MANCHESTER — Bryce Zimmerman said he entered the final day of the Mike Ryan Memorial Championship planning to make birdies, and then he followed through on that plan.
Zimmerman, who will be a junior at Nashua North High School, made five birdies during his morning match, five more in the afternoon and won the Eagle Division’s Championship Flight by beating Pelham’s Russell Hamel 4 and 3 Wednesday at Derryfield Country Club.
Both golfers were representing Nashua Country Club.
“I had the mentality there were going to be holes I was going to birdie,” Zimmerman said. “I had a lot of short birdie putts, so I guess the approach shots were the key. I put myself in good position — and there were two birdie putts I missed that were within five feet.”
Zimmerman went 1-up on Hamel by making a par on the par-4 seventh hole, and also won the par-3 8th with a par. He increased his lead with birdies on the par-4 11th and the par-4 13th. The matched ended when the par-4 15th hole was halved with pars.
Hamel, who also lost to Zimmerman in this tournament last year, failed to trim his deficit despite making birdies on the ninth and 10th holes.
“Very frustrating,” Hamel said. “I started kind of slow and when I started playing good he started making birdies so I couldn’t gain any ground. Once he makes a couple birdies he gets in the zone and gets really confident about his game. He just played really good today.”
The Eagle Division is for ages 16-18. Although Hamel is 14, he requested to play the tournament’s toughest bracket. The event, formerly known as the Red Ryan CYO Tournament, is now part of the New Hampshire Golf Association’s Junior Tour. The tournament also featured a Birdie Division (up to age 13) and a Junior Division (14-15).
Zimmerman, who advanced to the Round of 32 in last week’s New Hampshire Amateur Championship, has won his bracket at this tournament in each of the past four years. He beat Hamel in the Junior Division last summer.
In Wednesday’s other championship matches, Jack Steele (Concord CC) beat Joel Collins (Manchester CC) 3 and 2 to win the Birdie Division; Evan Rollins (Laconia) def. Ben Dougherty (North Conway) 1-up to win the Junior Division Championship Flight; Sean McCaffrey (unattached) def. Rouen Pelletier (Stonebridge) to prevail in the Junior Division First Flight; and Jake Mielcarz (Concord) def. Jack Poitras (The Oaks Golf Links) in 19 holes to win the Eagle Division’s First Flight.
Wednesday’s Semifinal Results
Birdie Division (Championship Flight): Jack Steele (Concord) def. Sean Guerette (Intervale), 10 holes; Joel Collins (Manchester) def. Brady Cuneo (Windham), 2-up.
Junior Division (Championship Flight): Ben Dougherty (North Conway) def. Elliot Wallace (Manchester), 2 and 1; Evan Rollins (Laconia) def. Noah Leclair (Nashua), 3 and 2.
Junior Division (First Flight): Sean McCaffrey (unattached) def. Sam Hopkins (Candia Woods), 19 holes; Rouen Pelletier (Stonebridge) def. Ace Chancey (unattached), 2 and 1.
Eagle Division (Championship Flight): Russell Hamel (Nashua) def. Nate Stevens (Stonebridge), 4 and 2; Bryce Zimmerman (Nashua) def. Jack Meehan (Hanover), 4 and 3.
Eagle Division (First Flight): Jake Mielcarz (Concord) def. Kyle Raspuzzi (unattached), 1-up; Jack Poitras (The Oaks) def. Nicholas Tufts (unattached), 1-up.