GREENLAND — Eric Evans knows his way around the golf course at Portsmouth Country Club. He proved that Thursday.
Evans, a Portsmouth CC member, advanced to the Round of 8 in the New Hampshire Amateur Golf Championship by winning two matches Thursday on his home course. Evans, a Dover resident who plays at the University of Hartford, beat Tilman Evers of Green Meadow Golf Club in 20 holes during his morning round, and then knocked off Cochecho CC’s Mike Flynn in 6 and 5 in the afternoon.
“I came into the tournament struggling with my game a little bit and not where I want to be mentally, but I picked a good time to start playing well,” Evans said. “I’m excited.”
Evans is one of eight players still in the hunt for this year’s title. The other golfers who survived two rounds of match play Thursday to reach the quarterfinals are Mathew Gover (Atkinson Resort and CC), Andrew Purse (Bald Peak), Nick Kalil (Portsmouth CC), Jake Hollander (The Shattuck), John Devito (Passaconaway) and Sam Barton (Kingswood GC).
Ferullo advanced by beating Jake Nutter of Manchester’s Intervale Country Club 3 and 1 Thursday afternoon.
Nutter, who reached the tournament’s Round of 16 by winning his morning match against Farmington CC’s Sam Reynolds 8 and 7, was 1 up in the sixth fairway when the afternoon matches were suspended by rain. After more than a two-hour delay, Ferullo took control of the match by winning three straight holes — No. 6, No. 7 and No. 8 — to go 2 up. The match had four holes that were played during a steady rain.
“Jamie did a good job in the rain and I didn’t adapt to it was well as he did,” said Nutter, who works for the Bedford Fire Department. “Really what it came down to is I hit a ton of greens all week. I just didn’t make enough putts. I just couldn’t get a grip on it and it caught up to me with Jamie. It’s frustrating because I played well from tee to green all week.”
Nutter led Bedford High School to two state championships and won NHIAA individual championships in 2008 and 2010. He was the NHGA Junior champion in 2009.
Nutter started his college golf career at Florida Southern before he transferred to South Carolina-Aiken and then to Southern New Hampshire University.
Manchester CC’s Ryan Brown, who earned the No. 1 seed for match play by finishing with the lowest score during the tournament’s two rounds of stroke play, had his run end with a 21-hole loss to Flynn, the State Am champ in 1992 and 1994, during Thursday’s morning round.
Three former State Am champions were also eliminated in Thursday’s morning round: Kalil defeated Portsmouth CC’s Craig Steckowych 3 and 2; Barton beat Passaconaway CC’s Jared LaMothe 2 and 1; and Ferullo knocked off Nashua CC’s Phil Pleat 3 and 2. Steckowych won the State Am in 1990 and 1998, LaMothe prevailed in 1999, and Pleat claimed the championship in 1981, 1985 and 1997.
Two rounds of match play are scheduled today before the tournament wraps up with Saturday’s 36-hole final.
Today’s morning matches are Evans vs. Gover, Purse vs. DeVito, Hollander vs. Kalil, and Barton vs. Ferullo. Today’s first match is scheduled to start at 7:30 a.m.
Round of 32
Mike Flynn (Cochecho) def. Ryan Brown (Manchester), 21 holes; Eric Evans (Portsmouth) def. Tilman Evers (Green Meadow), 20 holes; Tommy Ethier (Nashua) def. Fletcher Sokul (Concord), 3 and 2; Mathew Gover (Atkinson) def. Brian Adams (Breakfast Hill), 19 holes; Andrew Purse (Bald Peak) def. Ryan Quinn (Breakfast Hill), 2 and 1; Cameron Salo (The Shattuck) def. Bryce Zimmerman (Nashua), 1-up; John DeVito (Passaconaway) def. Nick Hampoian (Golf Club of NE), 19 holes; Will McLaughlin (Concord) def. Sam Natti (Maplewood), 7 and 6; Brandon Gillis (Green Meadow) def. Ryan Koehler (Hooper), 2 and 1; Jake Hollander (Shattuck) def. Mackey Seppala (Bretwood), 6 and 4; Nick Kalil (Portsmouth) def. Craig Steckowych (Portsmouth), 3 and 2; Brian Nowak (Amherst) def. Austin Fox (Intervale), 1-up; Sam Barton (Kingswood) def. Jared LaMothe (Passaconaway), 2 and 1;; Michael Mahan (Cochecho) def. Kurt Eddins (Cochecho) 5 and 3; Jake Nutter (Intervale) def. Sam Reynolds (Farmington); Jamie Ferullo (Rochester) def. Phil Pleat (Nashua), 3 and 2.
Round of 16
Evans def. Flynn, 6 and 5; Gover def. Ethier, 19 holes; Purse def. Salo, 1-up; McLaughlin def. DeVito, 4 and 2; Hollander def. Gillis, 1-up; Kalil def. Nowak, 3 and 2; Barton def. Mahan, 1-up; Ferullo def. Nutter, 3 and 1.