Before this summer, Keene’s Chelso Barrett already had won three New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association state championships and two New Hampshire Golf Association junior titles, and had been runner-up in the U.S. Golf Association Junior Amateur.
Now the Texas Christian University-bound freshman has an NHGA men’s championship on his ever-expanding resume.
Playing out of Bretwood Golf Club in Keene, Barrett on Thursday closed out the three-day, 72-hole NHGA Stroke Play Championship with an 11-under-par total of 74-65-68-70-277 on the Jungle Course of the Green Meadow Golf Club in Hudson,
In shooting 6-under for the final two rounds, Barrett fended off challenges from two of the state’s other top young golfers, Damon Salo of New Ipswich and the Shattuck Golf Club in Jaffrey (71-69-69-71-280), and Jake Nutter of Bedford and Manchester Country Club (72-69-71-69-281).
It’s been a productive summer for Barrett. He qualified for the United States Amateur Public Links Championship, though he dropped out after carding a second-round score of 7-over-par 77 at Lorton, Va., and recently won a sectional qualifier at the Vesper CC in Tyngsborough, Mass, to earn a berth in the U.S. Amateur, set to start Aug. 12 at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. and the Charles River CC in Newton, Mass.
In the Stroke Play tournament, Barrett converted 40 pars, 19 birdies, 10 bogeys, one double bogey and two eagles.
During his 4-under 68 third round Thursday morning, he started on Hole 10 and converted two birdies on the backside. He went to 9-under for the tournament by sinking an eagle on Hole 3 and a birdie on Hole 9.
Salo, a member of the golf team at Johnson & Wales University in Miami, stayed within striking range, just two strokes off the pace after making birdies on Holes 6 and 9 to complete his morning round with a 3-under 69.
Salo took advantage of bogeys by Barrett on Holes 3 and 5 to forge into a tie at 10-under with nine holes to play. But Barrett regained the lead for good, making birdies on 10 and 13 while Salo bogeyed both and Hole 14 to fall five shots behind.
Barrett, a two-time NHGA Junior champion and 2011 USGA Junior Amateur finalist, finished 11-under for the tournament.
Nutter, who played at Florida Southern College in 2012 before transferring to the University of South Carolina-Aiken, made some noise in the last round with five birdie putts. But bogeys on Holes 14 and 16 cost him a chance of catching Salo for second place.
Tied for fourth place at 285, eight shots behind Barrett, were Ryan Tombs of Manchester, Connor Greenleaf of Windham and first-round leader Joe Toland of Hanover.