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Joe Duball's NH Golf: Field is wide open for city golf

August 25. 2018 11:46PM

The 60th installment of the Manchester City Golf Championship looks a little more promising for those seeking to make a splash and gain Queen City golf supremacy.

Matt Paradis, who won the city title last season and has taken three of the last five, will not participate in the three-day, 54-hole event starting Saturday. Paradis and the Southern New Hampshire University men's golf team have their first tournament of the season in West Virginia the same weekend. The 22-year-old would've been the hands-down favorite after a stellar summer in state, regional and national play.

It's tough luck for Paradis, but good news for the other golfers in the field. City Golf Championship committee chairman Todd Becker is still waiting on final entries to roll in as the deadline came and went on Saturday, but the exact field won't be known until the beginning of the week.

"The entries come in slow with everyone always waiting until the last minute," Becker said. "It's been about the same (size field) each year. It's a favorite tournament among a lot of guys in the area."

Becker added that the committee dropped the entry fee for junior players while trying to appeal to a younger crowd. That effort had yet to generate any interest as of Saturday.

A name to always watch in the race for the title is former city champion Dan Arvanitis, who last won the tournament in 2008. Arvanitis continues to have a steady game, proven by his presence in New Hampshire Golf Association events throughout the summer. Arvanitis teamed with Craig Steckowych to win the NHGA Senior Four-Ball championship last Monday.

"Danny is always a perennial favorite," Becker said. "To be honest, I don't know how he does it every year. He's playing into his 60s here and he can still beat all these high school and college guys."

Becker also mentioned Dave Sherborne and Matt Burroughs as players who are top contenders. Sherborne won back-to-back city crowns in 2014 and 2015, which were years he was a regular at the top of leaderboards at NHGA events. Burroughs, the 2006 State Am champion, is returning to the tournament for the first time in 15 years after personal commitments kept him away.

Other past champions who could be in the mix if they decide to enter are 2012 champ Austin Fox, who finished his final year with the SNHU golf team last spring, and 2011 champ David Larrivee, who finished 10th in last year's tournament.

The tournament will once again roll through Manchester's three golf courses, starting at Intervale Country Club Saturday before going to Manchester CC and finishing at Derryfield CC on Labor Day. The wonky weather between heat waves and swaths of heavy rain have been a challenge for courses throughout the state all summer, but Becker believes all three courses will be at their best for golfers next weekend.

"I just played Manchester CC on Monday and it was in great shape," Becker said. "Everybody loves to hear that for this tournament and then both Intervale and Derryfield are in good shape. All three should be a pretty good test as always."

It's no small feat that the city tournament is celebrating its 60th year. Becker, who was a 20-year participant before joining the committee five years ago, is always thrilled by the tournament's consistency.

"It's a great tournament that brings a lot of fun and competition," Becker said. "I think it says a lot about golf in Manchester that this has been able to roll on for 60 years now. To get close to that full field every year even nowadays is really something special."

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Two Granite State golfers are jumping to the national stage after earning spots in the U.S. Mid-Amateur, which begins Sept. 22 at Charlotte (N.C) Country Club. Dover's Harvin Groft and Chesterfield's Ryan Kohler made their way into the 264-player field after fighting through playoff holes at separate qualifiers last week.

Groft punched his ticket on Sunday in Blue Bell, Pa., emerging from a 12-player playoff for the final two qualifying spots. The Oaks Golf Links member, who shot a 71 in regulation, made it through the first playoff hole to go one-on-one in the second extra hole for the last qualifying spot. A par on the second playoff hole was all Groft needed to get the job done.

Kohler's playoff experience in Williamstown, Mass., was drawn out as he needed four playoff holes to snag his qualifying spot. The 2015 NHGA Mid-Amateur champion fired a 71 in regulation to set himself in a three-for-one playoff, which included Nashua CC's James Pleat. Kohler was matched step for step through three holes until a birdie on the fourth playoff hole helped him escape with his U.S. Mid-Amateur berth. Pleat, the 2017 NHGA Mid-Amateur champion, will is the first alternate if any of the qualifiers from the Williamstown tournament back out.

Groft and Kohler will get two days of stroke play at the U.S. Mid-Amateur to qualify for the 64-player stroke play field.

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Rich Berberian Jr. rebounded from another tough go in a PGA Tour major championship with a New England PGA win last weekend. The former Windham CC professional won the 98th NEPGA Section Championship on Sunday in North Kingstown, R.I., finishing at 7-under-par and downing runner-up Jeff Martin by a stroke.

Despite ending each day of the three-day event atop the leaderboard, Berberian Jr.'s 1-over 73 in Sunday's final round nearly cost him the win. Martin had a two-stroke edge through 13 holes before Berberian Jr. swung the lead two-stroke lead to his favor through 16 holes and never gave it back.

The win secures Berberian Jr. a spot in the 2019 PGA Professional National Championship in Bluffton, S.C. next April. Berberian Jr. has qualified for the PGA Championship the last three years through the Professional National Championship.

Joining Berberian Jr. in next April's tournament is NHGA Hall of Fame inductee Kirk Hanefeld. The New Hampshire native and two-time NHGA Amateur champion tied for third behind Berberian Jr. at 3-under, giving him one of the 12 qualifying positions for the Professional National Championship.

