Paradis defends city golf titleBy JOHN HABIB
New Hampshire Union Leader
September 04. 2017 8:45PM
MANCHESTER — It won’t be until 2020 at the earliest when Hooksett’s Matt Paradis has the chance to turn professional. Many of his followers say his ceiling is high.
“If he stays amateur, he’ll be good for a long, long time because he has the total package,” said golf pro Matt Thibeault of Paradis, who shot even-par 72 Monday and defended his Manchester Men’s City Golf Championship with an eight-stroke victory in the two-day tournament, which concluded at Intervale Country Club.
Paradis (68-72-140) of Concord CC (playing with an exemption as a former tournament champ), who has won three city titles overall and is entering his sophomore season at Southern New Hampshire University, pulled away from close friend and rival Jake Nutter of Manchester CC (75-73-148) after making eagle on the par five 14th and on on on hole 15 after lipping out in his bid for another eagle. Jim Conley of Derryfield CC (78-72-150), who snapped Danny Arvanitis’ string of seven straight Senior Division titles, was third overall.
Rounding out the top 10 were Jeff Sullivan of Manchester CC (79-72-151), Sean Lacey of Derryfield CC (78-74-152), Ryan Cowette of Manchester CC (78-75-153), Derek Mahoney of Intervale CC (79-76-155), Patrick Mahan of Derryfield CC (82-73-155), 12-time champion Arvanitis of Derryfield CC (78-77-155) and tied for 10th, Dave Larrivee of Manchester CC (78-78) and Shane Glennon of Manchester (76-80), both at 160.
Heavy rain canceled Sunday’s play at Derryfield, which meant all 61 golfers in the field competed in the final round at Intervale. The tournament started Saturday at Manchester CC when Paradis established his seven-stroke lead over Nutter, who closed the gap to three with eight holes to play Monday.
Nutter, who beat Paradis in a playoff in the Barton Intercollegiate last year in Wilson, N.C., was within four shots of Paradis after shooting two-under 34 at the turn. He gained a stroke on the 10th hole when Paradis double-bogeyed the hole, but Nutter’s bogey on the par-four 13th coupled with Paradis’ eagle-birdie run over the next two holes ended any possible comeback attempt.
“I missed just two greens all day and didn’t have much to show for it,” said Nutter. “I just didn’t make many putts. That was frustrating because Matt is never out of a hole. He keeps it in play and is a tremendous putter.”
Paradis said entering Monday’s round he was never comfortable with a seven-shot lead, knowing Nutter was capable of “making a ton of birdies.”
Thibeault, who won the city championship in 1981, said “Matt has a great fundamental sound golf swing. He’s also level-headed for a young player and has a great short game.”
Arvanitis, in giving his own assessment of Paradis, said Saturday’s first round at Manchester CC spoke volumes. “He starts four-over after five holes and comes back to shoot seven-under over the last 13, which is spectacular. He hits it long, plays aggressive, putts well and knows how to score. He’s a real good player.”
He’s also a confident player, something Paradis addressed before starting his round Monday.
“I’ve been playing a lot of sports my whole life and I’ve always been competitive,” said the former Manchester Central standout, who was a playing member at Derryfield CC for 10 years. “I just have that competitive nature to win. One thing I do know is you have to believe in yourself if you want to be successful.”
Paradis said over the next couple of years while he’s competing for SNHU, he’ll work on developing his strength. “I need to get a little bigger physically, need to develop my game more and then hopefully in three years I’ll look to turn pro.”