have multiple golfers in the top 14. After not fielding a varsity team since 2016 and not winning a single match since 2014, MV head coach Joe Dougherty and his Pride squad are competing for a championship. Keep an eye out for Suprenant (fifth in 2022) near the top of the leaderboard.

Division III

Qualified teams: Souhegan (24-0), Derryfield (20-3), Bishop Brady (19-8), Coe-Brown (16-8), Pelham (11-10), Kearsarge (13-12), Stevens (13-12), Lebanon (12-14).

Area teams cut: John Stark (4-21).

Golfers to watch: Bishop Brady’s Mady Savary, Cam O’Rourke, Cam Fortier and Bronson Taylor; Coe-Brown’s Jack Smith, Alex Myslinsky, Joe Fenton and Hunter Demas; Kearsarge’s Owen Blood, Alex Tockman and Charlie Reeve.

Brady was 6-21 and didn’t make the tournament a year ago, but with the addition of a large and talented freshman class, led by Savary, O’Rourke and Fortier, the Giants are back in the mix with the best in the division. Savary already qualified for Saturday’s second round by finishing in the top six of the opening round of the girls’ individual championship. Souhegan and Derryfield look to be in a two-team race for the title, but Coe-Brown and Kearsarge are both looking improve on last year’s showings by cracking the top five. Myslinsky (9th) and Smith (11th) both made the cut last year.

Division IV

Qualified teams: Mascenic (25-1), Conant (21-2), Gilford (24-3), Gorham (19-4), Woodsville  (22-5), White Mountains (19-6), Hopkinton (17-8), Campbell (14-8).

Area teams cut: Hillsboro-Deering (10-16), Concord Christian (8-18), Belmont (2-22).

Golfers to watch: Hopkinton’s Bronson Ammann, Zach Hopper, Adam Richter and Tate Doolan; H-D’s Gavin Ford.

The Hawks finished fourth last year, with Hopper (14th) making the cut. H-D’s Ford finished eighth individually as a freshman and looks to qualify again this year. Hopkinton has been in good form over the last three weeks, only dropping one match, against Gilford, since Sept. 15, and the Hawks won the rematch on the final day of the regular season.