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The New Hampshire Women's Golf Association's season continued to roll on this past week following its epic Amateur Championship two weeks ago. The ladies held A and B Division tournaments on Tuesday at Pheasant Ridge GC in Gilford and Campbell's Scottish Highlands in Salem.

Dale Nims and Amy Peters were co-winners in A Division play at Pheasant Ridge while Dana Harrity was the A Division winner at Campbell's Scottish Highlands. Kathy Low and Charlene Buffum triumphed in B Division play at each course.

Nims and Peters were well ahead of the rest as they finished five-strokes ahead of second place while posting scores of 7-over. Harrity, who struggled while closing out her run at the State Am, righted the ship with her 4-over round, which was three strokes better than runner-ups Margaret Brenner, Joan Cyr and Robin Mongeon.

The NHWGA also held a mixed foursome best-ball tournament last Sunday at Canterbury Woods CC, which the group of Brenda McGee, Linda Pletch, Ed Paige and Gary Mercier won by four strokes.

Here are full results for all three tournaments:

A/B tournament

At Pheasant Ridge GC, Gilford

Division A

Gross results: t-1. Dale Nims, 7-over; t-1. Amy Peters, 7-over; t-3. Carla Ringer, 12-over; t-3. Paula Ainsworth, 12-over; t-5. Paula Ellis, 13-over; t-5. Sue Dore, 13-over.

Net results: 1. Jo Goodwin, 5-under; 2. Betsy Webster, 3-under; 3. Carmyn Young, 2-under.

Division B

Gross results: 1. Kathy Low, 15-over; 2. Karin Mahoney, 19-over; 3. Kathryn McCarthy, 20-over; t-4. Yolanda Miller, 21-over; t-4. Irene Schultz, 21-over; t-6. Jeannine Fitzgerald, Denise Jaronski, 25-over; t-6. Janet Monahan, 25-over; t-6. Karen Brickner, 25-over.

Net results: 1. Sandy Pregent, 11-under; t-2. Sharen Fuller, 4-under; t-2. Rita Marchese, 4-under; t-2. Leslie Brock, 4-under; t-5. Sharon Crane, 3-under; t-5. Fay Melendy, 3-under; t-5. Pat Cutler, 3-under; t-5. Sherry Osgood, 3-under; 9. Pam Lapointe, 2-under; 10. Yvonne Hale, 1-under.

A/B tournament

At Campbell's Scottish Highlands, Salem

Division A

Gross results: 1. Dana Harrity, 4-over; t-2. Margaret Brenner, 7-over; t-2. Joan Cyr, 7-over; t-2. Robin Mongeon, 7-over; t-5. Karen McBarron, 8-over; t-5. Kim Comstock, 8-over; t-5. Cindy Perkins, 8-over; t-5. Deb Clauson, 8-over; t-9. June Ferland, 10-over; t-9. Deirdre Rogusky, 10-over.

Net results: 1. Melissa Harman, 7-under; 2. Nancy Lamb, 6-under; t-3. Kathlene Garafalo, 4-under; t-3. Joan Wilson, 4-under; t-3. Kelly Riley, 4-under; t-6. Dorene Bergeron, 3-under; t-6. Virginia Sinclair, 3-under; 8. Lynn Casserly, 2-under.

Division B

Gross results: 1. Charlene Buffum, 22-over; 2. June Bridgewater, 23-over; 3. Donna Charbonneau, 26-over.

Net results: t-1. Gerilyn Hartman, 1-under; t-1. June Bridgewater, 1-under; t-1. Carolyn Falgares, 1-under; t-1. Carmen Squires, 1-under; 5. Phyllis Miller, even; 6. Irene Vantine, 1-over.

Mixed best-ball tournament

At Canterbury Woods CC, Canterbury

Gross results: 1. Brenda McGee, Linda Pletch, Ed Paige and Gary Mercier, 4-over; 2. Paige Macleay, Diana Gauthier, Nick Macleay and John Gauthier, 8-over; 3. Karin Mahoney, Anne Cote, Skip Mahoney and Jack Benson, 11-over; 4. Diann Balser, Cindy McLaughlin, Roger Gayer and Rick McLaughlin, 13-over; 5. Kathy Hazen, Karen Johnson, Howard Hazen and Corey Nelson, 14-over.

Net results: t-1. Carrie Letellier, Anne Lathe, Rick Latellier and Rich Lathe, 23-under; t-1. Claire Crowley, Diane Campbell, Phil Webster and John Campbell, 23-under; t-3. Charlene Buffum, Gerilyn Hartman, David Buffum and Gregg Hartman, 22-under; t-3. Patty Gianunzio, Wendy Papagolos, Rick White and Pat Gianunzio, 22-under; 5. Gwyn Grasset, Karen Lussier, Gerald Grassett and Wayne Lussier, 21-under.

Sports Golf

New Hampshire Highland Games
Friday, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.,
Saturday, 8 a.m. - 9 p.m.,
Sunday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Full Throttle Weekend
Saturday, 8 a.m.

Portsmouth Fairy House Tour
Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Thomas Rhett
Saturday, 7:30 p.m.