HUDSON — Josh Chamberlain and Connor Greenleaf have put little distance between themselves and the rest of the field after two rounds of the New Hampshire Golf Association’s Stroke Play Championship, but that’s like saying they’re swimming a few lengths in front of a school of sharks.
Chamberlain and Greenleaf are each at 4-under-par and share a one-stroke lead at the 72-hole event’s halfway point. There are four golfers who trail the leaders by one shot, however, and at least four others within striking distance entering today’s final 36 holes at Green Meadow Golf Club’s Jungle Course.
Chamberlain, a New Boston resident who plays out of Goffstown’s Stonebridge Country Club, shot a 1-over-par 73 Wednesday and was in sole possession of the lead until late in the afternoon.
“My ball-striking was off and I had to make a lot of saves,” Chamberlain said. “There are probably a dozen golfers within a shot or two, so I have to stay consistent in my play. There’s still a lot of golf left and if I’m off my game there are plenty of guys who can win this thing. It’s been a little while since I’ve been in this position.”
Greenleaf, an 18-year-old Windham resident representing Windham Country Club, finished the day with a 2-under-par 70. Greenleaf graduated from Windham High School this year, and will play golf at Boston College next season.
“I like where I’m at, but there are a lot of people who could still win this tournament,” Greenleaf said. “I could see anyone who’s even (par) or better making a charge. There’s so many guys still in contention and you know at least one of them will probably go low. It may be hard for someone who’s 2-over to win this, but you never know.”
The group one-shot back at 3-under-par (141) includes Manchester Country Club’s Jake Nutter, who shot a 4-under-par 68 Wednesday (the day’s lowest round). Nutter’s round was highlighted by an eagle at the par-5 third hole. He also made five birdies and three boges.
Also at 141 are Ryan Kohler of Hooper Golf Club in Walpole, Atkinson Country Club’s Joe Leavitt, and Griffin Brown of The Overlook Golf Club in Hollis. Leavitt won the New Hampshire State Am last month.
Four other golfers are at even par or better: Hanover Country Club’s Zach Temple (-2), Portsmouth Country Club’s Craig Steckowych (-1), Atkinson Country Club’s Nick Pandelena (-1) and Pembroke Pines Country Club’s Jim Cilley.
The field of 108 was reduced to the top 40 scores plus ties after Wednesday’s round. The cut came at 153, and 45 golfers advanced to the tournament’s third day.
“With this many golfers still around there are a lot of strategies you could use (today),” Greenleaf said. “I’m on top now and I’m going to try my best to stay there.”