A pair of eagles and a closing-round 3-under-par 69 rocketed Nashua North freshman Brandon Gillis to the Division I NHIAA Golf Championship at Canterbury Woods in Canterbury Saturday.
Gillis, who earned the Richard D. McDonough trophy for his efforts, finished with a two-day total of 143, one-under par and two strokes better than runner-up Matt Paradis of Central. Gillis' eagles came on a pair of Canterbury Woods par-5s, the second and tenth holes.
He and Paradis had shared the lead at 2-over 74 following Thursday's opening round, as part of the NHIAA team championship. Thursday's low 24 golfers, including 13 within four shots of the lead, returned to Canterbury Saturday to complete the individual championship, but Gillis (143) and Paradis (145) set a pace that quickly turned the event into a two-man show.
Following those two were Keeton Foster of Keene (152), Dylan Lortie of Alvirne of Hudson (153), Justin Clutter of Bedford (154), Thomas Either of Bishop Guertin of Nashua (154) and Sam Nielsen of Nashua South (155).
Adam Godbout of Concord, who had been one shot off the lead following Thursday's opening round, was one of three golfers, along with Dover teammates Eric Evans and Sam Shafer, in an eighth-place tie at 156.
And whereas the Division I Championship came down to two golfers, it was just one who left the field behind in Division II.
At Beaver Meadow Golf Club in Concord, Windham High School senior Connor Greenleaf turned what had been a three-shot lead following Thursday's team round into an eight-shot victory by closing with a scorching, 3-under-par 69 to finish with a 2-under 142.
Tom Hixon of Portsmouth, tied for second after firing a 76 in the first round, improved on his score with a 2-over-par 74 and finished alone in second with his two-day 150. Next was Mattson Rosenbaum of Hanover (155), Alex Von Svoboda of Bishop Brady of Concord (155) and Alex Bickford of St. Thomas Aquinas of Dover (157).
Bunched up at 158 were Ben Wescot of ConVal of Peterborough, Brendon Scheffer of St. Thomas and James McKee of Windham, followed by three more at 159 - Adam Dolan of Windham, Griffin Barbaro of Goffstown and Patrick Dyroff of Hanover.
At Ridgewood Country Club in Moultonborough, Jake Vaiknoras of Pelham was a model of consistency in claiming the Division III Individual Championship.
Trailing leader Josh Lacasse of Bow by one stroke after a first-round 71, Vaiknoras simply did it again, his second straight 1-under-par round to finish at 2-under 142 for the tournament. Lacasse shot a 75 to finish second at 145.
Those two were followed by Doug Champagne of Bow (148), Andy Arnold of Kearsarge of North Sutton (152), Jordan Dahl of Winnisquam (153), Jake Rand of Bow (153), Grant Workman of Gilford (154), Jeremy Duhamel of Bow (156), Maky Seppala of Conant of Jaffrey (158) and Tyler Swarthout of Gilford (163).
Derryfield, which had handily won the Division IV Team Championship on Thursday, had the top three finishers in the Individual Championship as well.
Roger Larrivee shot 74 on Saturday to finish with a 151 overall and overtake Derryfield teammate Bennett Doherty, who shot 78 Saturday and 153 for the two-day event. Behind them by just a stroke was another Cougar, Patrick McGinley, at 154.
McGinley was nine shots better than the next finisher, Cale Manseau of Newport, who's 163 was good for fourth, followed by Cameron Fiefer of Profile of Bethlehem (164), Sam Winslow of Hopkinton (165), Joe Woods of Newmarket (171), Peter Thompson of Derryfield (172), Matt Bocko of Newport (174) and Jordan Damon of Farmington.